• General Best Practices
Design Spotlight: Auto-play Video Headers (Part 1)
Mia Major

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. With online competition growing steeper — and prospective families' attention spans growing shorter — you need to figure out how to say more, with less.

We think that auto-play video headers are just the trick.

Auto-play video headers showcase campus life through a series of muted, brief video snippets, replacing the traditional photo slideshow. Located front and center on the homepage, your site visitors won't have to click, scroll, or search to connect with campus life — improving site experience and increasing engagement, and conversions.

And so, this new design treatment, seen on the homepages of Perkiomen School, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, and Fairfield Prep, is redefining what it means to be an online storyteller (without a sound) — and here's why.

The Quick Guide for Optimizing Video for the Web

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They'll hold your site visitor's attention.

Your website has ten seconds to capture a visitor's attention before you lose them forever. An embedded homepage video will lower your homepage bounce rates and increase the average amount of time spent on your homepage because site visitors feel compelled to watch — especially since they don't have to click anything, (Source).

They're real.

Emotions engage audiences. That being said, a photograph cannot capture the same energy of a championship win, the feelings of anticipation at commencement, or the beauty of your campus the same way that video can. Prospective students will have an easier time seeing themselves on your campus when real moments are shared via video, than staged in a photo.

They showcase the best of the best.

When it comes to longer-length pieces, sometimes it may feel like you're just including video because you just need some b-roll. But with video headers, you get to select the very best moments to highlight and share.

Bonus: If you have a longer-length marketing or admissions piece, you may already have some great video content that can be recycled!

You say more, with less.

Think of every snippet of video used in your header as one photo. Three seconds of students cheering at a football games says exponentially more than a single photograph of the same event. In just about 20 – 30 seconds, you'll give prospective families a grander perspective of life on campus.

They're just plain cool.

It goes without saying that these video headers aren't nearly as common as traditional photo slideshows. This unique style has the "wow" factor that will make you stand out from the crowd, and leave your site visitors wanting to learn more.

Are you considering using a video header? On Wednesday 10/8 we'll be sharing best practices for video headers in Part 2 of this blog post.

The Use of Video Among Independent Schools
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Web Design
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