Using video on your website is so easy these days with access to smartphones and cheap cameras. Does website video fit your business, and is it worth the effort?
That’s why we’ve put together these ideas for using video on your website, from video headers and backgrounds to instructional videos. Learn more about how to use video on your website in a way that’s easy for you and adds value for your audience.
Instructional videos and explainers
We’ve all turned to these types of videos before, to show us how to fix a bicycle tube or prepare a holiday turkey.
Professionals and small businesses of all kinds can share their expertise in this way. These kinds of videos will take practice to get right, but they can help raise your professional profile and show you as trusted source of information.
Tutorial, guide, how-to, instructional film … no matter what you call this type of video, it typically follows the same basic script. You introduce yourself, then explain to your viewers how something works as clearly as possible. Anything that you put in your website FAQ or buying guide might also be a good topic for a how-to video.
Whatever it is you choose, it’s important that your tips and explanations fit your business and expertise. Also, that you appear credible and talk about things that you are actually familiar with, of course.
Remember, it’s ok for the video to be short and just cover one small topic. In fact, that’s usually better. You want the video to be thorough and useful. However, most data suggest that people’s engagement with instructional videos drops off significantly after 6 minutes.
Sometimes you take the best product photos and write the most convincing product descriptions, but what exactly your product can do and how to use it just doesn’t come through. A video showing the product in action is exactly the right solution for this.
When you show a product in action, it’s easier for people to picture it and convince them to make a purchase. Think about how online retailer Zappos shows their shoes from many different angles, and includes a video of a person just walking and turning around in the shoes. It doesn’t have to be complicated…really just those simple perspectives can make a big difference.
Sometimes it is also a good idea to introduce not only the product itself but also its surroundings. For example, if you have a holiday rental website, a video is a great way to give a tour of your apartment in detail, along with the beautiful surrounding area.
And of course, if you have a musician or band website, your music is the product, so you should have clips of your performances too.
Tip: Think about adding closed captions to your videos whenever possible. This will help keep your website accessible to people with disabilities and also user-friendly for people who don’t want to play sound.
Introducing yourself and your work
As a self-employed person, you not only sell your products, but also yourself. So it’s particularly important to make a connection with your customers. You already do this offline when you meet people in person, but you can do it online via your website.
You can spice it up with videos about you, your team and your work. Show what drives you and how you plunge into your work full of energy every day. That makes you approachable and personable and helps your visitors feel invested in you.
If you have the budget, hiring a professional to create the short video for you is a great way to go, since they’ll know which questions to ask and how to capture you at your best.
Video headers and video backgrounds
The header is at the top of your page and is usually the first thing your visitors see. So a video header can be particularly effective at grabbing attention immediately.
A video that shows your product or service in action shows visitors what you have to offer as soon as they visit your website.
An atmospheric video clip can also be a good choice for a video header. For example, a quiet scene on the beach where there is little movement apart from the waves. This creates a relaxed atmosphere that could work for both psychotherapists and spa hotels.
Of course, there are a few things to consider before you use video as a header or background:
Do website video headers work for mobile users?
If you choose to use a video header or background on your website, think about the experience on mobile devices, too. Your videos will still work on mobile devices, but the viewing experience will be a little different. So make sure there’s nothing crucial in these videos that a mobile user would miss out on.
Is the background video making your content hard to see or read?
If you want to use a video as a background for your text and other content, you have to sure that there isn’t too much going on in the film. After all, your visitors still need to be able to concentrate on what is happening in the foreground, and it’s important keep your text clear and readable.
If you use a video header and add it to your Title Block, you can show and hide other text and buttons as you wish, and decide whether your video should be in the foreground or serve as a background. The most important thing is to make sure it all stays readable, so check your website in View Mode.
Is this video really helping, or is it distracting from my message?
There’s a difference between attracting positive and negative attention. If the video is too fast or in-your-face, people might leave your website quickly (“bounce”). That’s one of the reasons why most background videos (thankfully!) don’t auto-play sound anymore.
Where can you find good video clips for website backgrounds?
There are many websites online that offer free stock photography and background patterns for your website. And many of these websites also offer video clips for download. These are typically more ambient, but can look just right playing subtly in the background for effect. Shutterstock, Pixabay, Artgrid, Pexels, and Videezy are all good places to start your search.
Videos are always part of the bigger website picture
Videos attract attention, convey a specific message, and address your visitors on an emotional level. Done well, it to show your customers how your product works, looks, and feels. But it can also be overused and distracting. So use your best judgement, try out some different video clips, and never be shy about asking people whether it’s working or not. A good rule of thumb is to save video for instances where text and photos alone won’t cut it.
Let us help you create great videos that engage your customers. Schedule a free consult today.