People are continually questioning if video can boost their conversion rates, and while video is becoming an important feature of many websites, the answer is definitely yes. If using online video wisely, you can increase the chance of a website conversion because it allows you to enhance the customer’s ability to understand or relate to an offering, demonstrate convincing features and benefits, and engage with the customers on a more personal level that will create a richer user experience on your webpage. People in general would rather watch a video online than read a 10 page explanation on any general subject.
If you really want to increase conversions with video think about how you are going to deliver the video before you go into production. A lot of marketers, who have made the right choice in considering online video, the common mistakes that some make is not thinking about how they are going to deliver the video before they produce it. So most importantly, lets talk about the three formats of video delivery on the web, known as overlay, lightbox, and embed, so we can guide you to the astonishing increases in conversions for your webpage.
First is overlay, which is when a video just essentially overlays on the page. You can put it in different areas of the page, but the point is that it fundamentally overlays over your webpage without the need of any specific space. This format really works when you already have a webpage developed and you don’t have the time to find or work with your tech guy to answer the video specifically.
Secondly, lets cover an embed which is probably the most common way a video is inserted on the web. With embed you need a specific space on that web page. The standard embed size we use is 640 by 360, so your web designer or wherever your website is designed is going to need to provide that specific space for the video to fit into. A plus is that it looks really good on the page and it also allows your page to flow seamlessly with the video. The problem is if your website is already designed and you do not think about this before you produce the videos there is going to be a problem when you get to the point when you want the video to be served and your web person or web guy hasn’t given you enough space to insert that video. So, if you are going to do an embedded video, definitely think about the size of the video and where it is going to go on the page before you get into the production process.
Last, but not least, is light box. Lightbox works off of a click, for instance if someone clicks on a graphic or a click to play video on a page. The video will then launch and the sides of the video are either blacked out, red, or different things along those lines. The lightbox is great, following the same rules of an overlay where you don’t really need a specific space. I don’t really like the lighbox for conversion activity because once the lightbox launches you’re not able to click on the page, or anywhere outside of that video. This means that if you have a lead form and you have a lightbox video someone can’t actually fill out the form while the video is playing.
Recent tests on companies who used our video spokesperson suggested that dramatic gains have been seen. I’m sure you have all heard of ClosetWorld, right? Well they added embedded video to their landing page as well as a video spokesperson, which increased their conversion rates from 0.5% to 1.0% and 2.2% respectively. Tanberg is another company that increased the conversion on their lead generation page from 0.75% to 2.2% by adding a spokesperson. Other big companies are also jumping onto the bandwagon, which I assure you will provide positive feedback in conversion rates. Other recent successes of ours include Napster, Service Magic, and Rhapsody.
While using online video to achieve higher website conversion rates be sure that you offer the choice of the video, but don’t automatically play it. It gives the viewers a sense of control, which they seem to like. Also try to keep videos short and to the point, and ensure that the video clearly supports the conversion goal and purpose of the webpage. Don’t use a video if your goal is merely to have a cool website.
Most importantly you can’t forget the three formats before you go into the production process. Number one, overlay, number two, lightbox, and number three, an embed video. If you have these specs in mind before you go into production it is going to help you a lot when you get to the delivery process. If video can increase traffic, promote engagement and ultimately help convert customers, then it is indeed in every industry’s best interest to invest intelligently and strategically in online video for your webpage.
About the Author
A media 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 put him right in the middle of the emerging media/technologies with his involvement in cable television in the early 1990s and his time in beginning years of the Yahoo! organization which gave him extensive knowledge of the online advertising and promotion business.
In 2003 John co-founded Innovate Media and currently serves as its CEO as well as an evangelist for the online video medium. Since Innovate’s founding John has managed and overseen hundreds of production projects for clients that included Canon, Bank of America, HP, Nutrisystem, eHarmony and Rhapsody and many more.
Under John’s leadership Innovate established and launched oculu.com – a stand alone online video platform that served over 100,000,000 video plays in 2010 and continues to establish itself as a technology leader in the online video delivery space. Prior to Innovate Media Cecil has held positions with such media companies as Lifetime Television, A&E Television and Yahoo!. He began his career in the media business selling cable advertising locally for Comcast Cablevision in Southern California.
A native of California, Cecil received his BA in speech from San Diego State University. He resides in Newport Beach, California with his wife, son and two daughters.