How to Create Videos for Mobile Devices in 2019

Annie Herges
March 27, 2019
Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years, and more than 75% of worldwide video viewing is on mobile devices.
mobile videos

Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years, and more than 75% of worldwide video viewing is on mobile devices. We also know that video is a crucial format for paid social channels, with more than 500 million Facebook users watching videos on Facebook every day.

What does all this mean? Designing videos for mobile is critical.


Create Videos for Vertical Screen Viewing

Vertical videos take up more space on the screen than horizontal videos when people hold their phones upright. Vertical videos have also been shown to perform better in terms of ad recall, according to a 2016 analysis of data from 10 advertisers.

When considering video aspect ratios, use the 9:16 full portrait/vertical ratio to occupy the entire screen.

Establish the Brand Early in the Video

On Facebook, people spend an average of 1.7 seconds with any given piece of content on mobile and 2.5 seconds on desktop. Don’t leave viewers guessing – establish the brand and message early. Once you’ve captured their attention then use the back half of the video to go into further detail of product benefits and uses.

‘Establishing the brand’ may be done by just including a logo, but consider other methods to accomplish the same end goal such as a recognizable spokesperson, colors, products, or other natural visuals that immediately resonate with the brand. It’s also important to deliver your message in the first 10-seconds. Ads that delivered the key message in the first 10 seconds were correlated with stronger brand and message recall. Additionally, 3x more people were engaged with an ad when a brand name and message were presented in the first 10 seconds of a video ad.

Design for Sound-off

85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. This means videos need to be visually attractive and communicate without sound.

  • Use video captions
  • Use larger text and graphics that can easily be read on mobile screens

Fast-paced With Tighter Framing

Use fast-paced videos that switch between scenes quickly to attract more attention. Tighter framing creates a focal point and is optimal for mobile viewing. Zoom in on faces and products against vivid backgrounds to make use of contrasting colors.

Showcase Your Products or Services in First 10-Seconds

Use the majority of the video to showcase the product or service being advertised. And again, put the key message and brand in the first 10-seconds of the video.

Is There a Perfect Online Video Length?

In short, no. Focus on the story you’re telling vs. the length. There is no magic length of video that performs best in terms of ad recall across industries, channels, and audiences. Shorter videos are more likely to be watched in their entirety, but that doesn’t always mean that shorter videos are more effective (although the shorter format of the video does force marketers to make their message more concise, which is in itself more effective).

Instead of focusing on the video length, focus on delivering the message in the first 10 seconds and then leave the rest of the video for more explanation.


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