Making video for the small screen

So by now you’ve heard that video is the way to go. You’re all branded up, your video has a good message, and it’s on your website doing it’s thing….and then the world’s entire populous decides to start viewing their web content on their mobile phones.

To put this into context – two years ago, Youtube’s mobile traffic came to a tiny 6% of the overall amount. Nowadays, that number has risen to 40%. That means that just under half of all video viewings on Youtube are from mobile phones. Definitely something to think about.

We’ve recently written a blog about Google changing their algorithm to reward websites that are mobile friendly. It certainly seems to be the way internet traffic is heading. So, some new factors have to be considered. Is your video effective when viewed on a mobile phone screen?

Some things to think about…

1. Screen size.
Your average mobile phone screen is obviously going to be smaller than a 42” TV. This means that text heavy videos won’t come across in the best light when being viewed on a smaller device. The text will be harder to read, and some of it may even be illegible. Coming up with interesting ways to display text, mainly using simple motion graphics work, will undoubtedly take a lot of the pressure off information-heavy videos that may be watched on mobile phones. The clearer and simpler, the better. This really is a case of less is more.

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2. Environment.
This blogger estimates that 169% of all mobile video traffic comes from anti-social workers crammed onto the train or bus every morning and evening. The tube is not the most hospitable environment for video to thrive in, so it’s key to take into account that people may not be able to dedicate 100% of their attention to what they’re watching. Keep your branding present as much as possible, get your key messages across quickly and clearly, and don’t allow any room for potential loss of interest. Everything in your video needs a legitimate reason for being there to avoid the eyes and mind wandering.

3. Time.
Appreciating how time can affect the usefulness of a video is one of the most important factors you can consider. The truth of it is, people either don’t have the time, or won’t invest the time to watch lengthy videos. The whole reason you invested in video in the first place was to avoid making people read pages of information on your website – so keep that trend going, and limit your video to a respectable length. 45% of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute and 60% by 2 minutes in. Slow and steady will not win this race.

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4. Link building and sharing.
Videos are all about converting those views into genuine interest. When people are surfing on their phones, they’re also likely to be chatting with people and stalking social media. Putting web links in your video could turn those views into conversions by engaging curiosity – the tool for people finding out more about your business is in the same hand as the tool they’re using to watch your video. You’re leading a horse to water, and you can absolutely make it drink.

What’s the impact?

Everything we’ve talked about in this blog doesn’t differ massively from normal video production – it’s always good to keep your videos succinct, the design uncluttered and simple, and the content fresh and interesting. Just think – what would it take to keep you interested? What kind of video would you like to watch on your commute to work? With mobile viewing, these considerations can increase in importance, and with the over 35 million people in the UK using mobile phones to watch video every day, they are considerations that can’t be taken lightly.

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