It seems as though, these days, everyone and their mother has some kind of video on their main site that explains what it is that their startup does, and how it can help people. Some are warm and fuzzy, some are pretty strait forward – but few of them should be taken seriously.

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Why?

Well, most of them have never been tested. By this I mean, companies don’t know if they “work” (boost more revenue over time) than a purely text page, or a different video. If the company is new or the website has looked exactly the same for 18 months… you and probably assume that there’s never been any testing as to whether that fancy little video actually “converts” the most sign-ups, opt-ins, or buyers from a page (this is one of the reason people have asked us about setting up conversion tracking, and marketing automation usually ends up as part of the mix, too).

So… videos don’t really work them?

They might work GREAT, but only the company would know, and they’d only know if they actually tested like madmen. The way I go about looking at / analyzing front-page designs and “explainer videos” is by going directly to the most respected conversion companies I know of.

Neil Patel (who we’ve interviewed for our Podcast last year) mentions three companies that he’s paid in the past, one of which I already knew of quite well:

  1. Conversion Rate Experts
  2. Markitekt
  3. Digital Telepathy

The “shortcut” I use is this: Use the best conversion-designing companies and their own best work and case studies to base your decisions around what videos might be a good or back video to use.

Here’s a list of “explainer videos” which I’m sure have been tests / split-tested to work:

Why do I feel confident about those videos? Because they were all used in case studies by Conversion Rate Experts themselves. That firm is no joke, and any videos they have up on a client’s page can safely be said to be tested… rigorously. Hence, if I’m looking for a video, script, or idea to model for a video, I’ll go here first.

Here’s a list of “explainer videos” which I’m not so sure about:

Why DON’T I feel confident about the videos above? To be frank, they could be better than the videos above, for all I know. However, they don’t appear to be tested, and I don’t have any proof that they are being tested or ever have been tested… unlike the videos on the sites that have paid thousands and thousands of dollars

Here’s ANOTHER thing I learned by studying the case studies of the best conversion companies: Some of them (many of them) don’t have a video on the first page at all.

Whatever wins more business… well… wins! If it’s not video, then you scrap it. Crazy Egg is no longer using a video on their homepage at the time of this writing – go figure!

Will video be for you? Ultimately, only testing will be able to make that determination, but if you’re going to start off modeling one at all, model what’s been tested. Also – speaking of Neil Patel, check out this “Explainer Video” blog post on his personal blog at QuickSprout.

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