Video has always been a very powerful tool in marketing, but as production costs for animated video have severely decreased, the expectation for hosting a home page video on a website have increased. Today, sites that don't have a home page animated video are at a huge disadvantage.

Let's take a moment to review some facts:

  1. Animated homepage videos increase visitor retention. In fact, visitors stay on a webpage with video an average of 2 minutes longer than a page without video. They are also 500% more likely to browse your website if you have a homepage video.
  2. Video and web traffic go hand in hand. Currently, video makes up 40% of all web traffic and having an animated video on your website increases its likelihood of a page 1 result by 53 times.

It's clear that video works, but quality plays a huge part in success. It's doubtful that a poorly produced video of a CEO talking in front of a webcam will yield the above benefits and because creating a quality live action video takes a great deal of time and money, the best route to quality on a budget is through animation... more specifically, it's through motion graphics.

Motion graphics are dozens of steps above an animated slideshare or Powerpoint presentation and one step below full blown animation. The difference is that full animation is basically a cartoon. There is character interaction, full mobility of characters viewable from multiple angles, and often every single frame is created on its own (at 23 frames per second, that's a great deal of work!). Motion graphics, on the other hand, animate text and icons and keep most character animation to a minimum. This allows for the feeling of animation without the cost.

Of course, this isn't to say that a quality motion graphic isn't time consuming. In fact, some effects in a motion graphic could take a full day just to animate 1 second of video! Despite this, motion graphics are still the best possible way to create an animated home page video without breaking the bank. So if you plan to hop on the motion graphic bandwagon, here's some key things to consider so that you get the most out of your animated home page video:

  1. Always have a story arc - A successful home page video follows the 3 Act rule of film to ensure a complete story arc. A simple formula to follow is as follows:
    • Act 1: State the problem
    • Act 2: Show how your product is the solution
    • Act 3: Call to action
  2. The 90 second rule - Most viewers will watch the first 90 seconds of your home page video and stop after that. If your script must be longer than 90 seconds, make sure you are at least halfway through Act 2 at that point.
  3. Voiceovers save time, but consider your audience - If you think your primary audience won't have the sound on when viewing your website, you might want to avoid a motion graphic with a voiceover as the audience might not hear the message. That said, if you forego a voiceover, expect to double the estimated time for your video since you'll need to provide time for your audience to read the messages on screen.
  4. Get an original score if you can afford it - Stock music is an OK solution for a motion graphic, but an original score takes it to the next level by leading the audience. Here's an example of a motion graphic with stock music. And here's one with a well-planned score. Hear/See the difference?
  5. Don't sacrifice quality - If you are going to create a motion graphic, go for the gold and make sure you create a high quality one. The facts above show that it's more than worth the investment and trying to sacrifice quality to cut down the budget will leave you with a subpar product that won't return the ROI you're looking for. If you are really budget focused, consider purchasing some motion graphic templates to create your video instead.
  6. Find a good video host - If you can't develop a video player and host the video yourself, consider a host like Wistia. It's one of the most SEO-friendly video players out there and streams video almost instantly versus making your visitors wait for the video to load.

Having a quality animated home page video is a must in today's marketplace and if you leverage it properly you'll quickly reap the rewards!