The correlation between video views and increased conversion rates is a long established fact that we’ve discussed often on this blog. It follows that savvy marketers, being aware of the above relationship, are usually quite keen on ensuring visitors to their sites are exposed to the video content offered therein.
The question is:
What can be done to increase the likelihood a visitor will indeed opt to view a video?
The simplest answer would of course be to have the video auto-play the moment the page is open. The problem is that this type of behavior has been consistently proven to annoy users, and is therefore generally counter productive. Evidently some deeper research is required, and that’s exactly what this post is about…
How to boost your video view stats without annoying visitors
Before we begin it’s important to remember the obvious fact that a user’s decision whether to play a video or not, is essentially unrelated to the actual content of the video itself. The reality is that before the video is played the user has no real knowledge of what the content is, and is therefore unable to rely on that information in his or her decision making process!
In plain terms what this means is that even though you may have created the most mindbogglingly incredible piece of cinematic wizardry in the history of the universe, your users can’t know mind-boggling it is BEFORE WATCHING IT*
So what factors ARE influencing the decision to hit “Play”?
1) Location Location Location
The placement of the video or play button on the page is a critical factor in determining whether users will opt to play your video or not.
Two important points to consider here are:
- The F shaped attention graph - It’s an axiom of user engagement that the closer a page element is to the top left corner of the screen, the more likely it is to get a user’s attention. Burying your video at the bottom of the page, way below the fold is NOT going to give you the view rates you’re hoping for.
- Context – Users appreciate logically structured page designs that assist in the quick abosrption of the informaton they provide. It’s a good idea to locate your video in an area fo the page that is associated with other visual information regarding your offering, such as images, 3d rotations, product diagrams, etc.
2) Integration mode
As a rule we all tend to be a little lazy when we browse, and wherever possible we prefer our interactions with web pages to be as simple and immediate as possible. It’s for this simple reason that users hit “Play” more often when a video is embedded (or is perceived to be embedded), then when it’s clear that the video play will require launching of another tab, window, something…
3) The Play Button
Spend that extra effort in designing a good looking and attractive play button. It’s a one time investment that has an ongoing contribution to boosting your video play stats.
4) The Preview slide
Often neglected and forgotten, your video’s preview slide** can impact video views by up to %50!!! (as we ourselves discovered…)
* – A caveat to this point should be made in case of truly epic video memes that reach such a level of viral sharing they generate their own PR, i.e. PSY‘s now ubiquitous “Gangam Style”:
** - The image that appears in the player prior to pressing play