Our brains process visuals over 60,000 times faster than text. Yup, sixty thousand.
In an age where everyone is in a hurry and there are a thousand different distractions online, how do you get your message across? How do you take advantage of the few precious seconds of attention customers give you to explain why they should buy your product.
A wall of text is too long. People don’t have the time to read it. An image is too short, it doesn’t give the customer enough information. The answer, then, is video.
Of course, businesses have been creating videos for a long time, in the form of advertisements on TV and video sharing sites. However, many businesses don’t use video on their own websites. Instead, they still rely on text to make the sale.
If yours is one of those, it’s time for you to reconsider. Here’s a little statistic for you to chew on – people who watch a video of your product are as much as 85% more likely to purchase.
Have I got your attention now? Read on to see four areas where videos can increase conversions on your site.
eCommerce product videos
Videos on your ecommerce store’s product pages can make a huge difference to conversion rates. Yes, images are very important, but they don’t tell the full story.
People want to know how your product will feel when they actually have it in their hands. That’s why retail stores have been so successful for Apple. People can go in, play with their products, see them, and feel them.
That’s not possible on an online store, but the next best thing is a video of someone using it. Show real people using your products, not an advertisement that’s obviously touched up. If you sell a product that people think might be complicated to set up or use, show how easy it is in your videos.
Zappos has been creating videos for their products for over 5 years. Head over to their site and have a look at any product, and you’ll see a video along with the images. When they first started adding videos to their product pages, they found that sales increased anywhere between 6% to 30% for those products.
The interesting thing is that conversion rates on product pages with videos are higher even if those videos aren’t actually watched by people. Simply giving them the option of watching a video is enough.
Software demo video
Video is especially important for SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses. The typical SaaS product has numerous features. You’ll find many sites out there with long, detailed pages explaining what features they have. Who’s going to read through it all?
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have any text. The text is there in case really interested leads want to do some more research. They may want to find out more about one particular feature, or they may want to compare you with another software.
But you need to hook them first. And for that, you need a short video explaining what your software does, what makes it better than others like it, and why your customers should buy it now.
LemonStand only recently added an explainer video to their homepage. The video is only one and a half minutes long, but it does a good job of creating a story around why you should use the software, and what’s unique about it.
The results were dramatic. The average session duration for visitors to the site immediately doubled, meaning engagement had increased. What’s interesting is that the session durations increased by more than the duration of the video.
People were actually spending more time exploring the features than they were before the video was added.
What’s even more important is that conversion rates from visitor to trial user jumped up by almost 10%. The video ends with asking people to start a free trial, and there’s a CTA right under it as well. If people like what they see, they can sign up immediately. If not, there’s a lot of text waiting for them in the features pages.
Onboarding tutorial videos
Of course, visitor-to-trial conversion rate is not the most important in SaaS businesses. You need to keep the lights on so your trial-to-customer conversion rate needs to be high.
To get leads through the trial process and convince them to buy your full product, you need to keep them engaged and get them invested in the product. A well-planned onboarding process will take them from beginner user to that ‘Aha!’ moment where they realize your product is what they’ve needed all along.
If you have a complicated product that takes time to set up, help docs are not going to do the trick. Your leads will get bored, even frustrated, and then switch to a competitor that’s easier to use.
Instead, you need to keep them engaged and get them to set up the software before they are distracted. That’s where onboarding videos come in. By creating a series of short, focused videos showing leads what steps to take, you save them so much time.
Mixpanel does a good job of this. It’s a bit tricky to set up a software like Mixpanel correctly. You want to make sure you’re tracking the right things, and you might need to dig into some code to do that.
To make it easier for new users, Mixpanel has videos in every section. Each video is only 4–5 minutes long and is really just a screencast showing users exactly what they need to do in that section.
The videos get users to the stage where they’re comfortable using the software and don’t feel like it’s too complicated. As they continue using it, they might want to start trying out some advanced stuff. For that, Mixpanel has a University, a library of videos that teach people how to become power users.
Long-form sales pages are going out of fashion these days, as businesses and entrepreneurs opt for shorter landing pages. Again, most people just don’t have the time to sit and read all that text on your page.
That’s not to say long form pages don’t convert. Use a heat mapping software like Crazy Egg to determine if people are actually reading the entire page. If they aren’t, maybe it’s time for something shorter.
But how do you fit in all that information into a short landing page? You guessed it: videos.
You might have come across the Six Pack Abs Exercise site. Trainer Carl Juneau started it to teach men how to get fit, and he used to have long-form sales pages. When he heard that his competitors were beating him by switching to video, he decided to test it out on his site.
Carl’s test was simple. His control was his long-form sales page, which he’d perfected over two years. This was his most optimized text format. His control was a short one-minute video.
The video page beat the sales page by a whopping 46.15%! What’s even more interesting was that when Carl tested the video page against a page that had both video and sales text, the video-only page still won by 35%. It turns out that customers just wanted to get their information from the video and the long sales text turned them off.
Start creating some videos
You don’t really need to spend a lot of time or money creating video content. While the product videos on Zappos are professionally produced, Mixpanel’s onboarding videos are just screencasts, while LemonStand’s explainer video was created in-house using Keynote.
Start by writing out what you’re going to say in the video, based on your goals. Then come up with relevant slides or screen recordings to go with the voice. Finally combine them using video editing software like iMovie. You can even get a professional voice-over done using Voices.com.
When you’re done with your video, come back here and let us know if it helped increase conversions.
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sid.