– It’s Ryan Spanger here and I’m speaking to Greg Merillees from Studio 1 Design and this the first of the four-part series about videos on your website. Whenever I have a question about web design or design in general, Greg is the person I turn to. So, Greg let’s start by talking about having a video on the home page of your website. We know it’s important but what’s the classic mistake that a lot of people make with home page video.
– Yeah, look I think one of the biggest mistakes, it’s that people think that a, when people land on a site, they put a video background right there above the fold, right? So, people land on your site, A, it takes forever to load but B, it’s this moving distracting image that’s competing with your main call to action, your main message. So, to me in that, you know, in that respect, you shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t have background auto-play video on your website.
– So, you’re talking about what looks like, almost like a full screen video that plays as the website loads up and then sometimes there might be some text over it but the video really dominates?
– Exactly and they’re as bad as like image sliders on websites where you land on a site and then there’s an image that slides into the next image into the next image, the next image. And the reason the background videos and those image sliders are conversion killers is because they are so distracting, right? If you’re trying to read something on that page and you’ve got this thing grabbing your attention then most people will just get annoyed. And,you know, A, you’re gonna ruin brand integrity, but B, they’ll probably just leave, right? So, a better approach is to have a still image there or a first frame which generally get the most plays or else, you know, sometimes what we like to do is just have a play icon and when pressed that could either pop up a video or it can scroll down to a video on the page.
– Yes and it some ways I think it’s counterintuitive, like people would think that me being a video person would say, “Well, let’s take a, you know, massive video that we create and put it front and centre on your home page and have it playing automatically.” But from the research that I’ve done, it can be a little bit confusing and overwhelming for people when they first arrive to a website rather than being given a very sort of clear direction about what’s gonna happen first and what’ll happen next. So, when you think about it, it makes a lot more sense when you arrive at a website for it to be clean and neat and simple and well designed and for people to get an immediate impression of what the next step is to take. Because really, you wanna impress people but you want them to take an action whereas if you open up a website and you get swept up in the video that’s sort of taking you on a whole journey which, you know, can take quite a bit of time and provoke different, like, emotions and reactions rather being, it being simple and clear.
– Yeah, couldn’t agree more. And yeah, like you said, the goal is to show them how they can benefit from your offer. A, they might be at work and they might not be able to play a video either, right? So, you also wanna make sure that the video is written out in long form, as well, well, to a degree. Like, you wanna get the same message across in the text on the page that’s written in the video because some people don’t watch the video.
– The other important thing to think about, of course, is content, what’s actually gonna be in the video. And sometimes it’s tempting for people to think, “Well, we’ll make one video that will cover everything. It’ll be, who we are and what we do and what our products are and just an overall impression.” And I usually try to steer people away from that and more towards something that’s much more simple and focused and it’s mainly around the idea of when someone arrives at your website, what’s the initial impression that you want to give them but then what is the next step, the next action step that you want them to take? So, what are your thoughts on that?
– I couldn’t agree more and we like to use the framework called SPIN selling based on the book by Neil Rackham called SPIN Selling. And it’s really just an acronym S-P-I-N which is, S is like the situation. You wanna, you wanna talk directly to the prospect and let them know that you understand their situation. And then P is the problem ,so that you wanna, once again, talk to their problem, right? So, let them know you understand their problem. I is implication. If they don’t address the cause of their problem. And N is the need or the payoff which is really your solution to that problem, right? And so, you put that in like a one to two minute video about one particular topic and that could be your home page, could be sales page, whatever, but one topic talking about how you solve their problems.
– Just a sum up then, I think the main point that we’re making is for you to think strategically about your home page video. It’s not just a case of taking a video and dropping it on the homepage, it’s about thinking what’s the best way to present it and creating content that is going to drive action. Greg Merillees from Studio 1 Design, thank you very much for joining me and stay tuned for the next videos in our series about videos on websites.
– You bet.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.