With over 75% of worldwide videos currently being viewed on mobile (and this percentage expected to keep rapidly increasing) it is important that your videos are designed to match consumption behaviour on mobile.
Depending on your business type this will be more important for some brands than others, but optimising mobile video content is definitely a skill that all brands should be developing. If most of your target audience use mobile, we suggest that you dedicate the most part of your budget to optimising adverts and videos for this device.
Even if your target audience were majority desktop users, they might share your video content which could appear in the timeline of someone who spends time watching video content on mobile. You would hate to miss out on this potential fan or customer just because you focused entirely on desktop.
First off, for anyone wondering why you can’t just use the same ads you use elsewhere here are three reasons:
Mobile is faster – often people will only watch the first few seconds of a video on mobile, so you need to make sure you have content that counts on screens quicker. Watching video content on mobile is convenient so if you can capture the attention of your audience fast then you will likely hold their attention for longer. Bore them and you’ll lose out on a set of eyes.
Sound is off – this is the case most of the time as people don’t want to be watching video content out loud when they’re at work or on the go. You need to be able to get your message across clearly without sound.
Frequency – most people check their mobiles multiple times per day and across different platforms. This means that there are more opportunities for you to get them to watch your video content.
Budget permitting try and design video content specifically for mobile. Try to design your mobile content to compliment any another content you have for other devices. Facebook’s advice on the matter is clear: mobile must come first. You should first design in the 9:16 aspect ratio, the optimised dimension for mobile content, and then expand out into the other placement sizes.
Top tips on optimising video for a mobile audience
- Do something to grab your audience’s attention – show them a problem they relate to, connect to their emotion and show them your solution. Think of an engaging, scroll-stopping hook for the beginning of your video content.
- Include captions and subtitles – Facebook and Instagram videos are on autoplay, but are muted. Ensure that people can view your content whether they have sound on or off so that they can fully digest your content.
- Create vertical videos – by using the whole screen you can create a more immersive experience with video content that is viewed horizontally.
- Shorter videos – people like easy-to-digest content, therefore by keeping videos under 3 minutes long you are more likely to get higher engagement. People watching video content on mobile have short attention-spans, the best-performing mobile videos for Facebook advertising are between 10 and 15 seconds. Be sure to display key messages and branding within the first 3 seconds.
- Use call-to-action buttons – if your objective is to get people to visit your store or website, include a CTA at the bottom of your video ad to make it easier for them to do so.
How can you tell if your video is a hit?
The time people spend watching your video is not the best indicator of how successful your video ads are. Instead, you should be looking at them in relation to your objectives. A successful video will be the one that drives more traffic to your site, ups conversion rates, or increases engagement on your Facebook and Instagram pages, depending on what it was you were hoping to achieve.
If you wanted to take a look at the success of your video content, Facebook ads manager offers a number of different metrics which can be used to take a more in-depth look at the performance of your ads.
Another key thing to note in light of this is that your website should be video and mobile optimised. Having a desktop-only marketing strategy is going to put you at a serious disadvantage nowadays. Try to have content and a website that work well with both and complement one another.
If you’re not already spending time optimising video content for mobile, you need to start. Simply uploading video content used for TV is a big mistake and you are unlikely to see the same results. A report from earlier this year predicts that by 2021 the daily time spent on smartphones among adult in the UK will be 58 minutes, a full 15-minute increase from the same report in 2015. Who knows how much video content could be watched in that one hour, but you know want to be occupying that user’s time with some compelling video content.