Insight into Future User Behavior: Personalized Video and User-Generated Content (UGC)
Introduction to the Future
Consumers have become immune to traditional advertising methods and are failing to find interest in tried and tested marketing formulas. This has led to many brands searching for new ways to interact with their audience, with one of the key successes coming in the form of unique content. Personalized video and user-generated content have helped to re-engage with audiences and provide a fascinating insight into the future of user behaviour online.
You’ve Got Mail
By the time you’ve found your way to this blog post, there’s a good chance your inbox is full of messages from companies asking you and everyone else on their mailing list to check out their latest stuff.
As soon as you opened your web browser, ad blocker permitting, you’ve likely seen several banner pop ups selling content that supposedly caters to your tastes. And all of this is before you’ve even had to think about the sales-y SMS messages or the adverts in apps that you have to deal with on a daily basis.
In a world of 24/7 advertising, we pay even less attention to the messages we see. We build a barrier that helps us become immune to content trying to be personalized to our tastes but is as staged and generic as it comes.
Is Anyone Home?
So how do marketers break down the metaphorical door that consumers have put up, locked several times and placed a barricade in front of just for good measure? The answer is more straightforward than most people think: Talk to them.
Many brands will say that they are already doing this through automated messages and targeting. The problem is that brands don’t so much as talk to their customers as they talk at them. The difference (and there’s a big difference) involves context and content. People want a message that is contextually relevant with interesting content that makes them feel special and talks to them.
To communicate with your customer, you need to be personable and talk to them as an individual – not as an audience. In the modern age of marketing, this means you have to personalize your content to each customer.
That Sounds Great, But There Are Lots of People Out There
Ok, so you’ve decided to focus on your customer, but how do you put theory into practice? After all, there are a lot of people out there – it’s going to take a while to talk to every one of them individually.
Fortunately, personalizing your content doesn’t mean spending the rest of your days creating content for each person manually. Think of it as something more nuanced; tweaking what you already do to create an overall, better experience.
There’s a good chance that your content is already pretty tight and the message you want to communicate is a good one. It’s just, well, maybe it can be a bit more personable, and thanks to new technology and tools, all the heavy lifting behind personalized content has been automated.
Online platforms have made it easy to personalize existing content with a few tweaks here and there. By utilizing existing content and data, you can create content that engages people on both an obvious and subtle level. Gone are the days of spending copious amounts of money and having little to no way of knowing to measure success rates.
We live in a time where personalization should be on the minds of every marketer, large or small.
Exploring the Waters
One of the major questions around personalization is: How exactly do you make something personable to someone’s tastes when so many people like different things? Personalizing content needn’t be a complete overhaul for each individual, and finding common ground is a good place to start.
If you’re wondering which content is going to have the biggest impact on its audience, just look at the numbers. By 2019, video marketing is estimated to account for 80% of all internet traffic. Think about that for a second. 80%!
When you drill it down and really think about those numbers, is it that surprising? In our personal lives, we’re constantly sent a quick video clip of something funny or eye catching. YouTube’s success is a key indicator. Facebook and Twitter quickly realized the importance of video and created a fluid process to integrate links into social posts.
The demand for more personalized content is one of the reasons that user-generated content (UGC) has elevated in popularity and seen an increased presence in the media. What started with videos and images going viral for leisurely reasons soon escalated to become a genuine marketing method for brands.
It’s easy to see why UGC has been so popular, too: It’s real. Authenticity is one of the main features that brands want. Not forced, not shoved in your face – just something that is genuine. And an image or video taken in its purest form – not in a staged setup – connects with people in a more human way.
There could be more transparency around the way people use content from social media accounts, though, with many brands unaware of the legalities involved. Although, platforms have been created to make buying user-generated content ethical and fair, with both the brands and the content owner reaping the benefits.
A Friendly Future
People are the be-all and end-all for a brand; without them, there would be no product or service. That’s why it’s vital for brands to pay attention to what their audience wants and provide a service that makes them feel involved.
Whether it’s solving problems through content marketing, showing the human element with UGC or personalizing a message through video, these methods ultimately merge into the same category and do the one all-important thing: communicate on a human level.
Technology has blurred the lines between personal and professional life; we’re always switched on. Yet, the greater our activity is on websites, social media or messaging services, the more we tune out. But brands who personalize the way they talk to people are helping them switch back on while making them feel like they’re part of the product.