How brands can keep up with the Personalisation Trend
Delivering personalisation has become the Holy Grail for brands in recent years. Indeed, in Econsultancy’s 2016 Digital Trends Briefing it was the top priority for most digital marketers, ahead of content optimisation and social media engagement.
Just last month my cereal box informed me that I can create my own personalised virtual spoon via an easy, three-step online process. The personalisation options are limited to choosing one of two spoon sizes, adding my name and selecting from 12 logos. I’m then given the option to share the image of this virtual spoon with my friends on social media or even order a real life version, to arrive in two to three weeks.
Admittedly my seven year old daughter was initially taken with this idea – but by the time her spoon arrived eight weeks later, she’d forgotten all about it.
At EchoMany we consider true personalisation to be meaningful, moving, one-to-one engagement that delivers a unique, instant experience for every person – and video is the medium of choice for eliciting an emotional response.
By harnessing technology you can now deliver personalised video over social platforms instantly, and at scale – video that addresses a consumer directly by name, which includes their own photos, their own words and even their self-shot videos, video that builds a consumer’s passion for your brand and has them willingly sharing the content with others because it’s simply so impressive.
With video-centric social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat predicted to see an increase in advertising revenue as they incorporate ecommerce initiatives, online video will be an even greater focus for brands looking to engage personally with audiences over the next few years. Here are four steps to take to ensure your brand delivers meaningful, personalised digital video – and doesn’t get left behind:
Don’t be scared to use data
Recent high-profile cybersecurity breaches have many brands nervous about utilising the wealth of consumer data available to them. To deliver personalised videos at scale, you’ll need to programme this data into a personalisation platform that can render it directly into each video. Don’t be scared to tap this resource – your audiences are spending increasing amounts of time online and voluntarily provide this information.
Of course you have a responsibility to ensure that this data is handled correctly and kept safe, but consumers are crying out for personalised experiences and using their data provides you with the best way to deliver these. Be responsible, be smart, but be innovative.
…but don’t forget the human touch
Don’t use your data to merely split your audience into groups. You’re striving to deliver unique experiences, not segmentation. The recent backlash against Twitter’s plans to introduce an algorithmic timeline shows that individuals don’t appreciate presumptive personalisation.
Microsoft’s AI Tweetbot Tay, which transformed into a racist megalomaniac after a grand total of 12 hours, is another cautionary tale in relying solely on data with no human direction.
True personalisation involves harnessing actual passions to engage with customers while they are in the moment, perhaps by delivering a personalised trailer to users of the film’s hashtag or overlaying your event’s logo on a video uploaded by an attendee. Instead of assuming that somebody likes something based on ‘lookalike’ profiling alone or shouting a message, engage them in a highly relevant way.
Keep the end user in mind
With mobile use only increasing, you should be seeking to personalise video content that suits the smaller screen. If your consumer is watching on an iPhone then save the time (not to mention budget) of that impressive tracking shot while also remembering that the audio is ‘off’ unless the user taps on the video. You should also consider that mobile users don’t commit to lengthy content.
When we develop a 30 second personalised video, we recommend the ‘personalised’ element – whether this is the user’s photo, name or their own Tweet – appears in the clip’s first three seconds. Mobile users are seeking distractions while waiting for a bus – if you don’t grab their attention quickly, they’ll simply continue to swipe down the feed.
Social media platforms automatically capture a wealth of user data – they’re the perfect platform to engage with your audiences on a personal basis, since many of the ingredients you require, such name, location or pictures, are readily available.
Sending videos via email or hosting on a website makes personalisation all the more difficult, as you’ll need to find ways to capture this data via cookies. Ideally you’ll also want your audience to show off their personalised videos to friends, which is far easier when this content is embedded in a social platform.
It’s no coincidence that Twitter is investing heavily in video delivery and over eight billion video views a day occur on Facebook – these platforms know that consumers are more likely to engage with content that their friends have watched already.