No, there isn’t only one way to use video on a website.
Don’t think we’re trying to tell you that if you don’t XYZ, your video using efforts are all for not. Although, it is imperative that you understand there are wrong ways to use media—especially on landing pages.
Think of it like throwing a party.
You can’t just throw down some lawn chairs and put a bag of chips on the table. These are your potential customers and guests. Let’s try to put together a grand event so that those who come will be compelled to stick around.
This post will mainly be spent telling you how to use video on landing pages. But throughout, we’ll give a few tips that will keep you from common pitfalls.
Three key elements comprise the makings of a great video landing page:
The Platform (method of hosting): The venue of your party
The Landing Page: The decor
The Video: The belle of the ball
We’ll be diving into each of these with all the details you need to raise your conversion metrics on the next page you create.
Ready? Let’s do it.
Element One: The Platform
This is your venue to the party you hope to put on. If you’re looking to have (or have already) a professional video to put on the landing page, you’ll want something suitable to host it.
Remember the video is going to be the eye catcher. You wouldn’t get decked out for a fish fry the same way you would the Oscars, right?
Bottom Line: Where you put your video is important.
Luckily, you don’t have to drive around town trying to find the perfect place to host all of the people. You really only have two broad choices.
Landing Page Builder: The gold standards here are LeadPages and Unbounce, but there are many more options around today. Here’s a link to a list of the best seven from the folks over at CrazyEgg.
Self-Hosted/DIY: You could choose a theme via WordPress, or custom build your own landing page for your self-hosted site. There are also builders that integrate with WP. One of the best is Thrive. You can choose from dozens of templates or create one from scratch in a drag-and-drop style.
How About a Don’t: Don’t link ads or send traffic to your home site or homepage. The page can be connected to your site, but it needs to standalone There are rare cases (exceptions to the rule) where this is okay, but people don’t want to hear about your company. They want to hear about the thing that solves their problem that you make or do.
Element Two: The Landing Page
If the platform is your venue, the landing page is the decor.
The primary “bullet point” for a successful landing page is integration.
Does the page on which your video rests help tell the story that is found there?
Does the page offer the way to respond to the call-to-action mentioned?
Is there just enough additional information to get the slow responder to take the leap?
Is the design overall appealing and up to the standards modern web traffic will expect?
The entire page is very well done and upon watching the video, it was seemingly done specifically for this landing page.
The two are brought together seamlessly.
The video quickly tells visitors why they’re watching, the purpose of the video (an event), and why watchers would want to attend/learn more about the event.
After watching the video, there is a little blurb with some compelling copy and a call-to-action button—all above the fold of most desktops. However, more copy and social proof are just a scroll away.
The page is just enough to prove legitimacy while staying focused on converting attendees.
How About a Don’t: Again, don’t treat this as a page on your website. Don’t have the menu at the top, don’t distract them with social icons. They are there for one solitary purpose—to tell you “yes” or “no”.
Element Three: The Video
It wouldn’t be a video landing page without some form of moving pictures on the screen. The short video you have will definitely be the Belle of the ball.
As you can imagine that this Belle has to dance with the other elements, but it’s definitely what will be the reason people come and – if done right – stay. We’ll spend the most time here.
Let’s make sure we dress it up nice enough to warrant attention with these pointers.
This one doesn’t just speak for the video, but everything that leads up to the visitor watching. The ad that brings them in should look similar to the page and video. The video should have similar coloring (if necessary) and speak about the exact thing foretold via the ad.
If visitors didn’t know it was a video they were coming to, make sure to start off with exactly why they came in the first few seconds.
Make sure they know what you are getting at right off the bat.
Your video should be created to get them to do something. One thing, not a bunch of stuff. The call to action should be layered into elements on the page (more on that later).
Everything in the video should be compelling and push the viewer to understand the key point. Consider their visit to be an elevator pitch opportunity.
Tell them exactly what you’d like them to hear and how to respond in about 60 seconds.
Focus Tip: Messaging should be specific enough to speak to each visitor like a conversation, but also not too sharp as to push away anyone but your “ideal prospects”.
Tell a Story
The founder of McDonald’s (Ray Kroc) said, “We are in the real estate business, not the hamburger business.”
In a similar way, we consider ourselves storytellers before explainer video creators.
Story is the best way to get people to feel emotion and make a decision in a very short amount of time. Think about it, you can read a blog post about landing pages and get some good tips without being brought to a state of euphoric emotion.
Try watching a Pixar short without feeling anything, though.
The video content has to be good and look good, but so does the video and player. There are tons of sites that just embed a video, but if you want to stand out—try these tips.
Create or choose a thumbnail: The picture that everyone sees before they hit play. Even if the video autoplays, it helps to start the story you’re about to tell them.
Placement and sizing: Make sure that the video is completely seen when the page is loaded. It needs to be above the fold, front and center. Make sure that it’s proportionate and responsive, too.
Video Player: Everyone knows YouTube is the biggest site to host videos, but another player (e.g. Wistia) can give you more options and are overall better for business.
How About a Don’t: Don’t just throw a current marketing video on a page and don’t just put together a quick video that looks like you should be tied to a chair and holding today’s paper. Just because you’ve heard that video landing pages are the future of the sales funnel doesn’t mean you can do it half way.
Time to Party
An effective video landing page is one that is treated as a single organism. It’s something that works together and should be thought of as such. To use our party example, you wouldn’t have the dancing in one building with the dinner several miles away.
It all has to start together, not come together.
Getting this right is the difference between hitting your metrics and conversion goals, or showing visitors that you don’t know how to show them a good time.