5 Tips for Using Mobile Video Effectively

Content From: HIV.govPublished: August 14, 20184 min read


A hand holds a cell phone with a video prepped to play
Photo credit: iStock

We reported earlier this month on Trends to Watch in Mobile Technology, as part of our ongoing efforts here at HIV.gov to help our partners in the HIV community successfully use digital media better. One of those trends/tips focused on our anticipation that:

Video Will Be Produced for Mobile Devices First

Here are a few more reasons why digital thought leaders think that mobile video is a trend to watch and why it is important for HIV service organizations to be ahead of this trend:

  • Marketers anticipate that 78% of Video Content will be Screened Via Mobile Devices in 2018 (Small Business TrendsExit Disclaimer)
  • 64% of mobile users said “watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decisionExit Disclaimer
  • According to ForbesExit Disclaimer,
    • Video content can boost a website’s search engine optimization, which can influence how quickly users find reliable information on your site versus others. In,
    • Video creation is becoming more affordable, which may mean that even non-profits can consider shooting video to educate or communicate with the populations they serve
    • “Video content increases trust” specifically videos that resonate with audiences, which can influence what viewers do with the information you share.

Dwayne Lawson-Brown, Health Educator, at Whitman Walker Health, adds his own perspective on why video is so important: "Using video is a major key to HIV prevention because we live in a visually kinetic world. Life isn't static, information shared online isn't static; if we hope to be effective educators, we have to adapt."

If you’re thinking about getting into mobile video for your organization, here are five tips to consider:

1) Use multiple platforms and applications to reach people on their preferred social media channels:

  • Most commercial brands are using both Facebook and YouTube to post video content - as an HIV service organization, there is also value using multiple platforms to reach a broader audience.
  • In addition to posting your videos on Facebook and Youtube, you can also extend your reach by posting on Instagram (including Stories) and Snapchat. You can also use..
    • Chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat to share digital video - this allows for interaction and engagement as well as sharing videos
  • Check with your clients to find out which of these apps or platforms they use so that you can share your content across all of them.

2) Design your content for the mobile screen:

  • Video recorded on a phone is already optimized for mobile viewing. If you shoot on another device make sure to shoot vertical and/or edit it to make it square - according to ForbesExit Disclaimer, vertical videos are becoming popular and “get more engagementExit Disclaimer than horizontal videos”

3) Expect viewers to watch without sound:

4) Vary content to keep users engaged:

  • According to AnimotoExit Disclaimer, users are most likely to:
    • Like: behind the scenes vids
    • Share: educational vids
    • Like and Share: funny vids, emotional vids
  • Therefore, HubspotExit Disclaimer suggests creating:
    • Videos from conferences or events (ex.interviews, presentations)
    • Live videos which encourage people watching to ask questions
    • Educational or how-to videos
    • Animated videos to explain an “intangible service or product” with visuals -
    • Case study or testimonial videos
    • Personalized messages when recapping meetings or giving recommendations

5) Keep it short/Try it Live:

  • According to AnimotoExit Disclaimer,
    • 73% of consumers decide whether to watch the full the video in under 30 seconds; 43% of consumers take <15 seconds to decide
    • 60% of consumers willing to watch educational videos content for more than 1 minute;
    • 55% will watch entertainment vids for more than 1 minute; 50% will watch news and events vids for more than 1 minute

Therefore, make sure the take-home point of your video is included in the first 30 seconds.

  • HubspotExit Disclaimer suggests that live videos can encourage people watching to ask questions
  • Facebook Live is growing in popularity - 48% of consumers prefer live, while 52% prefer pre-recorded (AnimotoExit Disclaimer)

Here are some past blogs on how we’ve used video at HIV.gov to communicate about awareness days and conferences.

For more on how mobile is changing the landscape of digital media, check back in in the next few weeks for other Digital Tools blogs on this phenomenon.

To talk with an HIV.gov digital expert now to help build your organization’s social media video strategy and answer questions about digital media, make a Virtual Office Hours appointment today.