We’ve talked about the importance of great landing pages many times before, but what about video landing pages? Including video in your landing pages can seem tempting, but as with most things, just because you can use video doesn’t mean you necessarily should. So, should you?
In this post, we’ll be looking at what video landing pages are, the types of businesses that can benefit from the inclusion of marketing videos in their landing pages, and some examples of video landing pages done well.
They’re pretty much exactly what they sound like – video landing pages are landing pages with embedded video to help illustrate the value of the product or service on offer.
Usually, the video on the landing page is embedded in a standalone player, such as YouTube or Vimeo, alongside static images and text using standard HTML code. It’s uncommon for a video landing page to be a full-screen “multimedia experience,” but it’s probably been tried by a movie studio or a fancy startup somewhere in Brooklyn.
Aside from looking great (if handled correctly and produced to a high standard), video landing pages have several benefits that their traditional counterparts just can’t match. Let’s talk through some of the benefits of video landing pages.
If your business offers a complex product – if, say, you’re a SaaS company like WordStream – video landing pages are an excellent way to cover and explain a lot of information in a short period of time.
Videos can walk a prospect through using a product or service, explain intricate nuances of the product much faster and effectively than text could, and even illustrate the benefits of using your product or service in a more attractive, engaging way.
They may not know it yet, but if you can manage to entertain your prospects, you stand a much higher chance of them actually converting. Why? Because people respond positively to emotional cues.
One of the biggest challenges to increasing conversion rates is actively engaging your prospects, and this is an area in which video can excel. If you can grab – and sustain – your audience’s attention, converting them will be much easier. Whether you accomplish this through the use of animation as we did in the example video above or through other means (such as comedy), video landing pages offer you the unique opportunity to make your product and business entertaining – a considerable challenge for plain old text-based landing pages.
Just as most people respond positively to emotional cues, many prospects will respond positively to videos that provide them with genuine value. If your video landing page can accomplish this and get them to convert, it reinforces the value of your brand in the mind of the prospect – a win-win for everyone.
We did this recently with a video we produced in partnership with Perry Marshall & Associates. To coincide with the launch of the fourth edition of Perry’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, Larry recorded a “hidden” chapter of the book that offered even more AdWords advice. In this instance, the video itself was part of the offer, and while this wasn’t created specifically for a landing page per se, it serves as a great example of how video can further increase value for the prospect and take further actions.
The easy answer is that virtually any business can benefit from using video in their landing pages. However, as with anything else, video landing pages can be particularly beneficial to certain businesses more so than others.
Let’s face it – not everyone gets to work in the playing-guitar-underwater-while-surrounded-by-great-white-sharks-vacation industry.
Yes, you can actually pay money to do this.
Unlike the lucky people who sell adventurous vacations to wealthy daredevils, some of us have to sell insurance, boxes, and other vital yet unappreciated products. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up by using video to make your products a little more appealing.
Of course, sometimes your product is so exciting that mere words and pictures cannot adequately do it justice – video to the (heroic, cinematic) rescue! If your company offers a sexy, exciting product, video landing pages are the perfect way to make them shine and convince prospects to go the distance and convert.
Now that we’ve established that virtually any business can benefit from video landing pages, we have to ask some difficult questions about how to use video in your landing pages without tanking your conversion rates.
Ordinarily, this question is a no-brainer. There are few things more annoying than having a video play automatically when you arrive on a page. It’s even more annoying when you can’t find the playback controls. However, while giving your audience control over when to play a video is generally a good idea in most cases, doing so on video landing pages can be risky.
Firstly, your prospect may not realize that they’re supposed to hit “Play” right away, leading to confusion and them possibly even abandoning your landing page altogether. Secondly, you literally only have seconds to capture and hold your prospects’ attention – precious time that your sleek, professionally produced video could be losing with every passing second.
However, people’s dislike of auto-play videos is not something you should toy with. Ultimately, the only way to decide if your video should play automatically is to A/B test two versions of your video landing page; one with an auto-play video and one that gives that control to the user.
The next question you might be asking yourself is how long videos on your landing pages should be.
In my experience, people almost always overestimate how long a video should be, and how long it will take to produce. No matter how well-produced your video might be, or how valuable the information on offer, attention spans are finite, so resist the temptation to include an epic, eight-minute video on your landing pages unless you’re absolutely sure that doing so is justified.
If you can, produce several versions of a video, each of a different duration, and test them. I’d recommend shorter videos for landing pages, ideally around 90 seconds – just long enough to convey the essential information about your product or service, but not so long that you risk boring your visitors into bouncing before they convert.
Many companies use animation to illustrate complex concepts, including WordStream. Animation can be a lot of fun and highly effective, but it’s also a lot of work and can drive up your production costs considerably.
If you don’t have a videographer who knows animation in-house, you’ll have to outsource the work to a production company – and it won’t be cheap. Depending on the duration of your video, the complexity of the animation you’re trying to achieve, and the deadline to which you’re working, the costs could easily run into several thousands of dollars.
Alternatively, software packages such as Adobe After Effects allow you to create impressive animated compositions, which can be exported into complementary editing packages like Adobe Premiere, but these programs are complex and take time to learn. They also require suitably powerful hardware, as video production can be very demanding of your computer’s memory and processor.
Animation isn’t for everyone, nor does every video demand it. If you can afford it, and it works for your project, by all means go for it – but don’t stress out or break the bank if all you need is a simple video of a representative of your company.
People could be viewing your landing pages on a range of devices. They might be looking at your landing pages on a smartphone or tablet, a laptop, or even a widescreen desktop monitor. For this reason, it’s important to choose a video size that will look good on a range of screens.
For example, the width of the posts on the WordStream blog is 650 pixels.
Your video could be wider than this if your landing page is constructed appropriately, but you may need to experiment with different sizes until you strike a balance between visibility and practicality.
Of course, to avoid distortion, you’ll need to ensure that your videos are formatted in the correct aspect ratio. Let’s say you decide your video is going to be 650 pixels wide. To maintain the correct aspect ratio, your video would have to be 366 pixels tall. To see what the correct aspect ratio is for any given dimension, you can use this handy aspect ratio calculator.
Now that we’ve covered what video landing pages are and answered some of the most common questions about them, let’s find you some inspiration. Here are some great examples of video landing pages to jumpstart your own project.
This video landing page from marketing platform TapInfluence is a particularly good example of how video can entice prospects to convert.
TapInfluence offers what it calls an “influencer marketing” platform. One of the primary reasons this video landing page is so good is that it explains this somewhat vague concept clearly and concisely, and makes excellent use of animation to sustain the viewer’s interest.
It also hits the mark in terms of video landing page best practices. At just over 1:50 in duration, the video is just long enough to cover the main points of why influencer marketing can be so effective, without droning on for minutes about how great their product is. Finally, the design of the page itself is clean and simple, removing many of the potential obstacles between the prospect and the goal. Check out the video for yourself below:
Arguably the world’s best-known language software platform, Rosetta Stone is among the few brands to offer a product with niche appeal that simultaneously enjoys widespread brand recognition. However, despite being a well-known product, selling people on the idea of learning another language – not the easiest task, even for committed learners – is tough. That’s what makes Rosetta Stone’s video landing page so effective.
Rosetta Stone knows that two of the biggest hurdles to overcome when trying to persuade people to learn another language are the time investment necessary, and the perceived difficulties of actually learning the language itself. That’s why this video landing page focuses on the ease of use when learning a language with Rosetta Stone, and emphasizes the fun aspect of the learning process.
As in the previous example, this video also makes extensive use of animation to great effect. The audio narration reinforces Rosetta Stone’s “natural” approach to language instruction and reiterates that boring and difficult vocabulary exercises are not a part of the curriculum. The video also emphasizes the emotional takeaways from using Rosetta Stone software, namely the confidence to speak another language confidently – something many people are intimidated by when attempting to master a foreign tongue.
The landing page itself isn’t perfect. The video itself isn’t as immediately recognizable as it could be, and the playback button opens the video in a smaller, secondary window that is easy to accidentally click away from. However, overall, this is a great example of how video can be used to make a landing page more tempting and reinforce brand messaging. Check out the full video below:
The concept of lead nurturing will be familiar territory to many marketers, but putting a finger on precisely how this alchemical process works can be a lot harder. For software company Autopilot, this was a unique opportunity to demystify lead nurturing and highlight the benefits of their software.
This landing page is hard to argue with. Firstly, the design is strikingly simple and clean, with a clear call to action. Secondly, it’s hard to miss the video, which just begs to be watched. Finally, the video itself is great.
One thing that this video does differently is it lets the product do the talking. There isn’t any fancy animation – just simple narration, a gently ambient soundtrack in the background, and on-screen walkthroughs of Autopilot in action. The production quality is solid, but I’d wager it didn’t cost a lot to produce, making it an excellent example of how even small businesses with limited budgets can make use of video to make their landing pages more compelling.
As with the Rosetta Stone example, the Autopilot video emphasizes ease and convenience, and reiterates that Autopilot connects many of the dots that marketers will already be using. There is no visual trickery or distractions – just a simple, straightforward video that addresses the many pain points of implementing a responsive lead nurturing system.
One of the only drawbacks to this video is its duration. At almost three minutes long, it’s unlikely that most visitors will watch it in its entirety. However, even prospects who click away from the video window may be tempted to scroll down the page to read more about Autopilot before signing up from the second call-to-action button at the bottom (right above the trust signals that mention companies such as Microsoft and Nokia as customers – very clever).
That just about wraps it up for this post. Hopefully, you’ve learned a little about how and when to use video landing pages, and how they can prompt hesitant prospects to take action when a traditional landing page might struggle to convince them.
If you’re using video landing pages, I’d love to hear your success stories – or cautionary tales if things didn’t work out the way you thought they would. And if you’re still looking for inspiration, check out 15 more creative landing page ideas.
Originally from the U.K., Dan Shewan is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in New England. Dan’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.
See other posts by Dan Shewan
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