Why Personalization and Video Are the Perfect Power Couple
Brands are under more pressure than ever to win the hearts and carts of today’s consumers. Both personalization and video will continue to drive increased engagement, loyalty and conversions — even more powerful when combined. If personalization increases online sales by an average of 20 percent and close to 50 percent of shoppers search for product videos before they make a purchase, savvy brands would be wise to employ this double threat.
Done correctly, personalized video boosts consumer retention, cuts through the noise of advertisements, and keeps customers engaged. However, when done incorrectly, it can erode brand trust and turn off consumers who felt like their privacy was invaded. The tricky part of video personalization is that the margin between getting it right and wrong is thin — and it hinges on how granular to get when personalizing videos.
In today’s super-connected world, the key to successfully personalizing video is finding this optimal balance to maximize customer engagement in a way that feels sincere.
What to Consider When Personalizing Video
The first step in video personalization is to define the strategy: How granular should an e-commerce brand get with personalization?
Striking that balance is key. Underpersonalized video content can lead to missed opportunities to get consumers’ attention. The opposite — overpersonalized video content — is fraught with its own challenges. It’s difficult to maintain and if it requires too many customer-specific data points, it will overwhelm a technical team to execute and maintain. It can also unsettle a customer who sees an extremely specific video that may seem "creepy." This all depends on how many data dimensions about them — e.g., demographics, past purchases and past behaviors — the marketing team used.
However, personalization doesn’t just mean sourcing personal data; it also means making sure the content is perfectly suited to the user’s exact viewing context. Brands can and should prioritize automatically transforming videos to the most efficient size and format, and ensuring they load fast and responsively for every shopper. This requires capabilities such as the ability to leverage features such as content-aware cropping, shoppable video, and auto-generated video slideshows.
Implementing a Successful Video Personalization Strategy
Brands need to first test consumers’ video viewing behavior to establish a successful video personalization strategy. Finding this evidence can come from marketing analytics such as conversions, length of views, and drop rates as well as A/B tests for segmenting and targeting. Equipped with this information, brands should take the following steps:
- Personalize to maximize the chances for conversion. Once there's a clear understanding of the different groups of shoppers that will be targeted, brands should offer products that cater to each customer's interests and preferences. These particular products are also ones backed by data testing that will be the best options to lead to conversions.
- Be frugal with data dimensions. Customers who are targeted through more than three dimensions largely find the served content to be offputting or invasive. Therefore, brands should offer small entryways to personalized experiences for optimal results. One way to do this is to use age and gender to suggest items proven to be popular with that segment, for instance.
- Elevate video personalization. Despite economic headwinds, analysts are predicting another increase in sales. Given that video has cemented itself as a trustworthy media format for marketers that can be easily personalized to appeal to and convert shoppers, there’s an extra urgency to get it right.
With great power comes great responsibility. Therefore, don’t be one of the marketers who overuses a good thing to the point that you ultimately make or break a campaign. Strike an optimal balance of data, leverage automation intelligently, and enjoy the benefits of increased engagement.
Amit Erental is senior manager, business lines strategy at Cloudinary, a company that streamlines media management and improves user experience by automatically delivering images and videos, enhanced and optimized for every user.
Related story: Building Better Connections in 2022 With Personalization and UGC
Amit is an accomplished product and business leader, leading innovative products from ideation to scale. He oversaw various B2B and B2B2C products used by thousands of enterprise customers, reaching over 300M consumers worldwide. He has experience in industries such as content recommendation, digital media, sales conversation intelligence, enterprise tech, and financial tech.