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The Color of Your Video Player is Affecting Your Play Rate

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Dark Orchid. Burly Wood. Sea Green. Medium Sea Green. When choosing a color for your Wistia player, the world is your #EAE6CA. Sorry, we mean oyster.

There are hundreds of thousands of videos hosted on Wistia. And since users can select the color of their player from a color palette, there are also millions of colors to choose from. 16,777,216 to be exact.

Given this plethora of opportunities, we wanted to see what colors Wistia customers were choosing for their video players. We also wanted to see whether these color choices impacted how often viewers clicked play.

Let’s dive into the data to find out.

Best Friend Blue is the more descriptive name for the color #54bbff, the default color of the Wistia player. If you don’t customize your player, this is the color that will be shown to all your viewers.

The majority of people use the default color for their player. From our sample*, almost 180,000 videos rely on #54bbff:

In fact, the Best Friend Blue default color is over 2X as popular as all other colors combined. We also measure plays. This is a crucial first step for any video — to get played — so it is an important metric to track. Videos with the default color account for the vast majority of unique plays as well:

The data (so far) seems to suggest that you should just leave the player color alone, go with the default, and start counting the views.

But is this really a good idea?

When we look deeper at the data, it doesn’t seem as sunny for Best Friend Blue. Videos with a default-colored player were played 345,857,886 times. However these videos were loaded 2,085,091,710 times. That means that videos with the default-colored player loaded on users’ webpages 2 billion times, but the viewers only pressed play to watch those videos 345 million times.

“When we look deeper at the data, it doesn’t seem as sunny for Best Friend Blue.”

This pushes their play rate down. The play rate is defined as:

The play rate for default-colored player videos was 16.6%:

So almost eight times out of ten, the video player loaded in all its blue glory, and the viewer chose not to play.

Let’s compare these numbers to the videos not using the default color. As we said above, this is a much smaller sample size. There were 120,096 videos in total that fit our sample criteria and weren’t using the default color. These videos were loaded 746,776,688 times and played a total of 140,428,860. This means the average play rate for non-default color videos was 18.8%:

This is a 22% improvement in play rate for the non-default colored players. Why is this?

“This is a 22% improvement in play rate for the non-default colored players.”

We don’t think the default color is solely to blame for a lower play rate. Rather, the effect of player color on play rate is a matter of correlation rather than causation.

The people that customize their video player with their own colors tend to be the same people that also pick great thumbnail images, adjust the player controls to suit their needs, promote their video for their followers to watch, and put in the extra effort to increase production standards.

It is the combination of all these factors that increase a video’s play rate. But it seems that customizing the player color doesn’t hurt.

So if you are going to change the player away from Best Friend Blue, what other colors should you be choosing? If we take #54bbff out of the equation, we can begin to see how the other colors perform.

In terms of unique plays, it is #1e71e7, Royal Blue, that comes in a healthy second. Royal Blue accounts for 27.1% of all non-default color videos, and 43.6% of all non-default video plays:

Though Royal Blue and black have the most unique plays, grey is the color that most players are made of. Four of the top non-default 10 videos by unique plays have a player color that is predominantly grey.

Play rate

But Royal Blue is similar to Best Friend Blue in that it has a large number of unique plays, but a relatively low average play rate. The color with the highest play rate is #f68c71 – more commonly called peach:

Videos with a peach player had a play rate of 85.4%. Over half the videos loaded with this player color were played. So peach has 5X the play rate of the default-colored player. While not quite up there with Best Friend Blue and Royal Blue in terms of unique plays, peach’s play rate equates to 371,725 video plays from 435,430 loads, so it’s still a substantial amount.

Another factor that’s obvious from the above graph is the range of colors that have a high play rate. Compare this to the graph of unique plays, which was mostly a palette of grey.

This array suggests these are different branding colors. It lends credence to our idea that it is branding and design that likely contribute to higher play rates.

“It lends credence to our idea that it is branding and design that likely contribute to higher play rates.”

So, what about those at the bottom of the play rate list:

In general, the colors with the lowest play rates are darker than those with the highest play rates.

If we look at the lightness values using the HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Lightness) color system, the ten colors with the highest play rates have an average lightness of 0.399 (black has a lightness of 0, white has a lightness of 1), with peach having a lightness value as high as 0.704. Three out of the ten have a lightness value above 0.5.

The bottom ten, however, have an average lightness value of 0.44, and four of the colors have a lightness of 0.5 or above. This suggests that when you pick your own colors, choosing a darker player color might increase the play rate.

Given this data, if you haven’t already customized your player color, we think you should consider a shade that fits better with the rest of your design and branding.

Changing your player color is super easy. In the Customize panel within the Video Actions menu, choose the Appearance dropdown, and you’ll be presented with a color palette:

Here you’ve got two options:

  1. Drag the circle around within the palette until you find the right color for you.
  2. Alternatively, if you’ve already got an idea of what color you want, enter the hex code, such as #7b796a. You can go here to learn more about hex codes and how they translate into colors. (Math _is_ fun!)

You still have to choose the right color for your player though, and choosing from the 16-odd million available isn’t an easy choice.

The best place to start is with your branding. If you have branding guidelines, you can choose the hex code of your primary or complementary colors to make sure your player fits with the rest of your site.

This is what sales analytics platform InsightSquared has done. Like us, their main branding is blue (#00B3E9 in their case) and they use this as the player color for their case study videos:

If you don’t have a style guide, then the color world really is your #EAE6CA (oyster). In this case, we suggest using color theory as a starting point for discovering the right color combinations for your videos and brand.

Color theory is the science behind why colors make us feel the way we do. Certain hues of color are explicitly represented by groups of cells in the brain, so this makes choosing the right color a great way to stand out and be noticed. For instance a 2012 study found that companies with red-dominant branding were perceived as exciting and dynamic and those with blue branding as competent and trustworthy.

With our cool Wistia blue we hope we are seen as competent, but also still a bit exciting!

If you are choosing colors, here are how some of the major colors are supposedly perceived:

  • Red: Exciting, dynamic, passionate.
  • Blue: Dependable, stable, friendly.
  • Green: Natural, healing, calm.
  • Purple: Luxurious, spiritual.
  • Black: Powerful, Sophisticated.

Beware. Color meanings change with culture, so your bright, joyful yellow player is the color of mourning in Egypt.

From our data, it seems that too many Wistia users are still using the default, Best Friend Blue color that’s applied when you first upload your video. Though this color does get a lot of plays, the play rate isn’t as high as with other colors.

Your player color might seem like an afterthought, but in design, these little details matter.

Next time you’re uploading a video to Wistia, try customizing your player to better fit with your own brand and design. By doing so, you can create a polished first impression that will likely result in a higher play rate.


* This analysis includes all videos that were played between Jan 1 – July 1, 2020. We only analyzed 74 separate colors from the millions of options. The sample was filtered to exclude the following videos:

  • Videos with fewer than 100 loads during that period
  • Videos with a play rate >90% (generally popover embeds)

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Video Marketing

Wistia Announces 2020 State of SMB Marketing & Content Creation Report

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COVID-19 has dramatically shifted every industry — and marketing is no exception. Overnight, budgets were cut, priorities shifted, and the media landscape as we know it might have changed forever.

As a company that has helped over 500,000 businesses grow with our marketing software, we wanted to know precisely which marketing priorities and tactics were most affected by this shift. We also wanted to discover what marketers in particular have been prioritizing in terms of content creation as well.

With these goals in mind, we launched a study to uncover trends emerging from SMB marketers during the pandemic and explore how marketers are paving new paths to customers in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Commissioned by Wistia and conducted by Qualtrics, the 2020 State of SMB Marketing & Content Creation Report surveyed more than 300 senior-level SMB marketers at B2B and B2C companies.

We quickly learned that marketers have ramped up content creation despite budget cuts, using content as a way to access new customers. We also uncovered that marketers are leveraging podcasts more than ever before. Explore our top takeaways and dig into the full report below.

“Marketers have ramped up content creation despite budget cuts, using content as a way to access new customers.”

68% of marketers indicated they have experienced budget cuts, averaging 19% across the board. Despite this, marketers are creating and prioritizing more content across platforms.

“68% of marketers indicated they had experienced budget cuts, averaging 19% across the board.”

Notably, video content was the most popular form of content created before the pandemic, with 51% of respondents indicating that they had produced a video, like a product walkthrough or webinar. Video has remained a vital tool during the pandemic, with 59% of respondents now exploring video as a way to connect with their audiences.

Given the shareable nature of video and the length of time marketers can spend with the customer through video, this popular tactic makes sense for SMBs, and we have the numbers to prove it. Our recent report looked at Wistia data and found that since early March 2020, the year over year increase in video uploads has jumped 120%. We’re now seeing an average of 280K videos uploaded to Wistia each week.

“Since early March 2020, the year over year increase in video uploads has jumped 120%.”

The SMB survey also revealed that marketers are getting creative and considering new channels, like virtual events and podcasts. In fact, podcast launches have more than doubled during the pandemic; only 14% of respondents reported creating a podcast pre-pandemic, which has increased to 29% who now have a podcast.

“Podcast launches have more than doubled during the pandemic.”

Creative marketers are looking beyond video to new content channels as well. While video can be an effective storytelling tool, podcasts have a much lower barrier to entry and are easier to execute in a remote environment.

Almost all respondents (87%) noted that they are considering launching a podcast in the next 12 months. Common reasons for initiating a podcast included increasing brand recognition, highlighting company culture, and reaching a specific audience.

“Almost all respondents (87%) noted that they are considering launching a podcast in the next 12 months.”

Marketers have been using video to tell meaningful stories that build connections with their audiences for years. And while video will continue to play an essential role in the marketing mix, podcasting has emerged as a new way to tell stories and engage audiences.

Wistia understands the challenges of creating a podcast and crafting engaging audio content, which is why we’ve launched a full suite of podcast hosting and marketing features on our platform. This new functionality will enable marketers to host and share engaging podcast content, streamline distribution, and understand and grow their audience. The platform also provides performance insights to track each episode’s engagement to help marketers make informed spending and creation decisions moving forward.

When asked to rank priorities over the next 12 months, increasing organic traffic, customer lifetime value, and overall digital presence topped the list.

What were the top challenges facing marketers in pursuit of these goals? Well, 59% of respondents said finding new ways to reach new customers was the top challenge, followed by 51% of respondents who said it was expanding their customer base.

Marketers have been tasked with expanding their digital footprint and increasing existing customer value while also finding innovative ways to reach net-new customers — all under extraordinary circumstances.

While the pandemic has created new challenges and constraints for SMB marketers, it has also forced marketers to get scrappy, ensuring the industry is more creative than ever. With the amplification of existing owned channels, increased digital content creation, and a new focus on podcasts, SMBs have the power to share their stories and attract new customers.

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Video Marketing

What is Design and how it influences your company

Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets

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Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets. Aces. A good card. Let’s talk about one in particular. The design! Design as a holistic approach, capable of solving problems not only stylistic, but of all types. You can make your product unique, create a culture associated with your company and influence your investors and customers.

 

How Design Influences Your Company’s Brand and Culture

A company’s culture is based on beliefs and values. These are communicated through various points of contact. They change perceptions, behaviors and understandings. Contact points must be genuine, they must be exclusive to your company. The thinking and research behind design can help you create the story of your business. A competent designer plays a decisive role in planning your strategic decisions and in building that same culture. The sooner the results are defined, the faster it will grow in the right direction.

 

When you know what your company stands for, it’s simpler to build your brand. This goes beyond the logo, the look of the website or the products: the brand is the value that your customers and investors get with you.

 

How Design Influences the Product Experience

In the past, it was possible to achieve success almost by chance. But luck has been losing ground in the business scenario. The democratization of the internet has opened the door to creativity. We have people capable of getting a product up and running faster than ever. Competition is fierce. The standards for what is considered a successful product have also changed over time. Currently, customers expect a great user experience on the first click, on the first contact. As smartphones and tablets spread – with people searching for everything on these devices – potential customers’ expectations soar. Tolerance levels have also changed.

 

If your website is not visually appealing, if your application has a complex and buggy interface, you can be sure that you will lose customers in a matter of seconds. People want simple technological experiences. And design plays an extremely important role in ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. At pixelinmotion the designer understands market standards and is already familiar with what the customer wants. With this knowledge, you will be able to create a solution from scratch, which will make your product more valuable compared to the competition.

At pixelinmotion, we believe in this philosophy of proximity. Our approach to design is attentive to trends and will be able to boost your company to stardom. Get to work!

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Video Marketing

How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign

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Retargeting is a common marketing technique that serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. This tactic is a great way to remain top of mind with people who have already expressed interest in your brand. Many people treat every visitor to their site the same way, serving the same ads to everyone. Retargeting is a more nuanced approach that serves more relevant ad content based on behavior — thus providing a better experience.

With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy for you to hone in on your niche audiences by using Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube to create different user segments based on actions that people take on your video.

Many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of the ability to segment visitors based on video behavior. Videos help potential customers build emotional connections with your brand, and people who have that connection are more likely to purchase in the future. In other words, when someone is willing to watch your 2–3-minute product video, there is a better chance that they’ll sign up for an account when prompted.

We’ve found that, on average, viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.

“Viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.”

Implementing segments like this within your retargeting campaigns allows you to reduce spend on less effective segments (like our homepage segment) while focusing on visitors who are farther along in your sales funnel and more connected to your brand.

Wistia allows you to keep track of key events like video engagement, video form conversions, channel subscriptions, and more. Once you connect these events with your retargeting provider, you’ll be efficiently serving up ads in no time!

The first thing you need to do is set up your integrations and then start creating segments in your retargeting provider. We’ll review how to do this across our four integration partners — Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and since then, the two have become one, making it super easy to advertise across both platforms.

First, we’ll quickly walk through how to set up the integration with FacebookAds. You can do this in your Wistia account under the account drop-down — you’ll see “integrations” as one of the options from this screen. Under the “promotion integrations” section, you’ll find “Facebook Ads.” Select the “connect” button to begin the process.

It’s important to note — you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account that has access to your Facebook Ads account and accept the user permissions. That’s it! Voila — easy peasy.

With the integration live, Wistia will begin to send viewer event data for any video you have embedded on your website to Facebook. Now you can get started targeting your ads with Reach & Retarget!

Facebook and Instagram give you several options for video-related “events,” including:

  • Percent watched
  • Seconds watched
  • Played Video
  • Subscribed

Once audiences are enabled, they will appear in the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads account. You can also log back in and create new audiences any time after the integration is live. You’ll do this by creating a “custom audience” and using “website traffic” as the data source.

On the Wistia side, we’ll also provide a few recommended audience segments in the “promote” section of your channel. If a segment feels relevant, simply select “enable” to set up the list.

Keep in mind that these pre-populated audiences are just suggestions — you’ll be able to set up many more variations of these in the Facebook Ads platform. This flexibility is really where the integration is most useful; it allows marketers to easily define and create custom audiences based on viewer behavior.

Google and YouTube

Similarly, Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so you’ll be able to easily manage ads across both platforms within Google Ads.

To set up this integration, you’ll need to connect Wistia to your Google Analytics account. Navigate to the account tab and select “integrations” (just like you did for the Facebook connection). Remember, you’ll need to be an account owner or manager to connect the accounts. From there, select “Google Analytics” and follow the prompts to connect the two platforms.

To feed this data into other Google properties, you’ll need to do a little work in your Google Analytics account — but we’ve got you covered!

In your Google Analytics account, head over to the admin panel. From there, you’ll see the main screen with several options; select “Google Ads Linking.” This workflow will allow you to send analytics data over to the Google Ads platform. And, since YouTube ads are managed through the Google Ads platform, you’ll be able to leverage this data across both platforms without any additional work.

If you’re curious about how a specific segment is performing, you can set up custom audiences in Google Analytics, which can also be sent over to Google Ads for retargeting. Alternatively, you can set up unique custom audiences directly within Google Ads.

Once the integration is live, we can start to send event data to the Google Analytics account that you’ve connected. The following events will be tracked:

  • Plays
  • % Watched
  • Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
  • Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
  • Subscribed
  • Time Watched

You’ll see a few suggested audiences in Wistia and can turn those on or off at any time. But remember — these are just a few ideas to help you get started. Get creative with your audiences and segments to really unlock the power of retargeting!


Ok, great, you have your integrations set up, and the data is rolling in. Now what?

Connecting your accounts is the easy part. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and start creating your custom audiences. Here are a few specific examples of how you can use video retargeting throughout the conversion funnel.

Build brand affinity with video series

Are you promoting a new show or video series? If so, nurturing folks to finish an episode and the series is a great way to keep viewers engaged and build brand affinity.

You can take two approaches to this. First, retarget folks who started but did not finish an episode. To do this, set up a list on each episode for viewers that did not complete a defined percentage of a video (<75%, as an example). Then, serve this segment ads reminding them to finish. The best part? With Wistia’s resumable video feature, viewers will be able to pick the video back up right where they left off. Pretty cool, huh?

The second approach is to retarget folks who did finish an episode to encourage them to continue their journey with the next episode. To do this, set up a segment based on video completions, and serve these viewers ads for your next episode.

Nudge prospects with helpful resources

Video can do so much more than simply drive awareness for your brand; it can be a powerful tool to help nurture folks through your sales funnel. An example of this would be to use retargeting to provide helpful and timely resources related to the problem that your product or service solves.

This segment could be folks who convert on a video (fill out a Turnstile form). For example, you might gate a webinar or robust video asset on your website and then retarget those viewers to take the next step in your conversion funnel, perhaps downloading a related asset or viewing a product demo.

Drive leads for super engaged viewers

Are you looking to drive qualified leads from your videos? If so, Wistia has you covered. The exact equation for how you qualify leads will vary — but the same logic still applies. To do this, decide on what specific actions you view as “qualified.”

Let’s take folks who watched a high percentage of a high-intent video. For example, if viewers complete more than 75% of a product demo video, you could retarget them to set up a call with a solutions consultant for a personalized walk-through.

These are just a few examples of how you can get creative and set up custom audiences for retargeting. The options are only limited to your imagination. Meet with your team to decide on a few key segments that make sense for your business, and start building your lists today!

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