Are Videos or Gifs Better for Landing Page Conversions?
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Are Videos or Gifs Better for Landing Page Conversions?

Last updated on October 14, 2016 by Fahad Muhammad in Conversion Rate Optimization
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When creating landing pages, there’s an entire checklist you need to go through before hitting the publish button.

Some of these decisions include:

  • How short, or long, should my landing page be?
  • Where to put the CTA: Above or below the fold?
  • How many fields should my form have?
  • Should I use custom graphics or photography?
  • Are videos or animated gifs best for my page?

We’ve helped you decide about long-form landing pages and making a choice between custom graphics or photography depending on your niche. It’s now time to take an in-depth look into which landing pages work better with videos, and which grab more conversions with animated gifs.

Why use videos on your landing pages?

According to Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. This puts a new perspective on the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” doesn’t it?

With that kind of value, it’s easy to see why marketers feature videos on their landing pages.

Here are some other facts to consider on the impact video has on your conversions:

  • 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after they watch a video about it
  • Web pages with video have more engagement: The average user’s visit to a text and image-based website lasts only 43 seconds. For a web pages with video, the average visit lasts 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

Videos not only ensure that your visitors spend more time on your landing page, but they have an impact on their psychology.

As our neuroscience article explained, when we look at speakers or characters in a video, our brain’s fusiform face area (FFA) is activated, this increases our attention and focus.

So when watching a video, our brain automatically starts paying more attention than if the content was simply words on a page. This is because our brain attempts to judge whether or not the video’s characters are familiar. Videos force us to engage more with the content.

The FFA area also has a direct link to our emotions, so not only are we trying to recognize the characters, but we are forming social and informational ties on a much deeper level.

The voiceover in Freshservice's landing page video describes how IT support can be a boring and thankless job. Those who work in IT service and agree with this get emotionally engaged with the video, their FFA area lights up emotionally investing them in the service — making them more likely to click the CTA button:

This picture shows how Freshservice uses video on its landing page.

Pro Tip: Do you have a product or service that has the potential to appeal to the visitors’ emotions? Use a video that stirs up their empathy and gets them excited to click the CTA button.

The voiceover in the videos helps you talk to your visitors because it helps you enunciate. You don’t need any exclamation points or italics to get your message across. Hiring a professional voice artist can be a more effective approach to appeal to the FFA.

This is also the reason videos go viral because the emotions featured in a video are contagious. When you show how easy your product is to use, the visitor latches onto this emotion and goes through the rest of your landing page with this feeling intact.

Don’t you find the emotions in the Rock ‘n’ Lolo's landing page below contagious? The song playing in the background and the kids dancing around … it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Plus, I even learned a few Spanish words!

rock n lolo

Pro Tip: Have a service where you can emphasize the human connection? Use a video and win your visitors over instantly.

Not only do videos have the ability to play at your heartstrings but the movement in the videos helps you capture and keep your visitors’ attention exactly where you want it.

Psychologist Susan Weinschenk explains that humans have survived by noticing things in motion. Our brains have been programmed to pay attention to noise and movement. Essentially, when both our auditory and visual senses get stimulated, our attention is heightened.

The 30-second video on the Animato landing page helps you understand how helpful this tool is, plus your attention stays on the screen the entire time:

This picture shows how Animoto keeps visitors engaged with video

Pro Tip: If you’re explaining everything your product or service does in your explainer video, it’s good to keep the rest of the page shorter so that you don’t repeat yourself.

No matter what your product is — whether a SaaS company or a language course — you can use the power of videos to help promote your offer.

Not all videos are effective, however. Before you add video to your landing page make sure:

  • The video is professional — amateur videos won’t bring you leads
  • The auto-play option is disabled
  • The video is not unnecessarily long
  • The video follows a proper script
  • Any voiceover is correctly used and doesn’t only promote your company, but addresses your customer, too

Why use gifs on your landing pages?

Believe it or not, gifs have been around since 1987, but they’ve become popular in recent years. Gifs compress the image quality and support only 256 colors — as opposed to the 16.7 million colors that JPEG files support.

Gifs don’t support audio, and they play on a loop, with no way to pause or stop them. Yet, one landing page trend this year is the usage of gifs to help explain a product or service in place of a video.

They have become a landing page trend because they’re much more cost effective than videos when demonstrating a product or service visually.

Pro Tip: Contrary to videos, gifs explain how the product is used in a more compact and automatic way. Plus, your page loading speed isn’t affected by gifs as they can be with video.

We believe in the power of gifs, which is why we use a gif on our PPC landing page to explain the dynamic features of our landing page builder:

This gif shows how Instapage's landing page builder is easy to use.

Pro Tip: Do you feel your visitors won’t have time to play the video on your landing page? Add a gif featuring your product instead.

Visual Website Optimizer also uses a gif on their landing page to explain how their product dashboard looks and how easy it is to use:

VWO

What’s the verdict, video or gif?

There are pros and cons to using both videos or gifs on your landing page. What performs best on your particular landing page is something for you to A/B test. However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you make a decision:

  • Poorly produced videos turn off visitors and are terrible for your conversion rate
  • Gifs can serve as distractions for some visitors
  • If your video only features how to use your product — use a gif instead
  • A gif can’t be used to display emotions — use a video instead

So, what are you going to use on your landing pages?

P.S. Did you know you can create a landing page for free with pre-built templates, unlimited page views, and domains? Learn more here!

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