Simple Video Pro 2 Review + Demo
Today I’m reviewing Simple Video Pro 2, a video player WordPress plugin by Nick LaPolla and Mike Lantz.
I bought this plugin last year when the first version was released, because of the awesome features it had that I’d never seen before. It went on to become the top selling WSO ever!
Like so many other stuff I’ve bought, I didn’t get around to using it until much later – a few months ago actually! I was adding videos to a new site I’d made and I remembered this plugin I’d bought that could help increase conversions.
So I went to download the latest version, and found out that the new and improved version 2 was coming out soon. I was all set to upgrade when I found out that Nick had extended the year of free updates for anyone who bought on or after 18 August 2012 to include the new version!
That was awesome of him, but after some indecision I upgraded anyway, because I really wanted one of the new add-on modules and another year of updates. Of course it also helped that past customers of Simple Video Pro 1 get a discount for version 2! 😉
I’ve installed the new version on this blog and tested it out, and in this review I’ll show you what I love about it, and what I wasn’t so impressed with.
Yes, there’s one feature that leaves something to be desired, which is unfortunate because it would be awesome if executed a bit better! Read on to find out more.
This review is pretty long and in-depth, so here is an example video so you can see a few of Simple Video Pro’s features straight away. Remember that it has many more features, so be sure to carry on reading when the video is finished! 😉[svpVideo v=1]
I chose a video from Google’s YouTube channel, so you can see it doesn’t have to be your own video. The iMac screen frame is one of the 15 mobile responsive frames available to choose from.
The picture you see before it starts playing is a splash image that I made and uploaded onto my blog. Same with the end splash image, except this one can also link to somewhere.
The new “Play-in-view” feature is enabled, so the video starts playing automatically when it scrolls into view, and stops playing when you scroll past it.
I’ve also enabled the social sharing buttons, which appear when you move your mouse over the video.
Instead of a watermark/logo, I put a buy button. Both the banner ads and the watermark can be linked to wherever you want, and can be positioned in 9 different places. The difference between the two is that while the watermark stays visible for the whole duration of the video, you can decide when the banner appears and for how long. In this example it appears after 5 seconds and lasts for 15 seconds.
Simple Video Pro 2 Features
So what exactly can this plugin do? So much stuff, I’m going to have to divide this review up into subsections!
Video Display & Control
Simple Video Pro 2 allows you to embed self hosted (Amazon S3 etc.) or YouTube videos on your site and choose how they are displayed, viewed, and controlled – even if you didn’t make them! You can:
- choose the start and stop points of the video
- control the alignment (eg. wrap content around the video)
- choose between wide-screen or standard
- enable or disable full-screen viewing
- enable responsive sizes for mobile viewing
- choose to auto-play videos
- hide the control bar
- auto-hide the control bar on mouse-over
- choose between 15 responsive video frames/skins
- create your own lightweight CSS frames
- use the SVP2 widget to put your videos in any widget area
- choose which pages the widget will display on
With the “Play-in-view” option enabled, your video will start playing automatically when it scrolls into view, and it will stop when it scrolls out of view. This is great when you have multiple videos on your page, and you want to make sure none of the secondary ones are missed.
There are 15 different frames you can use for your videos, all responsive which means they’ll resize automatically on mobile devices. My favorites are the computer screen and laptop frames, but there are also more subtle frames if you prefer. You can even choose to style your own frame using CSS.
I like the SVP2 widget. You just drag it into the widget area like any other widget, and choose the video you would like to display. Then you can choose whether you would like the video to appear on all pages that have that widget area, or only on certain pages. It has a list of your pages, so you can either select the pages you want it to show on, or have it show on all pages except the ones you select. Very useful!
It’s weird that you can’t choose posts for it to appear on, but I guess in a post you would usually want the video in the content area anyway, not in the sidebar.
Simple Video Pro 2 also has a feature called SVP Global Videos, which can be used to display videos:
- in a widget
- anywhere you can use WP shortcodes
- inside theme code
- on outside non-Wordpress sites
With SVP 2 you can monetize your videos, or any video that you find on YouTube! Obviously this will only work when people are viewing the videos on your site though – don’t think you can modify how people see them on YouTube 😉
Here are the monetization features:
- Splash images – you can add a splash image or a PayPal button at the start or end of the video
- Timed PayPal button
- Timed banner ad
- You can add your own logo/watermark to the videos, and choose where you want to position them
- You can redirect the viewers to a URL of your choice when the video is finished
Imagine you have an affiliate site about movies. You could use Simple Video Pro 2 to embed trailers from YouTube onto your blog, add branding with splash images and/or a watermark of your site’s logo, and at the end of the trailer you could display a buy button that will take them to Amazon with your affiliate link!
All this would only take a few minutes, because you don’t have to create or upload any videos, and you can set up the splash images and logo in the SVP 2 general template so that those options are filled in automatically for new videos. Pretty cool, right?
As if the monetization features weren’t enough, you can also use the videos to build your list by adding an opt-in form in the video!
For example, using the same movie site scenario, at the end of the trailer you could display an opt-in form where they can sign up to your newsletter to get the latest movie news etc.Here are the list-building features available with Simple Video Pro 2:
- responsive in-video opt-in forms
- integration with top 3 autoresponders
- timed opt-in form display
- overlay custom HTML
- timed content reveal – you can hide content until a certain time in the video. You can hide and reveal site content, buy buttons, opt-in forms, or even other videos! It is possible to make a reveal chain of up to 10 videos per post.
SVP2 is integrated with Aweber, Mailchimp, and GetResponse, but it is also compatible with other autoresponders.
Unfortunately, the opt-in forms are the feature I wasn’t so impressed with. They don’t look as sleek and professional as I had expected, and they only have a few different color options, so they aren’t very customizable.
I like that you can choose between 2 different types of opt-in forms. The 1/4 screen one shows at the bottom of the video like a horizontal banner, and you can choose when it appears. However, I don’t like that it covers the video controls and stops the viewer from being able to move backwards or forwards in the video.
Another problem with the 1/4 screen opt-in form is that the heading text gets cut off. It looks like the input field below the heading in the form has a border that’s covering the bottom of the text, and I’m not sure if it’s a bug in the plugin or a slight incompatibility with my blog’s theme.
The other type of opt-in form is a full screen one that displays at the end of the video and fills up the whole video display. I wish we could customize the placement of the text and input fields on this one.
I’ll submit a bug report for the 1/4 screen opt-in, and it will probably get fixed soon since I heard there will already be some updates to SVP2 this month. Maybe they will also improve the design of the opt-in forms in future updates! In the meantime it’s not a dealbreaker, they’re still usable as is and I think they’ll definitely increase subscriptions anyway.
Simple Video Pro 2 helps with traffic generation in 3 different ways: SEO, viral buttons, and embed codes.
- Video site map
- Facebook Graph and Open Graph tags
- Video Rich Text Snippets
The video site map and video rich text snippets that SVP 2 creates for all your videos are great for SEO because they help Google index all your videos, and provide extra information that will let Google know what the videos are about.
Facebook Graph and Open Graph tags tell both Facebook and Google specifics about your pages and videos, and are also very beneficial to SEO. You will be able to set a custom Facebook icon, site name, and description for each page and video that will display for likes and comments. Controlling this can help a lot with viral marketing.
Thanks to these tags, Facebook will be able to index your pages and videos in it’s own search engine, and with Simple Video Pro 2 you can also embed videos directly to Facebook timelines if the website they’re hosted on has an SSL certificate.
- Pinterest Pin-it button
- YouTube subscribe button
- Twitter Tweet Button
- Facebook Like Button
These are pretty self-explanatory. You can enable social sharing buttons on your videos for Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Note that the Pinterest Pin-it button is for YouTube videos only, and it pins the YouTube video page – not the page on your site that you embed the video on. This means it’s only a good idea to use it if the video is one you uploaded onto your own YouTube channel.
- Normal embed codes
- Affiliate embed codes
You can include an embed code to post the videos on more sites. You can also enable an affiliate embed code, so that your affiliates can embed the video with their affiliate link.
OTO’s: Optional Add-On Modules
The OTO (one-time offer, or upsell) for Simple Video Pro 2 is 2 optional add-on modules for $59.99.
The first add-on is a video scheduling module with a built-in countdown timer, for setting up launches and stuff like that easily and quickly. Here’s the feature list:
- High converting product launch sequences
- Evergreen launch sequences (the counter starts for each visitor, instead of having fixed dates)
- Evergreen Video Content Drip
- Custom one-time-offers
I would have liked to see a demo video of this or at least a screenshot, but there wasn’t one so I wasn’t sure whether I needed it or not.
I already have a couple of WordPress plugin that can do these things, so I didn’t really want to buy the video scheduling module. Unfortunately the two modules can’t be bought separately though!
The second add-on is a transparent video overlay module. For this you’ll need a green-screen video of yourself or someone else.
Then you can embed it on your website with SVP 2 so that it looks like you’re walking out onto the page. You can use this for a call to action, a personal message to your visitors, or anything like that.
A really cool feature that this module has is the ability to choose when you want the video to play. For example, on the sales page there were 3 of these videos that appeared at different places in the sales letter. In 2 of them Nick walked onto the page from the side of the browser window, and in the 3rd one he popped up from the bottom. That was quite funny!
Now normally I wouldn’t be interested in something like this, because I don’t have the equipment to make a green screen video, and I have no idea what would be needed anyway. But I checked on Fiverr and you can actually get people to make green screen videos for only $5! 🙂
So I can attest to the fact that the transparent videos can help with conversions, because they are what got me to buy the modules in the end! Once I knew I would be able to use them, I caved. I’m not too broken up about it because the integrated video scheduling module probably works better with Simple Video Pro 2 than my other plugins would anyway.
Ease of Use
Does Simple Video Pro 2 live up to it’s name? When I first saw the settings area with all those tabs I was apprehensive, but I needn’t have been. The tabs actually make things simpler by dividing up all the settings into small sections, so you only see the settings you need instead of getting overwhelmed by everything SVP2 can do.
Inserting a video on each page just takes a few minutes, and most of that time for me was spent thinking what to write in the title and description areas. If you already know what you want the search engines to see then actually setting up the video is really quick and easy.
Most of the settings are clear and self-explanatory, but if you’re not sure what something means there’s a little help icon next to each option that explains what it does when you hover your mouse over it.
There are also clear step-by-step tutorial videos on the page where you download the plugin, but you probably won’t need them.
Simple Video Pro 2 allows you to save even more time by creating a global template with default settings for all your videos. You can still make changes to the videos individually if you need to though.
SVP2 videos are quick and easy to set up, and look great with the fancy frames. I love the monetization, list building, and social sharing options!
The opt-in forms could definitely be prettier though, so I’m hoping for an update soon that will improve their design. In the meantime I will still use the full-size opt-in form, but I probably won’t use the 1/4 size one until that glitch with the heading is fixed.
I haven’t has a chance yet to test the add-on modules I bought, but I saw the demo of the transparent video overlay module and I can’t wait to use it!
Overall I’m very happy with my purchase of Simple Video Pro 2, and I’ve got a lot of ideas on how to use it to increase earnings on both my niche and authority sites 🙂