The ubiquitous spread of mobile devices has reached a fever pitch, and, yet, it still shows no signs of slowing down. Over 6 billion smartphones are projected to be in use by 2020, which means your website — and anything related to your online presence — better perform amazingly on a mobile device. Text, graphics, calls to action, video — it all needs to make sense and load quickly across a variety of smaller screens and operating systems, or you stand to lose out on traffic and dollars. Especially since video content continues its meteoric rise in popularity over other types, the need for optimized video is especially crucial.
Regardless of whether you're a marketer, a small-business owner, a blogger, or a YouTube star, the time for making great video — LAI Video can help with that — and optimizing that video to ensure it's easy to watch on a mobile device is now. Here are six keys to improving your video optimization so it works and looks great across the mobile spectrum.
1. Responsive Design
Websites that have incorporated responsive design into their code look the same regardless of the device or screen on which viewers access it. Desktops, tablets, Android-driven smartphones, iPhones, and laptops all result in the same thing: a website that looks great and works correctly, from scrolling to text layout. Videos in a responsive design layout are usually given unique landing pages in order to ensure the player can scale to screen size and operating system. For videos that will always play — and play accurately — on any device, responsive design is essential.
2. Encode Smarter
Even if you aren't ready for the responsive design rollout, don't encode your videos so they only work on big-screen desktop computers. Encode them so they work anywhere and on anything. For short-form videos (videos that clock in under four minutes), use the MP4 file format. For long-form videos (videos that last longer than four minutes), make use of Apple's HTTP Live Streaming. An adaptive streaming technology that takes a viewer's bandwidth into account while streaming, Apple's HTTP Live Streaming is the reason you can watch the same Netflix movie on your phone and on your laptop without experiencing any noticeable difference in quality.
3. Get to Know Those YouTube Apps
For videos posted to YouTube, it's important to get familiar with their three mobile apps. The primary YouTube app works on Android and iOS, and you should ensure your videos play well when loaded via the app on both systems. There's also the YouTube Creator Studio app that allows any channel manager to stay on top of his videos' analytics and comments. Finally, there's a kid-safe YouTube Kids app that, if you make any videos targeted to the younger set, needs to also be tested to ensure your videos work well and look great when accessed on the app — again, regardless of device and operating system.
4. Better Audio
Good audio has always been an essential part of good video, but when mobile enters the picture, it's even more important. The speakers on a smartphone and tablet cannot deliver a full spectrum of sound, and their volume capabilities are even less than a laptop or desktop's speakers as well. Don't just hope for the best when it comes to whether or not the sound on your videos can be heard on a mobile device. While it would be nice if everyone watched video on their phones with a pair of noise-canceling headphones on, they won't. Optimize your audio so it can be heard on tiny, tinny speakers.
5. Put Links/CTAs in the Vid's Description
If you say something important or reference links during any of your videos, be sure to put the text in your video's description. Mobile users aren't likely to go back through your video, listen for a URL, and then, type it into their browser. However, if you place links and calls to action in your videos' descriptions, when a viewer does hear something they way to follow up on, they can easily click through to it.
6. More Close-Ups
A video shot to be watched on a 17-inch screen will look very different from a video that's been shot so that it can be viewed on a two-and-a-half-inch screen. As more and more of your videos' audience is going to be accessing your videos via a device with a smaller screen, you need to start shooting your video to accommodate that difference. Panoramic views look great in the theater, but on a smartphone, they look abstract and invite squinting. Shoot more close-ups and detail shots in your videos so that your mobile audience can see and engage more easily.
So, get to work improving your video optimization. It isn't just a good idea; it's an essential part of making sure your videos have maximum impact.