dynamic videos

The ultimate guide to dynamic videos

Table of Contents

TL;DR: Dynamic video allows you to automatically change its elements—be it colors, fonts, words, or soundtrack playing in the background. This allows you not only to scale your video production and render thousands of videos in just hours but also to introduce personalization into your marketing practices.

As Tim Wu famously said in his book, we’re all attention merchants working under pressure to engage our audience.

Well, brace yourself because today it is possible to create real human, even one-on-one connections with your customers—at scale. Yep, I’m talking about dynamic videos and scaling personalization in marketing. But personalization is just one of many different use cases.

My goal here is to share everything I know about dynamic videos first-hand (duh, it’s at the core of what I do), and help you realize the potential of this type of format. I’m offering you distilled knowledge, proven tactics, and various ways you can incorporate dynamic videos into your marketing activities without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive in.

BTW, did you know that Plainly is one of the top software solutions on the market that enables you do create dynamic videos? Book a 15-min demo to discover how.

What is a dynamic video exactly?

In a nutshell, dynamic video changes depending on who’s watching the video. It has interactive elements such as animation, transitions, audio tracks, and images. It is specifically designed in a way that’s engaging to a human eye, but more importantly—you can easily swap its different elements and create dozens if not hundreds and thousands of variations.

There are certain things that need to exist in order for a dynamic video to work. You need to have an video automation software that will render video variations for you, but besides that, you also need:

  • A prepared video template
  • A data source of some kind (e.g. spreadsheet, Airtable, database, API), basically a place where you have all of your data that will go into the video stored

So, a dynamic video does exactly what it says on the tin: it dynamically changes based on the viewer that’s watching it. Truth, it requires a bit of effort upfront and but after that your video automation software does the magic.

How can you use dynamic videos in marketing?

A while ago, I wrote about dynamic video ads and how you can use them to hyper-personalize your content to the end-user to increase the chances for conversions. So just to briefly refrain on that, you can use several platforms to create dynamic videos. This allows you to change different segments of the video such as headings, product photos, offers, and CTAs—all depending on the persona you’re targeting.

It’s obvious why this works. For example, if you’re looking for a carpet for your boho-styled home, would you respond better to a video dominated by gray shades showing minimalist rugs in Scandinavian style, or a bohemian interior that emphasizes natural materials and is accompanied by copy that resonates with exactly what you want? I thought so.

how personalized ads work on different people

Dynamic video ads are also great for testing hypotheses and doing different A/B tests. But besides ads, there are many different ways you can use dynamic videos in your marketing:

From my experience, dynamic videos are the key to automating content creation. They are literally in the center of any automated video workflow. If you want to automate videos, they need to have easily interchangeable parts, static videos can’t be automated.

Did you know? Plainly has an entire section about the value of personalized videos in marketing on its blog. Go check it out!

What are the exact benefits of using dynamic videos?

When talking about benefits of using dynamic videos, we can examine them from two different viewpoints:

  • Benefits for businesses (i.e. you) who will potentially create them
  • Benefits for end users who are on the recipient side

These benefits often overlap, but let me explain.

1. Increased engagement

The main benefit I would say is increased engagement. Video as a format is more likely to grab attention and keep people glued to their screens. Now imagine if the video is something that’s a) of high interest to them and b) addresses them directly by their name. Our names are the most intimate parts of ourselves and when we hear or read them, a complex process inside of us happens that creates an instant connection.

This is why I always say that people having shorter attention spans in the 21st century is a fallacy. Yes, we are overwhelmed with content, but it’s not about having a shorter attention span, but having a more selective or more sophisticated threshold for what’s interesting. 

video personalization school names

An example of personalizing the school name in graduation videos

To put it simple, we haven’t lost our ability to focus. We have lost our tolerance for content that doesn’t meet our standards of quality or our expectations. You may wouldn’t want to watch an hour of lecture on trigonometry but you’ll gladly sit and watch the “House of Dragon”. It’s not your attention, it’s what you choose to give your attention to.

2. Improved retention and customer loyalty

Would you stay at a party that’s boring as hell, just standing in the corner and thinking how you’ll never get this time back? Yeah, me neither. Well, it’s the same with video content. If it’s not fun, educational, or awe-inspiring, you’re not likely to stick around. Because dynamic videos rely on personalization, people are more likely to stick around.

This essentially means that the viewer will soak in all the key marketing messages and watch the video until the very end. I’m sure you’re aware that the marketing funnel doesn’t end with a purchase. On the contrary, your goal is to retain your existing customers, upsell them, or even turn them into your brand advocates. Dynamic videos can help you do that. Here’s a famous example: Spotify Wrapped.

spotify wrapped feed

People love personalized videos, just look at this Spotify Wrapped feed

Near the end of every year, each Spotify user gets a personalized “report” or a yearly wrap-up of the most listened artists, albums, minutes they spent listening to music, and more. People love it and share it all across their social media platform. It sparks conversations. It’s an absolutely brilliant example of using a dynamic video to solidify the relationship you have with your existing customer base.

I already wrote about Spotify Wrapped when analyzing personalized marketing examples, so make sure to take a look. 

3. Increased conversions

This one is a no-brainer. If you speak with someone at an eye-level and personalize the message for them, they are more likely to convert. Imagine this use case: preventing abandoned online carts in ecommerce. If you own a Shopify store or any other type of online store, you are certainly doing some retargeting of users who are signed up while browsing your website.

Instead of sending them a standard reminder email about the items they didn’t purchase, imagine sending them a dynamic video that would call them by their name, list the items they didn’t buy, and include a CTA to come back to the store?

This is completely scalable, cost-efficient, and doable with a video automation software.

personalized abandoned cart videos

Nonetheless, it’s very important to rationalize how you’re going to compress your message into a short video so that it reaches the person on the other side of the screen. This includes the type of CTA. You wouldn’t want to be too aggressive with it. But just by taking an extra mile and including a video format that invites them to reconsider shopping or gives them a special offer… That could mean a whole lot of difference.

Not sure what type of personalization video software are out there? I analyzed top five solutions on the market so you don’t have to. Just read through the guide to make an informed decision.

How do you get started with dynamic videos?

If you’re wondering how to get started with dynamic videos, I invite you to book a 15-min demo for Plainly so that I can explain how everything works.

I am a big believer in automation and personalization at scale, so I promise you this wouldn’t be a pushy sales call. I would like to help you out to get started, to explain the process to you, and help you reap the benefits of dynamic videos. Because, boy, there are plenty of them.

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person using a video generator