You can learn a lot during difficult times, and this pandemic has certainly provided lessons for marketers. Foremost, campaigns must now lead with empathy and situational awareness, which begins by showing understanding of the customer’s personal situation and providing a solution to help.
The constraints of social distancing have accelerated the use of all things digital, particularly tools like video. The medium can tell a story like no other, drawing on verbal and nonverbal communication, graphics, special effects -- and delivering a 9X improvement in recall over text, according to one study.
Further, while video has encountered marketing challenges in the past -- mainly that it’s too costly to create and manage at scale -- advanced video-powered experience (VX) platforms can now enable marketers to deliver individualized content on the fly and at scale.
It’s not a moment too soon, because with COVID-19, authentic experiences matter more than ever.
Just in time
Key to video success today is providing real experiences versus over-polished ones that aren’t relatable or believable. Ironically, this allows for a much broader range of production, and it’s less expensive, because it can reach all the way down to the user-generated content level. The results are more genuine, and targets don’t feel as if you’re trying to convince or oversell them, something companies should avoid right now.
Customers want brands to meet them where they are. By leveraging a brand's existing engagement data, video content can be tied to motivational insights. When delivered within video modules, content can be highly personalized content, creating those "aha" moments at exactly the right time -- whether that means resolving a pressing customer question or prompting a decision.
Make it personal
Due to the data-powered production efficiencies, the ability to scale and deliver individualized moments across all channels, VX as a content strategy is producing impressive results, in areas that might seem surprising. Take financial services, where making personal connections is paramount.
For example, a video experience can begin simply with a prospect opening a credit card. In the past, this would have been followed by a series of static emails and direct mail. Now, armed with the information from that sole exchange, marketers can deliver an email with a link to customized video. With one click, customers have everything they need to learn how to use their card, read statements, check balances and gain other onboarding details. Information within the video can even be chaptered out to make it easier for customers to find answers.
Further, companies can use this detail to determine what additional products might be of interest, even using video to extend the relationship into higher level loyalty programs or other complimentary products and services.
Keeping it real
There was a lot of skepticism pre-pandemic about video replacing in-person communications, but that’s no longer the case. Like so many things, COVID-19 has completely changed the dynamics around personal experiences and communications, making believers of naysayers and accelerating the use of many digital technologies.
Video -- due to its richness, individualization and newfound ability to scale -- is that personal connection for customer engagement. The technology is there, and the trick is keeping it real and making it meaningful.