What was your response to the GIF above?
Amusement? Laughter? Nostalgia? Confusion? A deep desire to watch Keanu? An even deeper desire to find more GIFs?
Whatever your response, there is no denying that GIFs and videos are a great way to engage an audience. In fact, videos and animated GIFs are the most efficient way to add value to any online content.
According to a study released by CopyPress, 51.9% of the marketing decision-makers interviewed worldwide find that video provides the best return on investment (ROI). Another study conducted by Forbes Insights among executives shows that 60% of them watch videos before reading the text on the same text.
The stats above make clear that videos, animated GIFs, and other resources that bring movement to the visitors’ eyes are more likely to increase traffic and optimize conversions. They also reinforce engagement and create an emotional connection between the company and its clients.
But what is the psychological reasons behind their appeal?
And how can you use them to optimize conversions on your landing pages?
The Anthropological explanation
Some studies will contend that there is an anthropological explanation for why we are more likely to focus on movement than text.
According to the American Ph.D behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk, we are driven by the need to pay attention to movement and noise, and have been since we were still living in caves and hunting for our food. It ensured our survival, as we could predict and be aware of any threat, either from animals or natural conditions, such as thunderstorms, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions.
For this reason, our auditory and visual senses still are extremely precise. They are activated very quickly so we can try to recognize the images displayed in front of us. This is to determine whether we are in danger or not.
The very same mechanism is turned on when we watch a video. Our brain processes all visual input in the same manner. So a video or an animated GIF can grab our attention more efficiently than text simply because our brains evolved to pay attention to movement.
The Musical Explanation
It is very hard to find someone who doesn’t love music. But it is not only music that makes us feel good or bad. We often find voices themselves to be comforting. The voice of a parent or loved one can be just all that you need to make you feel better and cast all your problems away.
Voice also offers a much richer experience than text, as it can unveil feelings and intentions behind the words more directly. This means that an emotional connection is more likely to be built between two people talking over the phone than between people who text all the time. It is also believed that music can change the way that we think and evoke feelings of nostalgia.
In other words, the music and voices in your videos are essential components to your marketing strategy. They are responsible for creating the engagement that you are expecting from your audience.
How does it impact the way you create your landing page?
Now that you understood a few scientific reasons why videos and animated GIFs are great resources for your landing pages, you are ready to integrate them into your sales funnel. A well-placed video or GIF can help to engage web traffic, often leading to higher conversion rates. Here’s how:
Use videos to explain what you can’t with text only
Sometimes is just too hard to explain everything you want with words. Depending on your product or service it will be simpler to show them how to do it or what you mean. There is where a video will save the day as you can demonstrate anything you want much more efficiently.
You should limit the amount of text around your video. If you give too much information, you will just increase the amount of time that your clients will need to make up their minds. So you are better off making sure you balance the written and visual content available.
Use videos to bring familiarity (and put them in the right place)
When choosing a voice artist or actors to your video, look for people that will bring some familiarity to your product or service. Think about your target audience and decide which traits your actors and voice actors should have, paying particular attention to age, tone of voice, style of dress, physical characteristics, and anything else you want your audience to relate to. This will transform your resource into a conversation between friends.
Studies also seem to indicate that people are more likely to click on ads placed on the top and center of landing pages. Conversely, videos on the bottom right are perceived as ads and get fewer clicks. Keep this in mind when designing the layout of your landing pages. Consider using A/B testing to determine what placement creates the greatest audience response.
Make it professional
There are many ways and formats that you can use to create your videos. They can be animated or filmed inside your own office building, for instance. You can contract an expert or a celebrity to reinforce your authority. But what you can’t do is to add an amateur video to your landing page.
It will make your customer assume that you don’t care about your business and that you probably aren’t concerned about the quality of your product as well. You don’t need to pay a famous director to film your video, but if you don’t have the right budget for a decent video, just forget about it and try other resources instead.
Make it short (and turn off the auto-play)
Studies say that everything mentioned above about how videos can increase your landing page’s results is true as long your video isn’t too long. It seems that our shorter and shorter attention span is only going to allow us to watch up to 4 minutes, so make sure that this is the maximum length of your videos. But the hard truth is that you should aim for 30 seconds to achieve the highest engagement rate.
You should also make sure that the auto-play feature is off. Nothing is more annoying and inconvenient than a video that starts to run when you aren’t expecting. Imagine clicking on a website while you’re supposed to be working and treating the whole office to loud intro music. This can make your potential client close your landing page as fast as they can, never to return.
And what about animated GIFs?
Animated GIFs are another great resource for you to explore on your landing page. What used to be just about flames and flags has become sophisticated, and ready to offer the same advantages already mentioned about movements and much more.
They are cheaper than videos
If you are dealing with a small budget, this was probably the first thing that came to your mind. GIFs are much cheaper than videos. You just need a couple of pictures and the right tool to create them and violá. On the other hand, bear in mind that they won’t give all the benefits that a video would, as they lack sound and are very limited in terms of storytelling resources.
They can create great call-to-actions
Your call-to-action button is the element of your landing page that you want that grabs most of your visitor’s attention. So why not turn it into an animated GIF? It will make your CAT stands out from the other components in no time. Just make sure that this is appropriate considering your target audience and that it won’t look silly.
Wrapping it all up
Adding videos and animated GIFs to your landing pages can be just what you needed. They will attract and engage your audience, potentially leading to higher conversions. For anthropological, psychological and cultural reasons, we tend to pay more attention to experiences that involve sound and movement, making videos and GIFs far more effective at grabbing attention than mere words and pictures.
Just don’t forget that you have to offer high-quality videos and animated GIFs so they can add value to your product or service. Otherwise, start working on the tips above right now, so you can use those resources wisely and increase your conversions. Your metrics will thank you!