You should know these five things about videos for mobile
So, you want to make a killer marketing video—the type people watch on their smartphones and share on social media? Before you start creating it, however, there’s something you should know. Actually, there are five things you should know that most content creators just won’t tell you.
1. More people watch videos on Facebook than on YouTube
Once you’ve filmed your marketing masterpiece, you upload it to YouTube, right? Not necessarily. Sure, the platform boasts one billion active users every month (if YouTube were a country, it would be the third most populated in the world after China and India) but, when it comes to video views, Facebook reigns supreme. Research suggests that 2015’s top 1000 videos on Facebook had an average of 24 million views each. By comparison, the top 1000 videos on YouTube had an average of 17 million views per video. That’s a substantial difference.
Also, the average length of a video on Facebook is much less than one on YouTube (1’28” as opposed to 7’00”), making the former great for sharing short, snappy marketing clips. If you want to advertise a new product or service, generate new leads or drive prospects to your web pages, Facebook is the video sharing platform for you. That’s not to say you should ignore YouTube completely; using both platforms for video sharing should provide you with explosive marketing results. Experiment to determine which one works best for you.
“YouTube has a larger, more established network of video influencers and vloggers who sometimes garner millions of fans,” says Forbes magazine. “However, the appeal of Facebook’s unparalleled user-base could sway influencers and creators to migrate to that social network, provided Facebook offers the right tools.”
2. Engagement rates decline after every 30 seconds of mobile video
Some content creators might recommend you create lengthy videos for mobile. After all, this gives your audience more time to digest your content and make a purchasing decision. This is bad advice — when it comes to mobile marketing, less is certainly more. Research shows that video engagement starts to decline after 30 seconds. From there, engagement freefalls; far fewer people watch the end of a video than the start of one. Just under 70 percent of people watch a video that’s less than a minute. No more than 10 percent of people are likely to watch a video that’s 60 minutes or longer. Keep it short! This means condensing all your marketing messages. If you have lots to tell the world, it might be a better idea to create several short clips than one long video.
If you insist on producing lengthy videos for mobile, why not host a live stream instead? Platforms like UStream, DaCast, and StreamShark — and now, YouTube — let you broadcast content to a worldwide audience from the comfort of your home or office. You don’t need a studio or fancy graphics, either.
3. Videos for mobile are a lot easier to produce than you think
Lights, camera, action! All you need to make a mobile video is a few pieces of equipment, and you could have your content online in less than an hour. There are a few ground rules, though. Obviously, mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens, so focus on close-ups rather than wide angle shots. Many videos for mobile include subtitles now, too. This is a great idea if you want to capture the attention of mobile users who are scrolling their Facebook or Twitter feed in a public place and aren’t wearing headphones. That’s not to say the sound isn’t important. A decent voiceover can add impact to your content, too. Services like VoiceBunny connect you with the best voiceover talent in the business. These pros know how to resonate with mobile users, so you can turn more prospects into bonafide customers.
You could use your smartphone to film your videos, but there’s a range of better options out there that will give your content a professional sheen, so invest in a good camera. “A DSLR or mirrorless camera is the most affordable way to get into creative filmmaking,” says Learn About Film. “For news or events, a prosumer or pro camcorder may be more manageable. On a bigger budget, you could get a cinema camera.”
Finally, create a strong narrative that engages your audience and takes them on a journey. Think of your marketing video as a mini-movie: you need a strong beginning, middle, and end. You should carry out a little market research to find out which videos for mobile are popular with customers in your niche.
4. More people watch videos on mobile devices than personal computers
Betcha didn’t know that! In the final quarter of 2016, 52 percent of all video views came from mobile devices, overtaking desktop video views for the first time. Why the change? Well, mobile usage has exploded in recent years. In 2014, 4.23 billion people owned a mobile device, and experts believe this number will skyrocket to 5.07 billion by the end of 2019. As mobile devices have become cheaper — and data plans more flexible — an increasing number of people are accessing video content on their smartphones or tablets. This is good news for you as a marketer.
By 2020, a whopping 75 percent of all mobile traffic will be video — up from 55 percent in 2015. How can you use this to your advantage? Well, focus your marketing efforts on mobile rather than desktop. YouTube, Facebook Video, Vimeo, Daily Motion — all of these video sharing platforms let you share your content with a potential global audience of billions. Use these tools to upload how-to guides, instructional videos, commercials and other marketing messages to generate more revenue and increase the visibility of your brand.
The shift towards mobile could soon influence other aspects of your marketing, too. “Google identified the trend towards mobile-browsing several years ago and has since accelerated the shift with changes to its search, favoring mobile,” writes The Guardian. “It began ranking sites within its search index by mobile accessibility in 2015 and recently made a change making mobile search potentially more up to date than desktop.”
5. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to optimize mobile videos
Optimizing mobile video doesn’t have to be a headache. There are a few things you need to consider, though. For starters, choose a snappy title. This is probably the first thing mobile viewers will see when they come across your content in their newsfeed. If you’re using YouTube or Vimeo, don’t forget to tag your videos — this makes it easier for people to find your clips.
A good thumbnail is just as important. This is the first image your viewers will see before they click on the play button. On YouTube, log into your account, head over to Creator Studio, then Video Manager, then click Edit next to your video. From here, you can choose a thumbnail that best represents your content. On Facebook, most videos play automatically on mobile devices when a user is scrolling through their newsfeed. You can still choose a thumbnail, though, by clicking on the Edit button next to your video.
Then there’s the technical bit. So many content creators only encode their videos for desktops and laptops. This means that their videos won’t even play on mobile devices. Avoid this issue by uploading your videos for mobile — or converting older videos — into the MP4 format.
You’ll probably want a call-to-action at the end of your marketing clip to draw prospects to your web pages or online store. Make sure your call-to-action works on both desktop and mobile devices — otherwise you could be losing out.
Allow these five facts about videos for mobile help you create creative, compelling content that customers will want to click on. Who knows, your videos might even go viral and generate hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of views. Good luck!
Have you created mobile videos in the past? Do you have any tips you want to share? Leave a comment below!