Action Page Strategy

Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Embedding Videos

Minute read
Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Embedding Videos

On-page videos can be your best friend and your worst enemy. At the same time. Know the pros and cons so you can take full advantage without annoying your supporters.

Why on-page videos are the best:

  • Convincing. Concrete. Credible.
  • Powerful storytelling medium.

Why on-page videos are the worst:

  • Most visitors won’t watch them.
  • Videos can limit accessibility. This can be improved with closed captions, but even that is limited by the languages that you offer.
  • Delivering ‘key content’ via video can annoy some visitors because it inhibits their ability to use ‘page scanning’ behavior to find information they want quickly.

On balance, there are definitely stronger pros to including a powerful video on your page, if you have one. As long as you construct your page in a way that navigates the cons. Here are four common mistakes to avoid.

1. Webpage copy that only makes sense after watching the video

Don’t write page copy with the assumption that someone will have watched your video. If there’s a key piece of information within the video, present that information in some other way on your page, too. Your on-page journey needs to make complete sense for people who both have and haven’t seen your video.

2. An inconsistent campaign video call-to-action (CTA)

Most campaign videos end with a ‘call to action’. If yours does, at the very least, make sure the CTA in your video is consistent with the CTA on your action page. Bonus points for embedding a campaign video that doesn’t ask the viewer to visit a URL (assuming your action page is that URL).

Fast-track your digital strategy learning curve.

Free  eBook

3. A shocking video—without a content warning

It’s good practice to let people know if a video they’re about to watch is likely to be distressing. True, fewer people are going to watch. But on the upside, a ‘graphic content warning’ will build trust with your audience. And often, just the mention is enough to communicate alarm and urgency. Job done!

4. A lackluster video thumbnail image

A lot is riding on your video thumbnail image. It may be the deciding factor for those who choose to watch your video. And for those who don’t, it represents the entirety of the visual information they will gain from your video. Services like YouTube and Vimeo will pick a frame from your video at random and serve that up as your click-to-play image. Chances are, you’ll pick a better one. Overwrite the video thumbnail image with something visually engaging that compliments your page. That way, regardless of whether someone watches your video, it will serve at least the same value as a well-considered photograph.

Using a silent background video is another option that overcomes many of the traps of conventionally-embedded videos. However, they won’t work on all mobile devices. And without the ability to pause, background videos leave visitors with no option but to leave your page if they want to switch off. So go light on graphic content.

Videos serve more value than their view count alone. Just having one on your page can boost credibility and signal that your issue is backed by evidence. So don’t despair if your video views only reflect a fraction of your page views. Know that it helped out in other ways, too.

Get a free weekly digital strategy tip:

Name Email
privacy policy.

We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Unsubscribe any time. We respect your data. View the privacy policy.

Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

Like this tip? Share it!