The Demand for Mobile-Ready Content Across Social Media Is Rising: Are You Ready?

Opinion: YouTube has got to be your No. 1 priority

You barely need to scroll through your Facebook News Feed to understand how dominant videos have become thanasus/iStock

Social media and marketing for mobile is the most potent cocktail of digital marketing for our times. It’s expected that by 2020, there will be close to 6.2 billion smartphones in the world. And the numbers of users of social media platforms hardly require any restatement.

When you think of it, there’s hardly a digital marketing medium that’s not directly or indirectly linked to either of these platforms. It’s a natural outcome of all of these forces that demand for mobile friendly content on social media platforms is breaking new records every month.

The big data revolution

Generally, big data is a term used to refer to data systems characterized by three Vs: volume, velocity and variety. It’s surprising how all these characteristics are also defining the growth in demand for social media content on mobile devices. Users want:

  • More content.
  • The ability to quickly switch from one content piece to another.
  • Content in several formats (images, videos, live content, augmented reality, etc., while making sure they load quickly—plugins like WOT Cache can help in this regard).

In this guide, I’ll focus on the third V—variety. Let’s cover the different aspects.

Why focus on mobile video for social media marketing?

You barely need to scroll through your Facebook News Feed to understand how dominant videos have become. And that’s true for all social media platforms. Here are some staggering stats:

YouTube: Numero uno for mobile video content

Which one of these is dominating on mobile phones, though? YouTube: By the year ending in July 2017, the Android application of this video search engine accounted for 80 percent of the videostreaming hours spent by users on the top 10 videostreaming apps.

In August 2017, YouTube gave its mobile app a makeover, adding nifty playback features, as well as making the branding, logo and interface much better for mobile users.

So, from a video content marketing perspective, YouTube has got to be your No. 1 priority. Here are some best practices to make your YouTube video content perfect for mobile devices:

  • Stick to the time-tested and proven-effective aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Look to place a call to action around the 30-second mark for best results.
  • Unless you are totally convinced that your video’s content is highly engaging, don’t make it longer than five minutes.
  • Focus on creating differentiated and engaging content; use YouTube Analytics’ engagement insights to optimize your content. Video search-engine optimization via social media is one of the best ways to generate effective inbound leads.

Beyond traditional video

Throughout 2017, live video content kept on strengthening its position on social media. Here are three reasons why live video is such a runaway social media success:

  • You can send out notifications when the live broadcast begins and, hence, get a lot of viewers on board.
  • The fear of missing out (FOMO) effect drives a lot of viewership for live content, particularly if your video channel already has some traction.
  • Live video is more engaging, allowing users to interact with you in real-time, via a question-and-answer session, for instance.

Immediacy is the key element of live videos, and that’s why mobile phones are the preferred devices where users access these video feeds.

Facebook Live videos, live Instagram Stories, YouTube live channels and Twitter’s Periscope livestreaming app are the four major platforms for live video content. Among these, Facebook Live enjoys significant traction, particularly due to the mobile-focused and advanced controls it offers:

  • Use both rear and front camera during a broadcast.
  • Notifications to users when you go live.
  • Real-time interactions with users via comments and Reactions.
  • Lightweight video metrics to help you understand and improve engagement.
  • Multiple users (page administrators and live contributors) can go live simultaneously on a page.
  • Split-screen videos that let you invite collaborators into live videos.

How to go Live on Facebook

For obvious reasons, doing live content is much easier from mobile phones than from desktops.

To start your live video, open the Facebook app and go to the screen for posting new status updates.

Here, look for the “Live Video” option and tap on it.

On the next screen, you can specify the audience for your live video and select from two formats – Post (the video will be added to your library) and Story (it will disappear after the story ends).

Next, add a text description (make it as enticing as possible) for your live feed.

After the broadcast is over, you can use the option to save it in your gallery, and then upload as a video post.

You can also schedule broadcasts up to one week prior to going live, using Facebook’s application-programming interface. To do this: Go to your profile, go to the Videos tab, go to Video Library and click on the +Live button.

Next, fill in the necessary details and, at the bottom right, click on the arrow next to the “Go Live” button. Here, you’ll get the option to Schedule Live Video.

How to plan content for live videos

Live videos will get you a lot of buzz, provided you choose interesting topics that have audiences queuing up to watch. Here are some suggestions:

  • Go for do-it-yourself videos, particularly if you can find related how-to topics from sources such as Quora, Instructables, etc.
  • Do a live tour of your office.
  • Create a recurring event, such as Throwback Thursdays, where you pick up a blog post from the vaults and do an update video on it.
  • Do expert interviews and live industry conference visits.

AR: The way to the future of true engagement on social media

Virtual reality is centered on 360-degree video content that takes viewers to a virtual world. AR is about enhancing the current environment by adding digital information in the viewer’s line of sight.

AR is expected to attract more investments than VR by 2022, and 25 percent of brands have shown interest in AR, versus 21 percent for VR.

AR is already an area of interest for ecommerce-focused social media marketers, particularly because they can create engaging content and reduce a major barrier between research and purchase.

Estée Lauder is a pioneer of this. The brand leveraged LipArtist, a Messenger bot, to let users “try” different shades of lipstick at their home and then buy the ones they liked from the website.

There’s no limit to the marketer’s imagination in terms of how AR can be used to create engaging video content for social media. An automobile repairs business, for instance, could post AR-based content on its social media page, teaching users how to fix minor scratches and issues. Similarly, service businesses could showcase their environs and ambiance to users via similar content.

Facebook added AR effects to its Messenger Platform and opened it up for developers at the end of 2017. This is a clear indication that AR content is on track to becoming mainstream on social media and, hence, a major opportunity for digital marketers.

Social media is showing no signs of slowing down. Mobile content marketing is growing at breakneck speed. These two forces have well and truly coalesced, and that’s where marketers must focus their efforts.

Guy Sheetrit is CEO of digital marketing agency Over the Top SEO.