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It’s Time to Personalize Video


April 17, 2019 - 1 Comment

Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert, a Hall of Fame keynote speaker and emcee, host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast, and the author of six books including Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth.


Of all the ideas that promise to help business to business (B2B) marketers break through the clutter and really, truly connect with your customers, one stands out as clear and obvious winner.

Everyone knows video marketing is valuable.

B2B marketers know it. According to a recent Vidyard study, a whopping 83% of B2B marketers say video produces a good ROI, and more than 70% are using video in their mix.

Prospects know it, too. According to Cisco’s own data, 76 percent of executives watch business videos at least once per week. Forty percent watch video daily.

The way marketers use video takes different shapes and forms. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach because video content can have a vital role throughout the customer journey. The value of video isn’t contained in a single, isolated spot. In a recent Marketing Velocity webinine (a 9-minute webinar), we discussed five cutting-edge video marketing practices B2B marketers can use to achieve even greater business results. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out.

Go Beyond Traditional Video and Make it Personal

Let me be clear about what personalized video is. A personalized video is a video that uses the same storyline from start to finish for each viewer. It personalizes aspects of the video with information such as the viewer’s name, title, or the name of the company they work for.

Personalized video is not a 1:1 video, which is a video one person creates for one other person. The very nature of a 1:1 video means it’s personalized because the creator is making the video for an audience of one. A personalized video achieves what a 1:1 video does at scale. It uses a storyline that hundreds or even thousands of people share and can be part of.

Personalized videos used to be out-of-reach for most marketers to produce. They were cost prohibitive. They took too much time. They required a lot of effort. But thanks to advancements in technology and a proliferation of video software services, personalized videos are within reach for all marketers to test and try today.

I like personalized videos for a couple of reasons. First, personalized video is human. It’s very, very human. It connects with your viewer in a way that an email, text message, direct message of Facebook message simply does not.

Second, I like it personalized video because it works. It really, really works. In my own business, I have seen massive increases in open and click-through rates. When I do personalized explainer or thank you videos, my data shows that the people who watch those videos view all the way to the end.

Personalized video can be used at any stage of your funnel, and it breaks through everywhere. According to Vidyard, personalized video can increase click-throughs by 4.5x, it can keep viewers watching for 35 percent longer, and it increases the chance that late-stage prospects will buy.

Learn From Cisco’s Success

Cisco has used personalized video and can speak from its own experience: it’s powerful and engaging. Cisco’s Head of Customer Advocacy EMEAR, Christina Melluzzi, needed to build a bigger pool of known brand advocates that she and her team could partner with for different marketing initiatives. The list she had been using was small and the people on it had said they felt over-tapped. Christina knew her list had to grow, and part of her team’s approach to accomplish this included a personalized video.

Here’s what they created:

As you can imagine, the campaign was successful.

The video attracted 733 new brand advocates— a tremendous increase. The original list septupled!

Personalized Video is Under-Used

Not only is personalized video powerful and successful at breaking though, but it’s also untapped.

While it’s starting to gain traction, personalized video is still widely under-used. This is one of the reasons it is as effective as it is. It’s a novel experience for viewers because they don’t experience it all the time.

Right now, in early 2019, businesses are hearing about personalized for the first time. Unlike other video styles, best practices for personalized video are being established. They aren’t set in stone.

Although some may view this as a risk, it’s also an opportunity to be different and to try something that infuses personality and humanizes your business.  Personalized video is not expected to go mainstream in 2019. It’s not yet at the point where it’s ready to ‘explode,’ giving you time to test, experiment and learn with this video format.

 



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