B2B video: Personalization is better than going viral (VB Live) | VentureBeat | Marketing | by VB Staff


Source: B2B video: Personalization is better than going viral (VB Live) | VentureBeat | Marketing | by VB Staff

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The video marketing dream is that you go viral and your brand is suddenly a household name. The reality is that B2B videos rarely go viral — but they’re an increasingly powerful marketing toolr that can also promote trust in your brand and your products. But only when done strategically, says Michael Ballard, senior manager of digital marketing at Lenovo.

Video marketing technology allows users to add video strategy to marketing automation platforms, unlocking the ability to reach and track users in the marketer’s favorite, most information-rich way. You can see who’s watching your video, exactly how long, add lead scoring and more.

“We saw a lot of great success not just in the information we can glean from it, but we also saw how highly engaging video is as a medium — how much people love to click the play button, and when they find really engaging content, how they interact with it,” says Ballard. “That’s where I really started to see what we could do with this.”

Users are particularly resonating with personalized video, Ballard says. His team experimented with a video piece in which they inserted each viewer’s name and company name as they watched. Playback graphs usually show that the majority of viewers drop off after the first second, probably because they hit play by accident, and then engagement holds steady throughout the video. Personalization put a kink in that curve.

“About three quarters of the way through — I’ve never seen this before — there was this little increase bump about three quarters of the way through,” Ballard says.

That bump happened in the third, personalized part of the video, showing that people were actually going back and rewatching that part. Further low-risk experimentation with long-lost, dusty parts of their customer database, such as inactive customers, also revealed astonishing results, he says. They used personalization in the video as well as in thumbnails they sent out, so that the first thing viewers saw was their name and a Play button.

“We had 4x the normal engagement rates with it,” Ballard says. “The power of those two things is like a magnet for someone to click on — it was incredible to see. ‘What? My name’s in a video?’ And they go and watch it.”

Another personalized video saw similar results, Ballard says. Within the first couple of weeks of video launch, it exceeded the number-one most-watched video they’d ever had. But they’re careful not to rely on a single personalization strategy.

“I think while it’s slightly gimmicky right now to just change out someone’s name, it’s kind of a fun gimmick and people watch it, but two or three times and then it’s old, ” Ballard explains.

They want to get smart with how they personalize, he says.

“Instead of just inserting someone’s name, why don’t we connect with Salesforce and customize that video content dynamically on the fly to align to that person’s industry, to align with that person’s open opportunities, to the interactions or lack of interactions that they’ve had digitally?” Ballard says. “We can start to dynamically create content that’s still unique and different to everyone, but not gimmicky. It’s actually realigning on the fly to that particular person’s needs, wants, and situation.”

Of course, the reach of video is huge, Ballard says. But nowadays, people pay to not see ads, and it takes a lot of energy and creativity to bust through natural skepticism and get on a customers’ radar, let alone become a worldwide phenomenon. You’ve got to be sharp, engaging, and you only have five seconds before someone hits the Skip Ad button.

How do you nail that tiny window of time, capture customer attention, and put your brand on their must-watch list? Register now for this VB Live event.

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