The Art of Personalized Video: How to Connect with Audiences on a Deeper Level

By Jay Wolff, CRO of KERV Interactive

Everyone wants to feel seen. That’s why ad personalization has long been a go-to marketing strategy to generate higher engagement and conversion rates.

However, marketers tend to overlook personalizing their video content, which is a big missed opportunity. Personalized video effectively serves audiences lower in the funnel and inspires them to act, ultimately building a brand’s bottom line.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of personalized video and discuss real-world examples of leveraging personalized video content to resonate with audiences on a deeper level and reach your biggest marketing KPIs.

An outdated system

TV and video advertising has long included 15-, 30- and 60-second commercials placed in the hopes of reaching the right consumer. Advertisers use Nielsen reports to identify the right shows for a given target and hope for the best.

Traditional messaging has also been based on proxies—and required manual placements.

This is clearly an antiquated system, which relies on more of a directional correlation between content and viewers than an active truth set.

Now, however, instead of passive ads, advertisers can tap into the power of video personalization and automation. Powered by dynamic QR codes based on actual consumer behavior, the result is less waste, more bespoke messaging—and more impact.

Personalized, frictionless commerce

This becomes particularly powerful in television, which still relies on behaviors from the 1960s to drive sales. Plus, in the nearly 100-year history of TV, no one has figured out how to allow viewers to buy products directly in a seamless way.

Social media has made strides in commerce as platforms like TikTok and Instagram allow users to purchase products through their own platforms. But that’s limited to their walled gardens.

In a similar vein, platforms like Netflix and Amazon can make recommendations for future content or products based on user behavior, but they are limited to their own ecosystems as well.

The next iteration of TV advertising; however, allows consumers to interact with personalized content directly. That doesn’t mean just using a remote control to search an ad—it means exploring a scene and the products within.

For example, a fan of The Bachelorette can pause even live TV to buy a dress featured in the episode they are watching.

A perfect storm

This is partly thanks to developments in AI/machine learning—which can make a static video interactive in as little as three minutes—and consumer willingness to use QR codes. It’s the perfect storm of technology and consumer readiness, as well as broadcasters seeking new revenue streams to compensate for the decline of linear TV.

One early example is Audi, which directed users to unique destinations based on triggers like location and time of day. In other words, they were directed to the dealership closest to wherever the code was scanned.

What’s more, a recent study found consumers who were exposed to these QR codes had a 143 percent lift compared to those who were not.

The best part is this isn’t limited to a single environment like Netflix or Amazon. Instead, marketers can use first-party data based on interactions to inform other channels and personalize content with QR codes. In other words, television or CTV becomes a proxy for the next ad on a mobile device, tablet or computer.

Technology that powers frictionless automation and personalization is especially important as cookies sunset in 2024. That’s when marketers are going to want more mid-funnel opportunities for remarketing.

Adtech solutions powered by AI/machine learning enable smarter, faster and more precise contextual targeting and provide first-party data to advertisers on what content consumers find most relevant.

It will soon be possible to change the actual creative or the objects in future online video and mobile ads based on what a given viewer is interested in, such as the products they have interacted with, hovered over, clicked on or added to their carts.

Each of these touchpoints collectively reflects the “Active Attention” of a viewer, which measures viewer engagement across various multi-touch data insights. This will allow brands to gain a more accurate picture of how engaged and interested viewers are in their content. Active Attention provides a more nuanced understanding of engagement and intention, empowering brands to make data-driven decisions that drive results.

Anonymized data based on consumer opt-in intent is the future. Meanwhile, consumers continue to demand more personalization, and providing more relevant, personalized content catches better attention, ultimately driving ad performance.