Video 2.0: Video Players that Convert More Viewers into Customers

The benefits of using video to convert viewers into customers are well document­ed. According to KISSmetrics, viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video. And a survey by Animoto found that 73% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or sign up for a service if they watch a branded video that explains the product.

Over the past year, we’ve learned a lot about the types of videos that influence the purchasing decisions of 53% of all consumers in the U.S. For example, ZEFR uncovered 12 different video styles and/or genres that don’t have the words “product” or “review” anywhere near them. Instead, they’re words like “unboxing,” “torture test,” “haul,” and “pickup.”

However, we are still testing the potential of video as a conversion driver. So, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the video player itself – which has changed remarkably little over time. All we can do with most video players – including the ones used by YouTube and Facebook videos – is scan title-level information (i.e., name, description, picture, duration), and play, pause, fast-forward, and rewind the linear content.

But a few innovative companies – including JW Player, Wistia, and Vinja Video – are pioneering a concept that has been called “Video 2.0.” They are creating video players that convert more viewers into customers. How?  In large part by loosely coupling content, presentation, and analytics—enabling a highly dynamic ecosystem of localization, personalization, profiling and commerce driven by big data.

Here’s a quick overview of what these pioneers are working on:

JW Player

JW Player is the largest independent video player in the world and the third largest overall behind YouTube and Facebook. The company recently announced that over 1 billion unique monthly viewers watched video on the JW Player during December, marking the first time the company has surpassed the billion viewer milestone in a single month.

One of the interactive demos featured on the JW Experiments section of their website is called “Hot Spots.” It says, “Interactive video is a concept used in many applications — marketing, eLearning, eCommerce, and digital storytelling, just to name a few. This experiment shows a simple yet effective implementation, with hyperlink icons popping in and out over the video. Icons can link to external pages, chapter markers in the current video, or to other videos.”


Wistia is a commercial service for hosting and sharing videos online.  With Pardot’s Wistia connector, users can track and monitor the success of their video marketing efforts, all from within Pardot. The Wistia connector allows marketers to:

  • See which prospects are interacting with their videos.
  • Add interactions to prospect profiles.
  • Access information on views and shares.
  • Determine engagement levels throughout each video.

According to a press release, Wistia increased conversion from its free trial program by nearly 30% percent with lead management campaigns powered by Pardot. Wistia creates, deploys and manages its online lead nurturing campaigns using Pardot, capturing the top of funnel leads for tracking and lead nurturing. With insight into the prospect, the company sends targeted emails, depending on how far along they are in the sales cycle.

Vinja Video

Vinja Video was founded on the premise that “it’s about time for web video to stop working like VCR and start working in concert with other web media. They recently released the public Beta of their cloud-based software that enables you to turn passive viewers into active consumers of the video content you want to highlight–and they want to watch–in any order they choose.

ULTA Beauty HaulULTA Beauty, a global leader in consumer cosmetics, recently launched #ULTAHAUL, featuring videos posted by guests (i.e., customers) who come home with a “haul” of merchandise that they share with followers one product at a time. Haul videos–the non-geeky first cousin of unboxing videos–started to get the attention of online retailers last year, spiking in 2013 during the week of Black Friday.

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, I will be speaking about “Testing Video for Conversions: How to Turn Viewers in Buyers” at the Conversion Conference in Las Vegas.  This session will include case studies and examples from brand side marketers regarding what problems they encountered, what tools they are using, and what results they have seen from conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Although I will cover the small steps that marketers can take by tweaking their video content, my hope is that I will be able to report the giant leaps that are possible by changing the way we select and interface with video content. That’s the promise of Video 2.0: Video players that convert more viewers into customers.

About the Author

Greg JarboeGreg Jarboe is the President and co-founder of SEO-PR, a content marketing agency. He is also the author of YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day as well as a contributor to Strategic Digital Marketing: Top Digital Experts Share the Formula for Tangible Returns on Your Marketing Investment, Complete B2B Online Marketing, and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. He is also profiled in Online Marketing Heroes: Interviews with 25 Successful Online Marketing Gurus. He’s on the faculty at the Rutgers Business School and Market Motive. He writes for ClickZ and ReelSEO. He is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

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