With big-name retailers and supermarkets spending £5.6 billion on Christmas adverts last year, it is more important than ever for smaller brands to think outside the box to be heard in busy holiday markets. Personalised content can provide SMEs that additional edge in standing out in the noisy Christmas markets. The common assertion is that large retail brands’ eagerly awaited Christmas adverts promote a positive response from consumers.
However, this positive response doesn’t guarantee brand loyalty – as seen by MoneySavingExpert.com’s survey of 11,500 consumers, which revealed that only one percent agreed that the adverts had a ‘big impact’ on where they did their Christmas shopping. Additionally, sixty-nine percent said Christmas adverts had no impact on them whatsoever, and six percent said they liked some of the adverts but could never remember who they were for.
Martech has become the principal form of marketing for SMEs. The question is not just whether decision-makers should be prioritising digital strategy, but rather, how to surpass competition on existing digital channels from rivalling businesses – particularly given the David and Goliath challenge many start-ups face. The answer lies in making digital marketing work smarter not harder, and the most overlooked way to accomplish this is through video personalisation.
In 2017, IAB research found that video advertising spend grew 50.7 per cent to £711 million, whilst video spend on mobile alone increased by 98 per cent to £353 million. This finding is entirely unsurprising given that the average consumer spends about 2.42 hours a day on their smartphone, interacting with it approximately 2,617 times in one single day. This research also found that four times as many consumers now prefer video advertising surrounding a product over text advertising.
Despite this, many SMEs still consider video advertising to be a bolt-on in their marketing strategy rather than utilising it from the outset. When compared with other more affluent brands such as Google and Amazon, SMEs generally have limited budgetary capacity for marketing. However, business owners are increasingly investing in advertising spaces and traditional creative in order to keep up with current methods of product consumption; ignoring the reality that these methods are always going to belong to the bigger budgeted major players.
Many SMEs mistakenly believe that because their product or service isn’t particularly visual in nature, then video is not an appropriate medium for a smaller marketing campaign. However, as social media engagement increasingly becomes an essential for every brand – and is founded in visual interactions – this line of thought is now outdated and irrelevant. There is a whole new generation of Netflix viewers and video game enthusiasts who are less likely to interact with a marketing campaign unless there is a relatable link in how content is presented to them.
Video content puts SME’s marketing campaigns in a position to trend – the holy grail of smaller brands looking to overtake the conglomerates – or enjoy high engagement rates, at a much lower cost than advertising space in a multitude of titles. Personalised video can put younger companies on the digital map in a way that is not regularly seen from traditionally marketed posts and links. However, if this content is merely an afterthought, then there is unlikely to be enough budget or resource left available to create a truly engaging video campaign – and in today’s crowded digital landscape, a unique approach is essential.
Central to perfecting a unique personalisation campaign is a creative idea designed specifically with personalisation in mind, from which a wider strategy can develop. When developing your videos, remember that personalising early will catch your audience’s attention in a matter of seconds, and in a way that marketing speak will not be able to. The average attention span of a consumer is just eight seconds, so despite Twitter allowing 140 second videos and Facebook 45 minutes, it’s important to capture engagement within the first couple of seconds.
Video personalisation gives SMEs the chance to cut through the noise and speak directly to their target market. Of course, campaigns and media should be targeted towards key demographics and users who have previously engaged with a brand, but by delivering real time 1-2-1 responses to users currently engaging with those campaigns, SMEs are able to amplify their message through an army of qualified advocates. The result will be excellent share rates, positive responses from the recipients and increased organic reach and sentiment. With intent-driven marketing the key demographic can be reached with greater precision.
This is particularly crucial for smaller businesses, who are increasingly reaching the crossroad of transitioning into a nation-wide or even global entity. With the current competition for brand loyalty, it’s important to cut through the crowd to focus on the demographic who are most interested in your product or service. The advantage with online platforms is the ability to incorporate video and to speak directly with this audience.
EchoMany’s campaigns have helped to drive on average 354 per cent increased engagement and 542 per cent impression amplification; while also encouraging an additional average 67 per cent click through rate. These engagement figures show that a personalised video will lead to greater shares over its non-personalised alternative, meaning that SMEs can benefit from individual interactions on a much larger and more rapid scale. This will also allow for a successful and uninterrupted brand dialogue, as engagement videos can consistently sit on social media in the run up to product launch dates rather than statically popping up in print and online adverts.
Personalisation is no longer an untried and untested prospect but it is still being largely ignored by businesses, particularly smaller businesses who would most benefit from the power that personalised video can immediately provide. It is essential to meet the desire of modern audiences to engage and interact with brands on social media and the large-scale, real-time, 1-2-1 campaigns that personalised videos can offer are answering that call.