Why Most Videos Should Be Optimized for Mobile Devices by Default

If you’re producing videos, you’re probably posting those videos online. That means you’re already familiar with the basics of online video optimization. But if you want your videos to become even more valuable, you should consider optimizing them specifically for mobile users.

Appealing to mobile users with the formatting, length, and functionality of your videos will help you reach a wider audience and get more value from each new production. So how do you approach mobile video optimization? And why is it so important in the modern era?

The Rising Wave of Mobile Web Traffic

First, we need to acknowledge the rising wave of mobile web traffic. Increasingly, people are using mobile and portable devices to browse the web – and watch videos.

Currently, more than half of all web traffic is mobile traffic – and 70 percent of all YouTube views come from mobile. There are many potential explanations for this. For starters, mobile devices are more ubiquitous than other types of devices because of their sheer utility.

You practically need a smartphone in the modern world, so it makes sense that a mobile device would be a higher priority than a desktop device for most people.

Additionally, mobile devices are more convenient. Why would you go to a specific room of your house to access a computer when you could load the same content using a device you already have on you?

The only reason mobile devices didn’t dominate web traffic when they were first introduced is because internet connections on mobile devices were slow and unreliable. Now that these connections are faster and more consistent, most people find no reason to use something other than a mobile device.

The Value of Serving a Mobile Audience

So why should you serve your mobile audience by default?

  • Broader appeal. For starters come you have broader appeal. With a video optimized for mobile devices, you’ll automatically appeal to everyone currently using a mobile device without alienating anyone not using a mobile device. It’s essentially a shortcut to multiply your potential audience many times over.
  • Higher engagement. If a mobile user stumbles upon a video that isn’t currently optimized for mobile devices, they’re going to have a bad experience. That leads to lower engagement levels, which in turn, means you’re going to have a harder time achieving your goals (whatever they happen to be). optimizing for mobile users will certainly boost engagement.
  • Inexpensiveness. You don’t need to make much of an investment to optimize your videos for mobile devices. You don’t need any fancy equipment, nor do you need to spend much time doing it.
  • Limited downsides. There are very few downsides of mobile optimization, so there’s no excuse not to use it by default. Optimizing for mobile devices doesn’t mean ignoring or producing a worse experience for your desktop users; it just means making sure that all audiences can access your content and enjoy it equally.

What Is Video Mobile Optimization?

Down to brass tacks. What exactly is video mobile optimization and how can you practice it?

  • Functionality. First, you need to think about functionality. There are some video formats and some web issues that can prevent mobile users from being able to play your video. You need to test your video across multiple different mobile devices and operating systems to make sure it’s playing as intended.
  • Responsiveness. The easiest way to optimize a video is to make sure it’s responsive. In other words, it should quickly and automatically reformat itself to better suit the device attempting to play it. There are many types of devices out there, and all of them should have a good experience while watching your video.
  • Loading time. You also need to think about loading time. Mobile users will quickly move on if a video takes too long to start playing.
  • Video length. Though not universal, mobile users tend to have shorter attention spans – which means you need to think about the length of your video. Shorter, more concise videos almost always perform better than their counterparts.
  • Subtitles. According to one study, 92 percent of U.S. consumers watch videos on mobile devices with the sound off. This could be because they’re watching secretly, in meetings or classrooms, or because it’s simply more convenient to keep your phone muted in general. Whatever the case, if you want to have a bigger impact, you need to include subtitles in all your videos.

If you’re in the video production field, or if you use video marketing in any capacity for your brand, mobile optimization needs to be one of your top priorities. Every video you produce should not just be tolerable to mobile users, but catered to them. If you do this, you’ll attain higher reach, higher engagement, and higher conversion rates.