Does adding a video to your Fiverr gig increase sales?


#1

Most Fiverr sellers want to find ways to increase the number of sales they make. One of the more common suggestions given to new sellers is to make sure to add a video to their gigs. This, they are told, will increase sales. But is this true?



As a professional marketer, I’ve learned to test all marketing hypotheses for validity. We learn in marketing that, just because an idea sounds intuitive and effective, doesn’t mean it is. Without proper testing, you really can’t draw hard conclusions; your hypothesis is just that - a hypothesis.



So, of course, I decided to test this hypothesis. It’s pretty easy to formulate an experiment that will more or less accurately test the hypothesis that “adding a video to my gig will increase sales”. There are a few ways to do it, but one way is called A/B Testing.



In A/B Testing, you set up a Test Group and a Control Group. The Test Group has the thing you’re trying to test - in this case, a gig with video. The Control Group is exactly the same as the Test Group, but with one important difference: it does not contain the variable you want to test. (The variable you’re testing is called the Dependent Variable, for you statistics buffs). If noticeable differences between the gigs start to emerge, you look at those differences in relation to the variable (in this case, the video) to try to ascertain what effect, if any, it may have had on the results.



So, we set up an A/B Test on our gig in order to test the hypothesis:



Hypothesis: Adding video to gig will (significantly) increase sales

Test Group: Gig with video

Control Group: exactly the same as the Test Group, but without the video.



And that’s what we did. The test isn’t super, super pure, because our two gigs aren’t exactly the same for Fiverr purposes. But they are not significantly different from each other, and so are similar enough to get a sense of the video’s efficacy. Furthermore, before adding any video, the two gigs were performing roughly the same. So, if after adding a video to the Test Group, we notice a substantive change in sales, then we know the Dependent Variable is having some effect.



So, what were our results?



They were non-intuitive, to say the least.



After adding the video to the Test Gig, what happened was just the opposite of what you would expect. In fact, the Control Group actually started selling better than the Test Group, after adding the video. Adding the video to the Test Group had zero positive relationship to sales for the Test Group. And after about a week, sales stopped for both gigs completely.



Now, just in case you’re thinking the reason might be that the video was sucky and repulsed people, we controlled for that. The video was done in HD quality, by a sexy Fiverr top seller, Nicole Bella, whom the camera absolutely loves. Therefore, it is not likely that the video in itself was the reason people weren’t buying the gig. Especially since they were buying the gig before the video was added and nothing substantive about the gig was changed. Also, if they were repulsed by the video, would they then go and buy the other gig? No, what is more likely is that those who thought the video was cheesy, or a lame attempt at using “sex to sell”, would have been turned off by our brand altogether, and probably gone to another Fiverr seller to buy.



So, what is more likely, in my opinion, is that the video had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the sale of the Test Group gig.



Now, of course, in order for the results to be conclusive, the experiment would technically have to be repeated a certain number of times, with the same outcome. But it does show why testing is important in marketing, and why you shouldn’t just take someone’s word for it. Do you own tests, do your own thinking, and draw your own conclusions. That’s the best way.



Eric Bryant, CMO

Gnosis Media Group


Increase sales?
#2

Hey Eric, this is an excellent post from you and I agree with you on a lot of points you made, but I also disagree, so let me respectfully tell you which points I am not concurring on and we can discuss.



Let’s talk marketing, my friend, both online marketing, offline marketing, and traditional marketing and see if we can really get to the bottom of your theory and results.



First of all, thank you for doing A/B testing. You are right in saying that A/B testing is an excellent tool, but what i disagree on is that you say that just because sales were down with the video, that you made a hard conclusion that it was, because of the video.



If you are talking about marketing, you left out some important marketing strategies and one of those is marketing research. I think that if you are performing test marketing, which is a form of research, the people who watched the video and did not purchase your gig should be asked in a survey if that was the real reason why sales were down. Surveys are excellent marketing research tools. I don’t like the fact that the test market was performed on the video and the “laggards” (people who don’t purchase right away) were not interviewed if that was the real reason.



My gigs, personally, always do better with videos, so the A/B testing that you performed, according to MY experience of being a seller on Fiverr for almost 2 years is incomplete or inconclusive. You definitely need to survey your control group to know for sure.



Now, target marketing was another marketing strategy that you did not mention. I feel, as a marketing person, that if the video is targeting the right market, it WILL make a positive impact on your sales.



Sex definitely sells, so if you re using Nicole Bella in your videos, maybe she was not right for your target market. Maybe, a different figure would have made a difference. In my videos, I usually address my target market like “Hey website owners” or “Hey musicians”.



Well, we can go on about this forever, but suffice to say that videos DO increase sales if they target the market correctly and they will definitely fail if they do not address the target audience.



You also said "the experiment would technically have to be repeated a certain number of times, with the same outcome. " which in advertising means “frequency”. You can have all the frequency you want in your TV commercial (or your Fiverr video), but if your video is not targeting your market, frequency will make no difference.



Let’s discuss.



Bruce


#3

Hey, Bruce. Thank you for your insights. And you make valid points. Just goes to show that this stuff is more complex than we like to make it. I think what I said in my post is that the video really didn’t have a positive effect at all on sales. But you are also right, that the contentof the video has to target the target audience or market. And you’re right in saying that this is where market research comes in. Nicole may just not have been the proper content. The video was only a 15 second commercial, which is basically just long enough for a soundbyte. She was wearing a bikini, which may not have gone well with the theme of the gig. Who knows exactly? It probably is more correct to say that the results were inconclusive. But I did actually say that the test would have to be repeated in order for the hypothesis to be made stronger. So, I think we’re saying the same thing here.



The main point I was trying to make is this: that the mere fact of having a video for a gig does not - in itself - cause there to be higher sales. But if you listen to the way people make the suggestion, this is how they tend to state it. Nevertheless, I know that most people are not professional marketers, and so we can’t be too much sticklers on this. I just want my fellow Fiverr sellers to realize that there is more to think about, which you alluded to. It’s not just about a video, it’s about the content of the video, the audience the video targets, the seller’s target market, market research, and all the rest of it you mention.



Eric


#4

Hi Guys,

Great stuff… I tend to agree with the statement "But if you listen to the way people make the suggestion, this is how they tend to state it."



After reading all the hype about adding a video, I tried my best with the limited resources I have to put one together, and I must say that it has increased my sales.

I like the videos. But that’s just me.



Kindest

Arden.


#5

There’s a column called ‘Haz Video’, which probably adds the chance more people will see it. More views is more likely for a sale.


#6
lefttowrite said: There's a column called 'Haz Video', which probably adds the chance more people will see it. More views is more likely for a sale.


Absolutely agree and I believe this to be a fact. Because there is an actual category and section called Haz Videos, buyers will watch videos, so yes, gigs with videos have much more exposure.

Bruce

#7

Good point. We may try it again with … well … just me talking. Not sure yet. It’s weird. I removed the video a couple days ago, and … voila! The gig started selling again. Lol. Probably means that people really didn’t care for the “sexy girl in a bikini” trick.



In my defense, I didn’t ask Nicole to wear a bikini. My exact words to her were, “Wear what you want.” I honestly had no idea that she would wear a bikini. I mean, why wear a bikini to sell press release services??



sigh. Some people I guess you have to explain … um … everything to. My bad.



Eric


#8

@oldbittygrandma The real question tho is not: Did adding a video increase my sales? The question is: would I have gotten those sales without adding the video? And the only way to know that, is by running some sort of A/B or Split Test. For example, it might well be the case, grandma, that you’d have gotten the increase in sales anyway. This would mean that it wasn’t the video that increased the sales, but something else.



See, what we do is: Add a video, get a sale or two, and then jump to the conclusion that the video increased sales. But as the great empiricist, David Hume, asked, "How do you know this was not merely a constant conjoining of separate events?"



I.e., the rooster crows, and then the sun rises. This happens every day. But that doesn’t mean the rooster crowing was the cause of the sun rising. These two are just events that are, in Hume’s words, “constantly conjoined”. i.e., “they tend to occur together”. But the real cause, obviously, is something quite different.



So, it could be that the “Haz video” category creates additional visibility and that’s the reason. But if that were the case, then our video should have done the same thing. But it didn’t, as the test showed.



Eric


#9

I have one gig with a video and the two customers that followed, mentioned specifically things seen in the video – and it was a pretty lame one showing off my crochet hook and thread, lol. I was surprised.


#10

Getting a positive review will add exposure, as well. It’s hard to do an actual test because many variables have an affect on the sales #'s. The only way is hypothetical theories and with that it does seem like gigs with vids get more sales.


#11

It’s worth asking “what were the actual gigs being offered?” Also, "what is the actual demand for the gig being offered?"



There seem to be more variables than this experiment might take into consideration, but many such experiments may yield some very valuable conclusions.



It would be cool to take a wide variety of gigs across a spectrum of topics and categories and test the same question about whether a video helps the sale or not.



I add videos for my “voiceover” videos because I think lots of people notice how clear the audio is. The video is the actual way that folks first get a feeling for my voice. So this is an example of a realm that seems to obviously benefit from a proper video/audio presentation. I think all kinds of presentation matter and can vary widely depending on the gig that you’re selling. Still, to me, presentation says much about professionalism.



I’m not so sure about this experiment because there are such a wide variety of gigs done by such a vast array of people. It could have a different outcome depending on what you’re offering. In any case, that’s not a criticism. I say, more experiments. The more the better.



I have put videos with most of my own gigs thus far because they’re media related in the form of voiceovers, so it seems to make logical sense to me that it can only help me to have an ok short pitch in this fashion.



In some gigs I think work samples are more important than the video pitch. If someone makes eBook covers, I don’t want to hear them talk about it, I rather want to see the eBook covers. If someone does voiceovers, you can bet that for me seeing a video of them at work and sounding good makes a difference with me as a potential buyer.



Great idea for an experiment, and this is a great thread.


#12

Yes, the amount of positives factors in too, and the fact that a pretty girl was part of the gig doesn’t guarantee anything necessarily because of what kind of specific gig she was offering? Is she offering a testimonial? Is she offering to write a website on her face for five dollars? Is she editing an eBook? All the variations matter.


#13

Well, I’m trying it again, this time with a different video. Will let you know how it works out.


#14

@kuzzmedia Exactly my point. There are potentially an infinite array of variables at work in any given experiment: The type of gig offered, the type of video, the quality of video, the content of video, the demand for the product, etc., etc. As @hotwebideas stated, market research is really what this is about. It’s what tells us really what works and what doesn’t, and what we need to do or not do to sell a product. It may not be as simple as “add a video”.


#15

Interesting. The only bit that annoys me about videos is that the nice static image you upload is replaced by a (seemingly uncontrollable) thumbnail of a video frame. It may therefore not present the best initial image.



What I’d really like is the ability to keep the thumbnail static image I choose, but have the play button create the frame. For example, I offer audio recordings, and my video is me introducing the gig and then playing some examples live. However, I’m the first to admit I’m not the most photogenic/screen friendly, so is the frame itself putting people off? Well, it might be. I don’t have enough conclusive evidence either way at the moment.



So while this is a little off-topic, I’d be keen to know if this is a feature Fiverr would consider adding.


#16

it can, it’s one way to show that you are not scamming them. also sometimes the viewer can buy into the person’s performance in the video such as their character.


#17

kuzzmedia is spot on. I do voiceovers so there needs to be a way for people to hear me rather than just read a description. It’s a very interesting test especially since after years on Fiverr I finally have a video so we will see.