How to Make the Best Use of Multimedia on Your SiteWeb Design & Development
I’m guessing you’ve heard the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This is especially true for websites. Strategic use of multimedia helps you better communicate your message, create an engaging experience, and reach your goals.
You can use photos and video to demonstrate products or services, tell customer stories, provide training and more! The purpose of your website will determine what’s best in your circumstance, but let me walk you through a few examples to get you started.
Video is a powerful communication tool that combines visuals and audio in ways that are far more effective and engaging than a long block of text.
One way to use video is to tell a story. You’ll see an example of this on the homepage of Chattanooga Christian School’s website. They have videos as an introduction to the school, a message from the president, and about their fine arts program.
You will notice that the videos are followed with a short description. There are two reasons for this.
- It gives a brief summary to help convince people to take the time to watch the video.
- It also provides search engines with a description of the content, since they can’t watch videos. This, in turn, helps users find the video when searching.
Another way video can be used is to create atmosphere. Southern Champion Tray’s website has a video background. It uses B-roll footage to help set the tone without being too distracting. Customers get a quick overview of what the company has to offer and the manufacturing process behind the products.
Hosting video can be problematic, if you’re not careful. Large files can take up server resources and lead to loading issues when there is high traffic to your site. As a result, we usually recommend using a third-party provider, like YouTube or Vimeo, to host video. These platforms are designed to stream video smoothly, and they accept a wide variety of file formats. When uploading, you can customize the settings to have the video loop or autoplay. You can also remove other recommended videos from popping up after.
I’ve focused a lot on video, but that doesn’t diminish the effective use of photography and other graphics. Imagery can be used as visual reinforcement, so you want to intentionally select photos that communicate what is said through the text on the page. It may take some time to get the right images, but it will leave users with a great impression of your professional web presence.
If you have the budget, hiring a photographer to produce original photography is the way to go. High-quality photography is worth the investment. But if you don’t, no worries. You can make stock images work, as well.
The Thrive Regional Partnership website sets a good example. There are images throughout that orient you with the organization’s service area and expand on the vision for the future of the region. Map images are sprinkled throughout used as informational tools for those that want to dive deeper.
For your website, shoot for a combination of impactful videos and imagery. When considering placement, think through how people will use the site and what you want to communicate. Just don’t go crazy. A purposeful approach will help you balance text, video and imagery to tell a comprehensive story about your brand.