How can you make personalized video work for you? Columnist Michael Litt outlines his favorite ways to use personalized video to win the attention of prospects and customers.Personalized video is the happy, and very effective, marriage of two of today’s hottest marketing trends: personalization and video.

We’re personalizing everything these days. From shoes to cars, businesses have discovered that the more something feels uniquely yours, the more likely you are to buy it.

The personalization trend in B2B marketing and sales is different from the consumer side; buying software isn’t the same as customizing your Chuck Taylors. But the same principles of connecting with the customer apply, and when done right, they are just as effective.

Same deal with video. Video has been proven over and over to dramatically improve marketing’s effectiveness. Pick a marketing KPI, and I’ll bet you video makes it better. Open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, lead generation — the use of more visual and engaging content boosts them all.

It’s no surprise, then, that personalized video delivers the benefits of both tactics, plus some. We see more and more businesses doing it every day. Influitive (disclosure: client) personalized an event invite email and saw 8x improvement on click-through rates versus standard outbound email campaigns. Reltio (disclosure: client) put their recipients’ names on a mug and increased open rates by 10x compared to the company average. The University of Waterloo (disclosure: client) used personalized video to connect with prospective students, 70 percent of whom opened the school’s email — a 1,000-percent boost over typical recruitment outreach. Personalized video clearly works.

So, how can you make it work for you? Given the anecdotes above, hopefully you’re already planning to incorporate personalized video into your next campaign. There are plenty of ways to use it year-round at every stage of the buying cycle, and across your organization. Here are five of my favorites:

1. Customize your content marketing

You created an awesome white paper or report as part of your content marketing strategy — great! Get the most bang for your content buck by using a personalized video in the emails that you use to promote it or on the registration landing page.

The video could be a quick clip describing what prospects will learn in the report, and it could be personalized with “This report is the property of _____” at the top (like the fancy analyst reports) or a stamp on the report cover saying, “Prepared especially for ______.”

2. Enhance your event promotion

Whether you’re hosting an exclusive executive luncheon or inviting your entire list to your user conference, personalized video can be a huge boon for event attendance. Create a video showing how valuable the event will be, and personalize it to your recipients:

  • Include a ticket with their name on it.
  • Play with name tag imagery – “Hi, my name is ______.”
  • “Reserve” a seat with your recipient’s name at the event’s location, like a restaurant or conference hall.
  • Show a custom swag bag with their company logo.
  • Create personalized conference badges with recipients’ names and photos from their LinkedIn profiles.

Marketo (disclosure: client) used personalized event invites to drive attendance to its 2016 conference, the Marketing Nation Summit. Post-event, they determined that the video was directly responsible for 50+ registrations worth more than $70,000 in revenue.

3. Announce a feature, product or service

Customers love to feel that you’re listening and responding to their requests. Tell them about a new addition to your portfolio with a personalized video.

Start with: “[Customer name], you asked for [really great feature or product that you’re announcing.] Here it is.” You could also use the company name — “We heard that [amazing new feature] would make a huge difference to [customer’s company], so we built it for you.”

Don’t forget to actually show the new product or feature in action in the video as well.

4. Show your customers you care

Don’t stop with announcements when it comes to customer engagement. Personalized video can be used throughout the year to show your customers that you care.

The winter holidays are a no-brainer, but you could also have some fun with some lesser-known celebrations. Wish them a happy National Donut Day, complete with a box of donuts with their name on it, or send them a personalized reminder to call their moms on Mother’s Day.

A custom video thank-you note is also always appreciated, no matter the occasion, especially with their name “hand-written” on top.

5. Recruit top talent

Trying to woo potential hires? Target your top candidates with personalized videos showcasing how awesome it is to work at your company. Send them a video welcoming them to their new workspace, complete with a personalized nameplate on their desk, or play with their name and title and your company’s logo.

You could also put the candidate’s name on an award for “best new employee” or show their picture, courtesy of their LinkedIn profile, in a collage with your current employees or featured on your company’s website.

Personalized video is an incredibly effective way to grab, and keep, the attention of your prospects and customers. From the top of the funnel to closing the deal, it pays to put your users’ names in lights.