5 Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Video

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July 29, 2022
4 min read
Article Contents

Video is one of the most engaging mediums an organization can leverage for its business today. 

Regardless of whether you represent a for-profit brand or a non-profit agency, video is there to deliver your story and with so much of your online traffic coming from mobile users - it's imperative that your video content be mobile optimized to maximize their user experience.  

In short, by creating, vertical videos designed for a mobile screen, you stand to increase user engagement, leads, and inquiries.

Building on what Facebook (Meta) has recently released on this subject, this article aims to expand upon these methodologies and suggestions, as well as offer even deeper insights into the 5 best practices for mobile-friendly video for your business marketing efforts.

Keep Videos to 15 Seconds or Less

When it comes to deploying video content on social networks (and taking into account people's attention span as they scroll through their feed at a high rate of speed) the shorter the content, and more precise the messaging, the better.

This doesn't mean however that you should abandon all long-form video content for your brand.  Think of it in terms of your sales funnel and what stage of the buying process the user will be in when they first learn about your organization.

These short video snippets are best positioned at the top of your sales funnel, to drive awareness and interest to those that would otherwise:

  1. Not know that they have an issue/need to be solved.
  2. Be aware they have an issue/need but aren't solution/brand aware yet.

As your potential clients, customers, and donors move through your funnel, the length of the content you show them can grow as needed to further deepen their understanding of the products and services you offer.

Use Case: Non-Profit Short-Form to Long-Form Video Example

For many of the non-profit clients we represent, we create a short-form (15-30 second) version to deploy on social media, which then directs people to a long-form (3-5 minute) version of that content on a landing page or interior page of their website.  

This works great for testimonial videos that give the viewer a glimpse into the story being shared, while enticing them to explore further into hearing the whole story - while delivering them to an environment where they can then easily take action (donate, volunteer, etc).

Create Vertical Videos

While desktop versions of your content will typically be in a 16:9 (landscape video) format, it is important to have versions of your content in square video as well as verticle video orientations to provide the best mobile experience for your viewers.

When preparing video content for Facebook or Instagram, best practices suggest a 4:5 (square) aspect ratio for content being shown on the posts Feed and a 9:16 (verticle) aspect ratio for placements shared on Stories.

Pro Tip: Ensure your "region of interest" or area of focus to the user is retained when creating these square and vertical video pieces.  This means it is important to consider how the video will be used - before it is even shot, so that you are working with footage that can be adapted to the outputs you desire.

Where applicable, two different cameras can be used to capture your vertical and horizontal content - at the same time.

Always refer to the social media video specs for the latest updates to their content requirements. Example Google search: "facebook video post specs"

Capture Attention in the First 3 Seconds

Include your most important message, such as your product or service, in the first 3 seconds of your video.

As we mentioned above, the majority of users accessing your social media content will be doing so from a mobile website or app - scrolling through their feed through hundreds of pictures, photos, and videos. 

Your goal is to create what we refer to as a "thumb stopper".  Something that breaks their high-velocity scrolling and causes them to roll back up to what you have shown them.

With that said, you have 3 seconds to pique their interest and deliver them the essence of what you want to share. 

Pro Tip: Start with what those 3 seconds need to convey and work back from there with the rest of your video content.  If you don't have the "thumb stopper" accounted for, your video will be destined to sit in the blur of other content rolling up the viewer's screen.

Design for sound-off viewing

Did you know that 80% of videos viewed on Facebook and Instagram for the first time is done so without audio enabled?

Chances are if you are an active user on these platforms your content consumption follows a similar format as this:

  1. You are flying through your newsfeed
  2. You stop on something that interests you
  3. You then click on it to enable the audio

To that end, don't rely on sound to convey your video's message. Instead, include text and engaging visuals with the sound as a value-add or enhancement to what is already succinctly being conveyed without it.

Start by Updating Existing Videos

After reviewing the suggestions above you may be feeling like you are going to have to shoot a whole new series of videos specifically for social media and although that may be the case, you should first consider how the content you already have could be repurposed for mobile compatibility.

Take a look through your Facebook and YouTube properties. 


  • What videos have the most views? 
  • Which videos have the most engagement? (comments, likes, shares)

Then, select your top-performing past videos and update them for mobile viewing.  

Ready to Get Started?

Captivation Agency and its Sarasota-based production team can help you plan, capture, edit, and deploy mobile-friendly video content for your brand or non-profit organization.

Once created, our web team is here to ensure your content is delivered through a consistent user experience - leveraging our unique design approach and responsive web design to enhance engagement with your core audience.

Contact us today to discuss your next project!

Written by Captivation

Founded in 2004, Captivation Agency is an award-winning creative storytelling collective located in Sarasota, Florida.

We work with brands, non-profits & agencies to elevate and deploy meaningful, engaging, client works in the form of video productions and pixel-perfect, user experience design.

We believe in hard work, exceptional customer service, and long-term relationships.

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Client Testimonials

Our firm has been working with Captivation Agency for several months utilizing their video and photography services. Our experience has been incredible. They are prompt, precise and professional. When appointments are scheduled the team is on time. Project deadlines are always met. Most importantly, the final products they deliver are high quality and exceed expectations. Thanks to the team our marketing campaign has not only been incredibly successful but also fun and enjoyable working with such great people.

Kevin Lyons

Kevin Lyons

Partner & Financial Advisor, Generations Wealth Planning LLC
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