2013_08_06_featured Design

The Power of a Landing Page Video

Research suggests that our collective attention spans are getting shorter. In 2000, the average attention span for web-related activities was 12 seconds. By 2012, the average attention span for web-related activities came in at a blisteringly quick 8 seconds. This trend towards rapidly shrinking attention spans has serious implications for marketers, who are already vying for audience attention in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace.

The challenge of capturing and keeping a viewer’s attention for longer than 8 seconds explains why innovative marketers are always on the lookout for creative (and effective) strategies that will make their landing pages more engaging to viewers. With busy work schedules, multiple mobile devices, and pings from social media sites threatening to steal your viewers away at any moment, now more than ever, marketers must get it right, right off the bat.

Those who are already immersed in the ups and downs of developing or managing a video content strategy will not be surprised that including a top-notch video on your landing page is an extremely effective way to capture and keep viewers. But why is video such an important component of a landing page? Here are several of the most important reasons your landing page needs a video component:

  1. Video can convey a lot of information in not a lot of time.
  2. Viewers are more likely to watch an entire video than they are to read an entire page of text.
  3. Video is ideal for engaging visual and auditory learners, many of whom engage with content more fully when it is not all text.
  4. It really, really works.

Let’s take a look at several landing page videos that are knocking it out of the park, with an eye towards identifying what makes each one so successful:

1. Use Video to Explain What You Do

Whether you connect patients with medicine in developing countries or provide a valuable service to your local community – chances are potential viewers want to know what you do, and how you do it. Only then they can decide if your business or organization offers them the right solution. As mentioned before, many visitors are more likely to stay with you to the end if you use video to explain what you do.

Your video content could include information about your mission statement, your values, your supply chain, or anything else that you think will provide viewers with a glimpse into your services. But remember, the goal here is to engage viewers, not bore them. Don’t forget that your video can be a mixture of text, music, images, and graphics.

Doing it Well: Balluun is a wholesale retail platform that seeks to bring brands and retailers together in one place. Their landing page is sparse, without a lot of options to click on beyond a video. The video begins with founder Astrid Brocker telling the story of why she decided to create Balluun. She makes an immediate connection to the viewer by bringing them into her design studio. Then, the video transitions into a simple yet clear explanation of how the service solves the problem that Brocker has just described, with screenshots demonstrating how Balluun actually works.

Why it Works Brocker makes a connection with the viewer when she describes her experiences and refers to a problem that many designers and retailers can relate to. The “How To” part of the video is simple and always connects back to the “Why Should I Care About This?” question that animates viewers.

Doing it Well: The World Food Programme is funded entirely by donations and is the largest international organization working to eradicate hunger. As you can imagine, an organization based on donations needs to have an explanation ready of how they do the work that they do so that donors can feel confident. The WFP’s homepage is stocked with videos explaining how they achieve their goals. The example video included here, “How to Feed 90 Million People” is particularly successful at identifying a problem (rampant global hunger), and then using the visual metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle to describe how the process works.

Why it Works: The WFP takes the sobering, complex problem of global hunger and simplifies it. In order to convey how the organization works in text format would be a long and laborious process, one that many web readers would likely not see through to the end. Using a video (and a cartoon at that) to explain how they get the job done makes it all the more likely that someone will stay to watch to the end.

2. Use Video to Give Viewer’s a Sample:

A viewer who already knows what you are all about is likely to want to skip the How To’s and the Who We Are’s and head straight to the good stuff. Video is an ideal way to offer viewers a sample to entice them into further engagement with your brand. Just like the samples at the grocery store, hook your viewer with a smidgen of what is possible if they buy in. Again, video is the perfect medium to do this because viewers are able to visualize what you are offering them without wading through mountains of text. (And clicking away.)

Doing it Well: Forza Motorsports is one of the video game industry’s leading racing games. Car lovers flock to it for the chance to drive their dream cars. The games’ website is filled with video, much of that comprised of in-game footage that you would never see unless playing the game. For site visitors who are considering buying the game or eagerly anticipating the next release, Forza offers a veritable smorgasbord of peeks inside the game.

Why it Works: All of the video content here avoids seeming promotional because it is really just little slivers of the game experience as opposed to a sales pitch. It whets the appetite of the viewer who is already interested and leaves them wanting more. The only way they can get more is to buy the game.

3. Use Video to Extend Your Brand Message

Many new to video marketing think that the secret to success is to use video to tell an entirely new story about your brand. Actually, the opposite is true. Instead of using video as a means to develop an entirely new and unfamiliar narrative about your brand or organization, video offers the chance for you to deepen the existing brand associations, albeit in a new medium.

Doing it Well: As of this writing, Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” video has 7, 417, 501 views. The video draws on Chipotle’s image as a sustainable and ethical option in the fast food world and focuses on the farm rather than the retail experience. (Process over Product.) It tells Chipotle’s story through some happy grass-fed pigs in a traditional looking barn and an independent family farmer zipping around on a tractor.

Why it Works: From corporate website to cups, Chipotle portrays itself as the ethical fast food option. “Back to the Start” doesn’t actually tell the viewer anything new. Neither does it ask them to believe anything that isn’t supported elsewhere in the company’s content. Instead, it extends the brand’s message of responsible stewardship and farming with an appeal to the viewer’s emotions. And of course it doesn’t hurt that Willie Nelson does the soundtrack – it doesn’t get more familiar or trusted than that.

The Takeaway:

With a little bit of research from a trusted video guide and a whole lot of creativity, video success is well within reach. Optimizing your landing page with video is a must these days. However, there is no need to break the bank to develop content that will capture your audience’s attention and invite them to engage with your site. Remember: you don’t need dancing babies, cats who play instruments, or a double rainbow to be successful. Instead, focus on the assets that your business already has as you look towards creating video content that works for your audience.

2 comments

  1. Michael Cordova

    I recently posted this list of landing page tools that might help – http://www.21stsoft.com/landing-page-tools-to-increase-conversions/. There are plugins, tips and other resources that are all about landing pages and increasing conversions.

  2. Web Design Preston

    Some good examples here. A good animated one that springs to mind for me is the Skype homepage video – it’s brief, informative and gives the impression of a creative company.

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