By now, as a regular reader of this blog, you must be well aware of the recurring advice we love to dish out to every reader: Use video as much as you can, and personalize your video content to the best of your limits. However, making personalized video content an essential pillar of your video marketing strategy entails one important aspect: research and preparation. Without the right insights about your target accounts/prospects, there is a chance that you fail to adequately personalize your introductory videos and emails, or, even worse, personalize them in a manner that completely misfires and does not resonate with the viewer of your videos.

When it comes to creating a waterproof research backbone for your personalized outreach endeavors, we recommend the following strategies:

Avoid Trivial Details

Co-founder of the award-winning sales training firm Vorsight, Steve Richard coined this phrase, which refers a highly focused three-tiered research strategy.

In a bid to impress prospects, salespeople often fall into the trap of finding out trivial details that may not have any impact on conversion. This may include superflous details like personal hobbies, sports affiliations, etc.

Using the right information is key.

Instead of giving into the temptation of knowing everything there is to know about a prospect, prioritize using details that are strictly relevant. A good framework for this purpose is to define the number of informational points you will use to create and customize your content. If 3 is your number of choice, you pick 3 relevant pieces of contextualized information and use it to build your pitch. While this number may vary, it is best to keep it small so that you force yourself to pick only your most potent pieces of information as the backbone for your personalized video marketing strategy.

Use Data

The internet is a treasure trove of data about any company's performance. For both public and private companies, a lot of insights can be derived from their regulatory filings as well as the message to their shareholders (more apt for public firms).

In addition to using financial and management data released by the target company itself, you can also draw parallels with competitors if data for your target account is not readily available. For instance, if you cannot figure out the priorities of a prospect which happens to be a top 5 stationery firm in the country, data from other competitors on the list can serve as a useful proxy for what makes your prospects tick. This can also be used as an effective lever in a sales pitch, as if one or more competitors have similar priorities it incites a fear of missing out in your prospects, which can be effectly harnessed by a strong salesperson.

Keeping an eye on the larger industry trends for your prospects is also an evergreen piece of advice.

Some Great Tools

This is a list of some tools regularly used by effective researchers to access curated and credible data about a company. Depending upon the designation and persona of your viewer, you usage may vary. However, these tools can cover a large number of your data requirements.

  • Crunchbase records fundraising rounds and VC activity for startups, as well as a list of top company executives.
  • Google Alerts can be set up to notify you whenever one of your target prospects is mentioned in the news. It is an especially well-suited tool to monitor strategy shifts and executive appointments.
  • Glassdoor focuses on keeping a record of company culture. This can be relevant to you if you plan to sell your product to the HR department of a target company.
  • Owler is a data aggregator for company financials as well as tracking the merger and acquisition activity in various industries. Owler also compiles lists of competitors for every listed company, which can be a godsend in cases where direct first-party data may be unavailable.

Personlization can be critical to the success of your outreach efforts, whether via video or any other medium of delivery. However, while using video, the accuracy of research rises in importance manifold, as videos have a much higher retention value and a loss of reputation due to a research mistake, therefore, can be extremely hard to repair.