Don’t just jump on the mobile video bandwagon; understand who you’re riding with and why

video-mobile-ss-1920Visual content is on the rise as consumers become more hungry for content that’s easy to digest. Cisco anticipates nearly 80 percent of all global web traffic will come from video in 2019, which should make it an integral part of every business’s marketing strategy.

Selfishly, I run a video software company myself, so I’m obviously an advocate for brands upping their investment in video. But it’s vital that businesses think critically about the data coming to market on video consumption trends, especially on mobile.

It’s undeniable that consumer video – entertainment content on YouTube and Facebook – is primarily mobile, but it’s very different for business-related videos on company websites.

Not all video is created equal

The average daily time spent on mobile in the US will almost double its desktop counterpart by 2017, according to data from ComScore, Nielsen and ZenithOptimedia. Yet, reports like these often don’t distinguish between videos for consumers’ enjoyment and those for businesses to acquire leads, educate their market and so on.

We recently looked at one million videos on our own platform, which is for business video almost exclusively, and studied the consumption trends of a random sample of 400,000 views from the past six months to date.

We found that while mobile views are certainly increasing, it’s at a much slower pace than other data has shown, with 80 percent of business video consumption happening on desktop and 20 percent occurring on mobile today, compared to 83 percent on desktop and 17 percent on mobile six months ago.

Mobile video consumption is on the rise, but businesses can’t afford to forget about desktop viewers of their video content. Desktop and mobile are both incredibly valuable, but the value to a specific brand – or even a specific campaign – depends on variables such as who you’re targeting and what your goals are.

Video for desktop

Trends from Chartbeat show that people who watch videos on desktop typically do so for a longer duration, averaging around 160 seconds per view, and are typically consuming content in the early afternoon. Taking time of day into consideration, we can assume these people are viewing videos from the office, most likely for professional reasons – think product demos, customer support, training and so on.

So what does this mean? It means that if you’re a B2B marketer, you shouldn’t get caught up in the excitement around video viewing for mobile – rather you might want to give video for desktop a little extra attention.

With viewing habits such as these, you have more flexibility with your video content to capture the attention of your audience, and you should take advantage of that opportunity.

Video for mobile

On the flip side, videos viewed on mobile tend to take place later at night and have a shorter viewing duration, averaging around 68 seconds, according to the same Chartbeat data. These periods of consumption can be very valuable to certain kinds of businesses.

For example, fast-moving consumer goods, like Coca-Cola, can greatly benefit from shorter, snackable videos that tap into a consumer’s emotional side, which can also be helpful in driving awareness through social sharing on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that video for desktop needs to be long, boring and business-focused or that mobile videos are the only ones that can be fun, shareable and entertaining. What I’m saying is that video views on these channels are often driven by very different needs, and for you to get the most out of a video budget, you have to take these needs into consideration.

This opportunity is sizable, particularly when you consider that businesses are spending a significant amount of time on desktop; you can cater to this cohort by making content that stands out for the after-lunch work crowd.

Taking the time to plan a strategic approach will not only make your videos more valuable to consumers but will also drive success and help prove the business value.

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