[Case Study] Using Video to Lift Landing Page Conversion Rate by 100%

By , October 31st, 2011 in Conversion | 77 comments

I just spent 6 months trying to get a better understanding of how video impacts conversion rates. During the development days of Vidyard (when we were under PG’s reign at Y Combinator) all we had was a landing page created using Unbounce.

The landing page’s sole purpose was to collect e-mails from people that were interested in what we were building. They would be the first testers, first customers and eventually the first passionate advocates of our platform – it was important to get this right.


We used Unbounce to test the conversion of our landing page with and without a video

The VidYard “Coming Soon” landing page.
In the above image, you’ll see three lines. Challenger “D” and “H” were leveraging video in a light-box and an embedded iframe respectively. Challenger “J” was a version of our page that did not include a video.

The results are in – is video better at converting visitors? Absolutely.

Without video: (J) 6.5% average conversion rate
With video embedded in page: (H) 11% average conversion rate (69% conversion lift)
With video in lightbox modal popup: (D) 13% average conversion rate (100% conversion lift)


That’s not where this post ends though – there are a variety of things to consider when leveraging video.

Video Content

Like written text, the content needs to be engaging and explicit. Don’t over-phrase or complicate things. If the budget is there, it’s important to invest appropriately. There are a large number of providers in this space (we work very closely with BizMedia and Switch Video). The most important thing to consider is how well you work with the team and the style of content you’d like to produce.

Styles of video include talking heads, fully animated explainers, live-action, animated infographics, kinetic typography or traditional screen-casts.

We decided to leverage an animated explainer on our landing page and the results were incredibly good.

Without analytics, this part of the process is technically a gamble. The variables in effective content creation (Y) are A = Audience, V = Vertical and S = Style. Y equals some crazy combination of A, V and S and the balance needs to be perfect to get this right. Make sure you work with a company that is leveraging video engagement analytics to understand how these variables have actually impacted viewership across different spaces. Get this right, and you’re off to the races.

The Halo Effect

Video gives customers a deeper understanding of a product that can really work to reduce hesitancy on purchase or sign-up. It’s like a nice office with an attractive male or female desk attendant. The presentation and organization goes a long way to generating comfort in the purchase decision.

Analytics from Video

Good quality content is a mixture of art and science. The art is all about good design, the science is all about quality analytics. Without any conceivable metrics, the value of your content is completely qualitative and in this rap game, subjective analysis is never enough. Are you trying to justify the ROI to your boss? You’ll need to have attention span metrics, unique views, location of viewership, real-time recurring data AND metrics around how video triggers call to action.

Real-Time Dashboard Analytics

The dashboard below (from the VidYard.com interface) displays real-time analytics for the associated video above. It’s a fully interactive “live view” of the VidYard video dashboard – go ahead and play the video above to see the live results appear in the dashboard below!

Video Playback

Video has changed. Gone are the days when the only digestible medium was a PC running IE6. Now there are multiple Operating Systems, Web-browsers, File-formats and delivery mechanisms to consider.

The MOST important thing is that your video content can be delivered to everyone.

Choose the option/platform that makes this simple. Configuring key-frames, resolutions, bit-rates, audio encoding parameters, etc. isn’t something you want to do.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a big deal. There are 8 bajillion companies that can handle SEO for your site. Video SEO is an even bigger deal. When you search for something on Google, video search results show up with a thumbnail image. Video results are graced with the world’s most attractive call-to-action – the play button.

Not only that but according to Forrester, video results are 50X more likely to appear on the front-page search results. The decision is pretty simple.

Social Distribution

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are currently leading the charge when it comes to social discovery. In that regard, it’s extremely important that your video can be posted directly in your facebook feed, can be linked to via Twitter and is automatically syndicated to your YouTube channel. Sure, you can go after that yourself but it’s nice to choose a platform that “just works”. Sit back, upload, syndicate and watch the leads pour in.

Conclusion

The results are in, you need to consider video for your landing page. There are a variety of tools that are going to help you achieve this. The paramount things to look for lie in simplicity, compatibility, availability of analytics and VSEO (Video Search Engine Optimization).

There are tools to help and services to trust in making your landing page viral – that’s what it’s all about. Video is an excellent choice to help you get there.

If you have any stories or examples of pages using video successfully, please share them in the comments…

– Michael Litt

This is a guest post, all opinions are those of the author.

Michael Litt is the co-founder of Vidyard - a platform designed to solve the problem of implementing Video into your landing pages. This is done by leveraging video analytics, video SEO and call to action integration in order to enable and improve conversion. Vidyard emerged from the Summer 2011 class at Y Combinator and is now serving hundreds of businesses worldwide. Prior to building Vidyard, Michael co-founded Redwoods Media, a firm specializing in the creation of promotional video content designed to entice and engage potential customers.

Comments

  1. Oli Gardner says:

    Excellent insight Michael. We get a lot of customers asking about the impacts of video on their landing pages, so this will be a valuable resource to send people to.

  2. Video makes it easier for people to relate. In general more people refer to watching a short video than reading a really long pre-sales page
    At least to me, videos come off as more “genuine”. It also helps to have the “product” creator feature in the video to get a more “personable” effect.

    comprehensive post.. thanks

  3. We used an animation video at http://www.opentrader.com to explain the concept behind our start-up. The web is a visual medium, and attention spans seem to be shrinking. Video is the best way to not only capture, but HOLD, the user’s attention and explain your product/business in an engaging way.

    I’m gonna go check out VidYard for my company now. Check out our animation and let me know what you think – would appreciate your feedback.

  4. Michael Litt says:

    Thanks for the kind words Oli & Shamelle.

    @Awais, great site, great implementation of video. Lightboxes are by far the more engaging way of displaying content (less distractions from other written text).

    The video is fairly concise but tends to be a little on the long side, have you been collecting attention span data? Also, I couldn’t get the video to stream on either of my iOS devices, you’ll probably want to considering moving to an HTML5 compatible platform!

  5. Oli Gardner says:

    I have a question for you Michael.

    I’m wondering what were your reasons for initiating the test between embedded video vs. the lightbox version (your initial hypothesis) – and if you have any theories around why the lightbox version performed better?

    • Michael Litt says:

      Great question Oli.

      As you’ve probably noticed, the viewing experience for both types for embed (lighbox and direct) is very different. The lightbox we’ve designed creates a bit of a “theatre-mode” and creates a more interactive experience for the user.

      Since the style and experience were so different, we thought it was important to test both styles.

      The lightbox creates a tighter viewing experience. More of the content is absorbed and the attention span is generally higher for these types of embeds. You can probably imagine that this would transcend into a higher conversion rate with a well selected audience.

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