When it comes to Internet users, scanners outnumber readers by a healthy margin. This means as an company you have precious few seconds to grab the users attention and explain how your product or service can solve their problem. Videos are great attention grabbers. They provide clear visuals and definitive imagery which you simply cannot achieve with long blocks of text. This becomes even more critical for start-ups, because they need to quickly convey what they do better compared to the competition.
Two recent examples that come to mind are Dollar Shave Club and Dropbox. Both immediately funnel the attention of site visitors to videos that go into detail about their product and service. But looking at these two examples, it is obvious right away that they have a specific target audience in mind, and design their content to reflect the interest (and humor) of their site visitors. Below is the DropBox video, which explains what DropBox is to non technical users.
Next we have the DollarShaveClub video, which uses humor and good bit of emotion to attract users.
A compelling and engaging video can quickly communicate with your visitors, and eliminate blocks of text that crowd the page. This makes video a good addition to your landing page no matter what your specific niche or target audience. The question most designers ask is how do you create a good video that communicates your message effectively without breaking the bank?
The first thing you need to do is clarify the objective of your landing page. Most landing pages break down these categories of action:
• Hook Usually a headline or banner graphic, that summarizes the purpose of the site in an interesting and compelling way.
• Demo: A picture or text description of the product, service, cause, or other purpose of the website.
• Value Statement: Some form of text that tells the end user why they should care about the product/cause, and why it will bring value to their life.
• Proof: Either social proof, such as a testimonial, or statistical/data proof.
Your landing page, and thus your video, should strive for a specific purpose. Your video should add a visual punch to the other content on your page; it should supplement and summarize your other material. Don’t simply repeat the other information you have on your page, but rather let your video visually enhance your text.
Creating Captivating Video
Making a video that really hooks the viewer uses a combination of several elements: a good hook, a solid narrative, excellent production value, and a strong call to action.
The hook doesn’t have to be flashy or complicated to be strong. Often times a simple question or interesting situation is enough to get someone’s attention for quite a while.
Narrative is a powerful tool; by using narrative you can create a situation that your viewers can relate to. Your video is no different; focus on relatable characters and a story that demonstrates the value of your product or service, its features and benefits, and how it will improve the lives of those watching. Done effectively, the video will tell a story that makes even the most complex product or service understandable, and viewers will be able to picture themselves benefiting from whatever they are watching.
Finally, your call to action must be powerful. A viewer should be able to watch your video and easily take the action you are asking of them. Make sure your call to action is simple and effective.
Regular internet users are now exposed to a wide range of quality content, and can easily spot a poorly done video, and if your video is not top quality, it suggests that you do not value your product/service.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid a poor quality video without spending a fortune. One of the best ways to get high production values when you don’t actually have the budget is to use stock footage.
Alternately, you can make slideshow video using stock images. A series of stock photographs, in the right sequence, can have almost as powerful an impact as a video, and is less expensive. Stock photos, each run for 3-4 seconds, can cost as much as 50% less than the already-inexpensive stock footage available online.
Tying it all Together
The video on your landing page should be a moving replica of your page’s purpose, containing the following elements:
• A strong hook
• A narrative that relates to your audience and helps them understand your product or service
• A strong call-to-action
• Excellent production value