Cameron FrancisAugust 19,2015

Pros and Cons of Ambient Video Backgrounds

Category: Video Marketing

pros and cons of ambient video backgrounds

Are you looking for a way to capture the attention of your visitors and stay competitive as an online business? If so, the thought of using Ambient Video Backgrounds probably crossed your mind. The general consensus is that this design trend is eye-catching without being intrusive.

Yet some website owners are reluctant to implement this technique arguing that slower load times and a lack of real purpose might only serve to irritate users.

So the question is, are Ambient Video Backgrounds right for you? Let’s examine their pros and cons.

Pros of Ambient Video Backgrounds

Ambient video backgrounds can set you apart from the competition. Unlike text that anyone can use, you need a level of creativity and dedication to come up with an interesting video.

If you are an expert then your skill will come out much effectively. What you can do with video backgrounds is virtually limitless, allowing you to create engaging webpages.

Since making videos require a lot of equipment and skill, using Ambient Video Backgrounds on your site, page or blog will definitely set you apart from your peers.

1. They express where words fail

Some things are difficult to express in words. Video allows you to simply convey your message through captivating imagery instead of struggling with what to say.

Ambient video backgrounds allow you to demonstrate concepts that might be too complex or difficult to say in words. You can explain things easier with an enticing video to ensure your message hits home with your audience.

2. Videos have a universal appeal

It appeals to different audiences. While web users are typically impatient and may not read to the bottom of your page, they are likely to watch a video to the end.

3. You can personalise information on videos

Video allows you to be considerably more expressive. It brings out your voice, facial expressions and tonal variations, which are far more engaging than text or pictures.

This is a very strong way to encourage audience interaction. So, if you wish to deliver a more captivating experience, then Ambient Video Backgrounds could be what you’re looking for.

4. Videos are attention grabbing

Internet visitors do not typically read websites; they scan them for attractive or informative content. While it’s easy to miss important text when scanning through a page, you are unlikely to miss the message of a well thought out video background.

High-resolution videos with clear details will make it a lot easier for your audience to notice something they might be interested in. And they are likely to stay on your pages a lot longer.

Cons of Ambient Video Backgrounds

Despite the great advantages of using video backgrounds, there are some limitations to this medium. Here are some of the notable cons of ambient video backgrounds.

1. They need a lot of preparation to create

Whether casual or professional, videos require some preparation. You need to crystallise the idea you wish to communicate through the video. You cannot proceed unless you have something ready to put across.

To create an ambient video for your site’s background, you must select an appropriate setting. The setting must complement the message you are communicating to your audience. If it doesn’t, then it must at least not contradict your main idea.

2. Videos are not ideal for search engines

At the bottom of every website project is the need to be noticed by search engines. Though Google is quickly evolving with regard to how they index videos, text content still rules the game.

If you want to optimise your website for organic search visibility and attract traffic then you will need text content. An alternative would be to provide video transcripts. This however requires additional work.

3. Uploading and editing a video is time consuming

You need to prepare your materials prior to creating the video. Then there is the need to optimise the video’s visual effects, and spend a considerable time editing it. You must cut out unwanted sections and fine tune the required parts. After this, you will have to wait a few minutes when uploading. How long exactly depends on the speed of your internet connection.

4. Video backgrounds are inappropriate for certain topics

Some topics and content make Ambient Video Backgrounds inappropriate. Examples here include lists of properties, detailed research work and extensive articles. These are best presented mainly in the form of text.

5. Some browsers are not video compatible

No video format is supported universally by all browsers. Any format you choose may be faced with certain compatibility issues. Users on such browsers may therefore see only an error message in place of the video background.

You are therefore faced with the task of mitigating this risk. It involves using multiple sources and providing your video in multiple formats depending on the user’s browser. You might also have to resort to displaying a static message in case all this fails. Either way, your viewers will be unable to get the message in the actual manner you intended.


Despite the weaknesses of ambient video backgrounds, today’s online market calls for them. They are great and are worth to use them. Ambient video backgrounds are certainly poised to become the next big thing in web design and it is just amazing to be a part of that.

For more information about Ambient Video Backgrounds, talk to an experienced web development agency. They will work closely with you to deliver video backgrounds that are optimised for speed and appealing to your potential customers.

Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.
  • This is good on the creative side and applies or is fit for certain niches/industries. Make sure though that UX comes first on website, especially if you want to optimise content for search.

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