|TL;DR: It’s not easy to choose a personalized video software that will allow you to create customized videos at scale just the way you want to. This is why I analyzed and compared five different personalized video marketing solutions. Check out what Pirsonal, Shotstack, Motionlab, SundaySky, and Plainly can do for you.|
If you’re at a stage where you want to level up your marketing game through personalized videos, you need the proper tools to do your best work. There is a plethora of personalized video software out there, and evaluating which one would be the best fit for you takes time.
Before launching Plainly, I did extensive research on existing software and signed up for free trials where possible to explore available features, and user-friendliness, and test the limitations of each individual personalized video marketing solution out there. After all, it was my due diligence given the fact I was entering a fairly competitive market.
To help you make the right choice here’s my honest and objective review of five completely different personalized video software: Pirsonal, Shotstack, Motionlab, SundaySky and Plainly.
|Plainly lets you combine a video template of your choice and any data source (database, spreadsheet, API) to automate personalized video creation. Want to see it in action? Book a 15-min demo.|
The criteria for evaluating personalized video software
In the table beneath, you can see which criteria I took in mind while coming up with the list of potential personalized video marketing software you should consider.
|Criteria||Why it matters|
|User-friendliness||In addition to the actual features, you should evaluate the learning curve of the personalized video software. You may want to start creating custom videos at scale right away, BUT if the software is a bit more complex, it will affect your desired campaign launch times.|
|Customer support||Imagine this: you’re playing around with your personalized video marketing solution and then you encounter a bug. How quickly can you expect to receive support from the vendor? Or are you forced to read through tons of documentation and troubleshoot yourself?|
|Pricing||Obviously, you want to get good value for your money. How transparent is the pricing of the personalized video software you’re considering? Based on what are they charging you? Are there any hidden fees? What do you get within each pricing plan?|
|Best for a certain type of user||Not all personalized video software are built for the same audience. Some require more tech knowledge, others are perfect for no-code lovers, while there are also solutions suitable for different types of users. This is why I gave my best judgment on which tool is suitable for a certain type of user or organization.|
|API & integrations||Do you want to create custom workflows when working on your personalized videos? How smooth do you expect the process of automation to work? Are there any favorite tools you’d like to connect to the software? Checking how powerful the API is and what are the available integrations is important.|
Option #1: Pirsonal as a personalized video software
Pirsonal is a cloud-based personalized video marketing solution. It allows you to render and mix videos, images, audio, and text in order to create unique campaigns for your customers. It is based on a drag-and-drop technology and you can edit the videos in the browser, which is somewhat an industry standard.
What I like: Creating templates is rather simple and the choice of available templates you can use (if you don’t want to start from scratch) is solid. However, some features do require technical knowledge in order to make the most of them. I’m mentioning this just so you don’t assume it’s sort of like a “plug-and-play” personalized video software. I mean, it is, but only to a certain extent.
Credits: Pirsonal Youtube Channel
What could be improved: The client delivery system could be improved. Pirsonal offers Zapier integration which solves for around 2000 apps on the market. But just like their own customer support team said, they are working on making it easier for any organization to integrate with Pirsonal system seamlessly.
Pricing: Pirsonal offers four different pricing plans that cover more than just personalized video editing software. Pricing starts at $149 per month.
Value for money: In my opinion, Pirsonal is more like a one-stop shop for creating personalized video experiences (e.g. they offer analytics and landing page creation), which might be too much. Or to be more precise, it might not be something that a marketer, who’s only getting started with including personalized videos in the marketing mix, really needs. A bit pricey for a starter’s plan.
|Are you a marketer trying to figure out how to leverage user-generated content? Learn more about the easiest way you can create branded user-generated videos on autopilot.|
Who’s it for: If you need a more robust personalized video marketing solution, you have a team that plans on creating personalized videos on a regular basis, and you have a solid budget, then this is a fine option.
Overall score: 4/5
Option #2: Shotstack as a personalized video software
Shotstack is a good option for more tech-savvy teams that want full control over their personalized videos. It is essentially a cloud-based video editing API. By relying on Shotstack’s SDK, you control the tech stack you want to use. For developers, the entire process is quite intuitive: you create applications, post the edit to Shotstack Cloud API which then renders the video, and then you download the video in your preferred format – HD, SD, mp4, or gif.
What I like: From a user perspective, I liked how simple it was to get started. You don’t need to make any payment upfront or leave your credit card number. A free trial is truly free, and the videos that you render come with a Shotstack watermark. This gets removed if you decide to subscribe. Documentation is really comprehensive and the API works great. Overall, it’s a personalized video marketing tool that offers a good experience for new users.
What could be improved: From my experience with it, it seems like their app is pretty limited when it comes to templates. I didn’t find a way to build any complex templates. The only thing i was able to create were pretty simple, slide-show-like templates. To build a template, you have to write a JSON file and put the elements on a timeline that way. I liked Pirsonal’s template builder more, but again, Shotstack is more oriented toward developers who might actually prefer JSON over a visual creator.
In addition to developers, Shotstack targets startups and creative agencies as their customer segments. There is definitely value in not being forced to break the bank with upfront investments in infrastructure and development, not to mention engineering and maintenance overheads get eliminated. Still, I’d say the learning curve is not that mild.
|Are you a developer curious about what’s on the market when it comes to video APIs? Check out my comparison of 3 major video creation APIs.|
Pricing: Shotstack offers four different pricing plans that differ depending on the number of minutes available and a number of images used within the video. Storage and bandwidth also vary. Still, the starting plan is quite affordable: only 49$ per month.
Value for money: Pricing makes Shotstack quite competitive on the market. The obvious shortcoming lies in the fact it requires technical knowledge to make the most of it.
Who’s it for: In my opinion, Shotstack is a great option for marketing teams that do have technical support or developers that want to build automated video workflows.
Overall score: 3.5/5
Option #3: Motionlab as a personalized video software
Motionlab is a personalized video marketing platform based in the cloud. It allows video creators, data managers, and campaign analysts to work from a single workspace, deploy different language variations to their videos, and test video quality in a secure sandbox.
|Need a bit of inspiration? I analyzed 7 personalized video marketing examples to help you get started.|
What I like: I’m a sucker for great design paired with great functionality, and I got to hand it to the Motionlab team, the interface is really neat. I like the dark mode and the high performance of the tool. It’s really easy to stay on top of all your personalized video campaigns and choose the type of dynamic element you want to change (e.g. text, image, map, voiceover, scene). You can also add CTA buttons to the video with just one click. Additionally, it truly is a collaborative platform with easy-to-understand analytics.
What could be improved: Their pricing model, I’d say. It seems a bit weird to me to charge per video instead of video length, since not all videos are of the same complexity.
Pricing: Motionlab is not really transparent about its pricing. They only mention they have “flexible pricing plans” in their FAQ section, so you’d need to contact their sales to get more information. Software review websites such as Sourceforge and GetApp state that Motionlab charges €0.19 per video.
Value for money: Unfortunately, I can’t really provide a detailed answer here because pricing is custom-made for each separate client.
Who’s it for: Motionlab is a personalized video software that’s more suited for enterprise-level companies and bigger organizations. Industries they focus on include e-commerce, utilities, and finance. Think brands and agencies as opposed to individual creatives.
Overall score: 4/5
Option #4: SundaySky as a personalized video software
SundaySky, alongside Idomoo, is one of the oldest personalized video tools on tools on the market. They started doing purely personalized videos for customer experience, but recently they also started offering easy template based video creation. They’re trying to compete with tools like Biteable or potentially even Canva in the future.
What I like: I appreciate SundaySky as one of the OG’s in personalized video. Over many years they built a really feature rich platform.
What could be improved: Although they started doing only personalized videos for enterprises, they are now venturing into other areas of video. Having a lack of focus will lead to a clunky platform that has a bit of everything but may miss key features. Also, SundaySky is for enterprises – that means long sales processes, a lot of hoops to go through, and not an easy setup process.
|Prefer to play around with video personalization yourself? I got you: check out this ultimate guide to personalized video production and learn how to do it, step by step.|
Pricing: N/A (custom pricing for every client)
Value for money: If you’re a large enterprise, value for money is good – if it wasn’t SundaySky wouldn’t exist for so long. If you’re anything except that you can probably expect to pay a premium because of minimum commitments and large yearly contracts.
Who’s it for: Large enterprises that want to do giant personalized video marketing campaigns.
Overall score: 4/5
Option #5: Plainly as a personalized video software
Plainly is a proof that you can have your cake and eat it. I noticed that there was an obvious gap in the market. There wasn’t a tool that allows you to easily create templates in a design industry standard tool like After Effects, which has a user-friendly Web App for setup & rendering, and also a powerful API for more advanced users.
What I like: Plainly favors simplicity and functionality over flashy features. I wanted to ensure you’d be able to get the job done well without minimum hassle.
- For developers, this means effectively working with API and setting everything up in just three steps (template creation, Plainly setup, integration setup).
- For creatives, it means reducing manual work and automating the creation of video variations (yes, you can create videos from spreadsheets and leverage bulk video creation).
- For no-code lovers, it’s giving the ability to create automated workflows with tools such as Zapier and Integromat.
What could be improved: This isn’t actually a matter of improvement, but a matter of controlling the product roadmap. Plainly is still fresh on the market and is extensively relying on user feedback in order to ensure the features are exactly what the market needs.
Pricing: Three simple pricing plans that vary depending on video minutes, storage, and video retention. Monthly plan starts at $59.
Value for money: Combined with responsive support and high-quality tutorials and examples you can use for learning and inspiration, it’s a pretty good deal.
Who’s it for: Great value for both developers, creatives, and no-code lovers.
Overall score: 5/5
How to choose a personalized video marketing solution
This article deliberately looks into five different personalized video marketing solutions so that you can get a good feel of your options.
Here are some of the things you should consider:
- The budget you have available
- The technical capabilities of your team
- How often you will use the personalized video marketing solution
- What product documentation is available
- How are templates created
- How functional is the API
- How often do product updates and releases happen
- What level of support do you get
- What is the quality of learning resources the company provides
Additionally, think about where you’re willing to compromise to save a few bucks. Then categorize features by using the following framework:
|Importance of the feature||What it means|
|Essential||Your personalized video software MUST have this feature (e.g. a powerful API, the capability to pull data from spreadsheets).|
|Conditional||Features that are not critical, but could positively impact productivity or help you work smarter (e.g. various integrations available).|
|Nice to have||Features that are not necessary at all, but could be a nice addition if available (e.g. video previews, immediate distribution to marketing channels).|
Summary of my top 5 personalized video software picks
Pirsonal is more of a drag and drop solution, but it offers so much more than just a way to create personalized videos. It’s a solid option for those who are less tech-savvy, but it also implies your team wants an advanced way to measure video performance and create more holistic personalized campaigns across several channels.
Shotstack is purely technical. Their capabilities are quite solid but their template creation is not that simple.
Motionlab is a personalized video software that’s more suited for enterprise-level companies and bigger organizations.
SundaySky is great if you’re an enterprise that wants to do cloud-based drag-and-drop video creation and not only personalized video marketing campaigns.
Last but not least, Plainly is a personalized video software that gives you the ability to create amazing templates, have a user-friendly Web App that allows you to customize your project, and a powerful API for creating complex integrations (or just connecting Plainly with your favorite app using Zapier/Integromat. It is the future of automated video production, which is talking personally to 1000s of customers individually.
I like saying that Plainly is similar to having a team of video-making robots working for you. They cost less than a full-time video editor, they create videos 24/7, and they never rest. But don’t take my word for it: book a demo today to see it in action
Frequently asked questions about personalized video software
How much does personalized video software cost?
Depending on the vendor, personalized video software can cost anywhere from $59 to $599 per month. Some software companies have the “pay-as-you-go” pricing model where you pay for each individually rendered video.
What influences the cost of personalized video software?
The cost of personalized video software can be determined by many factors: duration and/or resolution of your video, video dimensions, frame rate, storage and transfer fees. Plainly takes into account the total minutes of your video, the amount of storage you need, and video retention time. Check out Plainly pricing here.
What are some of the common use cases for personalized video software?
Personalized video software can be effectively used in sales and customer acquisition, onboarding processes, email marketing, customer support, social media campaigns, and more. Customized videos that are tailored for each individual result in better conversion rates, stronger customer relationships, increased brand awareness, and improved retention.