You invest in quality video content and believe that you have every key ingredient for the perfect video covered. You may be right.
Except that you could be forgetting about a very important audience: mobile viewers. As a mobile-savvy creator, you may have already optimized your content for this audience, but it’s also smart to check in with changing mobile viewing behavior.
Remember the last time you saw your analytics page for the total no. of views? Studies reveal that 51% of all videos are being played on mobile. For Twitter, that goes up to 93 percent! Imagine, over half of those views would be coming from a mobile device.
How do you set apart your vlog, trailer, promo video, or product reviews from other online marketers, 87% of them, who also invest in video content the same way? If you’re sharing your videos on social accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, you’ll need to know how you can capture a mobile audience.
The Perfect Social Video
Let’s begin with a recap to cover some general rules for creating and sharing social videos with your mobile viewership in mind.
First, be conscious of the platform. Before creating your content, consider what type of content engages a platform’s particular audience. Facebook tends to have a more diverse audience, for example.
Then, you should optimize your video for your channels’ recommended specs. You can use a 1 : 1 aspect ratio to save time. Square videos generally work well with most platforms and tend to appear larger, taking up 78% more social media feed real estate.
Also, most platforms like it when you upload directly to their channel, and you’ll be rewarded for posting natively. Your video appears more prominent and you enjoy up to 10x more organic shares.
The Rise of Silent Watching
There are a number of compelling reasons why someone would watch with the sound off. They may be in an environment, like in an office or a noisy public space, where it’s not possible to have the sound on. Perhaps, the deluge of noise coming from one video after another in the feed drives them to turn the sound off.
“Sound is still an option [on Facebook], but it’s not required,” said Rye Clifton, director of experience at GSD&M. “If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.”
Facebook only counts a view after three seconds, so you’ll need to grab mobile users’ attention during the first few seconds. This means, even if it’s without sound.
Although “silent watching” may have become the de facto standard, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get your point across anymore.
According to MEC North America, around 85-90% of their clients’ video views are silent. Yet, that doesn’t equate to less engagement. Internal studies by the agency revealed that KPIs, including brand lift and intent to purchase, remained unaffected by on or off sound.
For inspiration, check out some of these social pages and how they approach video creation and publishing. Many of these examples are from this article by Digiday UK.
Feel-good site LittleThings averages 150 million monthly views on Facebook and 85% watch without turning on the sound.
She thought the party was the only surprise but her family had much more in store for her! 😊💗
LittleThings uses fun graphics that help capture mobile viewers’ attention, and they add subtitles to become more accessible. Since some of their videos are unscripted they transcribe them after it has been produced.
Another successful case study is the millennial news site Mic. They average 150 million monthly views, with 85% of its 30-second views are also without sound.
The way men send emails vs. women reveals a lot about sexism in America.Reshma Saujani explains why this needs to change. Buy her book here: https://amzn.to/2IlSAoK
Posted by Mic on Friday, April 5, 2019
PopSugar shares that their silent video views are between 50 to 80%. Check out how their video below can be understood without dialogue or audio.
Keeping up with the everyday messes with Swiffer can make the big cleaning days a lot easier — trust us!
Posted by PopSugar on Thursday, April 4, 2019
NowThis is another page with posts that have gone viral. The news source also utilizes captions to relay news and become accessible to a wider audience.
'Whenever you got knocked down, you always showed us how to get back up.' — Watch Obama's heartfelt tribute to Dwyane Wade as he says goodbye to the NBA
Posted by NowThis Sports on Wednesday, April 10, 2019
The Case for Captions
As a great majority of views are happening in silence, your videos on social need subtitling more than ever.
You’ll observe that videos on news feeds showcase subtitles that narrate on-screen dialogue. Although most still retain the background music or audio, subtitles help make your content easier to consume and understand from wherever your viewers may be watching, at home or on-the-go.
How do the subtitled videos compare to video content without them?
Here’s why captions are critical. When it comes to watch time, subtitled videos increase view time by more than 12% and are watched an average 91% to completion. In comparison, videos without subtitles are only watched 66% to completion. When subtitles are included, 80% more people watch videos to completion.
Adding Subtitles to Instantly Enhance Social Videos
A deterrent for many video producers and content creators when it comes to adding captions can be the cost for closed captioning services. However subtitle service providers, like Scribe, charge for as low as $.10/min.
You may be worried about finding a good captioning service to become your production partner for a one-time transcription or long-term partnership. See the important things to look for in How to Select the Best Video Captioning Service: 5 Key Considerations.
Another issue for you may be uploading the captions to videos on your platform. You actually don’t have to manually add and edit the captions for each video on every platform. There’s an easy way to directly upload your caption to social, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and others.
You can streamline the process through these 3 basic steps:
- Create a text file in the proper file format (.srt or .vtt)
- Upload the file directly to your platform or video editor.
- Done! Your video now has captions.
You’ll find more detailed instruction for adding captions to social videos here: How to Caption Videos for Instagram, Facebook and Other Social Platforms.
You’re aware of the importance of a great social media video strategy. But, are you doing what it takes to see positive results considering mobile viewing behavior? It might help to re-evaluate content strategy every now and then to see what you can improve.