There are numerous benefits of using videos on your homepage. For starters, they can help you establish a stronger brand personality and improve your credibility. Homepage videos can also help increase your conversion rates, and they are, let’s face it, usually more interesting than text or images.
Or at least they can be when they’re filmed and used correctly.
Let’s look at some dos and don’ts of featuring explainer videos on homepages, as well as how other brands have used them successfully.
Do: Get to the point as soon as possible
The longer a video is and the longer it takes to get to its value proposition, the less likely it is to convert a visitor. In fact, a long video is far less likely even just to hold on to their attention.
Short, crisp and focused videos are what you need to aim for. Whether you’re explaining the benefits of your services, demonstrating the use of your products or showcasing facts and figures, you need to use the first 10-15 seconds to get to the reason why people should keep watching.
Sticker Mule gives you three examples of using their services within the first 20 seconds – and the entire video is just over a minute long. Plenty of time to hook visitors to explore the website further.
Don’t: Use autoplay
How many times have you opened a website only to be unpleasantly surprised by music or a speaker’s voice blasting from your headphones? Autoplay on homepage videos is simply bad manners.
You never know what your visitors are doing while looking at your website, how loud the volume of their speakers is and if you’re about to interrupt a video meeting.
Let the visitor decide when they want to watch your video. There’ll be those who’re browsing on their phones while on a call. Leaving a bad taste in their mouth by autoplaying a video will make a conversion far less likely.
Do: Place the video high on the page
What’s the purpose of a great video if you place it near the bottom of your page, making it less likely for a visitor to get to it and watch it? Placing it higher up – either in the hero section of your homepage or just below it – will yield the best results.
You also want to surround the video with information rather than cram all the necessary facts into the video. That way, even those who choose not to watch it will feel informed and be able to understand what your products or services are about and how they can help them.
ShowMojo does this very well: their video is located just below the hero, and the key data is listed next to it. The actual video is more of a sales pitch than the copy on the page, perfectly complementing it.
Don’t: Go into too much detail
The recommendation for homepage videos is to keep them under two minutes long. And while you can certainly pack a whole lot of information into two minutes, you’ll want to make sure you don’t go overboard.
Let’s say you’re a travel agency. You don’t want your homepage video to list all of your latest destinations, along with prices and dates. Instead, you want to sell the atmosphere and the excitement. Focus on eliciting emotion from your viewers, as opposed to providing all the details in one video.
Do: show your expertise
Ideally, you want your homepage video to clearly establish your expertise and make your audience understand why they should choose you over your competitor. You can do this by showcasing success stories, talking a bit about your experiences and speaking the language of your target audience.
Don’t brag too much, though, because that can have an adverse effect. You want to be confident, not arrogant.
Jackson Galaxy has a great video on his homepage. True, it loads in full screen and could be seen as, but the video itself makes it clear why you should trust his products and recommendations, which is what you want to achieve.
Don’t: Use a video where you don’t need one
Although homepage videos can be incredibly useful and take your sales pitch up several notches, there are times when you don’t actually need to use one at all.
We’ll say it again: not everyone will want to watch your video. Someone might be browsing from a phone in the middle of a meeting. Others might just prefer copy to video.
Understanding your target audience will help you recognize their needs and interests. When considering whether or not to include a video, base your decision on actual data and market research. Don’t be guided just by the wish to keep up with the trends.
Do: Show something unique
Finally, you want to make sure your videos are different and that they clearly set you apart from your competitors. The best way to do that is to go behind the scenes show something unique to your brand: the process, the design, the people. This brings people into the fold and demonstrates experience and knowledge, making a conversion that much more likely.
Hopefully these tips will help you make homepage videos that appeal to your visitors. Just remember that you want to use them to convey what your brand is about and how it can help your customers solve specific issues.