10 Common Website Video Mistakes to Avoid
Video is powerful when done correctly. If you are thinking about integrating a video into your website, make sure to avoid these common (mostly technical) mistakes:
1. Self-hosted video
Your web server probably isn’t optimized for streaming video. Most aren’t. Most businesses are better off using a hosted service such as Vimeo Pro. This will offer better accessibility, up-time and speed. Not to mention much easier implementation.
2. Ridiculously long loading time
Long buffer times may cause viewers to give up before your video starts playing. This is especially true in situations where viewers are only slightly curious about your video. Be sure to encode your video correctly for streaming before uploading.
3. Inability to stream on multiple devices/formats
Go with a video format that allows the video to stream. The viewer should never have to download your video to play it on their computer. This should go without saying. HTML 5 video allows you to embed video in your site and customize the play controls in new ways, is compatible on most mobile devices, and can be programmed to “fall-back” on flash or other formats if required.
4. Lame preview screen
Many video sites will pull a frame from your video to use as a preview screen before the video is played. You can customize this preview screen to draw more viewers in either by making a custom graphic/logo screen or choosing a more relevant frame.
5. Buried video and hidden play button
Not only will it beg to be clicked, but a prominent play button will ensure that even the most unobservant viewers will discover your video embedded on your site. If you have a great video, try to embed it (or create a prominent link to it) on your home page, rather than in an obscure menu link.
For maximum utility and reach, make sure to upload your video to sites like Youtube and Vimeo to be found and shares. This is especially important if your main site video lacks a share button (for aesthetic reasons).
7. Funky embed ratio
When embedding your video, keep the height to width (16:9 for most video) ratio intact to avoid black bars on the left and right or top and bottom of your video. Youtube and Vimeo custom embed code maker will do this for you if you supply a width or height.
8. Epic length
You may have a lot to say, but it is a cold, hard fact that the average viewer has the attention span of a gnat. Make sure to edit your video down to its essentials to deliver the core message as quickly as possible. In most cases, 3 minutes or less is a good benchmark. If you need to, cut your video into multiple parts. Yes, we are guilty of breaking this rule.
9. No call to action or payoff
Your viewer watched your video all the way through… What do they need to do now? What it the main theme?
10. Worthless content
Your website video shouldn’t mimic a television commercial. Web video viewers are a different animal. They are not forced to watch your pitch in order to get to the season premier of their favorite show. If they give their valuable time to you, make sure to use that time to educate, delight or entertain. If you are creative enough, do all 3. You can offer tips, tell your story, or help solve their problems.