Homepage explainer videos are a great way to boost conversion rates, but if you're doing any of these 3 things, that same video could be hurting you rather than helping.

Staff Writer

Most modern websites rely on a homepage explainer video to capture their audience and help increase sales. In fact, according to reputable sources like Animoto and ReelSEO, homepage videos can increase your on-site conversion rates by at least 80 percent. Additionally, sites with a landing page video in the upper fold can experience lower bounce rates and increased engagement.

Motion graphics drive success because attention spans are dwindling and consumer expectations have shifted as a result. The demand for bite-sized content continues to growand video, with its combination of audible and visual information delivery, is leading the way as a premium source for snackable content.

But not all explainer videos are created equal and simply leading with a video doesn’t automatically equal success. While a website without a branded homepage video will likely see some improvements once they add one, here are three reasons that same video could do more harm than good.

Your Animated Video Was Cheap, and it Looks That Way Too

Getting a homepage video is easy. Getting a quality one is not.

As demand for explainer videos continues to grow, thousands of businesses have sprung up to make the animation process fast and cheap. But this often comes at the cost of quality. Here’s how many keep costs low.

Templates: Most low-cost providers develop hundreds of animated templates in which they change out text and stock vector assets to expedite development. While this ensures a fast turnaround at a very low cost, it also means that your message must fit perfectly into one of those templates.

Today’s audiences are attracted to custom, quality solutions now more than ever. Videos that rely on templates may turn your audience off rather than excite them about your brand or service. And when forced into a template, your unique brand promise might not shine through enough to convert viewers into customers.

Stock Vector Assets: To further reduce costs, cheaper solutions will rely on stock vector images. Often, they will mix different vector libraries, leading to one video housing multiple illustration styles. With 94 percent of first impressions being based entirely on design, mixing illustration styles often feels cluttered and can quickly leave a bad first impression. In addition, if the assets were not designed to be animated in the first place, the video will be restricted to canned animations similar to watching a glorified PowerPoint presentation.

If none of your competitors have a homepage video yet you might be able to get away with a cheaper video and still see your conversions grow. If, however, your competitors are already leading with a motion graphic, then viewers will start to draw comparisons. If your video is lower quality, potential customers could view your brand in the same negative light.

It’s Longer than 90-seconds

Audiences don’t owe you their attention, you must earn it. Asking them to commit to a video longer than 90-seconds automatically starts off your relationship on the wrong foot. Most audiences will watch a video that won’t take up more than 90-seconds of their time, but these same viewers won’t even press play on a video that appears to be longer.

In other words you could break the bank on the highest quality, most engaging animated video ever, but if it’s longer than 90-seconds your viewers might not even watch it.

Typical explainer videos follow a three act structure in which the first act introduces the problem statement, the second act displays your product or service as the solution, and the third ties it all together with a call to action. This can easily be done in 90-seconds, so focus on keeping your content short and succinct to get the best results.

Your Video is Using Outdated Techniques

Like websites, homepage explainer videos follow modern visual trends. What was once popular and successful may no longer be. Is your homepage video a live-action talking head narrative or a whiteboard animation? If so, it could be hurting you rather than helping. Similar to Flash-based websites, these are just 2 examples of explainer videos that are no longer popular among modern audiences.

The most popular explainer videos today include 2D motion graphics, 3D animations, and live-action docu-style videos with animated overlays. If your site is leading with a video that doesn’t follow current trends, you will likely see a drop in viewers or worse, a decrease in conversions. This is because every piece of content you deliver tells your viewers something about your own priorities. Keeping up with trends and always staying ahead of the competition should be a top priority of any brand. This requires reinvesting from time-to-time to ensure your content stays on par with current trends. When it falls behind, your sales could too.