Exploring the Rise of Performance Video

The last 24-36 months have been interesting and transformational for video as a content medium. Broadcast television has seen a steep decline in viewership as thousands of households cut the proverbial cord each month. At the same time, online video continues to soar to new heights. Depending on which side of the industry someone is on, it’s either the best of times or the worst of times. But regardless of who you are – business, producer, content creator, viewer, or consumer – there’s one topic you won’t be able to ignore or get away from in the coming year: performance video.

What is Performance Video?

Performance video – which could also be called “personalized video” – is all about tailoring individual videos to specific audiences with the intention of delivering more meaningful content that increases conversion rates.

“Unlike broadcast television, social platforms let brands segment their video content. Although some brand marketers are still posting one-size-fits-all brand videos, performance video producers use personalization to reach even more consumers with more relevant messaging,” writes Brad Anderson, Editor in Chief at ReadWrite. “An Epsilon survey found that 80% of consumers aged 18 to 64 prefer to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences. That means performance video offers growth opportunities marketers can’t afford to pass up.”

The Business-Side Perks of Performance Video

For brands – and marketing/advertising professionals in particular – performance video is a breath of fresh air. What had become a fairly stale and outrageously expensive aspect of the advertising world has now become more cost-effective and higher returning. Perks include:

  • Tailored to specific audiences. Brands used to spend thousands of dollars pumping out video content and disseminating it to the masses in the hopes that a small fraction of viewers would find the information relevant. And while some videos would resonate with people, it was a huge waste of resources. With performance video, there’s little to no waste. Content is tailored to individual users based on demographics, browsing behavior, purchase history, and other relevant details. This means the audience always aligns with the video. It’s simply a matter of whether the viewer is ready to convert at that moment.
  • Proper context. It’s not enough for the right video to be delivered to the right viewer. In order for a video to enjoy maximum effectiveness, it must be delivered in the proper context. Performance video is contextually relevant in the sense that videos are served within the right space. Platforms like Facebook have high-powered AI ad systems that make this possible.
  • Focused on engagement. Performance video differs from broadcast television ads in their intended response. With performance video, viewers are expected to take an action. In other words, brands want users to engage. This may look like clicking a link, moving to a landing page, buying a product, or signing up for an email list. And, for the most part, it works.

The Viewer-Side Benefits of Performance Video

Performance video is delivered by brands, but received by viewers. Thus, the only way it continues to thrive is if there are viewer-side perks as well. Thankfully there are quite a few. Have a look at some of the reasons why viewers have embraced performance video:

  • It’s natural. Most internet users have grown to hate online ads over the years. That’s because they tend to be obtrusive and disruptive. In fact, more than 200 million people now use ad blockers. (That’s roughly 16 percent of the entire U.S. population!) Performance video is alluring because it comes across as natural. In fact, it can be challenging to differentiate between a paid video and one that’s organically published or shared.
  • It’s relevant. By its very nature, performance video is tailored to the viewer. This means viewers find the content more relevant and intriguing. Someone who loves woodworking is going to see videos about building furniture – not content about sewing. Someone who loves sewing is going to see videos about knitting and crocheting – not selecting the right wood species for building a kitchen table. This establishes an immediate connection and satisfaction with the content.
  • It’s unintimidating. Performance video typically involves a very soft sell or easy call-to-action. It’s not the in-your-face TV ads that tell you to call a specific number before the timer runs out. As a result, viewers are more likely to embrace the content they’re being served.

Adding it All Up

Performance video is the way of the present and the future. As traditional video and cable television hang on by a thread, personalized video content will continue to emerge as the more valuable solution for both brands and consumers. Moving forward, companies that are able to emphasize and leverage it will reap significant rewards.

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