Does ‘mobile first’ change the way you create video?

Does ‘mobile first’ change the way you create video?

The numbers are very clear, over half of all people (and almost all millennials) watch video content on a mobile device. We’re glued to our phones and tablets; we pay, buy, create, search and socialise on mobile.
Mobile video is a great opportunity to interact with your audience and improve conversion rates. So when creating online video content, why not put mobile first?

Mobile first means creating video specifically for mobile environments. And no, that’s not just about shortening your film and squaring in out for mobile screens. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but no biggie if you’re prepared.
First thing you’ll notice when creating for mobile is that each platform, -Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the likes, has their own set of guidelines and principles.
Facebook is a ‘newsy’ platform, publishers like AJ+, NowThis and Buzzfeed trigger our curiosity with stories that are ‘short ‘n snackable’. They get you hooked from the first second and guide you through the narrative in a fast paced and easily digestible manner. Text On Screen is used as a narrative driver which means stories can be watched without sound. Although the rule of thumb is that videos on Facebook shouldn’t be longer than 2 minutes, Vice and Vox have also shown that longer formats aren’t necessarily a no-go. By using active presenters, a clear and compelling narrative and graphics they manage to keep the audience engaged up to 5 minutes or longer (but it’s not easy).
On Instagram, content is more about visual style and immediacy (Insta Stories). Instagram videos can’t be longer than a minute and most are just 15 seconds. There’s less text and less narrative. It’s all about speaking to the senses. No wonder Instagram is bringing sound back. They’ve updated their default setting of autoplay to start with audio ON. This may not seem like a very radical move but, in a context where sound has become almost taboo, it’s actually quite daring.

The mobile audience is very demanding and easily bored. We seem to have an increasing need for speed. So, can you tell your story in 90 seconds, in 60 seconds, or even in 15 seconds? You’ll need to get to the core quickly, but you’ll also leave a lot out. So ask yourself, what is the one thing I want to say, and make that message stand out.
Also, with all the options out there, should you make different versions of your video for each platform? Probably not. What you do need to consider is, How, When and Where your audiences are watching. Choosing the right social media platform, and creating content that is true to that platform, will improve the effectiveness of your campaign or video. At Makmende we are experts at creating effective video content. So, let us help you get your story out there.

Sign up for our newsletter for updates on technology, Media for Impact and content production around the globe.

More articles