You’ve heard that you must personalize your advertising to your target audience, and that video is increasingly popular among all audiences. Today we’ll explore how these two ideas can come together.
The Growing Popularity of Digital and Personalization
According to a report from Accenture, the number of consumers who own a computer, smartphone and tablet has risen significantly since 2015 – from 37 percent to 42 percent.
In recent years, these devices have greatly altered how people watch video content. In just one year we’ve seen a 55 percent drop in people who prefer to watch shows on actual TV sets. Computers have become the favored device, though smartphones are quickly gaining ground as the ideal way to watch video clips.
Not surprisingly, eMarketer predicts that the digital audience will continue to expand, growing more than 8 percent during 2017. In coming years that growth might slow, though the existing audience will spend more time watching video content digitally.
Along with the shift to preferring digital platforms for video and other content is consumers’ expectation for that content to be more relevant to them. Further, the more their trust in advertising grows, the better suited the advertising is to their interests.
We can see the demand for personalization in the popularity of things like connected homes and private messages with customer service.
It’s common to discuss the importance of personalized ad content, especially as platforms like AdWords offer ad personalization to users. Next we’ll get into more detail on how exactly to go about that.
Tips for Personalizing Ad Content in the Digital Space
One of the big themes in the language of personalizing digital experiences is “moments.” Instead of making time for shopping days or even lengthy online research sessions, consumers approach shopping in short bursts of research and buying.
Typically on a mobile device, a consumer will search ideas for something they need or want, then narrow down the options and, finally, buy something. Rather than doing this all at once, as you might in a store, digital shoppers spend a few minutes each day on research, then maybe make the purchase at the end of the week.
Knowing this, advertisers must tailor content to be concise, informative and entertaining. Begin by identifying the micro-moments shoppers experience in your industry, then follow up campaigns by examining the metrics that make the most difference to your brand.
Salesforce has a few tips for personalizing the e-commerce customer experience, and suggests them as a way to complement observations of and conversations with actual consumers.
- Send a message if a customer abandons their cart. They may appreciate the reminder, and, at the very least, it lets them know you value their business.
- Recommend other products you sell. Make suggestions that can improve what’s in their cart before and after purchase.
- Emulate a conversation with an expert. Ask questions that will give you insight for future marketing, and also help your customer out with current selections.
- Send follow-up emails. Thanking your customers for purchases and recommending other helpful products helps to build a relationship.
Wordstream also suggests a few things for personalizing without making customers feel like you’re following them around the web:
- Get data. More data helps you create personas and better targeting. However, let your customers know that any data you collect is safe, and only collect what you need.
- Create customer personas. Segment your audience by various factors, then produce content to meet the needs of those personas.
- Map out your content to know what’s of interest to each persona. Consider where they are in the customer journey (funnel), and figure out how to get them to the bottom of the funnel where they choose you and convert.
- Develop personalized content. Email is one place this can be done well. Try out features from tools like MailChimp, which can send emails based on the customer’s actions (cart abandonment, etc.).
- Personalize the entire experience. Use data and analyzing software to show customers content that’s tailored to them.
In a slightly different arena, you can use digital channels to personalize physical communications. For example, if you send monthly utility bills or account statements, you can create digital experiences with interactive videos, QR codes, augmented reality or personal URLs.
Future of Personalized Video Ads?
Both video and personalization are large and growing aspects of current advertising approaches. Can the two come together to become a new way of reaching the right consumers?
We’ve talked about the updates to video content on Facebook and how they might benefit advertisers, but the future of video advertising goes much further than automatic sound and larger formats.
Late in 2016, we heard about the potential of personalized video ads. Business Insider talked about one company’s ability to create 10 to 30 permutations of one video for numerous targeted versions that all retain the core message and tone. MediaPost highlighted brands like Coke, Amazon and Nike that are already dabbling in personalized video ads.
It’s hard to say exactly where personalization in digital advertising will go, whether we’re talking about video or other platforms. However, you can be confident that it’s the direction we’re all headed, and advertisers most willing to test the waters will likely come out on top.