Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

I’ve been thinking a lot about how people are using videos on their websites, what is working and what isn’t working.  This April 1st, one company created a viral video on their home page which inspired me to write this post.  PicMonkey had an April Fool’s video.  It was creative, fun, well crafted, but it almost drove me away from their site!

What are the top three videos that make an awesome use of your home page and will get visitors to dig in more:




Great video is actually hard to do.  It takes a lot of resources: time, money, technical skills, content strategy and more so it is important to think about your audience and use it wisely.  


If you don’t know what PicMonkey is (and I didn’t until this morning) it is an online photo editing site - like Photoshop made easy and free on the web.  Someone mentioned them on a Facebook thread I was reading so I went to check out their site, where front and center there was a link to this video, PicMonkey Goes Artisanal.  Curious what they did (their tagline is ‘Photo editing made of win’ which doesn’t tell me much) I clicked.  

To summarize, the video shows beautifully shot scenes of PicMonkey employees using old fashioned physical means to create the tools of their app - sculpture, hand carved lettering into stone, etc.  Obviously that is not how their app is created.


First off, their video was beautiful and tongue in cheek funny but I’m busy and wanted to learn about their product, I didn’t want to be entertained.  So maybe I could have sat through 15-20 seconds of the joke, but almost 1 ½ minutes was way too long.  If I wasn’t studying video I would have left.

Second, at the end of the video on their site, it did not go to a video that would actually show me about their product.  Instead, it went back to the original play button.  So I was forced to look around on their site for a real information video, which I couldn’t find and ended up going to YouTube and found a video about their site that a user created.  

I think the video would be great for social media or for their newsletter subscribers, and it may even worked on their home page in conjunction with another ‘real’ intro video, but it left me frustrated as stand alone video on their home page.

So what works?

USE CASE: Evoking emotion

Canva’s video is a beautifully shot customer use case embedded into the About page.  They show a variety of users creating content using their graphic design site for a variety of uses.  It worked for me because in their story, they showed non-graphics professionals creating great work.  One issue with the embedded format, however, is that visitors to the site who wanted to watch the video with audio had to scroll down to view the full version.   

TESTIMONIALS: Providing social proof

The Music Bed is a music licensing library.  Their home page features a trailer for their 2 ½ minute customer testimonial video. What is great about their approach to the testimonial is that the video speaks to their target audience, cinematographers and independent filmmakers.  Not only are the customer stories from known filmmakers and musicians, but the imagery is beautifully shot and edited, something The Music Bed audience would find inspiring.

TUTORIALS: Demystifying your product and sharing benefits

Some products and services are easier to understand than others.  A store selling shoes can use photos of shoes and people immediately know what they are going to find on the site.  A software company selling a new app or service might need help explaining what it is they offer and what value they provide.   In this example, the Awesome Screen Shot has created a very basic video, with no fancy visuals or editing, but it is very effective for what it does.  In less than a minute the video shows you what you can do with their software and how to do it, so anyone interested in using their software can be up and running in no time.


In this one last example of video that works in introducing a brand take a look at Skitch.  Here again the name alone gives no indication of what they do or how I can use their service.  Their video was key to giving me an idea of how I could benefit from using their service. It was very well crafted.  The first 30 seconds show three different use cases for their software, and the next less than 30 seconds show you not only how easy it is to use their software but illustrates several features.  It is unfortunate that the video was placed so far down on their website.  I only discovered it because I was scrolling down to figure out what they did because someone had mentioned the company in a blog post.  If I had been busy, I would have missed the video and probably disregarded their product as ‘not for me.’  So video can be a great way to introduce your brand, but it needs to be in the places where it will be most useful for the viewer!


Do you have examples of awesome home page videos that wowed you and got you interested in a product of service?  If so, leave a link in the comments section below and tell us what worked for you.  And if you liked this post, sign up for our email newsletter where you’ll get more tips on how to create video that engages audiences, inspires action and builds trust.