How Video Testing Can Improve Your Content
By Owen Fay . Posted on January 20, 2022

Video content has become one of the most popular types of media, but just making any video content isn’t enough to stand out. If you want to get views and achieve the goals of your video content you need to make sure the audience likes it.

Usability A/B testing your videos will give you feedback and help you find the content that your users want. Whether you are testing for content, ads, or other use cases testing the videos will help a lot.

Why You Should Test Video

Most of the time creating videos for social content, ads, or other distribution channels is expensive and time-consuming. So why should you make multiple versions of your video?

Video content is only useful if users actually watch it. A video that doesn’t increase engagement or add value to your business is a waste of that time and money.

Facebook and Nielsen research found that 47% of video viewers watch less than 3 seconds of videos and 74% watch less than 10 seconds. – The Value of Video for Brands

Usability testing will tell you what works in your videos and what your audience will watch. You can use the feedback to create more great video content that will be more likely to be completely viewed.

More brands do testing of videos than you think, it’s a valuable tool to maximize views and engagement. We’re going to assume you understand usability A/B testing but if not start with this article.

Steps to Creating a Good Test

Most businesses have embraced testing designs, new features, landing pages, and static ads but video testing remains a mostly unused method for optimization. There are a number of elements you can test from, including music, text, animation vs images, color among others. Video ads have a long list of things you can test meaning there are a lot of things that can be optimized.

Find the Elements You Want to Test

1. Media

Understanding if you should use images, video clips, or animation in your video content is important to gain views. The first 3-5 seconds of your video will decide if your audience will be interested and watch the video or move past it immediately. An attention-grabbing image or clip can make a big difference in views.

The media that is best for your business will change depending on the product, message, or platform you use. Testing the media can help create the best possible video.

2. Text

You can run tests on the text that you use in your video content by changing what the viewer sees to understand what is the most engaging to your users. The intro and outro text can be very important for your content. The intro can help catch the attention of viewers while the outro text can push viewers to take an action after watching the video.

Testing the call to action (CTA) that is on your video can help convert more viewers into customers. Taking a casual viewer and turning them into a loyal customer can hinge on your CTA. A change from “Learn More” to “Join Us” to “Sign Up” could make a difference in conversions. Testing these variations will help you find the best fit.

You want your video to get as many views as possible so experimenting with text videos vs non-text videos can help. It can help you understand what pushes your audience to take the next step. Once you test the two variations you can determine the video that performs the best and use that style for your future videos.

3. Thumbnail

The image you choose to display before someone plays your video is more important than you might think. The thumbnail you choose influences views and engagement. If the thumbnail is attention-grabbing and is relevant to your video the audience is more likely to connect with it and take action after they view it. You need the image to give a snapshot of what the content is, you can’t use a thumbnail of a mountain if the video is about football.

4. Design

The colors, music, and overall design of your video matter a lot. When choosing the colors for your video, try to keep them consistent with your branding. It is important to test and compare color combinations that appear throughout your video. You can test versions with different colors in the intro, CTA, or outro.

The music and audio used in the video content will impact views. Creating a mood or tone for your video is important and the music and audio used to create it. You can create a video that has text with music or experiment with a voiceover and test the versions against each other to see what your users prefer. Since most of the users viewing on their phones have the audio muted you might not want to use a voice over but if you aren’t targeting mobile users a voiceover might be more effective. The general rule for video is to have a combination of text and audio to cover all users.

Have a Hypothesis

After you decide what element of your ad you want to test you should create a hypothesis that can be backed up by the data. For example “Changing the intro of the video will lead to more full video views” or “Adding a voice-over to the video will keep more users engaged”.

This step helps you understand the data and decide if the test was a success or if the content needs more changes. You want to be able to prove or disprove the hypothesis you create for your test.

Create the Variations

To test your video content you need to have two variations of the content in order to see the differences. If you decide to test the music or audio you might want one version to have just music and the other to have a voiceover with music.

Testing videos that have clear differences will allow you to choose the best option and optimize based on the feedback. Keep the variation measurable and only test two versions at a time to get the best results.

Ask the Right Questions

When you run a test on your video ads you will ask the respondents to choose their favorite based on a question. Like building a hypothesis asking the right question helps you understand the data and get what you want out of the test.

A question like “What video explains the topic best?” will help you understand if the main point of the video is understood by the viewers. Asking “Which video is more engaging?” will help you to understand the version that more people are likely to view.

Using Poll the People To Test Videos

Once you have all the steps to creating a good test completed it is time to put the test together and launch it. We are going to use Poll the People to quickly run the video test. It might seem like a long and expensive process but your test can be created and run to completion in under an hour.

Just choose the video testing template in the platform, add your versions, choose the number of respondents you want, and launch. It’s that easy.


Analyze Results

Once you have created, launched, and received your feedback you’re ready to dive into the results. Poll the People provides an easy-to-digest dashboard that gives you the winner with the quantitative data on how much the “winner” won by.

You will also be able to filter the users that chose version A from those that chose version B and analyze their responses as to why. This will let you understand what was liked about the video and what wasn’t.

This feedback is valuable because some of the negative feedback might give you improvements to your video that could be very helpful. The positive feedback will allow you to continue to make successful videos with the layout or features the audience likes most.


Now you’ve learned why video testing is so important, understand how to run your test, and have some good insight to help you find your best video content. You don’t have to worry about launching videos that receive little or no engagement again. If you haven’t started yet, sign up and start doing video testing today!

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