Beyond Text: Integrating Multimedia in SMS Campaigns for Visual Impact

Texts are great, but they shouldn’t contain just text. Every SMS campaign has the potential to become super-charged with the inclusion of relevant, useful, and captivating multimedia additions.

Photos are the first place to start, yet they should become part of a much richer tapestry of video, GIFs, audio clips, and more. Depending on your brand’s personality, you can send out infographics through your SMS gateway that receive more attention than plain text or rehash popular memes for a quick hook to get a younger customer’s click.

No matter how you use it, the key to integrating multimedia is using photos or videos only when they truly add to the value of the message.

Why Not Every Message?

Not every text you send for marketing purposes will need to go through a multimedia messaging service (MMS). Plain SMS is more than good enough for transactional conversations and those strictly targeted for a specific outcome, like reminding a customer to update their phone number.

Save your MMS efforts for marketing SMS campaigns designed to draw someone in who might otherwise forget to interact with your brand. For most companies, using multimedia additions only every five to ten text messages will ensure customers don’t become saturated with your visual approach. SMS reminders for abandoned carts and follow-up requests can benefit from the right media addition, but they’re often best left in plain text.

Consistency Sends a Stronger Message

Some brands may benefit from a slapdash approach to media selection that favors memes or other popular imagery. For more established brands trying to appeal to a different audience, more care must be taken with the imagery and videos selected.

If possible, ensure that your brand’s colors, logo, and other visual trademarks are used throughout the media. Instead of settling for basic stock photos only tangentially related to the text message, take the time to develop new content or alter reused materials, so they make sense in the new format.

Consider that videos linked or attached to an SMS message will likely be viewed on the phone, so they should be optimized for that experience.

Shared Consent

Due to the way opt-in consent is currently handled in the US and Canada, opting in to receive plain SMS messages also automatically opts the same number into receiving any MMS texts you want to send. This means there’s no need for a second round of SMS reminders or verification before you can begin pushing image and video-rich marketing efforts out to your lists.

If you’re not already utilizing multimedia campaigns, you can develop them quickly and push them out to a subgroup of subscribers as a test before releasing them more widely.

Keep the Message Coherent

The media you add to a marketing SMS should never distract from its actual purpose. If the message announces a sale or offers a discount to a dedicated customer, it should be clear just from a glance at the image alone. Videos should be short and get to the point so customers hear your message rather than quitting before it gets to the meat of the ad.

Avoid attaching generalized images or advertisements for your brand to more targeted SMS messages. Customers don’t need to see your latest television ad for couches if you’re sending a text to tell them about a sale on kitchen appliances. SMS campaigns are most useful for brands when each text stays short, sweet, and focused.

Why Add Media?

If you need to handle it with care and use it in moderation, you may wonder if it’s worth adding media at all to your SMS campaigns. Recent research has shown that customers are 20% more likely to opt into a campaign after receiving a text with images or video in it.

Considering that you can often reuse media from other marketing efforts and will only need a few additions per month for maximum impact, that’s a massive return on your investment in visually impactful marketing messages. SMS API services like Mitto make it a snap to handle MMS efforts right alongside your existing SMS campaigns.

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