Multimedia website content - video

Multimedia website content - video

Wed 30th Oct 2013

Including multimedia content in your website can be an effective way of communicating a large amount of information in a concise manner. Videos can be created relatively very cost-effectively now that most phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers have cameras built into them and video editing software is freely available. This has led to videos becoming a popular method of explaining an idea, service or product on websites.

This can work very well, if it is used appropriately but it could succeed in driving users away if their placement within your website is not carefully considered.

  • Use a widely compatible video format. Flash videos are incompatible with many smart phones and tablets so should be avoided, MP4 is the most popular and widely supported format across devices and browsers.
  • Don't rely on the video alone to do all of the work, introduce the ideas that the video explains in first so that the user has a basic understanding and knows that they are interested before you ask them to invest their time in watching a video on your website.
  • Don't assume that your user will be in a situation where they can watch a video. They might be at work, browsing your website in their lunch hour using a computer with no speakers, or browsing on a smart phone without enough reception to stream video. Include the same information in text and images, this will also be useful for including search engine friendly content.
  • Give the user a choice about watching the video, if the video starts automatically you might remove the user's concentration from the information they wanted in order to find the stop button.
  • Consider finding a professional to help you film and edit your video, as with building a website you can do it yourself but it might end up being time consuming learning how to use new equipment and software and often when you run a business your time will be required elsewhere!

Lastly, but most importantly of all, make sure that your video has a definite purpose and clear message so that it adds something meaningful to your website, don't just include a video for the sake of including one. Structure the video like a story, introduce the idea, explain it and then conclude it with a summary that includes a call to action - encourage your users to take action in response to your video!

by Rachel Watson