Targeting & Segmentation

Using Personalization to Cut through the Noise in B2B Video

By July 2, 2015 No Comments

When someone yells your name from across the street, you instinctively stop and look to see who it is. The French philosopher Louis Althusser came up with the term interpellation to explain why this happens, how we create our identities, and how it influences our self-perceptions as individuals in society.

Although the theory gets a bit more complicated when you dig into it, the big takeaway for marketers is that we immediately recognize ourselves when someone, even a person we don’t know, calls out our name and identifies us by our title, whether that’s as Bob the sales rep, Anna the data analyst, or Terry the CMO.

We internalize the connection, and the person hailing us has grabbed our attention. This is just a taste of the power of personalization.

Cutting through the Noise

When you consider the sheer magnitude of marketing messages that decision makers are exposed to on a daily basis, how many brands’ products and services do you think stick out in their minds?

Research from The Radicati Group found that more than 196 billion emails were sent every day in 2014. Meanwhile, clicks and impressions from paid ads, search engine optimization, video ads on YouTube, and a variety of other channels add up to an exceedingly crowded digital environment where most brands are shouting, “Hey, you!” and expecting to see leads and revenue start pouring in.

It doesn’t work like that.

Experian explained that personalized emails earn 41% higher click rates and almost 30% greater open rates than generic emails.

In short, you have to interpellate your audience, but go beyond name recognition and truly get at what makes B2B buyers tick as decision makers. It’s only at that point that you can consider personalizing your video marketing content to speak to a specific audience, generate higher-quality leads, and build your client base.

To help you get that point, consider these three keys to personalization:

1. Listen Carefully

Your customer relationship management (CRM) software only does so much for your marketing and sales teams. It’s an excellent resource to collect, store, and centralize client data, but you need to keep your ear to the ground to fill your CRM with accurate and up-to-date information.

One way companies have done this is by actively keeping record of every interaction they have with their customers, in order to help develop a clear picture of what their target audience wants and needs.

What motivates them? What are their pain points? What are their needs and preferences?

Many organizations also use surveys and questionnaires to understand which current customers are ripe to target for lead generation. These strategies take a lot of time and effort, and it can be difficult to discover new customers through channels you may not have considered before.

Social listening and analytics software like Affinio helps you dive deeper into social media to uncover your audience on these powerful platforms. Search algorithms help flesh out an audience by looking at the social breadcrumbs they leave, including the words and phrases they commonly use, their geography, and their industry.

2. Cast a Narrow Net

By listening carefully to your existing customers, leads, and prospects, you’re in a much stronger position to target your marketing efforts at a specific group of buyers.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from broadcasting is narrowcasting, a strategy that companies use to get their message in front of the right audience instead of trying to appeal to the widest range of buyers possible. In other words, you need to be more tactical and precise about who you’re trying to attract, and that begins with segmentation.

When you consider that YouTube’s monthly audience consists of about one billion unique visitors, it should be clear why you need to put a fence around your target.

With the wealth of information you’ve collected in your CRM and through social listening and analytics, you should have the data necessary to develop buyer segments that have clearly defined borders. The baseline for many organizations is demographic data that helps isolate buyers from specific geographic locations, industries, company sizes, and revenues.

Beyond that, psychographics for individual decision makers in your audience help you figure out what customers value and the strength of their opinions. These insights are critical for creating marketing campaigns that speak to your audience’s needs.

3. Use the Right Channels

With well-defined segments, a key part of the personalization equation is using the right channels to get in front of specific buyers. Let’s take email as an example. It’s commonly assumed that video naturally fits on social media sites or video distribution platforms like YouTube.

Email gets forgotten in the conversation, but it has proven to be one of the most effective channels to reach and engage buyers.

For instance, Switch Video helped Vidyard with a holiday-themed video email campaign that was sent to thousands of recipients. In the video, a gift box is passed among multiple staff members, but it’s meant for just one person—Tony—to open. The video keeps you engaged until the very end.

The company was able to get 71% of viewers to watch the 45-second video all the way through, and click-through rates more than doubled compared to previous campaigns. In fact, the video’s performance beat industry standards for open rates and completion rates by 20%.

At the same time, Vidyard delivered content loaded with fresh perspectives on improving your marketing campaign by combining the power of video and email.

Email is just one out of many channels you need to consider to make a big impact with personalization. Your top prospects for a certain product or service may spend more time on social sites, while others are heavy readers of industry websites.

Knowing where your audience can be found is more than half the battle in delivering the right message.

Check out how it worked for Vidyard in their holiday video.

You don’t need to be a French philosopher to understand how powerful personalization is. This strategy is a way to build trust with your audience by showing them that you understand who they are and how their pain points hold them back.

Video is a powerful way to accomplish this because it’s a direct appeal to the buyer, creating characters that he or she can identify with, and using compelling storytelling to get the message to stick.

Andrew Angus

About Andrew Angus

Andrew Angus is the founder and CEO of Switch Video and Switch Merge. He’s led the movement to integrate brain science and metrics into the production of animated explainer videos. A thought leader in the digital video industry, he writes and speaks on producing simple videos that “explain what you do” in an engaging and compelling format.

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