20% jump in video plays with quick and easy change

in Marketing for Nonprofits,Video Online

You’ve created a video for a reason. It has good content and includes a strong call-to-action. So how do you get more people to click the “play” button?

Easy. Have the first frame look interesting. And no; that doesn’t mean the name of your nonprofit plastered across the screen!

Marketing Experiments did research with a partner of theirs, and got 20% more views by simply changing the image people see before they click the play button – change the first frame.

Although the test data isn’t for a nonprofit (the company sells a popular cost-effective head gasket repair solution for automobiles), the point is still valid.

Changing the default image (first frame) is a standard practice I’ve done for years in the videos I create for my clients. It does make a HUGE difference.

Why do you think publishers put so much effort into the design of a book cover? Or video game designers on the covers of their products? Because the image draws people in and starts to get them engaged. It helps them sell their product. And you have a similar goal.

Marketing Experiments ran an A/B split test. I encourage you to read their Feb 24th post which is where I pulled these images from. First you see the control on the landing page:

Video on landing page (courtesy of Marketing Experiments)

Here are the two video images side-by-side:

Control and test image side-by-side (courtesy of Marketing Experiments)

Their conclusion is that the change in the first frame of the video caused the 20% lift in view rate. The “action” scene is more enticing than the “talking head.”

How do you control the first frame when YouTube only allows three or four random defaults to choose from? Well, hopefully one of the defaults is interesting. But if not, add a few more empty frames to the end and re-load it. Then look at your choices.

As Marketing Experiments says: Your goal is to “… choose a frame that communicates the value of the video.” Make it clear to your donors and members WHY they ought to watch it. Entice them with something interesting so more of them will click the play button.

Have you tested this for your nonprofit? How do you get a lift in the view rate? Please share in the comments box below.

Related posts:

Why video is a powerful storytelling tool

3 video tips to improve acquisition and fundraising

Yes or No? Put video in your nonprofit email?