Personalized and interactive videos for publishing industry are a breakthrough for marketing, communication, and reader retention. In this post, we’ll learn how to make the most of this formidable tool.

We have chosen to dedicate an entire cycle of articles to the publishing industry, focusing on the digital aspects that, today more than ever before, revolve around the book and the relationship with readers. 

We have chosen to do so right now, in the middle of this very complicated period triggered by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic (especially now that we are beginning to see the first lights at the end of the tunnel): and it was certainly not a random choice. 

The Italian publishing sector, in fact, recorded surprising signs of vitality and resilience, which led it to close 2020 with an unexpected plus: precisely +2.4% compared to 2019. his data emerged from an in-depth survey focused on the Italian landscape with an expanded view on European trends. You can see it here (source: ilPost). 

We started from here, in our first post of the series, where we focused on the best marketing strategies for the present and the future of the Publishing Industry

Then we asked ourselves a question: what has been the pillar of industry resilience in these complicated months? More accurately, what has been the source of this resilience, this rapid adaptability in such a dramatic and unpredictable situation? 

The answer is very clear: digital. We focused on the importance of digital in the entire book supply chain in the second post of the series, which you can read here: Digital Publishing – the new role of publishing in the digital age. 

Below, we have chosen to be even more concrete and zoom in on one digital tool in particular: video


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We are talking about the type of content that, online, is most effective: in terms of ease of use, ability to capture attention, adaptability to different channels, and involvement. 

That’s why we dedicated an entire post to creating a video strategy for companies in the publishing sectorSpecifically, we emphasized that there are three main pillars around which to structure a video strategy: 

  1. Ask yourself, “who are we?” What is the image that we want to portray? What is our “tone of voice”? Is it solid? Is it recognizable? How important is consistency and how important is some degree of elasticity? 
  2.  Pay attention to the channels through which we distribute our videos: There are different and very precise rules and best practices for each channel. The perspective must be omnichannel. 
  3.  Understand our target audience. Here, we come to the really decisive point. In this field, we need to have a firm grasp on this awareness: today, we’re no longer talking about a generic “target.” We are able to be much more precise and “tailor-made.” Today, with the right tools, it is possible to identify more targets, target audiences that are increasingly specific, up to the point of intercepting individuals with tailor-made, one-to-one messages. 

Here, in this last point falls the technology of personalization, which specialized companies like Doxee deal with. A technology that can give rise to absolute cutting-edge solutions such as personalized videos for publishing. And that’s exactly what we’ll focus on in the remainder of this post. 

The starting point? The data. 


Beyond Big Data: publishing restarts from here 

 It is often said that data is the new oil, the most precious asset of the digital era and that everything will increasingly revolve around it. 

It’s true. But, beware! Here, we must be careful that this precious asset does not turn into slogans that are used for all industries and all situations, indiscriminately.  

What do we mean?  Let’s start by defining  Big Data:  

Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation. This is a technical definition provided by Gartner. 

But how does it translate into practice? 

To put it briefly: Big Data is the most advanced tool for getting to know the customer in front of you, your target, your actual and potential customers (even if it’s a numerically endless audience) as much as possible. In short, it’s an absolutely modern way of doing something that has always been effective in the world of commerce: addressing everyone in a personalized way. 

In the specific case of the publishing industry, data becomes the best digital ally for getting to know the readers, their characteristics, their tastes, their habits…and consequently, their desires.  

Not only that! An in-depth analysis of data allows us to understand how all of this varies in time and space, depending on the parameters we are interested in. 

And where is this data to be found? Practically everywhere. 

All of us, all the time, leave an enormous number of “digital traces” online. When we carry out searches on search engines, when we make purchases on Amazon or in online bookstores, when we express opinions or leave feedback on the books we have read, when we talk about them on social networks; but also when we join loyalty programs in a bookstore chain, or when we subscribe to the newsletter of our neighborhood bookstore.  

The challenge for the players in the publishing industry is to learn how to collect all this information, cross-reference it, analyze it, and interpret it in the broadest way, but above all, in a way that is functional to their business. 

The final objective is to have the most detailed “snapshot” of their reference audience, both actual and potential. A constantly updated picture and one where it is possible to zoom in, to frame, in fact, the individual. 


Turn data into personal relationships 

We said above that, above all, data is valuable for really getting to know who you’re dealing with– your audience. 

 You can start with the big numbers, to identify “sentiment” and how this varies over time (even better if you can do so with a well-researched geolocation perspective). But you can go much further. 

It is possible, in fact, to widen your view to subdivide the target into many segments that gather individuals with homogeneous characteristics, on an anagraphic, geographic, behavioural basis (or, better, on all of this together). And on these bases conduct data-driven marketing and communication operations, which are certainly more effective than campaigns that target the masses. 

The final objective, however, can and must be even more ambitious: to really get to know individual readers, to build communications tailored to each one, to move from a cold, one-to-many communication to a truly one-to-one communication, one that is much more intimate and close. In short, starting from data collection to establish real personal dialog, with the aim of cultivating loyal and lasting relationships with individuals. 

But how is it possible to do all this in the world of big data? 

The solution once again comes from digital. It’s called personalization, and it’s what specialized companies like Doxee are all about. Without getting too technical, we’ll talk about a specific aspect of this in the next section, that of personalized videos. 

“The marketing breakthrough that brands need,” an article in Forbes magazine called them. 

What is it all about? And how can personalized videos be adapted for publishing? 


What is a personalized video? How do you build it? And how is it distributed? 

Let’s start by answering the first question: a personalized video is a video that adapts to the characteristics of individual recipients based on their characteristics. 

In concrete terms, then, how is it created? 

Of course, automatically: with scenes selected based on the data of each individual recipient, with personalized texts and banners, ad-hoc chosen images, and personalized voice thanks to text-to-speech technologies and the audio library; in short, a unique and customized narration. This is how Doxee Pvideo® personalized videos work. 

But that’s not all: Doxee Pvideo® is also interactive.  So it’s not only a user-oriented tool, but a real bi-directional communication channel, with the possibility of inserting customized calls to action, pop-ups, both useful paths for upselling and cross-selling actions. 

All of this, in the final analysis, is transformed into a surge in conversion rates, in loyalty. To put it another way: it’s transformed into an increasingly intimate (but discreet) closeness with the reader. 

Finally, through which channels are personalized videos for publishing distributed? 

There are the more direct ones, such as email marketing: naturally, starting with efficient management of the company’s CRM systems. But you can also go through dedicated apps or messaging. 

And social? Yes, you can also use social media channels. Also in this case, the key word is omnichannel.  

All of this is made possible thanks to PURL protocols: we’re talking about a personalized URL that makes the content accessible only to the intended recipient and only for a limited time.  

Here, in conclusion, the digital revolution is perfectly accomplished, even in the book publishing sector. With the most advanced tools, we are doing something very old: putting the reader back at the center, building a dynamic and contemporary world around the book itself, re-creating a close, personal, and lasting relationship. 


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