You’ve got a brand video. You’re starting to strategize exactly where and how to distribute it, and then you hit a wall – does your brand video actually belong on your homepage? Should you publish it on other pages instead? What if it distracts your visitors from completing a purchase?
While publishing your video on your homepage was once a no-brainer, times are changing. More than likely, your homepage will still benefit from the visual appeal and information a video provides, but these days, the decision can actually be a little more nuanced. Homepages have undergone a ton of design and functionality changes in just the last five years, so what’s right for your company may not be as clear as it once was.
Luckily, we’ve got a little experience not only creating brand videos, but experimenting with their placement and learning what works. Take some time to go over the pros and cons of publishing your video on your homepage and consider your alternatives.
No matter where you land, your brand video will still be an inherently useful tool for promotion and brand awareness. Doing it right, though, will take a little research.
Let’s start with why using video on your homepage may be the way to go.
When Video Is the Way to Go
Gone are the days of Adobe Flash and colorful Myspace-esque landing pages. Now, users expect clean, informative homepages that don’t overwhelm their senses and quickly answer their questions. That’s where video can make or break their experience. The right video in the right location can quickly solve a problem or answer a question – just the thing you want to do to instill brand recall.
1. Videos convey information quickly and concisely.
If your video’s goal was to raise awareness of your brand, product, or service, you’ll more than likely want to post it on your website’s homepage. This is where anyone who hasn’t heard of your company will go first to see what you’re all about. And, because one minute of video is worth about 1.8 million words, you can communicate exactly who you are and what you do in the most effective and memorable way possible. In just one minute, you can create an emotional bond with your viewer that, yes, gives them crucial information about your company, but also makes them feel more connected to your brand.
2. Videos help engage visitors and increases the user experience on your site.
If your marketing goals revolve around increasing user engagement with your brand, posting your video on your homepage can do just that. Videos have been shown to automatically increase time spent on page since a viewer is more likely to stick around to watch it rather than scrolling past. Videos also increase interaction on your page, requiring a click to play or encouraging further clicks via a call to action.
Nowadays, you also want your homepage to stay clean and uncluttered. You want the user experience (UX) to be easy to navigate. If your homepage isn’t overly cluttered or too busy, adding your brand video can give it a needed focal point. On the other hand, if your homepage is crowded with buttons, features, information, and more, adding a video on top of that can make your homepage a mess. Work on decluttering your page and using video to add value, not detract from it.
3. Videos add value and show off your brand personality.
Your homepage should be a reflection of who you are as a company. And nothing shows off who you are better than the perfect video! Use your video to highlight your passion, your team, your humor, your goals, and more. With this living on your homepage, you’ll create the perfect picture of who you are, letting those who visit your site know immediately what you’re all about.
Relevant video on your page also increases the added value your visitors receive from your content. Any content they engage with is adding value since, presumably, they wouldn’t be interacting with it if it weren’t. Whether they’re learning about you, your brand, your products, or something about a specific topic, your videos should be adding to the user’s overall experience, leaving them with positive associations when it comes to your brand.
4. Video helps boost your site’s organic page ranking.
OK, so Google might have conflicting advice on this point. They might say on one hand that having video on your webpage will “absolutely not help you rank better in web search.” But Google is infamous for their contradictory and often misleading advice. They’ve also said to rank for a competitive search, it helps to “optimise for images and/or video.” So, what’s the deal?
In this case, misleading is the key word. Sure, video alone technically might not help you rank better in search. A 15-second video of complete darkness with no words, sounds, or metadata will do zilch for your rankings. But adding high-quality content to your page that informs the user and helps them find what they’re looking for will. Plus, it’s been shown that pages with higher engagement, lower bounce rates, and more inbound links do perform better in search – and video helps you accomplish just that.
Add video to your homepage that tells users what you, your company, or your products are all about, provide value, and maybe a little context (like subtitles or a video description), and you’re sure to boost your homepage’s performance on organic search.
But Don’t Forget…
These are a few of the benefits we’ve known about for a long time now. They’re the main reasons we’ve been huge proponents of adding video to your site (and especially your homepage). But in recent years, how people use homepages has changed drastically, everything from their function to their design. Video is definitely still good to have, but keep these caveats in mind before going all in with video on your homepage.
1. Videos can take up a lot of bandwidth.
Make sure if you use video on your homepage that it doesn’t slow your site speed. Slow page load can have negative effects when it comes to user experience, search optimization, engagement rates, and more. To keep your page running smoothly, have your video load after everything else on your page. Avoid hosting your video on your own servers and make sure your video file is compressed and optimized for the web.
2. Don’t autoplay your videos.
Autoplaying videos was the trendy thing to do for a long time. It was fun and eye-catching, especially when the video was blown up to full screen size. But this also proved distracting and often caught visitors off-guard, especially when sound autoplayed as well. Slowly, this trend started taking a backseat. Video hosting giant Wistia even tried autoplaying video on their homepage and the results backfired.
Again, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embed video on your homepage, just avoid having your video(s) play out loud automatically. Autoplaying them on mute helps, but your best bet is to embed them and require your visitors to hit the play button. This not only increases engagement on your homepage, but ensures you’re efficiently reaching the visitors most likely to convert.
3. A/B test your videos first.
Videos are great design elements and you’ll be excited to use them wherever you can, but before you update your homepage all in one go, A/B test it with and without video first. You might embed your video above the fold and be disappointed when your conversions drop – since dominating the top of your homepage might mean less people see your sign-up button. Instead, test placing your video in different locations. Your video might perform better below the fold or on another page entirely. A product video may lead to higher conversions on a product page rather than on your homepage, which serves more as an informational gateway. Test out your options before committing to one placement 100 percent.
4. Think about your homepage’s main goal.
Does having video on your homepage further that goal or impede it? Think about what you want a visitor to do when he or she lands on your homepage. Do you want them to read the content so they’re more informed? Do you want them to sign up for more information? Do you want them to head straight to your ecommerce pages to buy something? Also, does your video’s goal align with your website’s goal? If it does, chances are your video will help you accomplish the action you want your visitors to take. But if your homepage and video have conflicting goals, you’ll confuse your visitors and you won’t accomplish much.
This is also where placement can make a huge difference. If your video’s goal was lead generation, but you want your homepage visitors to convert into buyers, you won’t want to embed your video above the fold, but it might help to have your video further down on the page once your visitor has scrolled and shown further interest.
Like other distribution methods, publishing a brand video on your homepage can be filled with opportunity or wrought with consequence (or at times, both.) The crucial takeaway here is to test, test, test! Don’t automatically assume your homepage shouldn’t include an engaging video, but also keep in mind that video can, in some cases, work against your goals. Think strategically and plan out your video advertising and distribution well before you make your video. If you see a missed opportunity after publishing your video, don’t be afraid to change course and see where that takes you.
However, if you know your homepage is in dire need of an update and think video is the answer, let us help you plan, create, and distribute your video for maximum success! The benefits of adding video on numerous site pages – your homepage, product pages, about us section, and more – far outweigh the setbacks and, when executed correctly, can help you raise brand awareness and attract more customers than ever before. Let our expert team help you get started.