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We are looking at putting an explainer video on our home/landing page above the fold next to our main CTA's to sign up or request a call.

I've seen two main ways to do this:

  1. Embedded - the video is embedded in to the webpage with a poster image, you can press play and the video plays in the page. Examples: Wistia, VideoAsk

  2. Modal - there is a button/link to "Watch Video" that opens and plays the video in a modal/lightbox window. Examples: Asana, Adobe

Is there any research or insights around which approach to take or what the effects on conversion are? My guess is this is something you'd just have to prove with an A/B test but someone might have done the research on this already.

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They offer distinct experiences:

  • A regular embed lets you still see the page and scroll through things, potentially to the detriment of what the video is trying to show. You may have experienced this before on YouTube: When the video gets somewhat boring and you start browsing the comments.
  • A lightbox forces you to watch the video and do nothing else. If you want to scroll the page on the side, you have to make the decision to abandon playback completely.

I don't know of any stats, but I expect them to heavily depend on the content of the video. If it's just a talk guiding you through the talking points present on the website anyway, I expect an embed to perform better, if it's some sort of grandiose, inspirational content which really needs all of your focus to be effective, I expect the lightbox to perform better.

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