Videos are important aspect of your online marketing efforts. They can help explain your products, brand message and other aspects significantly better than text can. So when you place a video upon your website, you might be tempted to put the video on auto-play.
While this is understandable, is it a good practice, or should you be wary of having your video play automatically?
If you are using a video on your website, consider the pros and cons of setting an explainer video to auto-play when your audience visits your website.
Explainer videos are the best way to grab the attention of your audience as soon as they land on your website. It is the perfect combination of picture, sound and movement that our brains are wired to notice and pay attention to. When done correctly, you are practically guaranteed to elicit a response from your visitors.
If your video serves as the primary on-page feature, then setting your video on auto-play seems like a good idea. Being the centre of attention on the page and somewhere that can’t be missed, the video is not going to catch anyone off guard when the sound starts.
Alternately, use a silent auto-play to run the video but not scare anyone with a sudden burst of sound.
Auto-play is not always a good strategy. If the content being played is sensitive (i.e. medical conditions) or personal, your visitors might not appreciate the video starting automatically, especially if they are accessing your site in a public space.
Some web users also hate auto-play as it can ruin their user experience and would rather just read the information on the page without a distraction.
Sometimes it is more polite and more effective to leave the video off until the audience chooses to engage with it.
Whether your video is on auto-play or not is a personal decision based on the content of the video, its purpose and your audience. Whatever your choice, ensure that the user can mute the sound or pause the video, especially if they are in a public space.
Do you have a video on your website set to auto-play? What kind of call-to-action do you think can make it more effective?
- Research how your competitors on the same industry are doing to determine if auto-play is acceptable in your industry.
- Setup analytics on your site and run a test to see if you get more conversions when using auto-play versus not using auto-play.
- Pick a winner from the result, and continue testing so you are aware if there is a change on the trends, don’t be afraid to run another test later.