You’ve probably noticed that more and more websites are featuring a video loop for their homepage banner. And why not — they’re a lot more eye-catching than static photos.

If your organization’s website is moving in that direction, there are some things you can do to make it really stand out.

We have been creating banner video loops for several of our clients. Here are a few tips we’ve picked up along the way.

1. Tell a story.

Your video loop should not be a random collection of shots. Rather, it should be a sequence of shots that tells a simple story. For example, a church could convey a welcoming message with a series of shots showing a family entering its doors, being greeted, and joining in the service.

2. Be intentional.

Banner loops work best when the shots are designed specifically for that purpose. Pulling footage from previously shot videos does not always work well because the shots may not match well together. We often shoot certain shots specifically for the banner when we’re filming projects for our clients.

3. Keep it short.

30 seconds is a good length for banner loops. There are a couple reasons for that. First, you don’t want people spending too much time watching the loop — you want them to move on to your website content. And second, you want to avoid excessive buffer time as the video loads.

4. Make it timely.

Make the banner loop relevant to what’s currently going on in the world. For example, a college could show beauty shots of its campus in the current season — fall, winter, spring and summer.

5. Have a rotation.

It’s a good idea to run multiple video loops. Most websites have the ability to randomly rotate the loops. That way, a visitor is likely to see a different loop on a return visit to the site.

6. Consider the aspect ratio.

Native video has an aspect ratio of 16:9 (that’s the relationship of the width to the height of the frame.) However, the aspect ratio of your website’s banner may be different. If that’s the case, you will want to adjust the cropping so that important elements (such as a person’s head) don’t get cut off.

7. Skip the audio.

It probably goes without saying, but don’t include audio on a banner loop. It will become very tedious to the viewer. That also means you shouldn’t include shots of people talking, unless you include subtitles.

Here’s a banner loop we created for one of our university clients.

And please, keep us in the loop.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a question about video? Let me know and I’ll try to answer it in an upcoming post.


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