There used to be a time when I would say I hate this kind of stuff, but it’s what the web is turning into. Sites with real actors delivering the sites primary message. Walking and talking actors are coming alive on websites everywhere these days, and their impact can be substantial if viewed by the target audience.Â Low download speeds are also becoming a thing of the past so something like a video shouldn’t be as big of a deal anymore.
Silver Cross is one of those sites with a video actor. When loading the site they have a very unobtrusive video pop up in the left sidebar talking about their main product, stair lifts. She quickly introduces the product, reviews benefits, and covers some principal customer concerns before making a purchase.
The advantage of having the video is that it gives a defined message, and it will be delivered regardless of what the visitor reads on the site, assuming they actually listen. The actor also very quickly mentions some of the companies history, giving the visitor and even greater sense that they are on the right site, and that it can be trusted. In this case, a twenty second video has given a visitor five minutes worth of digging around a site the conventional way. Another big plus? She is still heard when I visit another tab in my browser. Talk about keeping a visitors attention.
The pitfalls is that it can scare some visitors away, but I believe that most of those bouncing visitors are most likely not the target audience to begin with. You need to be careful, and make sure that it is easy for a visitor to turn off, or make silent in a second. In this case, both are easy to do. Another thing I would avoid with this is making it site wide. I would stick it only on a landing page, or home page. Finding this video on the sites wheelchair lifts page might not seem as relative since she is mostly speaking about stair lifts.
Adding video to your site? I say go for it, just make sure you take the time to do it right. The Silver Cross video offers an excellent example of a well thought out message.