Why do personalized videos fail? There is nothing magical about a personalized video marketing campaign. Really. If you wonder how to create digital video or email marketing campaigns that stand out from your competitors, keep your customers and leads engaged, and help improve conversions, let me start by reminding you that results don’t come just because.
To share best practices and what to avoid for your next personalized video marketing, I need to start by defining what personalized videos are. Personalized videos are individual videos that software creates with unique customer data from any source, at scale.
Here is a personalized video example:
In this article, you’ll learn the common mistakes I see when agencies, brands, and different types of online marketing and creative professionals make when dealing with video personalization for their marketing.
I’ll share how to avoid these mistakes to create a personalized video marketing campaign to succeed from day one.
You’ll also understand some of the metrics to consider when using personalized videos as part of a conversion funnel or customer relationship management.
Why And When Personalized Video Campaigns Fail
Like any type of personalization strategy that delivers, video personalization requires some solid background work. Brands start with the hypothesis that personalized video will help them improve their relationships with customers.
Businesses usually focus on the result, the video, and not on how to get their customers to play the video and click on the also personalized call-to-action (also known as CTA). In some cases, the content is not relevant to their audience, totally missing the power of segmentation and personalization.
Over the last few years, I have seen many well-intentioned brands fail incredibly when it comes to creating personalized video marketing campaigns. Most of these campaigns and marketing automation workflows aim to increase customer or lead engagement rates.
Big or small, most for-profit, have made mistakes that at first glance seem obvious when you look back. Much has to do with the digital concept of “use and throw” in terms of email campaigns.
Let me explain…
Email marketing is cheap. According to emailmonday, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. You read that right. It is an astounding 3,800% ROI! This means that email marketing is one of the most effective one-to-one digital marketing strategies.
There are countless cost-effective, scalable, and robust email marketing tools in the market.
Many marketers constantly launch email campaigns. Because of this, unless it is a BlackFriday campaign, a bellow-the-average conversation rate is often not a big deal.
Mind you, I’m not calling these people mediocre. Many are professionals that I admire in one way or another.
Disruptive Marketing Tools Take Time To Penetrate The Market
That is why we created Pirsonal. Pirsonal is a flexible, cost-effective, and scalable personalized video software.
However, as with many disruptive marketing technologies, it takes a lot of trial and error at first to “standardize” certain practices.
Email marketing, SMS marketing, and other types of 1-to-1 communication practices are mainstream. There are a lot of people with email optimization experience out there.
Tracking Results To Exceed Customer Expectation And Stakeholders Goals
When it comes to personalized video marketing for the first time, everything changes. Higher performance doesn’t often happen with the first batch of videos from a pilot or proof of concept (also known as POC).
This is one of the reasons why marketers, customer experience managers, and account executives from video, marketing, and advertising agencies start paying more attention to the conversion goals.
Some start to track and understand the importance of marketing metrics for the first time. It has to do with the excitement that comes with trying new marketing techniques to increase customer engagement.
An average personalized video marketing campaign takes about three weeks to launch.
There are many aspects that can have an impact on the execution time and budget:
- The size of your audience
- Creative resources (video template, email copy, landing page design, and more)
- The type of workflow (batch creation or marketing automation)
If you compare this to average, daily campaigns, personalized video campaigns require a bit more from you.
Bear in mind that personalized marketing automation with video requires some initial setup. After this setup, it’s all automated.
So, expectations are high.
And it makes sense.
In most cases, marketing professionals from both the client and agency side need to support the business case for personalized videos. Analyzing the results of any marketing strategy is the right thing to do.
But not only for marketing personalization campaigns with video but for every type of marketing activity.
From email click-through rate to video engagement to the percentage of viewers that clicked on the call-to-action, measure all you can.
When you don’t plan with enough time, measure performance, and optimize your dynamic video campaign, your project will probably fail.
Let me give you some practical tips to create a successful personalized video marketing campaign. You can apply the same techniques for marketing automation workflows with video from triggers.
Mistakes To Avoid With Your Personalized Video Strategy
1. Lack Of Metrics
If you want to run a pilot or POC, don’t launch a campaign with video if you don’t have metrics from other campaigns.
When it comes to marketing, conversion rate optimization is always the key. It is of little use to invest in a new marketing effort if you do not look back whenever possible.
Commonly, you should review the email marketing metrics you have. Pay attention to actions that have similar characteristics to the campaign with individual videos.
You will almost always have patterns or references that you can look at to improve marketing performance. Here are some useful metrics to pay attention to before launching a personalized video marketing campaign:
- Email openings (email open rate)
- Percentage of clicks on emails (email CTR)
- Percentage of people who opened the email and clicked on the call to action
- Phone calls received
- Number of downloads
- Activations in the loyalty program
- Percentage of clicks on SMS
- Number of closed sales
Of course, there are scenarios where you don’t have any references. From my experience, they are the least.
2. Not Taking Conversion Rate Optimization Seriously At Every Stage
Conversion rate optimization (also known as CRO) is the often-left-behind practice. Producing hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of personalized, unique videos at scale is easy with software like Pirsonal’s. But what good is it if you don’t optimize the results to get the most out of our video automation tools?
CRO is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of people who take the desired action.
There are several ways to optimize custom videos. And you know what? I hardly ever start by optimizing the videos themselves.
Let me explain.
When it comes to optimization, I recommend that you do optimization in phases.
To keep it simple, you can divide this into two phases.
Phase 1: A/B Tests
There is nothing fancy about launching A/B tests. To be honest, sometimes one wants to press “send” and that’s it. No tests or optimization.
But you know what they say.
No pain. No gain.
To increase your success rate, start with an A/B test with a percentage of the total audience.
I recommend this type of optimization when your audience is at least 1000 people. In any case, choose 5%-10% from the total segmented audience before sending the campaign to the entire customer or user base.
A/B testing will help you work for the effectiveness of messages or flows. That way, you won’t spend all your bullets (and budget) at once. That is, doing previous tests will help you see what needs to be improved beforehand.
Thus, by launching the campaign for the remaining 90%-95% of individuals, you will have a greater chance of obtaining higher conversions.
Phase 2: Campaign Metrics Analysis
It’s time to analyze all the campaign metrics and performance. Generally, it is easier to measure these conversions and metrics through email marketing campaigns. However, keep in mind that you can use any distribution channel to deliver dynamic or personalized videos and landing pages to your target audience.
How To Optimize Personalized Videos
You must take into consideration when and how the user receives the personalized video.
Generally, there are three ways:
- Through personal communications, such as email or SMS. For example, to increase customer engagement during an onboarding process.
- As part of an online process, where the users or visitors view the video passively. For example, to engage with online leads with personalized video ads.
- In a proactive process where a user requests the video. For example, when a user submits a web form to make a video automatically. You’ll see these types of videos in user-generated content and advertising campaigns.
For example, personalized videos that show contractual information often have higher viewing engagement rates. Something similar happens with a video that shows individualized information to a customer regarding a product or service of interest.
However, if you send personalized videos to an unengaged database of potential customers, the number of individuals that will watch the video will be lower. The reason for this is because you first need to catch the lead’s attention. This is, make them open the email, SMS, or any other type of personal message.
To improve the video content, create flexible video templates. This way, you can move scenes all around to increase video engagement. This becomes quite easy with Pirsonal Script, our JSON-based scripting tool to create video templates. It is easy to integrate and adapt.
If you prefer templates with fixed structures, Pirsonal Editor will be a better fit for you. Pirsonal Editor is a flexible, drag&drop, browser-based video editing software that helps you create dynamic templates for your personalized videos in no-time.
Optimizing Emails With Video
I am going to focus on the first way because it is the most common. Most organizations use the email channel to distribute messages that ultimately lead to the videos.
However, keep in mind that you can apply these principles I’ll share to almost any personal communication channel.
I frequently recommend starting with channel optimization. Then, you can improve the performance of the dynamic landing pages, in-video CTAs, and video content.
What should you watch out for when optimizing emails with videos or links to dynamic videos?
If the audience segmentation you have done is correct, you should make sure that as many people as possible open the email.
In many cases, organizations have average industry ratios, even higher.
So the next step is to make sure that the percentage of clicks to play the personalized video in the email or access the dynamic landing page is high. This CTR should be higher than previous campaigns.
One way to get it high is by paying attention to optimizing email content. Audience segmentation and content contextualization will be of great help here.
Why making personalized videos if the emails are not personalized or contextualized?
Likewise, adding one or two clear and direct calls to action and focusing your message on those calls to action will help more users act and click.
Watch the following video to learn how to create personalized emails that convert:
Optimizing Dynamic Landing Pages
Once you optimize these conversion rates, optimize the content of the custom landing page. For example, Pirsonal Pages allows you to customize a landing page for each person.
It is advisable to add a text that encourages the viewer to watch the video. Add personalized information in the first frame to intrigue the customer and take him to see the full video.
The vast majority of people who access Pirsonal Pages to view your personalized video see the video.
So it is almost always more relevant to optimize the call-to-action first and then the content of the video itself.
The reason I focus first on the action plan is that making changes there is so fast. With Pirsonal Player you can create and add a custom call to action to each video automatically.
Take a good look at when this call to action appears. For example, Pirsonal Player allows you to display calls-to-action based on user behavior but also based on predefined, time-based criteria.
A call to action can appear wherever you want on the timeline, for a few seconds, the entire video, at the start or the end of the video, and more. I love that you can also personalize when you want to display the CTA, per individual.
Optimizing In-video Calls-to-action
Personalized CTAs are 200% more effective than generic CTAs. Because these CTAs get more people to click, it is smart to optimize the CTA content and its behavior.
Creating a conversion-ready copy is the key. To get there, use personalization tags also in these texts and buttons.
Not every human has the same concerns, goals, interests, and budget. Use what I call augmented buyer personas to create targeted messages that lead people to your conversion goals.
In many cases, organizations display the in-video CTAs at the end of the videos. This is a good idea if you have an engaged audience and have already proven that the CTA converts as you expect.
Because of this, I recommend displaying the CTA based on viewer behavior. For example, when the user pauses the video. And also at specific moments in the video and a few seconds before the viewing drops of.
3. Not Sending Follow-up Messages
Let’s say you create emails that convert. Video views are high. Video CTR is like never before. But you don’t try to re-engage with customers or leads that didn’t open the emails and/or didn’t play the video.
Something will be broken in the process. And this happens a lot.
Research by SuperOffice shows that less than 3% of all companies send a follow-up email to their prospects or customers. About 30% of marketers find them challenging.
Follow-up emails have the power to convert leads, bring in new business, build strong relationships, and close deals.
How Can You Re-engage With Potential Video Viewers
The way to re-engage with people that haven’t watched their personalized video depends on the following key aspects:
- Type of individual (customer, lead, prospect)
- When and how the user receives the personalized video
- Conversion goals
Let me help you understand this with two simple cases:
- If you sent the personalized videos as part of a customer engagement initiative (also known as CX), don’t be shy. Send another email or SMS with a different copy to users that haven’t seen the video after a specific period. For example, a Christmas video.
- If the video was automatically created during an online process where the user finds the video, make sure that the user also receives an email, SMS, or similar with the link. This way, they can always go back to the video. If the user hasn’t seen the video after a certain period, make sure to send a reminder.
4. Complex Pilots or POCs
A complex implementation can kill your video project before it even starts. The bigger the organization, the more this happens.
Personalized videos are powered by customer data. This data can come from any digital source. From a CSV to a custom CRM or API. In the end, we are somehow talking about columns and rows.
Some organizations tend to overcomplicate the implementation with custom integrations with their systems. These implementations are done to connect their data source to APIs like Pirsonal’s to make videos based on triggers.
Even if we provide connections with around 3,000 applications thanks to our partnership with Zapier, sometimes it is just easier and faster to use a simple CSV or XLS to create the personalized videos.
Now, if you require trigger-based videos with data from a custom app, then a custom integration makes sense and is usually quite straight forward.
If it is a mid to long-term project, then a custom integration will help you reduce steps and save resources. But if it is a one-time campaign, spreadsheets are just great. You can also use Zapier to connect Pirsonal with your favorite marketing automation platform.
5. Delegating The Analysis
Around half of personalized video projects are managed by agencies on behalf of their clients. There is nothing wrong with this. But there is a problem.
As I mentioned earlier, personalized video marketing is still a new and unexplored way of communicating with your customer base and potential clients.
The vast majority of agencies in the market have no experience with personalized marketing and video personalization.
Sometimes, agencies won’t have all the data they need to analyze campaign performance. Because of this, I recommend clients to be on top of things.
Agencies will be great at executing the project but you must have control of the metrics.
Personalized video marketing works when done correctly. Is that simple? Software like Pirsonal’s and other marketing automation tools help you create personalized content at scale. From videos to landing pages and CTAs that are specific to each individual.
To create a successful personalized video strategy, analyze all the steps before the viewing of the video by the client.
Then analyze and improve the content of the dynamic landing page, then the custom in-video call-to-action, and then the content of the video.
If you need help with the execution of a personalized video project, you can rely on Pirsonal’s personalized video marketing agency and our certified partners. You can also use our self-service, flexible platform (SaaS) and start your free trial today.