When you meet a new client, you do your best to make a great first impression, right? You dress to impress, answer their questions patiently, and you might even laugh at a bad joke or two. It’s ok! You want to start the relationship with the right foot! We get it.
But does that client-brand relationship really start there?
Nowadays, there’s a good chance that direct contact won’t be your client’s first encounter with your company. That, most often than not, will happen online, on your homepage!
There, all your charisma, nice looks, and presentation should come through your content and site design! And the best way to go about it? You guessed it, homepage video.
Video content can greet and introduce your brand to your website visitors in a compelling way, and all in two minutes or less! But you need to do itright.
Read on as we give you the ultimate cheat sheet on homepage videos, going over benefits, do’s and don’ts, and even cool examples!
Using video can dramatically improve your audience’s user experience on your site. That much is widely known by now.
Users wouldn’t have to scan through long chunks of text to learn about what differentiates your brand. They would be able to know plenty about it just within a minute of entering your website and in the best way possible – with a fun, simple, and compelling story!
Moreover, a video’sstory can make your brand memorable! As awesome as your site’s design is, the fact is that text alone can’t compete with how compelling and memorable a well-developed video can be.
This strong brand recall has a lot to do with the fact that homepage videos allow visitors to feel your brand. I know that might sound a bit weird, but the truth is that emotions play a huge role in your customers’ impressions about your brand – as well as their buying decisions.
Video content is all about giving you effective tools to connect with viewers’ emotions. The script’s story, music, colors, and even the narrator or actors’ voice can immerse people into your brand’s message!
Moreover, videos have a strong synthesizing power: it helps to declutter your homepage design, reducing endless pages of texts to a simple rectangle.
Last but certainly not least, video prompts viewers to spend more time on your website. And that, added to the higher engagement rate they bring about, videos can help enhance your page’s SEO!
Some aspects can make any homepage video great, and others… not so much. Let’s see which is which and why.
The main idea behind displaying a video on your website homepage is that it can quickly answer any questions first-time visitors may have about your brand. When they finish watching your video, they should understand what your company is all about.
Now, a big part of making your video clear is not overcomplicating things with irrelevant information. Stick to the most critical points you wish to convey and save the rest for your site’s text to expand upon. Don’t bombard visitors with too much information right out the gate – you are just getting to know each other!
This is not just about what you say, but also about when you say it.
The audience’s attention is as fleeting as it’s precious. So, don’t ramble on with unnecessary introductions and go straight to the point. Within thirty seconds after your video starts, viewers should at least know the pain point your product or service is meant to solve.
There’s no denying that videos on website homepages should be informative, but it’s also a fact that people wouldn’t stick around for them unless they were also entertaining!
As we mentioned, video is an excellent vehicle to convey emotion, and that’s exactly how you turn a simple corporate message into an impactful idea: using storytelling.
There’s no better way to explain a topic than through a good story. Stories can make your value proposition relatable, easier to understand and give your homepage video an entertainment value that’s hard to match.
Take this piece as an example. The video could have just explained how the product works with a series of facts and instructions. Instead, we crafted an exciting story with some unusual characters to convey the same info.
The message is essentially the same, but the way we tell it makes all the difference.
This is not just a video – it’s a homepage video. It’s going to be part of your website, so don’t treat it like a standalone piece of content! Make sure its aesthetic matches your homepage.
Don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean you must use the exact same colors and typography! But you should mind that the video blends well with the website’s overall design.
You want to put forward a cohesive message about your brand. So, make sure your video and website share the same style – that is, your brand’s style.
By now you know a homepage video is not just like any other element on your website. They take time and effort to make and deliver amazing results. So, why would you hide them?
You see, visitors might not bother to scroll down and down your homepage to watch your video. If your piece isn’t in the spotlight, a lot of people won’t get to see it.
When you implement a video on website homepages, you are deciding to make it the star of the show… or at least a highly prominent main character!
Many homepages display a video just below the fold, and sometimes that’s a good-enough spot. BUT, more often than not, the best place to embed a video is actually above the fold so that visitors can find it from the very start.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to change your whole homepage design because of a video. It can easily blend with the background, doubling as a picture or GIF. By adding a bright “Play” button, you can let visitors know there’s a video available and prompt them to watch it.
Autoplay arouses mixed feelings in the digital world: while it’s effective at capturing people’s attention, it can potentially catch the viewer off-guard, resulting in an uncomfortable situation.
Put simply; it can be incredibly annoying.
Here, you have a few alternatives:
There’s not an objectively best option. In truth, you have to make this decision considering what your visitors might prefer on a case-by-case basis. Experiment with different options and test their performance.
That way, you’ll know for sure what’s working and what isn’t!
Homepage videos can have a big drawback, though: they can slow down your website’s loading time, frustrating your visitors, and potentially hurt your SEO!
Luckily, it can be easily solved.
For starters, you can stop auto-playing videos from loading until the rest of the homepage has been fully loaded. Moreover, you can reduce your video file size to speed up load times.
Most important of all, you can avoid self-hosting your video!
Video files take up more bandwidth and size than other formats, and they can be too much for some web hosting provider to handle. The best way to go about it is to upload your content to a video hosting site and then embed the video link on your homepage. This way, the video will stream from the hosting site instead of your own.
Any video hosting service will do the trick, but you might want to think twice before using YouTube to embed videos on website homepages.
YouTube embeds might not look right on a professional website from a marketing standpoint. You also get less flexibility in terms of analytics, and let’s not forget the potential conflict of interest, with Google ranking their version of your video higher than the one on your site.
Before you go, we wanted to show you some cool homepage video examples you can learn from and get inspired by. Let’s take a look!
The guys at i-whiz.com are all about simplicity. That’s what makes their service stand out from the crowd and what they try to convey through their branding.
If you click on I-Whiz.com, you will find a streamlined website design with a few short copies here and there. Instead of displaying long texts, the company relies on videos to explain what they do and how to use their service.
These videos contribute to the website’s simplicity by keeping it uncluttered and sharing the same streamlined aesthetic. I-Whiz went with two whiteboard videos that display neat and simple visuals, reflecting both the brand and the website’s unique style and leaving us a great lesson about on-point branding.
This video is the first thing you see when you visit Terraplanter’s site. Once you walk away from their homepage, you already know their value proposition, mission, and their product’s inner working.
It may seem like too much information for a single video, but it’s all part of the same story (their founder’s dream). This homepage video managed to highlight the product’s biggest asset – its innovation – and they couldn’t have chosen a better piece to introduce visitors to their brand!
Kenzo’s homepage can teach us a lot about being true to your brand’s style.
This fashion company certainly has a very curious video to promote their Chinese New Year capsule collection. It doesn’t display their products nor say a single word about them. Still, it definitely calls the viewer’s attention and piques their curiosity, leading them to click on the capsule collection.
This isn’t a video that can work for any brand, but we have to admit it is perfectly on-point with Kenzo’s famous eccentric style. Moreover, the video’s artsy, original vibe is likely to appeal to their target audience – stylish people who wish to stand out from the crowd.
Not to put pressure on you, but there isn’t a second chance to make a first impression.
Sadly, the user’s first encounter with your homepage can define whether they stay exploring your website and keep going down your sales funnel. In the worst-case scenario – that is, a homepage that looks like from 2006 – visitors may even doubt if you are still in business!
So yeah, first impressions matter. Luckily, you can leverage video on website homepages.
A video can be the most fantastic presentation card you ever had – it’s compelling, fun, and it can be wildly informative. All these features can offer the viewer a memorable experience, making your brand remain on their minds long after they visit your website.
But even with a video, you run the risk of making a poor impression. If your homepage video is boring, loads slowly, or bothers viewers with annoying autoplay… well, then you won’t look your best.
It’s vital to optimize your video considering the do’s, don’ts, and the good examples you’ve learned today. By following our advice, you can be sure you’ll leave a remarkable first impression that visitors find hard to forget.
Sign up for our newsletter, biweekly
digest from our video experts.