February 28, 2022 Content Chat Recap: How Personalized Video Messages Can Strengthen Your Content Marketing

A #ContentChat header image featuring an array of flowers with a box overlay. Inside the box is text that says today's topic is how personalized video messages can strengthen your content marketing, with guest Ethan Beute.

Content marketing teams typically prioritize written content, but video content is an increasingly effective way to reach brand audiences and develop relationships. Now comes the challenge: when is it appropriate to include a personalized video message in your content, and how do you approach this at scale?

In this #ContentChat recap, we\’re joined by Ethan Beute, WSJ bestselling author and host of The Customer Experience podcast, to explain how personalized video messages can strengthen your content marketing and where they can make the most impact. Read through the full recap below to learn about the science behind the power of video content, how to get started with adding personalized video messages to your content, and solutions to challenges that you’ll likely face along the way.

Q1: Let’s start with a common definition. What is a video message and how can it fit within a content strategy?

Video messages are exactly as they sound: content that is recorded or shared through video. The benefits of video messages over written content include that videos are more clear, personal, and better convey emotion.

A1a
Any time you’re typing a message or dm (email, Slack, text, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc), you can add a video to your faceless, typed-out text for clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A1b
That’s a video message.

Clearer and more personal. More subtlety and nuance. Lower likelihood of being misunderstood. Greater transfer of emotion. Perfectly imperfect. More human.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A1: In #contentmarketing, it’s not enough to just create your content—you also need to distribute it to the right people at the right time. Video messages can be a 1:1 or 1:many way to pitch your content to its ideal consumer. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

Video messages are often more engaging than written content.

A1. A video that is created to share a message related to your brand. Whether it be informational or promotional, it should be designed to help viewers to engage with your brand. #contentchat

— Andrew C. Belton, MBA (@AndrewCBelton) February 28, 2022

A1: A video message is some sort of announcement done via video and it can be tailored to fit the current content strategy so that the message stays on brand ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

A1 A video message is a type of visual content that allows creators to tell stories in creative ways. From a content strategy perspective, it can give more room for audiences to engage. #ContentChat

— Krystal Blais 🤘🔮🔥🤘🏳️‍🌈 (@krystalblais) February 28, 2022

I really like this and I feel like nowadays people are reacting very favorably to brands that are using video to tell a story and it makes them feel like they are a part of the experience when it’s brought to life in video! #Contentchat #contentmarketing #videomarketing

— Andrew C. Belton, MBA (@AndrewCBelton) February 28, 2022

Video message is about making announcements in a video format. Often to give out important information in a short visual format #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande (@shruti12d) February 28, 2022

Most written content can include a complementary video, including product news, thought leadership articles, social media posts, email newsletters, and more.

A1. I suppose it depends on the message. If it’s company announcement, it falls into the corp comms strategy. If it’s a product feature launch or update, it falls into the PMM content strategy and should be part of package to support the GTM strategy.

— ronniehiggins (@ronniehiggins) February 28, 2022

For instance, the video message could be included in customer newsletter and social posts that raise awareness and point to supporting content, like a blog post and/or help center article.

— ronniehiggins (@ronniehiggins) February 28, 2022

Those are all great spots for video messages.

And don’t miss out on the 1:1 opportunities (vs the 1:many or 1:anonymous).

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A2 Video messages come in many forms. Simple video words, social attachments, how to graphics to full blown productions. As long as it has a purpose, provides value & speaks directly to an audience, then you’re halfway there#ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

Q2: From an evolutionary psychology standpoint, what are the benefits of including video content to accompany your written content?

According to Ethan, every social judgment is made based on warmth and competence. Warmth will always take precedence over competence.

A2a
Every social judgment is made on two criteria: warmth and competence. And the former always trumps the latter.

Colloquially, that’s: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Video messages are most effective for conveying our intent and warmth, which can strengthen your connection with the viewer.

A2b
Faceless, typed-out text doesn’t give people the insight into our intent or our warmth that allows them to make that judgment, so we leave some trust, connection, and benefit of the doubt on the table when we over rely on text alone.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

See also: we don’t have a sarcasm font!#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

Too true. And that smiley face emoji may mean “I’m joking” … but I may read it as “you’re passive-aggressive.”

We give away control over our intent in text-based communication – it’s always up to the reader.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Sensitive topics are best approached through video…

A2: when. you have a sensitive message or want to make your intentions and point of view very clear, a video message can provide that extra layer of context that makes your content more effective in reaching its goal. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

But videos can enhance most written content by bringing the message to life and adding clarity.

A2c
Beyond video messages …

For several years, I wrote every single BombBomb blog post. Hundreds of them.

In most of them, I embedded short videos to bring the message to life, add some clarity, give it some personality, and infuse it with some emotion.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

The community discusses why video messages are effective below.

If we are in the business of triggering emotions which compels a viewer to act, video adds texture, brand personality and can take them back on a nostalgic trip. Biggest hook on the planet? Nostalgia#ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

A2: Video content offers instant stimulation, it immediately demands attention and keeps you engaged. Once you have that promise of gratification you’re more inclined to read, which delivers a more delayed gratification. ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

When you get that personal invitation to engage, it’s a lot harder to ignore! #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

A2a Adding a video component to written content gives your audience multiple ways to interact with your content. As people have taken to videos more and more over the years, it seems it’s worth it to give them something to watch vs read. #ContentChat

— Krystal Blais 🤘🔮🔥🤘🏳️‍🌈 (@krystalblais) February 28, 2022

A2b It humanizes your content, especially if the video includes you as the writer. People may read content in a certain tone, whereas if you make a video you have more control over how you’d like the message to come across. #ContentChat

— Krystal Blais 🤘🔮🔥🤘🏳️‍🌈 (@krystalblais) February 28, 2022

A2. Video content stands out and leaves a significant impression on viewers. They can see, hear and think about the content that you are sharing. It can help them to visualize their experience with your brand. #contentchat #contentmarketing

— Andrew C. Belton, MBA (@AndrewCBelton) February 28, 2022

A2 The brain loves colors and images. It buries stories into one’s subconscious stronger than just words alone. Very common to forget the actual message but easily remember what someone was wearing or the expressions on their faces. Video is brand glue. #ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

A2. Evolutionary just like TV took over the Radio, Video format takes over anything that doesn’t have movement (pictures). Enhancing it with audio could also be the power move (nostalgia here we come). Also, short videos – a psychological echo of current trends…#ContentChat

— BegayaCat (@Begaya) February 28, 2022

Q3: What framework can marketers use to evaluate if a personalized video message should be included with or even replace typed-out text?

Ethan shares three times where video messages can enhance (or even replace) typed-out text.

A3a
Three times to video with typed-out text or in place of typed-out text:
1 (re)establishing personal connecting
2 managing emotion or tone
3 breaking down detail or complexity#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A3b
Anywhere you see confusion, frustration, friction, slowing, or dropoff with prospects, customers, recruits, team members, partners, or anyone else, you’ll likely see one of these 3 opportunities to improve that moment, touchpoint, or content piece with a video.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A3c
Just recorded an episode on this topic: https://t.co/bZHNq5zYUE#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Quick reminder: Always include subtitles on your video content.

Is this outside of the notion that all video content should at least have captions? For accessibility purposes. #ContentChat

— Krystal Blais 🤘🔮🔥🤘🏳️‍🌈 (@krystalblais) February 28, 2022

Yup. I love captions in real time but I also love to have a transcript I can read after (or before I commit to watching for that matter) #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

Definitely agree that all video content should have captions and/or transcriptions to support them.

And, yes, I read it as outside of that notion. More like: when do you go to the keyboard vs when do you go to the record button.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

If tone and mood are central to your message, then video is likely a valuable addition. Just be sure to record in a well-lit and quiet area.

A3: If tone and mood are central to the message, then video is a MUST. Not only is it the best way to control the two but it really emphasizes them as well ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

A3 Depends on what your goal is. If you are skilled at being in front of the camera, lighting is decent and you’re not on a landing strip, video is smart business. If you are the opposite of the above, your brand can look silly. Sorry but it’s true #ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

Q4: How can marketers get started with adding personalized video messages to their content?

Your video messages will not be perfect, and that is OK. Perfection is unnecessary.

A4a
Get past the desire for perfection.

Think about what other people need or want from any specific message or experience.

Record simple videos or screen record show-and-tell videos to help them in those moments.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Waiting for the perfect setup, the better camera, the great hair day…all these things are so much less important than just starting and getting the experience in of creating. #ContentChat https://t.co/49LQPqFRri

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

I think this was my biggest weakness for a long time with anything in general. I always waited for things to be perfect but later learned that a) that will never happen and b) mistakes are good! ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

Start small with personal video messages like a thank you, good job, or congratulations sent via email, text, Slack, or through social media DMs.

A4b
It’s easiest to start with personal video messages like thank you, good job, congratulations, happy to hear, sorry to hear, and similar.

One to one. Dropped into an email, text, Slack, or social dm.

You’ll make someone’s day. And it’s good practice.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A4: Start easy! Start by using your videos to announce a new product launch or update since those tend to be the most exciting news for brands. The script will come more easily and there are tons of examples to learn from ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

Home office furry coworkers or children can make great cameos for fun and casual video content.

I’d add here that if you have a home office furry coworker who can make a cameo in said casual + fun video, even better! #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

People LOVE puppies, kittens, and babies. They also REALLY LIKE dogs, cats, and kids.

And it’s humanizing.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Jeff runs through how to get started with creating video content…

A4 How to get started?
1) Familiarize with basics of audio/video. Youtube how-to’s etc
2)Work off script no matter how basic
3) Secure a location. No interruptions
3)Leave shy at the door, YouTube how-to’s setc
4)Practice
5) DM me. Happy to help#ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

And Shruti breaks down some of the best places to start sharing that video content.

A4. Add personalized video content in;
👉Your emails based on user interest
👉social media campaigns – DMs especially
👉In your give-aways
👉part of your loyalty program to thank your customers #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande (@shruti12d) February 28, 2022

Great list. Especially the nod to DMs. People feel seen, heard, and valued when you send a personal video – and brand DMs are very often in response to problems, questions, disappointments, confusions, etc. Video really helps here … as long as you’re sincere.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Agree. That’s just as bad as companies in a crisis who force the SMM team to copy+paste the same bland reply over and over and over. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

Q5: What common challenges do marketers often face when creating personalized video messages, and how do you recommend they overcome these?

As discussed above, self-doubt and a desire for perfection are the main hurdles of creating video content. As you create more videos, you’ll become more comfortable. And remember that authenticity is the goal, not perfection.

A5a Challenges

Self criticism. Desire for perfection. Discomfort with how you look and sound.

It’s all about vulnerability – feelings of risk, uncertainty, and emotional exposure.

Most reasons or excuses comes down to this – including time- or scale-themed ones.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

The ability to watch yourself back recorded – rather than see yourself live – is a hurdle for many.

Each of us is our own harshest critic – far more harsh than anyone else. But the little stuff we fuss over very often isn’t noticed by anyone else.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A5 For some, video is natural. For majority, it’s nerve wracking. The thought alone that it’s online potentially forever is daunting. Will I stumble verbally? Unprofessional? Get over all of that..practice, test, find your comfort zone & your audience, repeat #ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

The liberation on the other side of discomfort and self-judgment is incredible. But so few make it – so many quit before they ever start in earnest.

I’d argue that it’s natural for the vast minority of people. The ones who look natural have often been at it longer.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

You don’t have to pay an expert to create your video. All you need is a phone or built-in webcam, good lighting, and a quiet spot to record.

A5: Too often, #contentmarketers wait for the perfect topic, and the budget to pay someone else to create the video. But today, you can get great results from DIY video content that you create yourself using your phone or built-in videocam. Authenticity FTW! #ContentChat https://t.co/iifPVIUyFT

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) February 28, 2022

Today video is a no big deal! As long as it is genuine, nicely shot and conveys the right message it is good asset. Don’t need to spend too much 💰#ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande (@shruti12d) February 28, 2022

Editing can be a hurdle, but there are plenty of video editing tools you can use.

A5: Learning how to edit seamlessly and overcoming camera shyness. There are plenty of resources that address both, combine those with practice, practice, practice and it’ll come naturally before you know it! ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) February 28, 2022

Q6: AMA time with @EthanBeute. Tell us: What questions do you have about using asynchronous video for #contentmarketing?

How do you create 1:1 video at scale? Block out 15 minutes a day and send five personal videos. Remember that prioritization is key, so you’ll send 25% personalized video and 75% “evergreen” or some other breakdown depending on your team resources.

How do you do 1:1 video at scale? #contentchat

— Dan Goldberg (@Jonas419) February 28, 2022

You can send five truly personal videos in a 15-min time block.

Also: we talk faster than we type, so often it’s a time saver.

I’ve sent more than 150 videos in an afternoon between other tasks.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Prioritization and commitment are key.

And you can use “evergreen” videos (record once, use over and over) in ways that still help the other person/other people, even though it’s not truly 1:1.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

More likely, you’ll send 125 unique messages and 1 other message to 875 people.

Or 50/950 or 25/975 or 500/500.

This is what I mean by prioritization and commitment.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

What are the best use cases for video content? Ethan shares a few ideas and links to a resource for more information.

@ethanbeute Are specific use cases that you would recommend particularly for video and any that you would not? Thanks. #ContentChat

— Dan Goldberg (@Jonas419) February 28, 2022

It can often be useful in place of an info-dump meeting (vs a conversational, creative, collaborative meeting).

It’s great early on in a relationship.

It’s great to reply to questions – rather than typing 5 paragraphs, hit record and explain the answer.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

This is specific to video messages, but here are DOZENS of use cases: https://t.co/Lknesor0ET (starting on p42 or so).#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

A no-go is when you’re hiding or burying salient details 72 seconds into a video.

Make it EASY for people to know, understand, copy/paste, etc – if a detail is ONLY in a video, they have to play it back again.

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

What tools do you use to record and edit video content? Ethan and the community use BombBomb, InShot, Riverside, and Quicktime.

I keep it simple. Most of my videos are recorded with my webcam.

Tools include: Quicktime, @BombBomb, @RiversidedotFM.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

I love InShot app! I also use some of the pre-built template kinds like Mojo and Dizzi. When I feel like wasting time I get on AfterEffects – I’m just not good at it and I don’t have the time to dedicate to learning it more. DJI has MIMO app w/templates too. #contentchat

— BegayaCat (@Begaya) February 28, 2022

What will Video 3.0 look like? Video playback will become more interactive, videos will become more specialized, and synthetic media and deepfake videos will be more convincing.

A6 What’s Video 3.0 going to be like? #ContentChat

— Jeff Funk #BeKind (@Jeffrey_Funk) February 28, 2022

Great question!

First, synthetic media in general and deepfake video specifically will get less expensive and more convincing. I expect that bad use will be higher than good use.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

Second, most video playback will become more interactive (better than clickable pop-ups over the video).

Third, we’ll obviously have more immersive experiences overall that make video feel very flat – so its use will become narrower and more specialized.#ContentChat

— Ethan Beute (@ethanbeute) February 28, 2022

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