Personalized video has been a serious topic of discussion among loyalty marketers for quite some time. But, for many of those marketers, the decision to pull the switch on personalized video has been a difficult one.

Chris Hall, vice president of customer engagement solutions for Pitney Bowes, talked to Loyalty360 about this compelling topic.

“Video has never been so accessible,” Hall explained. “Desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have created an ‘always on’ society. Screens are popping up everywhere: In waiting rooms, at gas pumps, in banks and stores. As a marketer, you need to understand all that video can do. Grasp where, when, and how it fits within the scheme of established marketing best practices, strategies, and tactics; But first, you need to get past the four myths of video marketing that hold so many businesses back.”
 
Myth 01: YouTube is the Holy Grail.
The YouTube platform is incredibly successful. It has more than a billion users. They watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day and their numbers continue to grow at an extraordinary rate. YouTube and YouTube-style videos, however, have their limitations. With YouTube-style videos, you’re offering one-way experiences, not enabling bi-directional interaction. Creating and posting a YouTube video is simple and practically anyone can do it. However, businesses often “get what they pay for.” It’s easy for underqualified personnel to create and post videos on your brand’s behalf.
 
Myth 02: It’s all about going viral.
Going viral is exciting, but what really matters is what happens as a result of all those views. Is your video reaching the right audiences? Are viewers taking the actions you want? What kind of return are you getting on your video investment in terms of sales, satisfaction, and savings? When you think of video in terms of these types of business results, you’ll see the advantage of applying other metrics such as length of engagement and repeat views.
 
Myth 03: A video is just a mini-movie.
Movies are one-size-fits-all. The viewer just sits and watches. There are times when you want that from video. Often, though, you can benefit from video that lets you:

•    Personalize for individual customers.
•    Target to specific segments.
•    Create interactive experiences.
•    Simplify complex material to match specific viewer needs.

Look for a video solution that gives you the flexibility to adjust the levels of interactivity and personalization to create different types of video for different situations. You’ll want to be able to mix and match different capabilities to create experiences to fit your every purpose.
 
Myth 04. Video is a standalone channel.
Video may be the preferred form of communication, but it would be a mistake to think that it will replace all other forms of marketing. Relegate it to its own standalone channel and you will lose out. Leading marketers are already looking at video as an addition to their integrated marketing toolkits. They’re using it for onboarding, incorporating it into lead nurture campaigns, adding it to their online portals, and more. When video enriches existing types of customer interaction, rather than trying to replace them, everyone benefits.
Hall said it’s not just a theory that video marketing adds a demonstrable, dollar-sign value-add to your revenue stream. In fact, he noted, marketers that use video see their revenue growth outpace that of non-video marketers by 63 percent.

How? By making it an interactive and personalized experience.

“Just as salespeople greeting consumers when they walk into the store and help them find the products they’re looking for can lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction, making interactive personalized video a core part of your marketing efforts is key to driving engagement,” Hall added. “It put customers in control of their purchase–allowing them to dictate what they see in a given video and when instead of being bored by a generic message or YouTube ad they’ve seen a dozen times already.”

Just getting customers to watch a video can be a hurdle, in and of itself, Hall said, but when it’s customized to their wants and needs, more than half (55 percent) will stick around to watch, well over the industry average.

“Beyond that, a whopping 76 percent of customers will take part in an interactive personalized video for at least four minutes–a benefit that goes a long way not just in improving overall engagement, but leaving customers satisfied and more likely to remain loyal to your brand.”

Despite these positive signs, business video is still finding its place.

“For every high-impact video, there are countless others that have literally no impact at all,” Hall explained. “There are also many that reflect poorly on their brands. Most businesses fail to capitalize on video’s true potential. They don’t integrate it throughout their marketing ecosystems or approach it with the same rigor and metrics that guide their other communications efforts. There are so many ways to connect with customers via video for marketing, sales, service and educational purposes. As a marketer, you need to understand all that video can do.”

As much as video marketing can bring to the table, it would be a mistake to treat it as its own independent channel, Hall said.

“Instead, utilizing an omnichannel communications strategy in tandem with services like EngageOne Video ensures that businesses are reaping all the benefits of video while keeping them integrated with the rest of their marketing channels,” he added.

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