Using video on landing pages - Showtime Digital

Using video on landing pages

27 September 2018 Read 1392 times

Occasionally the topic of using video on landing pages comes up. Maybe you’re in a category which requires ‘the personal touch’ or selling software that needs to be seen to be believed, or maybe for your audience, it’s about finding the right cultural fit. In these circumstances, using video can convey the intangibles in your product or service delivery.

Adding video to landing pages should be done with thought and purpose. Simply pointing people to a page where a large video pops out and starts playing is not best practice. You must consider your audience, where they might be when they come to your page and what device they might be on.

Beyond that, you don’t want them to get so distracted by the video, they can’t absorb the high-level value you can deliver.

Giving consumers options will serve well especially in categories which need a little more convincing.

When we talk video, it doesn’t have to be green screen, mystique, but you do have to consider your brand and how it is conveyed. For instance, if you are selling real estate in a wealthy area, a video shot on iPhone with wind blasting the speakers isn’t going to appeal to your client or buyer. But if you are a removals company, a video shot on iPhone with humility and personality could be fitting.

Think of how your consumers see themselves and how you want to be seen. Invest in the production value which fits your brand.

To help you consider how video adds or distracts on a landing page, I have drawn upon four examples assessing the overall landing pages to demonstrate what works, and what doesn’t work with regards to the user and progressing their journey.

Example 1 - PageCloud

Pagecould SAAS B2B marketing

PageCloud is a software as service tool, allowing people to create their own websites without the need for a developer. Given this is a seen to be believed kind of tool, they have placed a video below the fold to explain more about the technology and how it works.

What works:

  • Hero image.

The hero image is animated which gives a brief demonstration of what the tool allows people to do or build. It has creativity at its core which appeals to the audience who are wanting to create their own websites at low cost, without the hassle of needing additional support from designers and developers.

  • The call-to-action button colour.

The magenta button stands out. It is the brightest thing on the page, thanks to high contrast with neutral backgrounds.

  • The offer.

Although subtle in its presence, the 14-day free trial is clearly stated beside the call-to-action button. It is also evident via the ‘FREE TRIAL’ button in the header. With this kind of product, a try before you buy option is smart. Consumers are unlikely to jump into a subscription or annual fee without knowing whether the product will meet their needs.

  • As seen on logos.

Feature logos from press/media create more substantiation around the product, indicating it is of high regard.

  • See it in action heading.

This premises the video before people opt to watch it. By indicating the time to watch (2 min) the user can decide whether they want to invest the time in watching it and the subtitle text below provides the compelling reason why they should.

  • Video content.

PageCloud founder gives a real-life demonstration of how a business can use the tool to update their website in meaningful ways. The video is used to not only provide a demonstration, it is divisive in the way it creates product positioning. This isn’t fancy footage with animation. It’s footage from an event, which says- this is a company people are interested in, the founder is someone people want to hear from.

What could be improved:

  • The headline.

Anything that claims to be ‘the best’ or ‘world’s best’ always feels like an exaggeration. World’s best - according to who? They make efforts to substantiate this throughout the page and content, but the headline should evoke trust, not suspicion. If the claim is because they have so many users, make that the headline, for example: The drag and drop website builder over 20,000 companies rely on.

Example 2 - Hubspot

Hubspot SAAS B2B marketing

Another software as service tool, Hubspot helping people automate their sales and marketing from attracting a customer to closing and beyond. I’ve highlighted the sales page within their website, where they have featured a video in the hero as a way of providing a solution to the problems many salespeople face.

What works:

  • The headline.

The headline captures the biggest benefit of the tool with an offer. By speaking to the biggest pain in sales – time, Hubspot has captured their audience. Pairing that with the option to start for free, the second pain has been removed – money.

  • Product video.

The video touches on key frustrations for sales staff, providing examples of how the product can help overcome these challenges to streamline the sales process.

  • Chat window heading.

The chat widget pops up saying “I happen to be in sales myself! Feel free to ask me about how HubSpot's sales tools add time to my day — and how they can do the same for you.” The message is highly contextualised to the audience and the needs they are looking to fulfill.

What could be improved:

  • The video has no call-to-action.

The video forgets the crucial close – start with a free trial. at its conclusion. People watching it are left with more information but no compelling motive to act.

  • The call-to-action buttons are lost.

The way the page has been created is such that the call-to-action is sitting in a text box which is layered over the screen background. This is slightly confusing as it looks like it is an image, not a point of engagement. Something page visitors could easily skim over or scroll past, without processing the step.

  • The background colour is distracting.

The background colour is too close in tone to the call-to-action and play buttons. A more contrasting colour should have been used to give these elements the emphasis they need.

Example 3 - Marshall White

Marshall White Real Estate marketing

In Real Estate, it’s as much who you buy or sell from as what you buy or sell. The personal touch has got many real estate agents over the line, especially in areas which require prestige and reputation. Real Estate agency Marshall White have used video on their website as the background, featuring homes they have sold in suburbs which are well regarded.

What works:

  • Establishing high-end position.

The clean look and feel of the website establishes a high-end positioning which is relevant to the suburbs Marshall White excel in.

  • Featuring homes.

By featuring homes in the video, the benchmark for expectations are set both as a buyer and as a seller.

What could be improved:

  • Amplifying the personal touch.

Relying on homes alone takes away the personal touch of the agents. The video could be clickable to reveal an agent walking through the property explaining their approach to market. Or a similar video could feature below the page fold, so consumers can get a feel for who they would be dealing with.

  • Adding a call-to-action.

There is no call-to-action in the heading, subheading or even a button in the header. This means those who want to progress have to search for how they can do this. Adding a clear contact us button in the header makes the process clear. The other way is to use the heading or subheading to compel people to act.

  • Substantiating why they are the agents to choose.

Aside from the prestige homes, they have sold, there is nothing to show why Marshall White are better agents than any other competitor. Using the headline to substantiate the competitive value proposition says more to the potential consumer than the current heading.

  • Improving the visibility of the menu and header elements.

The menu items have been designed and developed with high opacity and low contrast. The size is also small, strategically, however, it makes it difficult for users to navigate and progress their user journey.

Example 4 - Udemy

Udemy body language B2B marketing

Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace, selling courses and training for everyday people, particularly those looking to upskill. The course page reviewed is for one of the bestsellers – Body Language for Entrepreneurs. Given the style of training and course content, building the personal brand of the trainer is essential for potential buyers. The use of video in this context helps people develop an opinion as to whether the training is suited to them.

What works:

  • The green call-to-action.

The green colour stands out against the dark background and brings in the brand colours.

  • Video is subtle.

Video is an option, but it is not the focus. People can learn enough about the course from the headline and supporting copy without having to watch the video. 

  • Trust logos.

Using the logos of Forbes and alike show the course is press-recognised, establishing the credibility of the trainer and course content.

What could be improved:

  • Copy readability.

The headline and text are hard to read due to the white text colour against changes in background texture. An opaque black gradient would combat the issue, providing more contrast. Alternatively taking the photo and video against a white background would allow the text to be coloured black with high contrast and clarity.

In summary, video on a landing page can be useful but it should not be the focus. A successful video landing page gives users the option to view the video while providing enough substantiation in other areas on the page. The user should still be able to grasp ‘what’s in it for me’ within the first 3-10 seconds, without having to play the video. The video is simply the icing on the cake – that extra push which might place your brand or product above others in your category.


Prue Takle

Prue is a creative in a suit. With degrees in both marketing and creative arts she naturally thinks outside the square, coming up with ideas that will engage audiences and promote larger-scale objectives. Prue enjoys creating synergy between branding and communications, especially when it comes to developing marketing strategy.