Change link in video block in drag & drop editor to direct to site other than YouTube or Vimeo

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Not Planned
  • (Edited)
We're excited about the video block in the drag & drop editor since it helps our clients to include a link to a video in their email, a process we've been doing for them manually for years. However, we don't usually link to the YouTube or Vimeo page in the email, instead we link to a page on the client website where that video is hosted. From what I can tell, it's not possible to have the video thumbnail link to anything but the YouTube or Vimeo link that you include. Is that correct? Would it be possible to add a field there so that we could link to a different page instead of the YouTube/Vimeo page?
Photo of Meaghan

Meaghan, Champion

  • 83 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
Official Response
One work around, and is what I actually do, is to my own image for the videos I use and link it to my page instead of using the video block. 

Here is the image I used on one campaign and linked it to my video on my site.

Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
You can download free icons from icon finder to place on top of your image so your audience will know it's a CTA to watch a video.
Photo of Meaghan

Meaghan, Champion

  • 83 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Yep, that totally works, and we do that ourselves (and thanks for the icon finder link, that's useful!) But it would be a time saver -- and easier for our less technical clients -- if it were possible to do it all within the video block feature, which already doest 98% of what we want it to do! 
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
You're welcome! And yea, I agree, it would.  I also don't like how the video block renders the image for the video, which is why I use my own image. (FYI emma)
(Edited)
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Official Response
Hello there! Linking to a website where you're housing the video wouldn't work because we need the site to give Emma a thumbnail image; it needs to be a direct video link. We're open to suggestions about other sites, though, like Wistia. Is there somewhere else like that where you house videos?

Brandi, to your point about rendering, we do plan to fix the aspect ratio on YouTube videos (currently 4:3) so that it matches Vimeo (16:9), which I think is what you're referencing.
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
Yep that's what I mean.  It would also be nice to choose which frame in the video you'd like to show for your video image that shows up in the email.
Photo of Meaghan

Meaghan, Champion

  • 83 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
I get that you need a link to where the video is hosted in order to create the thumbnail, so we surely can't remove that field. I was hoping that we could get a field added for the url to link that image to. We happily host our videos on YouTube, but when we send emails to people encouraging them to view the videos, we'd prefer to drive that traffic to our own website rather than off to YouTube. Seems to me it could be an additional field which, if not empty, becomes the link that the image goes to; if empty, it just uses the regular video link.
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
I don’t think that would work, Meaghan, at least with this video block:



The video block is essentially an image placeholder that has the play button overlay. With an image placeholder, you add the still image and give it a URL so that your users can click the image and be taken to that site. Here, with the video block, the URL you add dictates the still image, and that URL is what your users are taken to when they click the image.

I think I’m following that you’re suggesting an additional URL field. If that field had content in it, then the clicked image would go to that URL. If that field were empty, the clicked image would go to the YouTube or Vimeo URL. Is that closer to your idea?

It sounds like the problem you want to resolve is you’d prefer the clicked image drive traffic to your website, which is totally understandable. You could achieve what you want by adding an image to an image placeholder and linking that image to your website, as you and Brandi chatted about above. The video block’s ease is in 1, grabbing the thumbnail for you, and 2, overlaying the play button. I think you want an amalgam of the two routes for linking folks to a video, yet with how the video block works (namely, how that video site talks back to Emma to give her a thumbnail), adding the two URL options would get pretty muddy.
Photo of Meaghan

Meaghan, Champion

  • 83 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
We can totally achieve what we want without using the video block. And that's exactly what I'm recommending our clients do.

But that video block would be a much easier way to do it, if only we could have a different destination link. Obviously I don't know how the backend coding works, but I envisioned that adding an additional, optional, field called "Destination URL" or something similar, wouldn't be all that complex. If it's not doable, it's not doable, but thought it was worth suggesting. 
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Definitely worth suggesting! It helps to hear what your goals are and what would make your work easier. In this case, we aren’t planning to pursue creating that extra field. I really appreciate you talking through this with me.
Photo of Seth Goldstein

Seth Goldstein

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Sorry for the chiming so late, I've only been on the platform for two weeks....

I've run into similar issues as Brandi and Meaghan - I'm trying to direct traffic to a site containing a video hosted on a platform other than YouTube or Vimeo (I use Vidyard, which is very similar to Wistia). I'm pretty sure that creating a custom image/thumbnail and the using the image block work around will solve this problem. However, the snag I'm trying to resolve takes this issue a bit deeper....

Among the many benefits of a hosting platform like Vidyard and Wistia is the ability to track individual viewer data. I'm not exactly sure how Wistia works, but Vidyard will track the IP of the viewer and their engagement with all videos hosted on the platform. Once the viewer either self-identifies through a Call To Action or the platform is provided contact info of the individual, Vidyard will provide you viewing data of an individual with a name or email address attached so you can have a very clear picture of how engaged/educated an individual might be.

So here's where I'm struggling: You can past a little piece of code on to the end of a URL, that when clicked in the email, will tell Vidyard who the viewer is, rather than just an IP address. I've used this functionality in individual SalesForce emails and with other, unnamed, email platforms. Does anyone have experience with Emma interacting with Wistia in this manner? I think I can backdoor my way into the piece of code for Vidyard if I can understand a bit better how Emma works with Wistia, and possibly see an example of a URL where this was used. 

Thanks!!!
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Seth, are you using our Wistia integration?
Photo of Seth Goldstein

Seth Goldstein

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Katie,

I am not, I use Vidyard. Additionally, the link you've included does not really address what I was trying to acheive with Wistia.  I've gotten to the bottom of the issue and have created a workaround.
Photo of Gamma Blast

Gamma Blast

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This change really needs to be made. Many people want to direct people to video on their websites.
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Hi! I want to make sure you know you can still direct people to videos on your websites without using the video block. Above, Brandi shows how she uploads an image and links that image to her website where the video is housed.

That's pretty similar to what the video block does, with the only shortcut being that the video block grabs the thumbnail image and overlays the play button.
Photo of Gamma Blast

Gamma Blast

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
No offense, but that's a pain.
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
No offense taken! I just wanted to make sure you'd spotted that the end goal is still possible, yet I know it isn't the ease you're hoping for. I'll keep this conversation updated if our plans change.
(Edited)
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
maybe if emma offered layering icons (buttons) over images so you could do this within emma instead of an image editor that would be simpler and yet still effective, personally I'd like to see that option as well, not just for video blocks, but other things as well.
Photo of Gamma Blast

Gamma Blast

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
A good step in the right direction! Great idea.
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
I hopped into my campaigns and played around with the image editor that emma offers, I know its' a third party option, because we've had these discussions before. There IS an option to add text over your image, it would be plain and simple and not as pretty but you could put the words "play video" over your image and then link your image to your video on your website. Again, not exactly what you are looking for, but a similar workaround....for now.
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Good idea, Brandi! Are you up for creating a new idea conversation for this? I'm pretty sure it isn't possible, since you're right that we tap into Aviary for the image editor, but I'd love to get it in our backlog, nonetheless.
Photo of Brandi Leath

Brandi Leath

  • 531 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
sure thing Katie
Photo of Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis, Official Rep

  • 3414 Posts
  • 309 Reply Likes
Thanks!