The Anatomy of a Five-Star SmartVideo

Jonathon Ben Haim June 17, 2013
The Anatomy of a Five-Star SmartVideo

It is well-documented that SmartVideo can be a powerful platform of communication. But what are some of the best ways to ensure that your SmartVideo campaign meets its objectives?

As with nearly every piece of communication, it boils down to what you want to say, how you want to say it, and most importantly, who you are saying it to — three key elements that assemble a five-star SmartVideo. Let’s consider each of these matters one at a time.

1. What you want to say

When choosing to deliver a message to customers, it’s essential to do so with specific goals in mind. Although SmartVideo is effective in achieving broader goals like brand awareness and customer engagement, our customers see the best results when they target specific objectives.

Picking apart the typical planning process of one of our telecommunications customers is a great way to illustrate this. Often the first goal of a client like AT&T is to reduce incoming call center traffic. After digging through call center data, the goal quickly emerges as “to clearly explain the customer’s bill.” Then, after call center conversations and records are examined, the goal is eventually refined, for example, “to explain to customers how prorated charges work.” With such a focused goal, we can develop SmartVideos with an intuitive, personalized and effective explanation that produces extremely positive results.

It’s important to capitalize on these focused goals with a related call to action. When a video has such a focused goal it increases a viewer’s responsiveness to calls to actions. So it’s important that each video:

  1. Includes a call to action in the end scene
  2. The call to action directly relates to the video’s original goals

Keeping goals focused keeps SmartVideos effective.

AT&T SmartVideo calendar scene
AT&T’s calendar scene, effective because it’s goal was so focused.

2. How you want to say it

Once you know what your message is, you must decide how you want to present it. The branding, the look and feel, and the tone and pace all come into play here. Strong brands already hold value in a customer’s mind so a well-branded SmartVideo that speaks with the brand’s voice and language not only makes it easier for customers to engage with the message, but also increases brand awareness.

West Elm’s SmartVideo is a great example. Each video is based around the details of a specific product, including pricing and features. However, it’s the combination of modern visuals and West Elm’s aspirational yet knowledgeable design edge that gives each video that chic feel of desirable interior design. Or in other words, “I want that in my home!”

Presentation just doesn’t end with the video though, the delivery channel is just as crucial. You’ll want to make sure that the channel suits the video while at the same time asking questions like, “Does this channel provide the most reach?” and “Is this the best customer experience I can provide?” Harmony between the video and it’s delivery channel is a surefire bet.

When it comes to presenting your message, stick to the brand, choose a suitable channel, and you can cross customer engagement and brand awareness off your list.

West Elm SmartVideo
West Elm’s branding is clean, elegant and chic. 

3. Who you’re saying it to

Choosing who you want to share your message with is just as important as the message itself, and it raises two questions. First, who is the intended audience for your message? And second, how can you tailor your message to every single individual of that audience? The answer requires a combination of targeting and personalization. First let’s take a look at targeting.

Actually, this particular example isn’t just targeting — it’s retargeting. eBay’s holiday SmartVideo program consisted of retargeted pre-roll ads, an accountable way to ensure you’re reaching a relevant audience. If a customer viewed a specific product page and abandoned the website without taking any further action, then the next time they visited a video-content site, like YouTube, they may be presented with a pre-roll ad of that same product.

Retargeting is a surefire way to make sure you always know your audience.

eBay SmartVideo Ad

eBay’s SmartVideo ads campaign: the only viewers who would see this frame are those who already viewed this product.

The next thing to consider is personalization. Although targeting and retargeting enable SmartVideo to speak to a select audience, the most effective SmartVideos also speak to each member of that audience individually. By utilizing personalized data, SmartVideo can tweak or alter what you have to say in order to make sure each video resonates on a personal level.

One of the best examples is Herbalife’s SmartVideo program. The key message for its audience was how a customer could retain his current status and the benefits of maintaining that status. Although this message was consistent across the board, the details varied according to each individual viewer — specifically, the actions they had to take to retain their status and the particular benefits of doing so. All of these possible permutations were mapped out, and a unique viewing experience was developed for each customer.

The SmartVideo spoke to the individual — not to a uniform audience, no matter how specific that audience may be.

Herbalife SmartVideo PersonalizationHerbalife SmartVideo personalization
Here you can see the difference between Herbalife supervisors and qualified producers’ personalized messages.

As part of the SundaySky creative team, we take all three of these integral elements into account in order to create a five-star SmartVideo program that not only drives customer action and engagement, but allows for measurable business impact and results.

In your opinion, which of these three pieces is the most significant to a SmartVideo program? Would one element work without the others? What do you think? Would love to hear your comments below.