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Why You Should Optimize Videos to Fit Every Screen

Posted by Ashley Brook on November 26, 2018

Though they’re increasingly few and far between, we’ve all had a terrible website user experience at one time or another. As the use of mobile devices for entertainment and video streaming increases, more often than not the culprit is poor video optimization.

It’s hard to want to commit to watching a video while pinching your screen in an attempt to zoom yourself to fullscreen. Optimized videos aren’t a passing trend. Especially given we are now in an era of constant multi-screens. Therefore it’s more important than ever to make sure to optimize videos to fit any and every screen.

Fit Every Screen

Most likely your company or personal website is already optimized, meaning it fits and functions well on any screen size and device. Most modern websites are built with optimization already integrated, even simple, template based web-builders.

Hands using a tablet and lap top.As far as content goes, unfortunately it’s no longer enough to just produce great videos on a regular basis. Audiences expect to have a flawless user experience. Attention spans are at an all-time low. Losing viewers because a video wouldn’t load on their iPad just doesn’t make sense. Those are all potential leads for your business.

Fortunately, if you’re uploading your video content to host sites like YouTube and Vimeo, they’re already optimized for mobile use. However, that shouldn’t be your only action.

In order to link to more content, and for the best viewing experience, users will watch a YouTube or Vimeo video externally on that platform. Even if you embed the video on your page, the ability to comment, add annotations, and jump to similar content encourages viewers to use the main platforms.

That means they’re being drawn away from your site, and you’re losing a ton of potential customers. Even if viewers stick around, it’s simply too much work for a process that can be cleaned up substantially.

Quick Tips to Optimize Videos on Any Device:

-Design your own video landing pages. Keep visitors on your site for longer!

-Your custom video players should still be responsive to fit any and every screen.

-Make custom thumbnails that not only draw attention, but help explain your videos at a glance.

As we discussed early, much like responsive mobile websites, responsive, optimized videos are no longer a luxury. Your audience expects to have a simple, clean experience, regardless of the device they’re using. Since the number of people who exclusively use mobile devices for entertainment is only bound to increase, the ability to consistently produce optimized videos will only become more important.

Social Media and the Rise of Vertical Video

Optimizing videos in post-production is a luxury that not every creative worker has. Since such a vast majority of content is produced for and shared on social media, it only makes sense to specifically cater towards those platforms.

Mobile device in the city.

Producing your own content on your own landing pages in tandem with a video host like YouTube or Vimeo is still only part of the modern process. Tailor any video content shared across multiple platforms specifically for that channel.

For most social media platforms, it’s safe to assume that viewers will be using a mobile device. In that sense optimized video starts with how you’re filming and on what device. And recently that focus has shifted to vertical videos. While fullscreen videos on mobile devices usually prompt users to turn their devices horizontally, horizontal videos have grown in prominence, adding an extra layer of convenience.

It sounds silly, but the less “work” a viewer has to do the more likely they are to stick around and watch your video. Even if in this case we’re comparing a simple phone turn to actual work.

Instagram

Since the introduction of IGTV, making sure your videos are optimized for Instagram is a no-brainer. It’s been well under a year since IGTV’s launch. Meaning there’s still plenty of time for you to get ahead of the curve in producing great content on the platform.

You can upload up to 3.6GB MP4 videos ranging in length from 15 seconds to an hour. Length depends on the account type you have. Unlike other social media video channels, IGTV’s aspect ratio is pretty unforgiving. Keep your videos between 4:5 and 9:16 to avoid losing any of your wonderful content.

Facebook and Twitter

Both your Facebook and Twitter channels benefit greatly when uploading your videos natively. Once again, rather than linking to your YouTube channel, make all of your content direct and native to where ever it’s being promoted. That way any viewers remain actively engaged in your content and feeds, and you can take full advantage of each channel.

For instance, Facebook and Twitter also have their own live streaming platforms. They’re much different than IGTV, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them to push out your great video content.

On Facebook, specific audience targeting allows you to push your video content to your most desired, relevant users while also restricting access to other specific audience groups.

For all native social media videos, it’s also worth thinking about audio. Many users on any of the main social media platforms scroll and start watching videos without audio. That being the case, it’s extremely important to consider using captions or subtitles, or producing your videos in a way where audio isn’t necessary for it to be captivating.

Techniques

Fortunately, if your budget is a concern, vertical video usually works best when shot on a mobile device. And as you probably know, any smartphone has direct access to every social platforms’ app, making native video upload a breeze.

Additionally, mobile devices make IGTV and live-streaming easier. And in many cases live streaming is actually designed specifically for mobile platforms. Not to mention that many phones produced in the last few years can shoot in 4K. Which means quality never has to take at hit.

Aspect ratios affect IGTV the most. So if you decide to use a more professional rig, you’ll just have to keep in mind the limitations of shooting vertical video on a DSLR. Regardless of rotating the camera, you’ll most likely still have to edit the aspect ratio in post production.

Final Thoughts

No matter what kind of video content you’re producing, you can’t afford to not take full advantage of optimizing your videos. It’s important to understand how you display videos on your blog or website to be dynamic and fit every screen greatly affects user experience. Additionally, considering how you approach actual productions to better suit specific social media platforms can make all the difference in not only your views and engagement, but your overall growth, customer, and lead retention as well.

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