Video backgrounds are a great way to engage potential visitors on your church website. If you produce the video well, it will support the purpose of the page you are including it on while it gives the user an idea of what the in-person experience is like for your organization. Done well, a video background applies leverage to your online strategy. Done poorly, however, it can do damage to your overall strategy. We put together these tips for video backgrounds on your church website.
- Keep it short. Nobody is going to stick around to watch your video background, so keep the best content in the first three seconds, and make the overall length no more than 30 seconds. Honestly, 10 seconds should be enough.
- Make it engaging. Use your most engaging footage. You only need a few seconds for each shot, so make it count. The footage should show real people in your organization, and you should use people who will be seen and noticed by visitors if they show up in-person. Don’t include any fade in, fade out, cut to black, or motion text… just footage that could loop back to the beginning without anyone noticing.
- Support the goal of the page. If you are producing a video background for your home page, you are most likely trying to capture the attention of the first time visitor. If it’s for the groups page, you want to compel people to join a small group. Make sure you keep the purpose in mind as you produce your video.
- Don’t let it take over the foreground. Once you produce a video with the right content, look at it with a fresh set of eyes and add a layer of filtering to make it sit behind the text or buttons you might include over it. Try using black and white to add consistency to the shots you have to work with. Also add a dirt, grit, or noise layer over the video. This will help separate the video from the text and keep the background video where it belongs: in the background.
- Have a backup plan. Make sure to create a fallback image. You might decide to export the first frame of the video as a still image and use that. This helps you achieve a seamless effect if the image shows up before the video. You might also decide to add a dark translucent layer over the video to add some more separation once you see it in context. Keep in mind that many mobile devices don’t support video background, either, so you may need to export your video as a GIF image for mobile devices. That’s a whole other blog post, though. 🙂
Here’s an example of a video that one of our clients created for their website. We took it and made a few of the tweaks we mentioned above to make sure it worked well as a video background.
And here’s the GIF version we created for them. Notice that it uses less footage and a lower frame rate? This takes a little testing to get just right.
What’s your favorite example of a church website video background? We’d love for you to share in the comments and let us see your favorite examples.