I’ve been doing websites for a long time. I also write content for those same websites.
What drives me crazy is the fact that my focus and thought is interrupted constantly to convey a message through an advertisement or persuade me to change my thinking or opinion about a subject. Hey media people, it isn’t as effective as you think it is. Though I use one specific site to demonstrate my point, it is an annoying, constant fact of the world we live in.
When including video on your website, don’t have it auto play with audio sound blaring the message of the product. This is called interrupting advertising, and is in it’s essence very interrupting. We as a society have gotten so used to being interrupted, that we have come to expect it. Your television shows insert their commercials at cliff-hanger moments so you continue watching to see what happens, making sure that you don’t change the channel because of the need to know what will happen. The radio broadcast pays the speaker or musician whether you want to hear them or not interrupts listening to tell you about something you may or may not want to hear about a business, product or service that you may or may not want. Yet you turned the radio on because you wanted to hear music, not to be sold to.
When I first encountered the website for the Rocky Mountain Tumbler, I wanted to leave. Their advertisement video, repeating the commercial I just saw blared across my media speakers with the sound akin to someone screaming in my ear. Though I love the product, and highly recommend it, I cannot stand being yelled at by anyone; especially an advertisement.
Use these three tips when including video or audio when visitors consider your site.
1. Consider your audience in conveying your message
You have no idea what your audience was in the middle of when your video begins to play with the sound blaring as an interrupting force on your website. Again with the Rocky Mountain Tumbler site, I just wanted to order the product, I was sold already. The site tried to resell me on the benefits of the site. The designers of the site did not respect that it may have been an insomniac with a sleeping family in the other room, I was in a class with a boring instructor, or if I was in a meeting at work, and clicked on the website ad. The tumbler site didn’t respect it’s audience because it simply announced to the world that I was on the site. What if this was going to be a gift?
From an advertising standpoint, the video itself without sound is well done, effective and establishes why a person would want to purchase the product without the sound. Most programmers that I have encountered have music or talk radio playing to break the monotony of writing code. The visual effect of having a blowtorch taken to the cup, then pouring ice cubes out is effective enough without disrupting someone’s current flow of thought or situation by forcefully interjecting audio into their visiting your website. Don’t do this to your audience, and if you must demonstrate the product immediately, let your audience make the choice to hear your pitch.
2. Respect your audience’s choices of acceptability
You as a presenter of a product, good or service online don’t know your audience circumstance. Using the tumbler site again, you don’t know if I was sitting next to a sleeping wife with my iPad in bed, I was in a meeting or teleconference at work drinking cold coffee, saw your ad on a page and then found myself with angry persons around me because of your ad.
Upon visiting the site to place my order, my first reaction was to search for the mute or volume control. You may have lost the sale because your message was effecting my comfort level of acceptability. While I have direct purpose to my visit to your website, not respecting my choice to not hear your message, as well as deciding for me that I wanted to hear you again may be perceived as disrespectful, and in turn may cost you the sale.
The graphics on the website conveyed the messaging of the product well enough without the loud audio that I didn’t need to here, and was very interrupting to me. When Facebook included video onto people’s social media feed, they allowed the users to choose what to listen to, and the volume can be adjusted to personal preference. This to me is how it should be done. Allow your audience to hear what you’re trying to say.
3. Tell me how to fulfill the website’s task (call to action) immediately so I don’t have to hunt for it.
I am not on your website normally to waste my time. Making your call to action immediately clear and defined in the video advertisement allows your audience to immediately follow through with fulfillment. This is one thing that the tumbler site did well, because on every scroll throughout the page, I was presented with the opportunity to order the product. I didn’t have to scroll up to the top, or down to the bottom. The call to action was always present so when my decision to order was made the fulfillment action was ever-present, not hard to find, and I could just order.
I personally wanted to order the tumbler when I first saw the cup on television because I was tired of drinking cold coffee, and this product does that for me. The forced audio made me want to turn the site off and leave before placing the order.
With these tips, Your video messaging will more than likely be better received, more than likely result in higher fulfillment.