A/B Testing for Video: What is A/B Testing?

Megan O'Neill


A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is the practice of comparing two versions of the same thing to see which performs better. It’s commonly used in marketing to test everything from landing page design elements to CTA button copy, headlines, colors, fonts, banner ads, and everything in between, in order to maximize clicks, sign-ups, purchases – or whatever else the conversion goal may be.

A/B Testing for Video: What is A/B Testing?
What is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing for Video

The concept of A/B testing in business and marketing is nothing new. But, while businesses and marketers have embraced A/B testing for website, design, and static advertising elements, the world of A/B testing for video has remained a mystery to most.

But video has become a must-have for marketers. Video gets more engagement than other types of media on Facebook; 76.5% of professional marketers and small- to medium-sized business owners that have used video marketing say it’s had a direct impact on their business; and three in four consumers even link social videos to purchasing decisions. If you’re A/B testing everything else, it follows that you should be A/B testing your videos too, in order to maximize your return on investment.

Here at Animoto, we create multiple variations of every video we use for marketing – whether it’s for a Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube TrueView ad, or a video we’re emailing out to our customers.

As an example, before we sent out our holiday video this year, we tested several variations using Facebook’s Ad Manager. We presented three versions of the video, each with a different opening shot, to a targeted audience similar to our own. Variation 2 (our logo dancing around at Rockefeller Center) performed best. As a result, that’s the version we shared with our customers when it came time for our holiday promotions.

A/B Test Holiday Video

Sometimes the original video we created performs the best, but sometimes one little tweak makes a world of difference. Without testing, we’d have no way of knowing (and would be missing out on all that additional ROI!). And with each test, we also learn a little more about what resonates with our audience, which helps us inform our video marketing strategy going forward.

Getting Started

So why aren’t marketers and businesses A/B testing their videos? It’s simple – video has a reputation for being expensive and time-consuming to produce. Therefore, it feels a lot more difficult to create multiple variations of a video for testing than it does to, say, write a few different versions of a headline or create a few different static images.

The good news? A/B testing videos is a lot easier than you think. This is the first in a series of blog posts that we’ll be releasing over the next couple months, showing you the basics of A/B testing your videos. We’ll teach you about the different elements of your videos that you can (and should) be testing, how to easily create variations in Animoto, how to set up tests, and how to measure results. Got a specific question about A/B testing for video that you’d like us to answer? Leave a comment below!

Homework Assignment:

(Oh no, not homework! It’s ok, we swear this will be useful.) In anticipation for the next post in this series, which will be published on Tuesday February 7, start thinking about how and where you’re currently using video. What videos are you using and what are their intended goals. For instance, the goal of a video shared on Facebook may be engagement or the goal of a video on a product page may be sales. This will help you in the next stage of the process, which is creating variations that you think may increase the success of these videos.

Explore the other posts in this series:

What Variations to Test
Creating Video Variations with Animoto Setting Up a Test in Facebook Measuring Results in Facebook