A whopping 60.8% of marketers polled said that visual content marketing was integral to their marketing strategies throughout 2017. We can gather from that statistic visual marketing and visual media, such as images and video, are crucial to a modern marketing campaign’s success — so much, that by the start of 2017, video content represented 74% of all internet traffic.
Is it engaging, though? Well, yes, actually, it is. Four times as many consumers would rather see a video or demonstration of a product than read about it.
That probably explains why web design has shifted to focus on more visual, more immersive and more engaging content. We’ve seen the rise of parallax scrolling and animation, background videos, minimal and visually appealing themes, and much more.
When you think about why, it sure makes sense. The average consumer is now bombarded and inundated with products, services, slogans, features and so much on a daily — even hourly — basis. They face more choices than ever before, even when trying to decide on the simplest of items. Food, clothing, media and entertainment, even the supplies used to clean a home. There are so many brands and options in today’s world that it can get downright nauseating.
As the representative for a brand, your job is to capture the attention of decision-makers in the home. You want to convince new customers and consumers to buy your product, or at the least to learn more about it. Everything in your design and visual theme is a means to this end. The navigation elements on a page work to direct customers to the right portal. The content is used to create a connection, enticing customers to buy in or learn more. Even the visual layout of a site is structured in a way that represents a brand’s mission, personality and goals.
But if you want to know how to truly captivate your audience, how to light a spark and steal their focus, it’s through visual content, namely video.
The Power of Video In Web Design and How to Harness It
Most of this is marketing speak, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it doesn’t apply to you in web and visual design. Our goal is, after all, inherently to build a website or online portal. We craft the site, and they do the marketing and build their brand, right?
The modern customer demands an experience, not just a product or name anymore. The only way to provide such a thing, is to engrain the concept at the foundation — starting with the web design and ending with the way it’s used and integrated into other channels. That means you, as a web designer, play a central role in the rise, or fall, of a brand’s reputation.
Even something as simple as using a poorly shot, pixelated video can eliminate the chances of a brand making a sale or closing a lead. This also highlights the true power of visual content, or video embedded on a site.
Here are some ways to make video work for you:
1. Use Video to Elaborate
Text and the written word is invocative, yes, but there are certain things you just cannot represent. For example, the convenience of a product can be incredibly hard to show in text. You could tell someone a hundred times that your product makes their lives easier, but they hear that all the time. They need to see it in action and represented in the real world. Videos can be used to present ideas such as this, which are too difficult to portray otherwise.
Queue Mid South’s background video to elaborate on their “landscaping excellence” which simply cannot be stated with text.
2. Show Value
You’ve likely seen or come across the tag hundreds of times before, even in brick-and-mortar stores: “As seen on TV.” This concise, effective saying tells customers that the product works exactly as advertised, more importantly as demonstrated on TV through an infomercial or ad.
It works because at some time before, a video was shown revealing or presenting the value of said product or service. Visual content can help present the inherent value to customers, more than traditional web copy. Adding a demonstrative video in the main slider, that shows the product or company’s service in action, is much more effective than stating it with a bold header.
Know what your average partition is? You probably know the basics, but why would you want one, and why would you care? One Point Partitions solved this problem simply by including an animated video at the top of their landing page, that shows the true value of their product: partitions.
3. Drive Action and Engagement
Visual stimulation is an exceptional way to promote or incite action among your audience. The act of storytelling, in particular, can boost engagement levels considerably. By showing, not telling, you can help your customers identify a solution or new path of opportunity.
You can drive action through emotion. Consider St. John’s Ambulance #savetheboy campaign. Parent or not, we dare you to watch this video and not feel the need to do something.
4. Humanize Your Experiences
Consumers aren’t looking to buy “stuff,” or, for lack of a better phrase, junk. What they are really after is the experience — the lifestyle, relationship or convenience that your products or services can offer them. In a way, this has everything to do with the consumer and their needs, not you.
The cars they drive, the clothes they wear, the food and snacks they eat, they are all an extension of their own personalities and personal stories. Through video and visual elements, you can present these experiences, tailoring them to your audience more than any other medium. It humanizes your brand, products and message. It also makes them infinitely more relevant on a personal level.
Seeing that twenty-something eating the food you love tells you that you’re going to love it just as much — after all, you’re about the same age. Watching a fellow consumer using a product in a way you would, is a great way to present value and relevance.
5. Kickstart Credibility
You can tell someone all day every day that your product can clean their home like nothing they’ve ever seen before. You can tell them in bold and fancy headers. You can use the most descriptive web copy and the most engaging typography ever seen. But actually showing them, through video, how your product removes an impossible stain or filth spot, that’s something else. It establishes credibility and trust.
Keeping that trust will be entirely up to you and your product, meaning you’ll have to meet their expectations going forward, once they actually have the item in their possession. Up until that point, however, it’s all on you and your creative teams to portray that credibility.
Case study or demonstration-oriented videos are a great way to build trust and authority. See, Slack’s “So yeah, we tried Slack…” promotional video.
Visual Is the Way to the Top
Through video and visual content, you can captivate the attention of your audience and visitors. Despite some of the examples here being shown through traditional video, it’s all relevant to web design and visual artistry as well. Follow the examples presented here to drive action, establish credibility, present value and, more importantly, to elaborate on what you want your design or story to say.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.