In today’s world, ensuring that mobile users have a seamless experience with your video content is more essential than ever. Most video creators optimize for desktop computers or larger screens, but mobile-optimized video can have a huge impact on your success. Mobile optimization allows a broader audience to access your content, increasing your reach and relevance.

And there’s good news—you don’t need to be a skilled web developer to optimize your videos for mobile users, just follow these simple tips for mobile optimization success!

Why Mobile Video Optimization is Important

So why is video optimization for mobile viewing so important? As a marketer or video creator, you’ll want to consider the following points: 

  • Boosts engagement – Videos are inherently more engaging than static images and text, so they strengthen the relationship between your audience and brand more effectively. Today’s mobile viewers are now more likely to watch longer videos and absorb their content, including any calls to action. Higher viewer engagement on mobile devices can translate directly into higher clickthrough rates for calls to action in or around your videos.
  • Improved SEO – Mobile-optimized video can improve SEO and boost your site’s position in search results. Search engines are designed to seek out the most relevant and user-friendly results for any search query, so higher priority has been placed on displaying mobile-optimized content as mobile traffic has taken over. Google uses mobile-first indexing, so failing to optimize your videos for mobile can actually negatively impact your search rankings across the board.
  • Mobile video traffic is steadily increasingMobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. Around 50% of US mobile users report watching more video content this year than they did in the past. More and more people are also choosing a smartphone over a computer if their budget only allows for one device.  So, you may be missing out on a large portion of your potential audience if they rely heavily on their mobile device to consume content. 

8 Ways to Optimize Videos for Mobile Devices

  1. Choose an appropriate video length – Optimal video length varies depending on the objective of your video and where you choose to share it. The general rule of thumb is to keep most marketing videos under two minutes. First outreach sales videos should aim to be under 60 seconds. Always consider the channel, industry, use case, and where your content fits in the marketing and sales funnel. In most instances, if it’s early in the funnel, the video should be short and sweet. Longer, more detailed videos should be saved for invested leads and prospects.
    Here we have two video examples from Airbnb with different lengths to suit their intended goals. The first is a shorter video showcasing a new filter option that Airbnb calls categories. It lands at around 30 seconds and is a good example of keeping top of funnel marketing videos fairly short.

    The second is a video made for Airbnb hosts. This video is over two minutes long with a lot of information, so it’s apparent that it was made for an existing customer group that’s further down the sales funnel.
  2. Consider your call to action – Work your call to action (CTA) into mobile-optimized videos early. If you want to nudge your viewers to engage with your brand even further and convert them into leads, consider optimizing your lead capture forms for mobile users too. Many video hosting platforms, like SproutVideo, will often offer easy tools for mobile-optimized calls to action and lead capture.
  3. Narrow your focus – Hone your point and get to it quickly. Your videos should be focused on your core message, so look for opportunities to trim clips that aren’t crucial. Your audience isn’t going to wait around or skip to the best parts, and you only have one shot at delivering your message—and in turn, boost brand visibility, capture more leads, and improve your KPIs. Your mobile-optimized videos should be easily synthesized and concise.
  4. Create better video thumbnails – It may be ill-advised to judge a book by its cover, but people do it anyway. No one will even bother to open your video if it has an unappealing, uninformative, or generic thumbnail. Don’t leave it to algorithms to generate a thumbnail image for you; comb through the video for a great frame that effectively demonstrates your video’s purpose, or have a designer create an eye-catching thumbnail for you.
  5. Hook viewers quickly – Since you don’t have long to grab your audience’s attention on mobile, avoid splash screens and dive right into your core content with strong characters and interesting imagery. Some suggest that you have four to five seconds to hook a mobile viewers’ attention, but we actually recommend aiming for three seconds if you can swing it. This ad from immediately introduces the product and sets the scene with a relatable scenario — being overwhelmed with work.
  6. Optimize audio for accessibility – Be prepared for the distinct possibility that some viewers may be deaf, hard-of-hearing, or simply playing your video without sound. Your videos should include plenty of visual features like infographic elements and closed captions to improve accessibility and further expand your reach.
  7. Establish visual hierarchy and add text – Visual hierarchy is crucial to the effectiveness of your video since it guides the viewer’s eye and helps them absorb information. Using colors with high contrast and larger text to convey the most important points will highlight them better than any audio element can alone. Even if mobile users do choose to watch with the sound on, they’ll be able to process your message much faster if they can both listen and read.
  8. Use the right aspect ratio – Formatting your videos in the ideal aspect ratios for mobile is also crucial when streamlining your user experience. Think of details that determine the best dimensions for your mobile video, including the platform or channel where you’ll be sharing it. Also, keep in mind that most mobile users hold their phones vertically and won’t bother to full-screen a video—so make sure you pick video dimensions that look good nested on a vertical screen.

We hope these tips help you improve the experience for your mobile audience. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below for even more tips on video hosting, marketing, and creation!

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