Who benefits most from personalized videos?
Summary Marketers are constantly looking for new approaches and technologies to personalize content. HR professionals are also busy…
Marketers are constantly looking for new approaches and technologies to personalize content. HR professionals are also busy updating the experiences of each employee to make them more relevant and engaging. In sales, we have now moved from a phase of “exploration” – the personalization enabled by digital as a plus to be associated with traditional transactions – to one of “investment” – in which the new tools are no longer alternatives but enrich and enhance negotiations on a regular basis. Personalized videos represent the concrete translation of this trend towards personalization. That’s why they are being used, and not only by marketers. They’re increasingly being chosen by professionals in a variety of roles working in different business functions, in virtually every industry, whether it’s B2C or B2B.
A new type of consumer
Over the last few years, as a new type of consumer appeared and asserted itself on the market – one who was more and more aware and relaxed in the use of digital technologies – personalized videos gained more and more traction, thanks to their ability to provide, better than other content, the solution to increasingly advanced personalization requirements.
In this profoundly transformed scenario where the brand-customer relationship has taken on absolute importance, companies have had to learn how to exploit the new format, enhancing its qualities with respect to specific business objectives.
But who are the professionals who can capitalize on the potential of personalized video? What business functions do they report to? Put another way, who can (and should) enjoy the benefits of personalized video? Of course, the first answer that comes to mind is: marketers. But, as we’ll see throughout this post, they’re not the only ones.
Before we delve deeper, let’s take a step back and try to clarify what we mean when we talk about personalized video.
Consumer data: how to understand the world of the brand
A personalized video is content (video, in fact) that uses a user’s data to incorporate their name, tastes, or other personal information.
For the most advanced personalized videos, such as those created thanks to Babelee’s cloud platform, the personalization aspects are not limited to the visuals of the sequences but include personalized audio, ad hoc designed calls-to-action based on profile history, and clickable texts that trigger interactive modes.
Personalized videos are the most successful example of a storytelling approach that uses data to build, furnish, and inhabit the world of the brand, bringing value to a more accurate body of knowledge built to better match the individualities of customers.
From data to insight
Let’s pause for a moment and read the words of Randall Beard, president of Nielsen Expanded Verticals:
“As consumers are in control of how they consume content and interact with brands more than ever, understanding ad resonance across screens is the only way to successfully drive memorability and brand lift today.” (source: Global trust in advertising, Nielsen)
What passes on the screens of our devices is now essential for understanding how content resonates in the spaces where the consumer-brand relationship develops (here Beard was talking about advertising messages, but we can extend it to other forms of corporate communication). Personalized videos, in particular, offer two huge advantages, including the ability to:
- Extract really useful insights because they are based on personal information,
- Gain and maintain the trust of your customers throughout their journey.
Put another way, professionals who need to build meaningful experiences for their consumers find personalized video a particularly effective tool. How so? What is the deep reason for the success of personalized videos? To answer that, we need to draw on some essential elements of consumer psychology.
Humanizing content: a deep motivation
A famous Nielsen study from several years ago found that we are programmed to trust people much more (almost twice) than we trust companies and organizations.
This is the basic reason why, for some time now, suggestions for “humanizing” content and media have been ignored. Humanizing means identifying and enhancing the specific agendas of each consumer, which is an essential first step in establishing a relationship of trust, and thus obtaining a privileged point of view on their preferences and buying habits, so as to gain a real advantage in terms of persuasive capacity.
Even today, personal interactions are, as you can guess, the best way to earn trust on a strictly individual level. Nothing can replace the power of a smile or a handshake during a face-to-face conversation. But in-person modes of interaction can be difficult to replicate – as the imposition of social distancing during the most critical periods of COVID-19 pandemic dramatically demonstrated. Emergency aside, being in the same physical space has become an increasingly rare and often unnecessary situation for consumption practices, and instead, brands and customers can interact in virtual spaces, even at a global level.
Is there an effective solution to recover that closeness – emotional and psychological – that actually represents the key to providing truly relevant experiences? It is in this sense that personalized video undoubtedly plays a decisive role.
Each to their own (personalized video)
The way video is used (and the choice of formats available) varies according to the business function of those who decide to use it. In other words, each department exploits the potential of video (especially personalized video) according to specific communication objectives, in a perspective that will inevitably be business-oriented.
The types of videos that brands use is expanding in parallel with the spread of video itself, with the addition and articulation of new options, depending on the different areas of use. Let’s look at a few examples:
- Educational videos are particularly appreciated by HR for internal corporate communication and onboarding processes;
- Customer care departments of public administrations or utilities tend to choose dynamic videos equipped with interactive features that enable direct payment in a quick and secure way, through calls to action activated by a simple click;
- Digital marketers make extensive use of personalized video that enables better (much better) conversions and offers a 20X higher ROI than non-personalized media;
- The data contained in personalized video helps sales representatives better structure their follow-up processes.
Here’s the bottom line: video seems to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction at the same time. As the number-one form of media used today, it’s easy to see why personalized video continues to have an extraordinary ability to capture and hold viewers’ attention.
What makes personalized video even more appealing to organizations of all sizes and industries is the opportunity it provides to tap into an untapped world of analytics: depending on the distribution channel, personalized video can report on view time, engagement, and viewer preferences.
This data represents more than just a short-term benefit: touchpoints such as pause buttons, interactive call-to-actions, in-depth pop-ups, and post-viewing forms can provide valuable information that can be used for marketing projects and campaigns; to improve the performance of customer care professionals; to update sales team pipelines in a timely manner; and to rethink HR flows around onboarding, internal procedures, and training modules.
A powerful tool for generating conversions and improving ROI
According to the State of Video 2020 by Vidyard and Demand Metric, the percentage of respondents (executives and professionals) who say they invest in video 1:1 has grown from 7% in 2019 to 40% in 2020, an increase of 471% year-over-year.
One of the reasons brands prefer video is the belief that it is more effective at generating conversions than other forms of content. In fact: nearly all study participants (94%) report that video converts as well or better than any other content. The percentage of study participants who recognize video as performing “significantly better” than other types of content has grown from 11% in 2019 to 23% in 2020, a 109% increase over last year.
Furthermore, almost half of the respondents reported that the ROI of video is steadily growing.
There’s no doubt that these are impressive figures. However, we’re most interested in highlighting another piece of evidence that emerges from the Vidyard report: in 2020, video demands and video content creation are widely distributed across a variety of roles. Let’s go into even more detail.
Here’s why video creation isn’t just for marketing professionals
Nearly all of the use cases for video have grown significantly year over year, particularly in digital transactions – with sales benefiting the most – and the enrichment and enhancement of opportunities for conversations with consumers – with a boost for marketing and customer service efforts.
As video continues to permeate organizations of all sizes, it has become increasingly important to ensure that every team, starting with marketing, is aligned with and aware of the needs of other departments. Achieving full and decisive alignment then requires at least three preliminary steps:
- Break down silos within the company,
- Ensure that data is shared across all business functions,
- Use video to improve communication between departments.
1. Let’s break down the barriers!
To overcome the barriers that prevent the circulation of data (and inhibit the creation of ideas), a good solution would be to build a cross-functional video enablement team that is committed to collecting, centralizing, sorting, and interpreting all available information so that it can be distributed to each department according to their actual needs.
2. More data, more ROI
Integrating the technology stack is a strategically important move that can generate a significant impact on video ROI. By prioritizing the integration of video viewing data with your marketing automation and customer relationship management platforms, you can maximize your investment in video content.
3. Measure first, then communicate
Brands of all sizes continue to grapple, often with little success, with measuring the ROI of video. But if companies learn how to track their results and properly use video viewing data, they invariably end up with important insights about viewers and consumption. This information allows content creators to build messages that are more accurate and targeted to the specific needs of different business departments.
To leverage data effectively, it’s imperative to gain a holistic view of the customer by pooling information from all business touchpoints.
Engagement Matters: The entire company needs personalized video
To return to the question that opened this post, who stands to gain the most – in terms of short- and long-term benefits – from using personalized video?
The answer is very simple and very complex at the same time: everyone within companies who wants more engagement from the recipients of their communications stands to gain.
This is because the expectations and preferences of consumers, decision-makers, and employees continue to change, and year after year, video is confirmed as the reference format, both powerful and flexible, thanks to which it is possible to intercept elusive spokespeople and connect, (in)form, and create relationships of trust.
People are looking for useful and reliable content that is not only timely and relevant, but also authentic, and above all, personal.
The key word is engagement: in an increasingly digital world, people expect online self-service experiences through which they can connect, discover, and learn. For all of these objectives, it is essential that information is immediately available, in readable, transparent, accessible formats.
In this world, video is no longer – and perhaps never has been – an entertainment tool for its own sake. Instead, it’s becoming the main way to convey key messages, share meaningful stories, and build solid relationships.
Copywriter for television and online, she has been creating and managing editorial content for more than 15 years for multiple formats, including marketing and television.