This article was originally posted on AiThority

Once considered a budding trend to give your marketing strategy an edge, personalization is now essential to the success of ad campaigns for brands. According to a recent study by Salesforce, 52% of consumers anticipate their advertisements to be personalized. This expectation applies to all channels––including video. As engagement continues to rise, a Marketing Charts report states that almost half of customers are more likely to engage with video ads if it’s relevant to their interests.

Because of these findings, brands are trying to cut through the noise and have found success in using data and storytelling to improve engagement and conversion rates. However, it’s not as easy as some might think. Below are a few tips marketers can use to have success with personalized video ads across social media.

Apply Data to Drive Relevance

Customers are paying more attention to how and where their information is being used today more than ever before. Instead of third-party cookies, brands can use basic contextual data, such as time and weather to personalize video ads on social media without overstepping customer data boundaries.

For example, Buddig launched a recent campaign to establish itself as an accessible ‘lunchtime anytime’ brand. Buddig’s social ads were directed towards customers with an active, on-the-go lifestyle by leveraging omnichannel personalization. Buddig communicated the national campaign to customers through videos that included personalized messaging specific to the time of day or day of the week.

Comparatively, Hawaiian Tropic used contextual triggers with a goal of increasing brand awareness among young females in the United Kingdom. This goal was achieved by running 6-second, personalized video ads across Instagram stories that were triggered by data such as location, temperature and local events. Using this simple, contextual data, both brands were able to execute successful ad campaigns while remaining non-intrusive to customers.

Use First-Party Data to Hyper-Personalize

As we move closer to the inevitable ban on third-party cookies, first-party data is top of mind for marketing professionals across the globe. Leveraging consented customer data, such as from a loyalty program or CRM, is one of the most effective and safest ways to engage consumers with personalized ads. Many brands have already utilized this strategy, such as the hospitality giant Marriott, for successful social media ad campaigns.

Powered by its 120 million-member loyalty program, Marriott developed an award-willing personalized video ad campaign that encouraged members to bid for curated experiences with their loyalty points. The ads pulled a set of three different experiences based on the viewer’s membership level. Because points change frequently, Marriott refreshed their ads on a regular basis to ensure the experiences remained applicable to the membership tier of the viewer.

This campaign is a testament to the notion that personalization can and should be prioritized without using intrusive data. Even though Google delayed the ban on third-party cookies, its days are numbered. Marketers need to familiarize themselves with rich first-party data and use it to their advantage now to create a seamless transition.

Share a Unique Story with Every Consumer

One of the most important aspects of video campaigns is the ability to tell a story to your audience. With social media personalization, brands can leverage first-party data to tell different stories that speak to their target audiences, thus creating a more impactful campaign.

Take the Unilever ice cream brand Unicornetto, for example. By using a 6-minute video that displayed a teen romance story, Unicornetto created multiple shorter versions that were shown to viewers based on variables like time of day, interests, and gender. The audience was shown ads in a series, where the next video ad was selected based on how much content was consumed in the previous ad to reach a conversion goal of viewers ultimately watching the entire video.

Personalization has proven to be a requirement in digital advertising and will carry its relevance into the future of a cookie-less world. And the same holds true for video ads in particular. By using contextual data, brands can turn their social media ad campaigns into stories that make every touchpoint relevant to their audience.