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Using video in web design

Online video marketing is big news. On YouTube there are just under 50,000 videos being viewed every second around the world. Vimeo streamed 4.9 billion videos in 2013 alone, and a third of all online activity is spent watching video. But not only are videos proving their worth in entertainment and educational value, they are also a vital sales, branding and business promotion tool.

This blog post explores some of the main advantages of using video on your site and gives examples of the type of content that is best suited for video treatment.

Why does my site need a video?

No matter what type of business and website you have, there will be places where using a video will prove beneficial. A quick search on the internet will reveal a whole host of statistics on increased traffic and conversions, but there are other reasons for considering video too:

  • User experience – When combined with compelling text, beautiful images and elegant design, a well-crafted video can add enormous value to the user’s overall experience of your website.
  • Connection – Providing a video, especially if you have a real person talking to the user, enables you to connect on a more personal level, in turn increasing trust in you and your brand.
  • Storytelling – Video enables you to tell the story of your business, your brand or yourself, and there’s nothing like a good story to engage people and let them become emotionally invested in your company.
  • Interest and fun – People like to be entertained and videos are the ideal medium for injecting a little humour and charisma into your site, showcasing your personality and making you seem more human.
  • Time – Because audio and visual elements are combined in a video, you can say a lot in a short space of time. Your users won’t have so much to read and will be drawn in to click further into your site for more information.
  • Shareability – Videos are one of the most-shared resources on the internet, up to 1200% more times than links and text combined. If you want to make your brand more social, video is something you certainly don’t want to overlook.
  • SEO – Search engines love video, mostly due to the increased social sharing and inbound links that they create.
  • Profit – As well as driving extra traffic to your site, generating more click-throughs and purchases, your videos themselves might become a source of revenue. Depending on your website and business model, charging customers to view videos or purchase additional video resources might be something you wish to consider.

How can I use video on my website?

Not all videos are created equal and it’s important to plan carefully what type of videos will work best for your company aims and objectives, and whereabouts on your site they will work best. Here are some ideas:

Introductory videos

Many companies are including videos on their homepages with the intention of introducing their company and/or their products and services in a friendly and professional manner. 

Using a video in this way immediately sets the tone of the site and lets your visitors get to know you in a more personal way. Including a video on your landing page can also generate up to 800% more conversions than a page with static images and text alone. Sounds like a pretty good reason.

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Animated Tours

Similarly, animated tours of your website or of a particular product or service can involve your visitors in a much more interactive and compelling manner than static images and text. Make sure you are selective, including the most engaging elements, and those things that lend themselves particularly well to video treatment.

Demonstrations

If your site has educational or training content, video demonstrations are a great way to engage all kinds of learners. If you run a product-based company, demonstrations can allow viewers to see for themselves how useful your products are and how they can be used.

‘Easter eggs’

When used a little more creatively, videos can serve as little treats for the user – surprise animations or videos in places they weren’t expecting. This works well when not over-the-top. Just a little unexpected movement from an image that the user took to be static, for example, creates a surprise and shows your company’s personality.

Testimonials and interviews

Video testimonials are increasingly used as ways to promote a company’s services and work particularly well since they are so much more believable than their text-only counterparts. 

Similarly, interviews with key members of your team provide realism and help to integrate your customers with your brand.

A few final tips

To conclude, a few final tips for using video on your site:

  • Think about formats. Most new videos nowadays are HTML5 rather than Flash, but if you are still using Flash, make sure you have thought of fallback solutions for these users.
  • Is your video in a mobile-compatible format such as MP4?
  • Do you want your video to play automatically? Should your viewers be able to pause the video and resume where they left off?
  • Keep your videos short, sweet and compelling.
  • Be consistent and make sure that the style and design of your videos are in line with your brand and the overall design of your website.
  • Only include videos where they bring something extra to your site, to avoid them being distracting and gimmicky. Make sure that your video adds to, rather than detracts from your message.

As always, make sure that you think about the needs of your audience and the message you are trying to get across. When carefully planned and executed, the inclusion of video on your website can make a huge difference to your traffic levels, your brand awareness and your sales figures. And today, making videos for your website has never been easier.

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