10 Ways to Increase Conversions with Online Video

Looking to add video content to your site? Or maybe you already use video and just want to learn how to make the most of this technology. Video is a great and innovative way to add to your website. It not only creates a personal experience for your users but it is proven to increase sales and conversion rates. But there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to use video. Go ahead and check the web yourself and see how video is changing the way websites look and communicate to viewers. Some do a fantastic job of getting your attention and others — well, you can see for yourself. This technology may be new, but we have some first hand experience on what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to incorporating video to your site. Ready to learn more? Read on for some tips and tricks on using video for your website.

Keep It Simple

A long form video is great if that’s what you are looking to do. But this is the web and you are not trying to win an Academy Award. Keep your video short and to the point. Anything longer than a minute and you are going to lose your audience! Don’t lose their attention! Your video is online and on the web- a platform where users have notoriously short attention spans. Let them know the gist of your product or why they should fill out a lead form and that’s it. Our clients usually always want to go longer but the results aren’t always what they are looking for. So get it right the first time and keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with the length of your video!

Video Quality is Key

Having a professional looking video on your site is important. If it’s going to scream “I did this in my mother’s basement with her old Super 8,” then what’s the point? An amateur looking video makes you, your site, and your product look just that amateur. So go above the stuff you find on YouTube and invest in good quality cameras, great lighting equipment, and a decent editing program. And remember that professional isn’t always synonymous with expensive. Yes, you can do this yourself for a price. But there are also companies who exclusively create professional quality online videos which will save you significant amounts of time, money and stress.

Who’s Got Talent?

Video spokespersonThere are a lot of things you need to focus on when it comes to video. It’s visual content that will keep the eyes of your consumers on whose speaking: your talent. Whether you choose to go with the CEO of your company or pick a professional actor as your video spokesperson, remember that all eyes will be on who you select. The message you intend to give to your viewers about your site is in the hands of this individual. No pressure or anything. Ask yourself, “What demographic are we trying to reach?” “Who would be the best fit to speak directly to them?” Keep in mind age, gender, and clothing and hair styles. Like it or not, this person is representing YOUR company so make sure they look and dress the part. In our experience it’s definitely worth the money to go with hired talent. It may look like an easy job, talking to a camera, but trust us looks can be deceiving. These individuals are professionals- they know how to perform in front of a camera, in a studio with a large production crew. Can your CEO do that?

Location Location Location

Where on your site is your video going to be? On the homepage to greet your visitors or on a lead form? Are you having a video that is a part of your website itself or is it a walk on spokesperson? Keep in mind video placement and how you can best utilize this to your marketing advantage. The best place to put your video is where there will be some sort of conversion activity, either through a sale or a form to fill out. Can’t place it there? Then do the next best thing and have the video send your visitors to a place where there is going to be a possible conversion, such as a shopping cart to complete a sale.

Let the Script Speak for Itself

A big problem we have noticed with our clients who write their own scripts for video productions is that they tend to go on and on and on. They repeat the same information over and over again, take pages to get to their agenda, or want to include everything about their company in a one minute long video. Don’t underestimate your consumers! Give them just the information they need to know in the script. If you’re selling a product, give them information on that. If you want them to fill out a lead form tell them why. Continually repeating the same information, taking to long to get to your point, or overselling your product is a waste of time and definitely not going to get you the results you want. Put simply: it’s boring. Let your product, and therefore your script, speak for itself.

Precise video= Precise message

Speaking of going on and on. I can’t explain to you enough the importance of having a professional and precise video. A precise video means a precise message about your product. Got it? The more viewers who become interested in your product mean the more sales or conversions for you. Let’s be honest here. People are online to get information. When they go to your site they are attempting to learn more about your company, product, etc. The video you have there should give these viewers exactly what they want- information. They aren’t sitting there with a bag of popcorn waiting to be entertained. If you want to keep your audience, give them the information they need to become a consumer!

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Give your users control

There’s nothing worse than going to a site that suddenly takes over your computer as if it has a mind of its own. We’ve all been there- you click on a site you are interested in and out of nowhere comes the loud music or the annoying video that will just not stop playing. Give your users the freedom and options of controlling the video and sound on your site. This means having volume controls, play and pause buttons, and if your video warrants it, chapters or fast forward and rewind options. This isn’t about losing video users on your site; it’s about creating an enjoyable user experience. Don’t bombard your viewers with an unyielding video or you may just not have any.

Or Take Control Yourself

In some cases you may want to add non- user initiated video to your site instead of the user initiated video described above. It’s really a matter of choice and what is going to work best for your specific website and industry. It’s not a bad idea to run tests of your videos to gain some perspective on how your customers are reacting. Figure out if non user generated video causes your visitors to abandon your site or if user generated video is being viewed as much as you like. A little knowledge can give you a lot of insight on what video formats will be the best match for your site.

Green Screen

Start using some of the newest technology for videos on the web. Filming in front of a green screen can create borderless video designs for your website. Just check out some of our own Innovate Ads videos to see for yourself. Incorporate graphics, pictures of your products, all with a video spokesperson speaking to your viewer. With green screen technology for your video the options can literally be endless.

There is a right way and a wrong way to add video content to your website. When done correctly, it’s a great way to attract more visitors and therefore more business to your site. More importantly it’s going to increase your conversions. I can’t say it enough- online video WILL increase your conversions when done correctly! And when done incorrectly? Well, it can leave you and your company looking less than reliable.

About the Author

John CecilA media sales and marketing expert, John Cecil has over 15 years of media experience that includes strategy, sales, marketing, business development, advertising, branding, PR and affiliate marketing across every medium in the industry. His career has put him right in the middle of emerging media/technologies with his involvement in cable television in the early ’90’s and his time in the beginning years of the Yahoo! organization which gave him extensive knowledge of the online advertising and promotion business. To learn more about online video go to www.innovatemedia.com

10 thoughts on “10 Ways to Increase Conversions with Online Video

  1. Great suggestions John. I truly expected to see a video – would have really helped to drive the point home.

  2. Great content, john

    i’ll have to come back to read this again, and again till it sinks in.

    Never thought of using video before, but it sure’s makes alot of sence, of why
    to use video in marketing and building trust with your customer’s…

    Libertyed 🙂

  3. Great points and I agree that video will be very important and needs to look professionally done. That’s our problem, we are a small business that needs help with professional video production. Can your team help us even if we are not based in CA?

  4. Hi John,

    I was interested to read your comments about the need for good production quality, and to “go above the stuff you find on YouTube”. Personally I’ve always thought that people are more likely to take action if they believe something to be honest and true – not just there for the purpose of marketing?

    Do you think that your advice would very much depend on the content of the video, the audience, and the intended conversion? Have you done any testing to rate increasing production quality against conversion rate?

    I’d love to know more.


  5. @Brian Naab
    Brian – I suggest you work with a company that has a studio and hires actors/actresses to promote your messages via video. With that scenario its not necessary for the company you work with to be local. we have customers across the country and shoot everything in southern California. As far as the costs go it has to be a conversion thing. What will the video do to increase your conversion and will it offset the cost of production? If done correctly the videos should “pay” for themselves

  6. @Blair Keen

    hi blair – we do a lot of A/B testing video against video – mostly testing talent against each other (male vs female etc……). The one interesting variable is that there is always a clear winner from a conversion standpoint. We have tested bad quality vs good quality but the effort was more a part of a talent vs talent test. In both cases the better quality video won but that might have been a case of the actor connecting better with the market and not the quality issue.

    A good quality vs bad quality test would be very interesting and would have a lot of variables

  7. Haha. I went to your site after reading this. I immediately clicked to view the video in the upper left. Once that one started playing another another lady walked out of the bottom right of the site and both were jabbering at the same time. Not a fan. Keep it simple. Aren’t you an expert or something?

  8. Thanks for a very interesting and helpful article!

    I’m just about to produce my own video for our on-line travel agency website. We are a new company, so transparency and trust are two key factors for us! Do you have had a client from the travel industry? Please, let me know! I would love to learn from others!

    Thanks a lot again for great tips!


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