When it comes to digital content, particularly in social media, any doubts about which reigns as king have all been extinguished by video. Less than a minute of scrolling through your feeds would be enough to prove this claim.
Video content has taken control of social media and digital marketing, but when it comes to web design, static images as design backgrounds remain the status quo – though with the continuing popularity and rising effectivity of video, until when that’ll be the case is becoming an increasingly pertinent question.
But before you think about utilizing the power of video as your website background, here are some pros and cons of doing so:
There’s a science behind why people are more drawn to videos than text or images.
As noted by Instapage’s article on neuroscience, when people look at speakers or characters in a video, the brain’s fusiform face area (FFA) is activated, which increases attention and focus. This is partly because the brain is looking to recognize the characters in the video.
And perhaps, more importantly, the FFA has also been found to have direct ties to people’s emotions—something that every digital marketer is looking to tap into.
The stats back it up
- According to a collation of video marketing statistics, 85 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
- Videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 80 percent.
- The average user’s visit to a website with just text and static images is 43 seconds. For pages with videos, that number rises to 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
It stands out
As mentioned, with most websites still featuring text and images as their backgrounds, having video on yours can create a visual difference that will immediately set you apart from your competition.
And as noted earlier, not only will they take notice, they will also tend to pay attention.
Makes it easier to digest info
While some may dispute the Forrester Research claim that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, there is little doubt that video can convey information that text and static images cannot.
Likewise, using video as background (as opposed to having embedded videos) will allow visitors to immediately see the video content without needing to scroll down, or even pressing play.
Longer loading time
It’s difficult enough to lead a customer to your website, so once they get there, you want them to stay there. Having video as your site’s background, if not properly integrated, could lead to longer loading time, which could end up leading visitors clicking on the back button.
More data consumption
With telcos scrimping on data allowances, coupled with more and more people browsing the web through their mobile devices, it’s possible that you could turn off visitors with a website that has a video on autoplay as a background.
There is always a risk that your video format won’t be compatible with the different kinds of browsers your visitors are using. So while you may have a captivating video set as your page’s background, there remains (unfortunately) a chance that it’ll only show up as an annoying error message or a huge blank space – turning visitors off.
There is a possibility that the performance of your video background affects the entire site performance (even pages absent of videos). This means that if a visitor has unstable connection that affects video performance, your entire site could become compromised as well. And chances are, you’ll get the blame – not the connection.
Using Video as a Background: The Proper Way
Consider the video length
You need to conform to a rule or standard when it comes to background video length.
Go for something too short, then you risk the chance of giving off an annoying repetitive feel; while having something too long not only risks losing your visitors’ attention, but would also impact site loading time.
Fifteen to 25 seconds has been found to be a safe length.
Design for different devices
It’s important to consider the fact that web browsing will continue to lean towards mobile, and as such, you’ll need to find a format that’s supported by most mobile devices.
Users who visit your site using their mobile devices might not be able to see your video, or have a slow, bandwidth-eating user experience.
Either way, if you do decide on a video background, you should have a static image as a fallback background. Creating a balance between quality and possible data consumption should be prioritized to deliver maximum results.
Set it to mute
Most video backgrounds play automatically once a visitor enters your website.
But having a loud, distracting audio increases the chance of losing visitors exponentially (particularly if they’re browsing the web while at work or in a meeting).
It is crucial to mute your audio by default. Giving them the option to unmute would be wise.
Test the waters
If you’re not quite sure how your customers will respond to your site having a video background, and don’t want to spend just yet to test it, you can use the services of sites like Videvo, which have a range of high-quality downloadable videos you can dip your toes in the water with.
Alternatively, you can allot a certain time range after setting up a video background to determine if this is working for your website. It could range from 1-3 months. Keep track of your web analytics before and after incorporating a video as background and see whether it gave any considerable improvements or setbacks in your metrics.
Video Background: Best Practices
Mountain dew partnered with NBA player, Russell Westbrook, to create this video background. This “Don’t Do ‘They.’ Do You.” Campaign exhibits an inspiring message of not listening to what others say not to do, but instead doing what you want to do, while effectively embracing of Mountain Dew’s brand.
This video tapped the audience’s aesthetics and emotions, and contributed to Mountain Dew’s brand marketing — three accomplishments you would wish to gain with a single landing page with a video background.
Vistablue, a real estate website, made an example of a simple yet refreshing and relevant way of making use of a video background.
Its astonishing view of Singer Island shoreline’s white sand, and rolling waves of turquoise water, aims to not just provide a beautiful view but also make their visitors more eager to learn more about the place and potentially be persuaded to move in.
Again, this video background didn’t just provide a pleasing eye-candy but also something that can add up to conversion rate optimization.
While using video as a background could be a trend that could soon explode, it’s important to note that it’s not for all kinds of websites. As exhibited by the two examples above, using this kind of design works when it has a direct benefit to what you’re trying to promote/sell.
Likewise, should you decide to give video backgrounds a go, it’s critical that you strike the balance between quality, weight, and purpose, for it to work in your favor.
Go take a look at your website now, and see if video backgrounds could give it an added kick.