By Andrew Angus on January 13, 2015

Video Landing Page Switch Video

There’s a lot of elements to making the perfect marketing video, but one that’s often overlooked is the splash screen or thumbnail image. Once you’ve perfected the script, come up with engaging visuals and put the whole thing together, you want to be sure people see your hard work. Switch makes it easy for business to A/B test multiple splash screens, so there’s no reason not to give it a try!

What Makes a Great Splash Screen?
The splash screen is the still image that appears on the webpage before visitors press “play.” A good splash screen is a promise of great things to come. It’s a visual call-to-action. A mediocre one won’t encourage visitors to click on the video at all. It’s a small thing that can make a big difference in the performance of your videos. Testing multiple splash screens for the best-performing image can give conversion rates a significant boost.

According to Vidyard, a great thumbnail should do the following:

  • Give some insight into the content
  • Make visitors interested in learning more
  • Use branding
  • Have a prominent play button
  • Look great on every device

In addition to being a sort of preview image of what viewers can expect, there are other elements that seem to encourage users to click play. On top of the above guidelines, YouTube suggests brightly lit, high-contrast images and a foreground that stands out from the background. These elements help your thumbnail stick out on smaller devices.

Vidyard also suggests you design an image that acts as the movie poster for your video. A movie poster sells the movie, which is exactly what a good splash page should do. There are plenty of iconic movie posters. Think about how these images tell what the film will be about and how they inspire us to watch it.

Here’s some other ideas to consider: Using words or a title in the splash screen can convey additional information that may encourage a click-thru. Finally, if you’re doing a live shoot, be sure to take some photographs, these can come in handy when designing the perfect splash screen.

Why A/B Test Your Splash Screens?

There are several options when it comes to optimization. A/B testing your splash screens is a great way to start. Testing your own visitors is the best gauge of what makes your audience want to see more.

When Switch did our own A/B test, the results were pretty dramatic. We tested eight different images against one another for the “Our Three Promises” video. One blew all of the others out of the water, generating a 59.76 percent click-through rate. That’s considerably more than the click-thru rate of the second-place contender, which had a click-thru rate of 39.63 percent.

Splash Screen Split Test, Switch Video
Our hypothesis is that the reason “Challenger H” performed so much better than the others is that it hinted at the video’s content. The words “how it works” could have been a driver for many people.

Switch makes it easy for companies to A/B test their splash pages and provides visualizations of the data that are easy to interpret. A/B testing is a simple step that can increase video performance.

Watch the video below:

 

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