Is Video Hero Section a Good Fit For Your Website?
9 minutes reading
In the past few years, videos have become increasingly used in website design. And why not? They are a great way to engage your audience and give it the means to learn about your brand faster and easier. Moreover, with the technological advancements in the past few years, even hosting your videos is not as resource-demanding as it was 5 years ago. This means you can now host your own videos instead of embedding them from YouTube or another platform.
Thanks to this, a new trend has recently taken over web design: video hero sections. Now, when you work with websites, you know far too well that a website is only as good as its hero. This is most often the beginning of the customer journey, and if it’s not convincing enough, the customer will simply leave. With an average time spent on your website of 53 seconds, a captivating hero is a must if you want to keep the readers on and reduce your bounce rate significantly. Still, that can be achieved just as well with a great picture. However, in some cases, video heroes work better. So, let’s have a look at the ins and outs of video heroes, the benefits, the downsides, and the best practices. Most importantly, let’s see if they will fit your unique needs. But before we get there, let’s start from the top.
What Is The Hero Section?
A hero section is the first thing your audience will see on your website. It’s front and center, right beneath your header (most often occupied by your logo and menu). Typically, it’s a large, prominent area that is used to capture the user’s attention and drive them to take action, either by continuing scrolling or using a CTA.
Now you know why the hero section is the one that will determine whether your website works or not. It’s front and center, and it must tell the user precisely where they are, what they are looking for, and how they can get it. It’s much like an information desk or, better yet, a concierge who greets all visitors and directs them to where they need to go. Naturally, the greeting has much to do with whether the visitor will stay or leave immediately. In other words, your hero’s content must be impeccable – clear, to the point, and informative. It must portray your brand persona, as well as your brand voice, as it’s usually the first point of touch between users and your brand.
Most often, hero sections are dominated by the brand colors and a high-definition image, leaving no place to interpret your brand’s product or service. For example, take a look at our hero section.
We leave nothing to the imagination. We tell our potential customers precisely what we offer and how they will benefit. Moreover, we complement our copy with a stylish visual representing exactly what we do.
However, some brands prefer a video hero to communicate with their audience. Now, whether this is a good or bad decision depends on several factors. But before we get there, let’s discuss what the video heroes’ goals are and how they differ from the image heroes’ ones.
What Are The Goals Of the Video Hero Section?
A video in your hero section changes the dynamic of your entire page. While the primary goal of your hero section when using images is to forward your customers to the next step on their journey, a video in the hero section aims to retain their attention. But why would you want to keep the user’s attention at the first step? Well, there are many reasons. Most often, its aim is to expand your authority.
Moreover, if your website’s aim is to redirect users offline, a long customer journey through various pages may prove highly frustrating for the user. So, a video hero can summarize the most important parts of your presentation before you invite them with a CTA to get to your location. In this case, the hero section plays the role of a brand awareness instrument rather than a sales one. It establishes the brand’s goals, values, and voice.
Some industry niches also benefit highly from video heroes. The music industry is definitely among the frontrunners. If you are a musician, adding a video of your concert will act as social proof of your capabilities. The same goes for DJs and other artists related to the music industry.
The sports industry is another great example. In this case, the video in the hero section plays a seduction role. Sport is always accompanied by passion. Thus, seeing someone running with a particular brand of shoes will instantly increase customer’s desire to get a pair.
All of these extra goals can be achieved by a picture as well. However, using an image won’t be nearly as effective as using a video. And, of course, the video has some other benefits to sweeten the deal.
What Are The Benefits?
If you manage to make your video up to your audience’s standards, you are bound to reap a vast array of benefits. Let’s go through some of the most important:
The most significant benefit of using a video in your hero section is the engagement you will achieve. It’s unparalleled. Moving images grab human attention far more easily. That’s encrypted in our psychology as we subconsciously react to movements. There’s no wonder why toddlers are always captivated by any screen, and breaking their attention from a video is almost impossible. Videos inspire interest, and thus, you will captivate your audience and represent your brand without the fear of losing their attention to something else moving around them.
Creates emotional response
True, an image can also produce a strong emotional response, but it’s far more unlikely than a video. If you are selling emotions or feelings, your best bet is using a video hero. That’s what videos are best at. This is why a song may convey different emotions when you are only listening to it, in contrast to when you are watching the music video.
Conveys messages much easier
People tend to prefer watching and listening over reading. Actually, 59% of people prefer to receive information through videos. That’s hardly a surprise, as videos tend to take less time than actually reading something. Still, that’s only valid for simple information. If you need to concentrate on understanding something, reading is the way to go.
Still, on your website, you won’t give lectures on how your product was conceived and its technical aspects. You will simply list its benefits and how it can help your customers with the specific problem that brought them to your website. This is a simple enough message.
Creates a specific mood
Using a video in your hero section will help you to create a mood. This is essential if you are trying to push your customers to buy. Naturally, the mood should reflect your website’s goals.
Creates a sense of authority
Finally, a good video can build up your authority like nothing else. Showcasing your strengths and knowledge, as well as adding some numbers, will increase your authority as a factor in your industry.
What Are The Downsides?
Naturally, hero section videos have their fair share of downsides
As you can imagine, only high-quality videos can ensure you will get the benefits from a video in your hero section. This, however, is neither easy to produce nor cheap. A hero-section video is simply out of the question if you are on a tight budget.
Little room for A/B testing
While you can try and test over a hundred images to see which one works best, this is impossible with videos. The production, as already stated, is far too expensive to create more than 1 video. So, as you can imagine, you have no room for errors. Thus, you need to nail it on the very first try. Naturally, that’s extremely hard, especially if you don’t have enough data on your customers and their drivers and behavior.
It will make your website too heavy
Regardless of all the technical improvements of the past few years, a video is a video. It’s heavy, and you can’t do much about it. Having a video on your hero means your website will load a bit slower. And since the hero section is the first thing people see on your website, they might lose interest if your video is delayed. So, if you are going to use a video in your hero section, make sure every other aspect of your website is highly optimized.
So, as you can see, though a video in your hero section can bring a lot of benefits, it’s a risky maneuver that demands a bit more consideration. Don’t just rush in to make any video. This way, you will only acquire all the negatives without any of the benefits.
Video Hero Best Practices
If you’ve decided to go for a video in your hero section, this part is essential. You can’t just put any old video there. Nor is it a good idea to place a stock video, just so you can show off with a video hero section. If you are going to go down that road, you might as well do it right.
High-quality videos only
This must come without saying, but a high-quality video is a must. So, keep the resolution to at least 1000p, and ensure the content is high-quality. You can’t put some half-baked stream of you commenting on your product’s success with no cuts or intention. You need to provide your audience with something that they won’t just enjoy but will also find useful. Whether it’s an emotional booster or a quick guide to the product’s use, your video should aim to please.
Keep it short
Indeed, the video should be short, not only because a longer video demands far too many resources but also because your audience’s attention span is limited. Keep in mind that each user, looking for a solution to their problem, has at least ten other tabs opened at the same time. Thus, you must impress them as fast as you can. So get straight to the point and convey your message in under 10 seconds.
Make it specifically for this task
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen when creating a video hero section is using an old video for the task. You might have to shoot an advert for your products or an explanation video for your YouTube channel. You might have created a short on your Instagram Real or TikTok. Unfortunately, though, using these videos will never work. You need to create a video that’s specifically for your website. Each communication channel has a unique role, and you can’t mix and mingle your messages as if they are all the same. They are not.
Darker videos work better
An excellent pro tip is to darken your video by about 35%. This way, your video will still attract attention but won’t overwhelm and push away audiences. Imagine looking at the screen at night, looking for a product or a service, and at some point, a giant wave of lights crashes on your screen. This will trigger the fight or flight response, and none of them is good for your business. So, keep your video darker.
On the same note, keep the sound off. Even if your video has some majestic sound effects, give the user the opportunity to hear them at their own will. Don’t force it on them. Keep your video’s sound off as default and put a visible button to allow your users to unmute.
Make it a loop
Finally, make sure to keep the video ongoing. The best solution is to make the beginning and the end the same so it will seamlessly blend. However, if your vision demands a strict beginning and an end, you do you. Regardless, make sure to put your video on look since users might miss it. As we already stated, people often have multiple tabs open when looking for a product or service, so you might not be their first tab. It would be a shame if your video ends before they even get to your website.
Is a Video Hero Section a Good Fit For You
So, the big question. Is putting a video in your hero section a good fit for you? Well, if you have enough budget to produce an entire video just for your website, you can ensure it is high quality, you have enough data on your audience and know what they like, and you want to convey an emotion, then yes. A video is the perfect solution for your hero section.
However, if you are on a tight budget, your product is practical and does not need emotions to be considered, and if your home page is just the beginning of your customer’s journey, then an image is a much better idea.
Now you know. But beware. If you go for the video solution, you will need powerful hosting to help reduce the strain on your website’s speed the video will inevitably cause. Luckily, we have just the thing.
HostArmada is a powerful cloud-based hosting solution that offers a robust hosting infrastructure. Our lightning-fast speed, high-end security, and unmatched uptime will guarantee that your video hero section will have all the resources it needs to provide your users with the best experience possible.