Being a web designer in today’s society may look basic to some, but keeping up with current trends and best practices is no easy task. That is why it is always good to have a little something extra in your toolbox.  Being from a video background, it always seemed obvious to me that designers would include video in their websites. But, as I look around, I am seeing that it is still not as popular as it should be.  Here are some of the reasons why I often use video on sites I create.

  • You can communicate your customer’s message quickly and effectively with an attractive video
  • Clean video gives your site credibility, which can lead to better viewer conversion
  • Videos hosted on YouTube, with proper keywords, can promote your site and strengthen SEO
  • Video can make a boring website come to life
  • A lot of people would rather watch a 30 second video than read for 30 seconds (sad, but true)

Getting started with video can be easy and fun, even if you have no prior history with it.

How to get started in video:

If you have been designing your sites in Photoshop then making the transition to programs like Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro should be almost seamless.

There are entire YouTube channels dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of web video. One that particularly like is James Wedmore’s Commercial Free Marketing.

Then there are always paid sites like Lynda.com for those of you who want to take the next step to making attractive and effective web videos.

My advice to you:

Play with web video for a bit, do some research, and decide if it is the right thing for you. If you should decide to make the commitment, I think you will very quickly begin to realize that not only have you added a very powerful tool to your web design arsenal, but you are now becoming a more versatile and therefore more employable asset to a rapidly growing industry.

Some extra goodies:

There are many different video styles on the web today, but most commercial and small business clients are going to be looking for someone that can produce kinetic typography or documentary style ads.

Should you decide to go out and begin shooting your own footage, then investing in a nice camera is a must. Canon offers a variety of HDSLR cameras that shoot video while offering that nice depth of field that you get from a photo camera. The 60D is a nice camera to get started with, but if you’re tight on cash the T3I is very similar and will produce the same image. Here’s a quick comparison of the two.

If you decide you would rather stick to something like kinetic typography or animation, which don’t require you to own a camera, then just keep in mind that you can always purchase HD stock footage from websites like Shutterstock.com

I hope this article helps some of you to get into web video or at least to look outside the boundaries of only designing websites. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion. Best of luck!

Author bio: Ian is a 23 year old amateur web developer and video artist from Fort Worth, Texas. Check out his website and follow Ian on Twitter.

header image courtesy of Eddie Lobanovskiy