It's too easy to just put up a web page and hope for the best. I can certainly attest to this practice for most of Common Craft's existence. However, as we've moved into ecommerce and built some traffic, I've become much more data oriented and learned more about things like "conversions" and "A/B testing."
Many web-based businesses have the same goal: drive traffic to your web site and then convert that traffic into some desired action. This is called conversion - converting traffic to sales, contacts, newsletter sign-ups, etc. is a big deal and something that's important to understand.
I've been keeping an eye out for data on how videos work in this process. My guess was that video is an asset - if you can get people to watch a video about your product or service, they may be more likely to take an action.
I recently spoke with my friend Chris Savage at Wistia.com, who is very data-oriented. Wistia is a start-up that makes it easy to privately/securely share videos and measure the results. Wistia uses videos on a number of their pages and I asked Chris about the impact of videos in terms of conversion. His response:
We consistently get 3-4x better conversion ratios when we have videos on a page. Visitors convert in less time and there tend to be more opportunities.
Andrew Angus, who runs Switch Web Video (a member of our Explainer Network), recently wrote a blog post on the impact of testimonials on conversion rates and included some information about the role of video as well.
If you have a video on a webpage you are much much more likely to convert that visitor to a lead as compared to a normal web page. I have seen figures that show video landing pages convert 2 times to 6 times better then a normal webpage.
Andrew wanted to find out how much testimonials matter on landing pages - the first page a visitor sees. So, he set up two landing pages, one with testimonials and one without. Thanks to Google's Website Optimizer, he was able to test one page vs. the other (called A/B testing). Andrew's results:
The page with testimonials on it beat the competition by 158%! That blew me out of the water and is a huge difference for the business. Just think about it… rather than 7 people out of a 100, a much larger 17 out of 100 would contact us. This changes the game for our business and means we are much busier since we started using this new landing page.
So, I think there are a couple of lessons here:
1. Video may play a positive role in giving people a way to learn about your product and take the desired action.
2. Take a look at your "landing page" - the page that people see first, and consider how video and testimonials can help your conversions.
Of course, I must provide a shameless plug for the members of the Common Craft Explainer Network, who can help you create short and simple video for your landing page.