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Pros and cons of implementing autoplay videos in your design

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 by Servage

videoplayerIf you are one of the people who like to stay up to date with current web design trends and popular features, you have probably noticed that more and more businesses tend to choose autoplay videos for their homepage or other pages. Even though they seemed kind of cool at first, you are still not sure if an autoplay video would be the right way to go for your business and you have a lot of questions about them. So what are the advantages of auto play videos and do they bring any real value to a business? What are the disadvantages of adding one to your website?

Motion pictures are worth a million words

You ever heard of the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Then imagine what a video can do for your marketing campaign, as long as it is sending the right message about your products or services in a fun and smart way, and better than you could do it using text or photo only. If you are  an active Facebook user then you have probably already noticed how eye-catching and engaging some of those autoplay videos can be. A recent study has shows that more than half of the people who check their Facebook on a daily basis, watch at least one video every day. So can we actually get the same engagement from autoplay videos placed on a web page? Well, do not expect people to like, comment or share a video on your website, because even if you would offer that functionality, that’s not why people came to your website. They came looking for the products or services your business is offering and this can be a good chance to take advantage of video marketing and learn more about how you can increase user engagement by using it.

Probably the most popular videos that are proven to bring real value for a business are explaining videos. When done correctly, that combination between sound, movement and cool graphics can actually make our brains respond in a positive way. It does bring some disadvantages too, as the sudden burst of sound may annoy visitors. So consider doing some research to see how your target audience reacts to your video and make a decision after. Using split testing for landing pages with and without videos would be a good idea.

Optimal placement

To maximize its effect and disturb visitors as little as possible, you should consider placing it in the right section of your website, where people can expect to see a video presenting the features of your cool new products or offering more information about your services. On the other hand, if you really want a background video, you can just mute it until the user decides he’s interested enough and wants to turn the sound on. This way the video will be considerably less disturbing to your audience.

Another disadvantage of background autoplay videos is that they are blocked on some devices. So if you’re getting a lot of visitors from such a platform you might be wasting your time trying to promote a video that is not working. E.g. for mobile devices with non-autoplay videos there is a way you can go around it, by adding some kind of trigger element that will play the video after touching the screen. But this is really not recommended for the user experience, or for their bandwidth allocation for that matter.

Using videos can be a super interesting and highly engaging element, if your target audience responds well to it. Therefore consider different options, and test them. Like any marketing effort, the only true answer always lies in the statistics afterwards.

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