Video is everywhere nowadays. Scrolling through your social newsfeed or Googling anything without seeing some autoplay video seems close to impossible. But, just because videos are on every landing page doesn’t mean they’re boosting conversions for every brand.
Video is just like any other type of content: quality matters. If you aren’t careful, you could be annoying users more than delighting them — especially with video.
Slapping a video on any landing page isn’t guaranteed to instantly boost conversions. You need to consider what type of video you’re creating, as well as how you’re presenting it.
Video may hold the bulk of user’s attention and memory, but that makes the stakes that much higher. And with only 8 seconds to nail down your user, you’re officially in the pressure cooker.
But, that doesn’t mean video isn’t worth it. Landing page videos have been seen to boost conversions up to 80%, after all. So, to help you out, here are 8 best practices for creating landing page videos that truly boost conversions.
1) Shoot HQ Video (Start With the Right Equipment)
For starters, you need to make sure that you’re creating a high quality video asset. This means no iPhone videos, no selfie-sticks, and no “winging it” on your script.
Today, in a post-digital marketing world, users expect a high quality digital experience. Having a sleek design isn’t enough to wow your users anymore, it’s a base requirement just to get your foot in the door. So, investing in some quality film equipment is well worth it.
There’s a few things you’re going to need to shoot some real high quality video, depending on what type of video content you’re developing.
The basic equipment you’ll need should include:
- Steady Cam
- Editing Software
- Box Lights
- Closed Set
- Actor and/or Model
- Green Screen Setup
Now that you have the right equipment, it’s time to actually get shooting right? Wrong.
Scripting and storyboarding your video will help you organize the points you want to make. Even if it’s a static shot and you’re only going to be talking about PPC tactics in the video, writing out a script will help give you some order and continuity.
Before you start shooting, you should also make sure your lighting is set up properly. Nothing can make a video look low quality like poor lighting or incorrect white balance.
Finally, you can get to actually shooting your landing page video.
What’s important to keep in mind here is that you work within the rule of thirds to keep your user’s eye focused on where you want it. You can see an example of the rule of thirds at work in the image below.
These may seem like little technicalities, but ensuring that your video is a piece of HQ content is a strong starting place for your landing page asset that you will build around.
Now that your video is actually shot, let’s take a look at how to optimize it for your landing page.
2) Use Closed Captioning
When placing your video on your landing page you should make sure that it’s as easily consumed by users as possible. Often times, making something “easily consumed” means making it easy to view the content without actually focusing on it.
In the case of video, it means using closed captions.
Even if your user decides to play the video with sound, captions can help clarify any terminology that may get muddled in the video. It can also simply give a sense of consistency to the video that help guide the user along. And even the color of your captions can play a helpful role.
Some video file formats support captions, while others require you upload the video file and add the captions on within the platform. Depending on where you’re originally publishing this video, you can upload different video file formats.
For example,MOV and.MP4s do not support captions when uploading. But, if you upload your video as an.SRT then you can edit your captions in your actual editing software beforehand.
Whether you decide to edit them into your original file or simply add them on during upload, making sure you’re using captions is a must.
3) Keep Video Playtime Visible
If we’re talking about keeping users attention tightly held on your video, you ought to show them how much time they’ll be investing in watching.
Showing the progress bar at the bottom of the video is a simple and easy way to boost user engagement. Be transparent and show users how long your video is upfront and how long they have left.
Modern day digital users can be considered a bit spoiled by content. And, because of this, they have a habit of jumping to the worst conclusions when it comes to waiting time. If you aren’t clear with how long your video will take, users are bound to assume they’re in for a three-hour promo video with a subpar product at the end.
So, beat them to their assumptions and make your value clear in the first five seconds. Landing page videos that are around the 90 second mark tend to outperform their longer counterparts anyways.
So, keeping your videos short and sweet (and making sure your user always knows just how short and sweet) is definitely worth it.
4) Use Animation to Explain Complex Topics
Let’s assume that you aren’t an eCommerce branding and your landing page video isn’t a direct product video. There’s quite a few different services and solutions that brands offer digital users, and some can get fairly complex.
Your landing page video is the perfect opportunity to explain your offer in a simple and fun way.
Strong animated explainer videos have been seen to boost conversions by 20% for some brands. Why? Because animation sometimes has the ability to convey context and emphasis greater than simple text.
You can watch the short video below for a great example.
You can use animation to explain different complex points or you can use to emphasize the urgency of others. The true power of animation in landing page videos is two fold:
- It’s cost-effective — as opposed to live video, the list of expenses for animation is as short as the software you use.
- Greater control over your material — you have more creative power and control with animation than you do in the live video.
Building off that second strength of animation, what would happen if you made your entire video animated?
5) Consider Going 100% Animation
Well, it turns out that going 100% animated with your video is quite possibly an awesome idea.
I mentioned above how animation gives you more control over your video. This increased control allows you to craft and synchronize the “characters” in your video and the actual “explainer” part of it.
It also helps you avoid any awkward on-screen performances from those of your employees that aren’t destined for the silver screen.
Fully animated videos simply outperform live video. And that’s from Maneesh Garg of Broadcast2World in his Unbounce Interview. So, if you’re debating whether to go digital or live action, you should lean towards your more creative side here.
6) Design Your Landing Page Around Your Video
It’s a long-considered best practice that you keep your users focused on the singular goal of any given landing page. Well, videos on landing pages are no different.
You should be optimizing your entire page to focus your user’s attention on your video (and the accompanying CTA).
Because your video is the primary asset for your landing page, you should be building the landing page around the video itself. This includes designing the page to match the tone of the video as well.
Simplifying your landing page and removing sidebars and excess navigation and info. will help keep users focused on the video. Supplying a brief summary of the video content in text to the side of the video can also tease users into clicking play.
Use a clear headline that directs the user to watch your video, and – if possible – try to get your video above the fold. Any little design tactic that can emphasize your video and draw your user’s attention closer to the play button is worth a shot here.
7) Keep Your CTA Visible at All Times
Your landing page video should obviously end in a strong CTA that directs users to convert. But that’s not the only place you should have a CTA button.
Even if you have the best landing page video in existence, not every single user is going to want to watch it.
Some will have already seen it, some will already know your brand and are already looking to convert — the list of potential reasons goes on and on.
So, to account for these varying intents on your landing page, make sure your CTA is continually visible outside the video.
You don’t want to miss out on any small number of conversions. So make sure you’re creating landing page experiences that account for users who are interested in the video and those who aren’t.
To be clear, your auxiliary CTA should match the design and copy of your video CTA. The only difference is that it should be placed outside the video so your user has a constant reminder to convert even while they watch the video. You can use sticky elements to make sure the CTA is always visible regardless of where your user scrolls.
The goal, as a general rule, is to keep your viewers focused on conversion whether they opt out of the video or are busy watching it.
8) Compress Your Files for Shorter Load Time
By this point, you’ve spent a large chunk of time shooting, animating, editing, and optimizing your landing page video. You want to make sure that it performs well enough to justify your investment (both money and time).
What does this mean? It means you want users to actually watch your video and convert on your landing page — obviously.
But, after addressing all these different aspects of landing page videos, what could possibly deter a user from watching your video? What’s left to consider?
The always daunting load speed, that’s what.
The more digitally immersed modern day users become, the more important load speed becomes to their digital experience. A laggy landing page can cost you serious conversions. The majority of online users expect a page to fully load within 2 seconds (and have usually bounced by the third). And most consumers will only give a site up to 6 seconds before giving up on it for good.
With video taking up the most bandwidth in regards to content type, it’s crucial that you compress your video files so they don’t slow down your landing page load speed.
You can test your load speed with a few of the tools below:
You’ve taken the time to invest in a high-quality piece of video content. Make sure that the awesomeness of your video isn’t hurting your actual conversions by slowing down your page. A quick file compression can make a world of difference.
Conclusion: Video is a Holistic Experience, Not an Add-On
The same goes for video as it goes for all content: quality matters. Digital consumers are growing harder and harder to impress each day.
Video content may be becoming more and more popular every day, but that doesn’t mean you can throw together some scrappy video content and expect it to convert. My agency, KlientBoost has its own in-house videographer/editor for this very reason.
Investing in video means investing in quality. Landing page videos aren’t a “cherry on top of the cake,” they are an entire cherry flavored cake from top to bottom — one that, cooked properly, is sure to satisfy your user’s sweet tooth.
Johnathan Dane is the Founder of KlientBoost, a PPC agency focusing on CRO and aggressive testing. He has grown two separate agencies to more than $5M in annual revenue in less than three years.