By Andrew Angus on March 16, 2015

Facebook Video, Switch Video

Around Thanksgiving last year, Facebook rolled out “say thanks” videos, which enabled users to create a video expressing thanks for the relationships with friends on the platforms. The platform used a template and inserted Facebook pictures that incorporated both friends to create a personalized video. People chose relevant images from the platform that best reflected their relationship. It was a fun bonding experience, and the videos saw a lot of engagement from friends eager to express themselves.

Why It’s Relevant: Mainstream Personalized Video

What’s eye-catching about the promotion is the way it allows users to personalize videos for one another. It also demonstrates just how big personalization is going to become. According to Adobe, personalizing across all channels can result in an increase in click-throughs, conversions, and up to a 19 percent lift in sales. Personalization is no flash in the pan: It’s a new paradigm, and Facebook knows it.

Facebook users generally express themselves on the platform via likes, or sharing content from other sources they identify with. Facebook encouraged their users to send videos and put together a tool that allowed them to do this quickly and easily. If that’s not a statement to the emotional and engaging power of video, I don’t know what is. With Facebook’s stamp of approval, the project also demonstrated that personalized video has gone mainstream.

The question is, how can marketers learn from this? You’re guaranteed to open a personalized video from a friend. But what happens when the personalized video doesn’t come from someone you know? How can you accurately and effectively personalize a message for a recipient you don’t truly know?

Using Personalization Effectively

Data-driven marketing is great and allows marketers to personalize at scale. A personalized video can be an incredibly effective sales tool that allows you to cut through the noise and make an impact in a meaningful way. When personalization is used effectively, it’s attention-grabbing; it makes people listen. Companies just need to be smart about their personalization strategies. Personalized video is truly engaging and exciting for the recipient, but there’s some things to keep in mind if you really want maximize the effectiveness of this strategy.

Stay Positive

Just look at Facebook. The “Say thanks” videos were a fun way to express gratitude to friends. As is the case with almost any marketing campaign, you want to avoid topics that could potentially offend or cause hurt. Case in point: Shutterfly sent an infamous campaign that was supposed to go to customers who had recently purchased baby-related items. Instead, it went to the whole subscriber list, which was confusing to a lot of people, and hurtful to a few women who wanted children but weren’t able to have them. Before embarking on your campaign, make sure it’s something that will get viewers excited, and not something that could be in any way upsetting.

Segment Accurately

Segment your database to make sure that all your subscribers are getting the most relevant experience. In the above example, the message should have only gone out to one segment. But another problem is that if you don’t segment effectively, people won’t want to open your messages. For instance, if you send a video about finance to potential customers who aren’t in that industry, they might not be so keen to open your next messages. You want to make sure your subscribers feel like the video is for them and something they identify with.

Use Clean Data

Whenever you’re using a data-based marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure you’re operating off of the most accurate information possible. You don’t want to be in a position where your prospect rolls her eyes – for instance, calling her Mrs. when she’s not married, or prefers no title at all. Make sure personalization is a good choice for your campaign before you move forward, and make sure your data is clean. Your recipients will be thrilled with the video if their information is correct. If it’s not, it may look like you’re not trying, or don’t actually care.

Conclusion

Facebook’s “Say Thanks” videos were a clear win: They encourage Facebook users to engage with the platform and communicate using personalized video. As a result, these personalized videos made a lot of people happy. Personalization is here to stay, and new platforms are arising to make it possible for marketers to use it more effectively and gain their prospects’ attention, which is notoriously hard to accomplish.

There are essentially three steps to effective video personalization:

  • Use Positive Subject Matter
  • Segment Thoroughly
  • Use Clean Data

Customers love receiving personalized videos. It’s a personal touch that goes a long way. Just make sure you’re doing everything possible to make your messages accurate and relevant to the recipients.

 

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