Three Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

Three Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

To get the most out of your video marketing, you need to develop a far-reaching distribution strategy. You need to discover where your target audience is and hang out in the spaces where they get their resources and information.

That said, because so many in your target audience browse the web on mobile devices throughout their day, you need to ensure that every video campaign you create can be viewed properly on every device size. Some B2B brands are now citing up to 30% of their audience is engaging with a mobile device, so it’s important you’re prepared for this need-to-have mobile responsiveness.

Why Optimize Video Content for Mobile Devices?

The video email campaigns or landing pages you toil over are useless to someone who opens them on a mobile device only to encounter a poor experience, so in this post I’ll discuss the three things you can do to make sure your videos are good to go for those on the go. But first, I know you’re wondering, “Mike, why is optimizing video for mobile something you have to be proactive about? Our brand’s on YouTube and that works on smartphones!

”Well, although YouTube is critical for anyone using video marketing, it’s only one part of a larger video strategy. As it stands, YouTube mobile doesn’t help to advance your strategic goal of getting people back to your website where they can convert. Most annotations don’t work on YouTube mobile (which are commonly used to drive viewers back to your site), and it's difficult for viewers to read comments and look at the video description (normally a place where you can link to more of your branded content), so relying on YouTube mobile to drive viewers into your funnel isn’t totally ideal.

That’s why it’s time to start embedding videos on your own branded landing pages and promote these pages, or even a video hub, versus your YouTube channel alone. Here are the three things you’ll need (or need to do) to be mobile ready:

#1: You Need to Have Responsive Video Players

Your first step to ensuring your videos appear properly on mobile is to make sure your video players change size intuitively to suit the devices they’re being viewed on. Your video content should be visible on both an iPhone (640px wide), a large monitor (1920px wide), and everything in between. After building your landing page, you can optimize for mobile sizing when you embed your YouTube video asset on the page. You’ll need access to the HTML of your website to do this, and there’s some detailed instructions to guide you through the process via Smashing Magazine. If you’re using a video marketing platform with a customized player container, you can use the code samples found here to adjust your player’s sizing manually. Ultimately you just want to make sure the player’s dimensions look appropriate for every screen size.

Three Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

#2: Use Big, Bold Splash Screens

No matter where people access your videos, the splash screen or thumbnail image is what entices them to click and watch, so this image needs to be as appealing as possible. It’s important to split test your splash screen images to find the one that your audience actually loves, but for mobile in particular, you’ll want to ensure you pick out an especially high-impact image.

A big, bold image will work well at all device screen sizes and it’s good for search visibility as your videos become easily recognizable. Take a look at these simple splash screens that are not only visually stunning, but will remain visible/legible at any device size. With the yellow vertical bar, it’s easy to recognize Jamie Oliver’s cooking videos at a glance from the splash screen every time.

Three Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

Remember: go big or go home! Make sure the play button overlay is visible on your splash screen too. It’s the most addictive call to action on the web.

#3 Make Your Call to Action Accessible

Now, even if your splash screen looks incredible, and your video automatically adjusts in size on your landing page, you still need to consider how viewers can actually convert. On mobile, the smaller screen size means people will likely watch the video rather than read text, but you can’t ensure they’ll watch right to the end where you’ve placed your call to action. This means you’ll need a CTA that exists outside your video’s actual content for viewers to click on. Consider that users might not have an option to click on your call to action if it’s buried at the end of your video. On an iPhone, for example, they’re watching the video in full screen no matter what and this CTA won’t always be available to users if that’s the only place it’s located.

An example of a video for mobile done right, take a look at Juniper Network’s Data Rap Battles on your phone. As seen in the image of their landing page to the left, you can vote, interact with more educational content, and it all looks great on device screens. Overall, this campaign doesn’t rely on you watching the whole video to reach a CTA, which is a best practice for mobile friendly campaigns.

Three Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

On a whole, when it comes to video marketing, don’t underestimate the power of mobile. Your customers often receive your emails with video on their phones or tablets, and no matter where they are, you want them watching you content and then heading over to your site to watch even more. By using responsive players, larger eye-catching splash screens, and CTAs that exist outside the actually player, you’ll be on track for a great mobile video experience.


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Posted in Mobile Video
About Our Contributing Author - Michael Litt
Michael Litt is the CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video marketing platform helping marketers measure the impact of their video content. Thought leader, surfer, and serial entrepreneur, Michael is passionate about content marketing and changing the way we engage and purchase with video.



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