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June 19, 2024

When to Use AI-Generated Videos vs. Manually Recorded Videos in Sales Outreach

AI-generated video is like rocket fuel for your outreach...but when should you use it? Learn the best opportunities to send an AI video, and when you should record it yourself for that personal touch.

AI has had a huge impact on how salespeople like you reach out to prospects. But when it comes to sending video messages to get prospects’ attention, are AI-generated videos or manually recorded videos the better play?

It turns out that the smartest sales strategy is to use a mix of both types of video.

In this article, we’ll explore opportunities in your sales process for using AI-generated videos to lighten your workload, along with instances where manually recorded videos will make a bigger splash.

  1. Contents
  2. The Absolute State of Sales Outreach
  3. The Benefits of Using AI-Generated Video in Your Outreach
  4. 5 Opportunities to Use AI-Generated Video Outreach
  5. 4 Opportunities to Use Manually Recorded Video Outreach
  6. Bonus: Best Practices for Using AI in Your Sales Outreach
  7. Additional Resources

The Absolute State of Sales Outreach

Outreach ain’t easy. Sending out all those emails to get so few responses is beyond frustrating, not to mention a huge waste of your time. And when your boss is telling you that you need to “do more with less”? You’ve got less time, fewer resources, and less sanity than ever.

Here are a few of the challenges you’re probably facing:

  • On average, it takes about 100 emails to get one response.
  • Researching your prospects and personalizing each piece of outreach soaks up a significant amount of time.
  • The process of reaching out with the same old cold message script gets repetitive fast.
  • You have fewer resources to work with, but quotas stay the same.

In the past, we’ve talked a lot about the benefits of sending video messages as part of your buyer outreach. Video gets 16% more opens, 26% more replies, and a 4x higher click-through rate, along with a host of other benefits.

While video is an incredibly effective tool in your kit, it’s still subject to the challenges we listed above. Recording videos takes time and effort. You often get ghosted on cold outreach. Reading from the same old script as you record is about as exciting as watching grass grow. You probably don’t have a handy intern to whom you can outsource all the grunt work of video creation…

Wait, don’t you?

The Benefits of Using AI-Generated Video in Your Outreach

This is where generative AI comes in. Think of it as your personal intern, here to take care of those tasks you don’t want to do. Sales thought leaders counsel that the best application of AI is as a tool to enhance your workflow, not a full-on replacement for real salespeople (and their manually recorded videos).

Here are the benefits that AI stands to contribute to your video outreach:

  • Automated content creation: AI can generate video content for you, freeing you up to focus on more valuable activities.
  • Scalability: AI can create personalized videos at scale, without you needing to so much as turn on your camera. This lets you reach out to each and every prospect using a video tailored just for them—something that’s prohibitively time-inefficient if you’re creating all those videos manually.
  • Consistency: AI helps ensure that you and the rest of your team maintain consistent messaging across all customer touchpoints, reducing the risk of miscommunications and empowering the prospect’s overall experience with your brand.

5 Opportunities to Use AI-Generated Video Outreach

Here are some great opportunities to use AI-generated videos:

#1: First Touch/Intros

AI-generated videos are perfect for initial contact. They’re a great way to introduce your brand and your offering while creating a professional first impression—all without any manual effort required.

#2: High-Volume Outreach

When sending videos to a large number of accounts (or numerous individuals within one account), AI-generated videos are ideal for scaling your efforts without compromising on personalization.
AI can also help you categorize prospects into tracks based on roles or personas, giving you the info you need to shape your message more tightly.

#3: Meeting Reminders/Pre-Call Prep

Sending out reminders or prep materials for upcoming meetings can be the difference between a great call and a no-show. AI-generated videos are a quick way to deliver this essential information.

#4: Follow-Up Comms

Following up after meetings or calls is essential to keeping prospects engaged. You can send an AI-generated video to summarize key points and outline next steps.

#5: Language Translation

Reaching out to an audience that speaks a language you don’t? AI can translate a script you provide into a full video in that language, making it easier to communicate across linguistic boundaries.

A video thumbnail of Vidyard CEO Michael Litt
Generate Videos with Your AI Avatar A video thumbnail of Vidyard CEO Michael Litt Create your own true-to-you AI avatar, then generate full videos with just an AI prompt. Learn More

4 Opportunities to Use Manually Recorded Video Outreach

AI is an amazing time-saver, but it can’t quite do it all. There are certain instances where a personalized human touch is the way to go. Here’s when to opt for manually recorded videos:

#1: Established Relationships

If you have an existing relationship with the viewer, a manually recorded video direct from you can reinforce that connection and show that you value their partnership.

#2: Covering Important or Complex Topics

For topics that are important or require a detailed explanation, manually recorded videos are the best way to convey your message effectively and accurately.

#3: Highly Specific Messages

When your message needs to be highly specific and tailored to the viewer, a custom-recorded video ensures that all nuances are captured. (It’ll probably take more time to coach the AI on the specific details of what you’re trying to convey than it would to just record the video yourself.)

#4: Proposals/Pricing Reviews

When it comes down to proposal time, human-recorded videos are the way to go. If your prospect is potentially spending hundreds or thousands (or millions) of dollars with you, you want to build as much trust as humanly possible so they feel comfortable enough to sign on that dotted line.

A screencap of Vidyard Video Messages' sales prospecting tool.
Try The Best Video Messaging Tool A screencap of Vidyard Video Messages' sales prospecting tool. Record & send video messages with Vidyard to connect with leads, qualify better opportunities, and win more. Learn More

Bonus: Best Practices for Using AI in Your Sales Outreach

In the grand scheme of things, we’re still relatively early into the journey of finding the best ways to fit AI into our sales process. In short, it’s a work in progress. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your AI tools of choice:

  • Define Clear Use Cases. Identify specific scenarios where AI-generated videos can add the most value.
  • Segment Your Audience. Split your prospects into different personas or roles, allowing you to mold video outreach to those specific audience segments.
  • Create Messaging Frameworks. Develop consistent messaging frameworks for different stages of the buyer’s journey. This ensures that your AI-generated content aligns with your overall communication strategy.
  • Keep it Authentic. Preserve that personalized feel in your AI-generated videos by customizing key elements, like calling your viewer by name and referencing specific details that are relevant to them.
  • Combine AI and Human Efforts. Use AI-generated videos for first touches and routine tasks, then hand it off to manually recorded video for deeper engagement and complex topics.
  • Integrate with Your CRM. Explore ways to integrate AI video tools with your CRM system to automate the process of generating and sending videos based on triggers and actions within your sales pipeline.
  • Monitor and Optimize. Keep tabs on the performance of your videos, both your manually recorded and AI-generated ones. Use hard data and feedback alike to optimize your outreach strategy.

Additional Resources

The Ultimate Guide to AI in Sales | Vidyard

4 Tactics for Using AI Sales Tools to Boost Your Productivity (2024)

10 of the Best AI Avatar Generators in 2024

We Answer Your AI Avatars FAQs

The Best AI Video Editing Software (Free and Paid)

Lori Connor

Lori Connor

Lori is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Vidyard. Over the past decade, she's written everything from news stories to tech whitepapers. She travels the continent to hike, camp, and swordfight.