Everything you need to know about personalized video marketing
The moment Lucie Austin saw her name on the Coca-Cola bottle, she experienced a childlike reaction and got overwhelmed with joy. As the marketing director of the Coca-Cola South Pacific, Austin was the person who gave the green light for “Project Connect” (pitched by Ogilvy Sydney).
What’s now known as the “Share a Coke” campaign started in Australia in 2011 but very soon expanded to other countries. The idea was simple: Coca-Cola branding was to be swapped with 150 most popular Australian names. The goal was to strengthen the bond consumers have with the brand and increase the market share.
And what a success it was! During that summer, Coca-Cola managed to sell more than 250 million personalized bottles and cans; quite impressive considering the population of the Land Down Under was only 23 million at the time.
So how did they do it? They did it by addressing the customers directly by their names. It was that simple. The emotional selling proposition was so strong and compelling, and they managed to personalize on a massive scale.
I believe this is a very good example that shows how personalization can pay off. Of course, you don’t need to be a soft drink giant to make it work. As a matter of fact, including personalized videos in your marketing mix is a cost-efficient way to achieve great results.
What is personalized video marketing?
A personalized video is a video that’s customized for each individual viewer. Different tools on the market (Plainly included) can automatically draw user data you previously collected, and then insert it into pre-created templates.
Personalized video marketing is all about creating personalized videos with a particular type of conversion in mind. You need to know what is the desired action you want your customers to take, and then offer enough incentives for them to do so. Acknowledging their individuality and addressing them directly in a video format is the key to building meaningful relationships and brand loyalty.
How does personalized video marketing works?
Before we move deeper into the explanation, i want to point out that personalized video marketing isn’t only about personalized video ads. Personalized videos can be created for your customers during all touchpoints they have with your product.
In order to target specific viewers with personalized video content based on their demographics, activities, and interests, personalized video ads use customer data and algorithms.
Essentially, you gather information on viewers using a variety of techniques, including cookies, social network activity, website tracking, and customer databases. Then, based on their demographics, interests, habits, and other traits, viewers are segmented into groups using the data that has been gathered.
Custom videos are distributed to viewers via a variety of channels (email, social media and similar).
When a viewer receives a customized video, the content is dynamically rendered according to the viewer's data profile, resulting in a version of the video that is particularly catered to them. This could entail altering the video content, messaging, or calls to action in accordance with the preferences and actions of the viewer.
In a nutshell, you produce multiple versions of the same video with unique content using a dedicated tool for creating customized videos.
What are the best tools I can use for personalized video marketing?
The best personalized video marketing solutions allow you to pull the data from any type of source, be it your CRM, a 3rd party API, or even simply spreadsheets. The data is usually sent to the tool via an API. It can include anything from a person’s name (both written and spoken by the voiceover), company, and job title to their photos, favorite color palettes, and more. Your imagination really IS the limit when it comes to personalized video experiences.
How do I evaluate which tool would work best for personalized video marketing?
When evaluating different tools for personalized video marketing, you need to have a standardized set of criteria that you can use. Check the table below for more insights.
Why is personalized video marketing so effective?
Customized videos are incredibly effective, 90% of marketeers report that they have positive ROI with personalization. But why is that the case? Is it truly possible that simply by seeing their name in the video, users are more likely to get drawn to it? Absolutely, but there’s much more to it.
Personalized video ads increase engagement and conversions. This is one of their main advantages. They have a higher chance of engaging viewers and motivating them to act. Viewers are more likely to form a favorable image of the company and feel a greater connection to it when the material feels more relevant and individualized.
How did personalized video marketing become so important?
Let’s look at a brief, simplified overview of how marketing practices evolved throughout time to better understand personalization today.
In the 1940s and especially after World War II, the global market was booming. New brands were emerging and they were mostly offering the same products. This is why companies focused on communicating their differentiating factors, i.e. their unique selling proposition.
In the following decades, concepts like brand loyalty and lifestyle marketing started forming. Marketing teams became increasingly aware of the necessity of adapting their messaging and activities to the lives of their customers and started focusing more on building relationships. The realization of the amazing value repeated customers could bring was revolutionary.
At the end of the 1960s and in the 1970s, additional emphasis was placed on communicating not just what the product can do, but also how using the product would make the customer feel. That’s when the emotional selling proposition took over.
Near the end of the 20th century, companies started pushing their brand selling proposition. As modern consumerism took over, people started buying products not because of their functionality, but because of the brand itself. Just think about movie merchandise or all the things we buy simply because we get dazzled by the idea of belonging to a certain brand. Nike does this amazingly well: they’ve created a community that strives towards athletic excellence and made it available to the common (wo)man.
Finally, the point of this little overview. We are now in the era of the so-called “me-selling proposition” (coined by Martin Lindstrom) where personalization is the norm. Customers want to feel seen and heard, they want to be personally invited to events, and they want to be acknowledged as individuals. Heck, they expect it.
To succeed, you need to invite your customers closer and make them feel important. Personalized video marketing campaigns are a powerful tool that can help you treat them as humans, not as walking wallets.
For which industries does it make sense to invest in personalized video marketing?
Personalized video ads make sense for literally every industry out there. The potential is huge, but let’s look at just a few use cases.
Personalized video marketing for insurance companies
Insurance companies are leveraging personalized video marketing to connect with customers on a more individual level. By using customer data, insurers create custom videos such as tailored policy recommendations, cost-saving tips, renewal reminders, explanations of complex policies and similar. These personalized videos improve customer engagement and loyalty, resulting in higher satisfaction and retention rates.
Personalized video marketing for events
Whether you plan on organizing conferences, meetups, or webinars, personalized video marketing for events can help you increase your attendance rates, create some social media buzz around your event, and build brand loyalty for the future. That’s the best part: you can incorporate personalized videos before, during, and after the event.
Personalized video marketing for sports
If you work in the sports industry, you’re one of the lucky ones. Why? Well, because you already have an engaged audience. I could write pages and pages about sports fandom and the psychology behind it, but let’s just agree that you have a unique opportunity to build upon a very strong foundation because of the loyalty of sports fans. Personalized video marketing for sports can also be used before and during sports games, and it’s an amazing way to reinforce the feeling of collective identity and love fans feel towards their team.
Personalized video marketing for gaming
The gaming market is incredibly competitive. The estimated market growth by 2025 equals $125 billion which means that retaining the attention of existing players will become equally important as engaging new ones.
There are many ways you can use custom videos in gaming. For instance, you can use it to boost engagement among players and offer an overview of their unique game stats. This will encourage gamers to share their accomplishments and spread the word while they’ll grow more fond of your brand.
You can also use personalized videos to increase sales, whether through upsells (e.g. using video to sell in-game items), referrals, or by acquiring new players. By combining social media marketing with personalized video, you can expect between 3-5x better CTR compared to generic video marketing.
Personalized video marketing for the travel industry
Travel is one of the most customer-centric industries. Tourists expect a seamless experience and impeccable service. Immediate assistance has become the norm and both travel agencies and hotels are doing their best to provide five-star stays. Using personalized video marketing provides that human touch for guests which is one of the key ingredients to building customer loyalty.
Year-in-review videos that highlight the best travel experiences and memories or different types of loyalty points communicated through a personalized video format will certainly trigger positive emotions. Another great way to incorporate personalized videos relates to your customer service. Instead of letting your agents handle the onboarding process for guests, you can create personalized videos that answer FAQs, offer key information, and make them feel welcome.
Personalized video marketing for the health and wellness industry
How many times have you received your lab results and didn’t understand a thing? Your physician would explain everything to you eventually, but what if there was a way to make the entire experience more pleasant and engaging?
Personalized videos can be used for much more than just marketing: think about creating a video that automatically pulls the data from lab results and summarizes key values for the patient. You can also use personalized video ads to acquire new patients for your private practice, but it’s far more important to build trustworthy relationships. Going to the doctor’s office can be scary and the question of health is a delicate one. Use personalized videos to reassure patients and make them feel like they matter – because they do.
What are some personalized video marketing examples I can use for inspiration?
I’ve analyzed 7 different personalized video marketing examples to help you get started. There are great use cases: from using personalized video to promote movies, important causes and medical research, and charities, all the way to launching huge social media campaigns and creative sales initiatives - I covered quite a lot there.
What are the steps to creating a personalized video marketing campaign (high level steps)?
Creating a personalized video marketing campaign implies several different steps. I’ll cover them all within this section.
Revising marketing foundations and your ICPs
Marketing foundations include everything from your brand identity, overall company narrative, defined value propositions and differentiating factors, all the way to cultural values, mission and vision statements, your target audience, and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).
You have to have a rock-solid sense of who you are as a company in order to start crafting a campaign. The best marketing professionals and hands-on founders and CEOs know that every creative output has to reflect the company’s values (in one way or another).
I like to say that, if the foundations are wrong - the entire house gets crooked. Knowing who you are and who you’re trying to reach are the basic things you must have an internal consensus about.
Competitor analysis and market research
It’s always good to see what your direct competitors are doing when it comes to personalized video marketing. Here are some of the questions you can ask:
- Are they investing a lot into production? Or is their approach more DIY?
- Can you tell if they’re collaborating with a creative agency?
- How often are they launching these personalized campaigns?
- How are people responding to these campaigns? Is there some buzz on social media?
- Can you assess their budget for personalized video marketing campaigns?
- What can you do better than them?
Defining the goal of your personalized video marketing campaign
It doesn’t make much sense to start creating videos before you have clarity about who you are trying to reach and what you want to achieve. This can be a number of different things:
- More signups for the event you’re organizing
- Increasing brand awareness and expanding online reach
- Upselling existing customers
- Strengthening the relationship you have with your customers
- Boosting sales with a cool and shareable personalized video marketing campaign
- Engaging employees by celebrating each team member and their individual contribution
Deciding on the personalized video tool
Check the table at the beginning of this article for an overview of how to choose your personalized video software.
Create the template & integrate your data
Last but not least, it’s time to conceptualize your video, create a template and connect your data. More on that in the following segment.
How do I start my first personalized video marketing campaign (tactical steps)?
Many marketers believe that personalized video production is too complex or overly technical. That’s really not the case. I believe that personalized videos should be made accessible to everyone, which is one of the reasons why I founded Plainly in the first place.
Here are the steps for creating an engaging personalized video marketing campaign:
- Template creation: create the template you will use for your personalized video marketing campaign. With Plainly this is done in After Effects.
- Set up your template inside of Plainly: simply upload you're After Effects file and select which elements you want to personalize.
- Integrate your data & create the workflow: Plainly has a simple-to-use API, all you have to do is set up your triggers, and point Plainly to your data.
- Rendering & distribution: Plainly will render videos as soon as it receives the data, and it will send them to your webhook. From there you can send these videos to your customer.
Some of these steps might seem confusing to you if you haven’t done personalized videos before. But I swear, it’s so beautifully simple. Read the personalized video production article for a beginner-friendly step-by-step guide. It has pictures too!
Ready to launch your first personalized video marketing campaign? Give Plainly a try.
I founded Plainly with the goal of making personalized video creation easy and accessible to both marketers who don’t have much coding experience and hands-on founders who are passionate about their product and don’t mind wearing multiple hats. I am a firm believer in no-code solutions because I’ve seen just how much it can be done with them.
If you want to see Plainly in action, I invite you to book a 15-min demo. It will save you hours in video production and help you create personalized videos in no time. Key values to expect? A mild learning curve, intuitive interface, great customer support, affordable subscription price, and automation like no other