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Is it a good ideal to feature videos on landing pages or should their primary purpose be to signpost users to content elsewhere?

I am developing a set of pages for an event, it is supported by a print campaign and you need to book tickets. I am unsure if the primary thing you need to see on the landing page should be graphic showing the marketing campaign and brand identity or if the marketing should be replaced by a 2min video (the video does not show the marketing in it) that gives you more information about the event. Underneath there are panels with links to further information. What will give the greatest conversion to ticket sales?

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Could whoever downvoted please explain why? –  JohnGB Feb 20 '13 at 17:17
    
related: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/35001/… –  RMalke Feb 20 '13 at 17:22
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4 Answers 4

Whether it is a good idea depends on whether having the video helps you to achieve your goal better than not having one. The one exception to this is that you should never autoplay a video on your landing page.

It is well established that people are generally more willing to watch a video for two minutes than read some content for two minutes - we're mostly lazy.

However, you will have to test what works best for you. Videos are generally better at explaining concepts and ideas than plain text, and so if that is your goal, a short video is a good bet. But shorter is better. 2 minutes is a bit on the long side, and you may have better results with a 60 or 90 second video instead.

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From personal experience, anything that distracts the user from actually signing up on the homepage, no matter how great that is, decreases conversions. Carwoo had a splendid video on their homepage, no longer there now. It just distracts. Another example is squarespace, look at the positioning (and relative importance given) to the video:

enter image description here

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While it depends strictly on the campaign, brand, product, in general including video on a landing page is a great idea, as it is more attractive, grabs user attention much easier and leads him from A to Z through the communicated idea.

You jus need to stick to some good practices about it, especially:

  • do not let your video be too long (30-40 seconds will do in most cases)
  • remember to provide the video in a form that will let users see it also on mobile (thus, prepare also a mobile version of the landing page)
  • if your video loads too long, users will not wait - balance the quality against transfer rates & load times to find your optimum. A good idea is to provide some responsiveness here anyway, to serve lighter content on slower connections and small screens (mobile) and (just a litle bit) heavier on fast ones with big screens (laptops, and mainly desktops)
  • still, you can provide some alternative content for devices that won't be able to display the video content
  • as John said, you shouldn't hit the user with autoplay (or he's going to hate the brand). Users can be viewing your microsite at night, with children sleeping next room for example, so this is a very bad idea. Video should be played on demand.
  • HOWEVER, you can build some nice mechanism playing a short, silent, looped teaser video to attract user to view the further video content. This is the idea behind some of YT advertising forms. Consider this, as it can be quite attractive for the user and make him continue to the main video.

By the way, Youtube is a great example to follow - I mean their ad forms. Read more here: http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/static.py?hl=en&topic=30072&guide=30071&page=guide.cs&answer=187015, especially the Load requirements and Video/Animation sections.

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Two rules to keep in mind:

  • Video Converts Well
  • Videos that auto-play and take up most of the primary real-estate are annoying after the first visit.
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