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Simple Video Test Ideas for Quick Improvement

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Online video consumption has become an extremely common and valuable tool to use on almost any landing page and conversion funnel.  Simply adding a video to explain product details or introduce features and benefits can improve the likelihood of purchase.

Take our latest experiment that we ran using Adobe’s Test&Target for one of our clients.  We simply replaced detailed content explaining all the intricacies of the software with a promotional product summary video in simple terms:

Result: a 48% lift in conversions!

It’s always a great idea to test a video against any static page when you can.  If you already have a video in place, try any one of these simple tactics in order to get the conversion spikes you need in 2012.

Play Button –

Tell them to press play.  If the video does not preemptively start, assume that not everyone understands that they are looking at a video.  It’s always a good idea to hold the hand of the user as much as possible for ease of experience.  If you know your customer is pretty tech savvy, and the video is pretty obvious, try different treatments to discover what might work best for engagement. For example:

  • Play button overlay treatment over video
  • Different treatments of play buttons that may or may not call more attention to the video
  • Text link that might work better with an older demo user base

Sound

A great example of how testing sound can be effective is in a WebProNews article by Dr. Melody King.  Their client, EyeBuyDirect, ran an A/B test where the company created two versions of a video for its online glasses shop. The videos were identical (scripts, visuals, duration, etc.). The only variable was the voice over – one used a male voice, the other a female voice.

Watch test cells.

The result: EyeBuyDirect’s audience responds much more positively to the male voice, generating a conversion rate more than three times higher than the female voice version (A = 9.28% conversion rate vs. B = 2.78% conversion rate).

Other test ideas for sound:

  • Different background music
  • Intro & end music vs. none
  • Different sound effects
  • Voiceover Tone

Position & Size

The size and placement of the video can affect page performance.  Size & positioning may help or hinder how other elements of the page are delivered, like value propositions, calls to action, field entry, etc.

Here are some quick tests that you might want to consider to improve a page that could be hurting from your current video placement:

Change the order of the video and the fields to see if the video is getting in the way of the field entry:

Simply minimizing the video (if some might find it annoying) may alow visitors to focus more on the value propositions, social proof, and call to action fields…

Introducing the video at upon arrival to the page (with an easy, clear optout) may help improve page experience, and control where the user experience will go…

Functionality

Another simple test to consider is how the video will play when people arrive to your page.  Some quick ideas for testing that might show some immediate impact:

  • Start Time – play immediately upon arrival vs. 5 seconds after being on the page vs. click to play – What do visitors prefer?
  • Duration of video –  2 minutes vs. 1 minute vs. 5 minutes – Are they watching the whole thing?  Do they want to learn more, or are they leaving?
  • Interaction with video – more complex (ex: real-estate market has virtual tours, auto industry does the same, you can do the same with any product)

Use any of these simple ideas for immediate tests that might help improve your current baselines.  Most testing software will provide you with insight into how traffic is responding to your video.  There are other companies like www.wistia.com who will run, monitor and report on the performance of entire video campaigns for you.

Either way, it is important that you determine how any one of these variables compares to the control experience by looking at how these tests are impacting key metrics.  As long as the tested elements are the only variables being modified in the experiment, you should leave the test with some understanding as to whether or not these tactics are helping or hurting end conversions.

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