Marketers have been turning to video for years to overcome the challenges of text communications. Video is more memorable, shareable and engaging — and people love it. It accounts for the vast majority (over 80%) of all consumer internet traffic.
But video technology is changing. Previously, brands used video mainly to communicate big messages. Think of splashy branding campaigns or ad spots to raise awareness. Because video is expensive and often hard to produce and update, it rarely found its way into day-to-day customer communications.
Not so anymore. Video doesn’t have to be generic for a broad audience. It can be timely, interactive and deeply relevant for current and prospective customers. This promotes not only new sales but also retention, which is increasingly critical for your bottom line. Indeed, customer retention has surpassed acquisition as the focus for many marketers during the pandemic.
Here are three ways video is poised to revolutionize the world of customer comms.
Video Is Interactive
If you want to drive conversions, your content needs to be actionable. Video is no different.
In the past, this meant text might display on the screen or the voiceover might state the call to action. Now, videos can be interlinked with the web so consumers don’t need to search for the CTA. They can click to check out, set up a meeting and more, all right from the video.
Try it yourself by clicking on the lighting bolt in the video below.
Creative marketers aren’t limited to a button either. Any element on the screen can be actionable, allowing viewers to select items to browse deeper. Combine this with customer first-party customer data, which lets you share only the most relevant offers, and upselling and cross-selling potential skyrockets.
But as interactive video takes off, this won’t be just for sales. Already, brands are also adopting it for customer service. You can let customers self-serve for common issues. Even if you don’t know exactly what your customer needs help with, they can select their concern in the video to get a personalized answer for their specific situation. And it’s delivered in a visual format that’s easy to understand. Videos become a dialogue rather than a monologue.
This slashes calls to call centers and provides customer support when and where people want it — 24/7, on demand (and often on their phones). This is all part of the ongoing evolution of digital communications: putting customers in control so they get what they want when they want it.
Auto Updates Make Video Evergreen
If you talk to marketers about the challenges of creating video, money and time are the top two concerns. You either get an agency or a team in house to work long and hard on the perfect production, and then in a matter of months, it seems like it’s already out of date.
Videos that can’t adapt don’t work for customer communications. They work for advertising where the message doesn’t necessarily have to change. When you’re talking to customers, however, the message is never one-size-fits all. It must be relevant at the 1:1 level and up-to-date with the right information.
Personalized Video, which has grown in popularity over the past several years, is part of this. Brands can automatically generate unique videos for every customer at scale — even millions of customers — guaranteeing that content is right for that individual. But new video tech now allows video to adapt in real time based on the viewer’s context and changes in the world around them. So the same customer can see a different video, depending on where they are, when they watch, and what they’re watching it on.
What does this look like in practice?
Remember our shoppable video example from above? Now that video is linked to inventory so products can include price, availability, even estimated shipping to the customer’s city (because the video can detect your location).
Even better, the same video automatically updates with new data. If something is out of stock, another product displays. One video can have infinite variations, a game changer for video marketing ROI since it limits your investment to one data-rich video while enabling unlimited returns. Video is now truly evergreen.
Let Users Customize Videos for Viral Distribution
Want your customers to share branded content? Let them put their own twist on it.
Video personalization puts your customer in the center of the story. We’ve seen it directly influence behavior (like increasing retirement savings by a whopping 78% when customers received a video from their future selves). But user customization takes personalization a step further by letting the customer choose what they want to see in their video.
Directly from the video, users can make changes, depending on what the brand lets them customize. It can be changing text, uploading media or choosing from drop-down options. For retail, this means customers can design the product they want, generate a custom video instantly, and share it with their friends. For hospitality, it means they can create a showreel of their recent trip and share it with their friends. For gaming, it means players can handpick their top wins and — you guessed it — share it with the world on social media.
This effectively turns any customer into a brand ambassador. And it’s powerful. Video spurs 12x more shares than text and images, so giving your customer this kind of tool increases your ability to reach their network.
Video customization isn’t all fun and games. It’s also a way for customers to input what they need and get answers in real time. For example, prospective customers can input what they need, such as insurance coverage requirements, and get a bespoke quote, delivered instantly in a new video. It’s like an online app in video form.
The Future of Customer Comms? Visual, Interactive and Personal
As the world gets increasingly digital, the need for a human touch isn’t going away. When it comes to customer communications, video is the gold standard because it allows for a visual, immersive and personalized experience. And with new innovations in the world of video marketing, video is more relevant than ever before.
Going forward, interactive videos that automatically update based on the latest data will become the new standard. Video-driven communications will not just shorten the path to conversion. They will underpin retention and brand loyalty, turning customers into creators and fostering deeper relationships between brands and buyers.