Did you know that over 75% of digital video viewers use their mobile phones to watch streamed content (e.g. YouTube videos)? 87% of marketers worldwide realise the importance of video and are now incorporating this medium into their marketing strategies. And 88% of those marketers are satisfied with their ROI.

If you want to get creative with SMS marketing and achieve even better results than you're currently getting, do consider introducing text message video content to your customers. Read on to learn how to integrate videos into your SMS marketing strategy (the right way).

Why SMS video content?

Video content provides a much-needed break from blocks of text. It's a refreshing approach that's more direct than many other mediums. Video also allows you to get creative with your business communications and create more diverse, valuable content. For true success, however, you need to ensure your videos measure up to expectations.

Getting videos right

Follow our tips to create videos that your target audience will resonate and engage with:

  • Keep them short – people's attention spans are put to the test these days because of the overwhelming amount of information they're faced with daily. Short and punchy videos are more likely to be watched all the way through.

  • Provide value – tell your audience something worth knowing. You don't always have to film someone or something – why not include photos, graphics, text overlays or gifs? Screencast videos work great if you need to demonstrate something on your website.

  • Consider quality – if you're embedding videos into your texts, you'll need to strike the right balance between file size and video quality, as mobile network operators impose a file size limit.

  • Create different video types – this will help you identify the type of content your audience is happy to watch. Try product tutorials, software demos, customer testimonials, interviews, top tips or promotional videos.
Person in front of a camera making a video

How do I send a video via SMS?

Sending videos via text messages can be done in two ways – directly with MMS or indirectly through a video-sharing or file-hosting platform. For both methods, you can add context to your video – a catchy caption, explanation or CTA that'll entice recipients to watch.

1. Sending a video through MMS

SMS is a text-based message with a limit of 160 characters. MMS is quite similar to SMS, but it allows you to send photos, videos, images, audio files, etc., as well as text. MMS has a much lengthier character limit which offers more flexibility for any written messages accompanying your media content. This option works well for subscribers as they can watch videos directly inside their native messages app.

To use MMS, all you need to do is attach a media file to your regular SMS message. There are a few considerations to using MMS, however. Firstly, MMS costs more than SMS text messages. This is because you need more bandwidth for the media you include.

Secondly, as mentioned earlier, mobile network carriers stipulate a maximum file size. This starts at 500 KB for most of them, although the limit varies according to which operator the sender and recipient are using. (Verizon, for example, allows attachments of up to 3.5 MB). This means you can't attach large files, so you'll probably have to compromise on video quality when using MMS. Videos also tend to get badly compressed when they're sent over cellular networks.

How to send videos via a third-party file-hosting platform

Third-party video streaming platforms provide an easy and cost-effective way to send videos. There are just two steps involved:

Step 1: Upload your video

Choose a platform such as YouTube, Vimeo or Google Drive to upload your video to. The platform must allow link-sharing (otherwise, you won't be able to send the video to your audience). Such platforms usually have very high file size limits – 256 GB for YouTube – meaning you can upload larger files and show off your video at full resolution if you wish.

For the most part, third-party platforms like these won't compress your video – or if they do, the difference will be hardly noticeable. However, Facebook is an exception. This social media giant allows link-sharing, but heavy compression will result in a poor-quality video.

Step 2: Locate the video link

Once you've uploaded your video to your preferred third-party platform, locate the URL for where it's published. On YouTube, this can be found via the 'Share' button underneath your video. If the link is very long, here’s how to shorten it.

Step 3: Include the video link in your SMS text message

This option lets you add your video links to regular SMS campaigns. MMS isn't required, meaning you'll benefit from cheaper messaging. However, you will have to stay within a short character limit for any video captions or other written content.

If you're planning on sending videos to large groups of recipients, it's best to use an SMS messaging platform that offers bulk SMS capability.

Texting graphic showing video link included

Enhance your SMS marketing campaigns with videos

Many people like to watch videos, preferring visuals over text. The majority of digital video viewers use their mobile devices to do so. By getting creative with video and including it in your SMS marketing strategy, you can increase engagement and even expand your audience by being present on visual channels.

Sending videos via text messages is very straightforward. You can either upload videos directly into your SMS campaigns (turning them into MMS campaigns). Or use third-party file-sharing platforms to host your video file – in which case, you’d simply include the link in your SMS.

Ready to send a video text message? Get started free with Messente.