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Published December 10th 2013

How Brands Are Winning Over a More Mobile YouTube

Online video marketing is a proven success. But these days, the online video landscape is starting to look a little different.

Google recently announced that 40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices, and experts predict that mobile could make up more than half of all YouTube traffic by early next year.

YouTube has more than 1 billion unique visitors every month. More than 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and over 6 billion hours are watched each month. When nearly half of those numbers are coming from mobile, that’s something brands should be paying attention to.

Good video marketing is one thing. But good mobile videos are another.

What are the keys to great mobile videos?


  • Engage your audience. To compete with the billions of videos on YouTube, your content needs to be equal parts advertisement and entertainment – good entertainment. Most importantly, it needs to engage your audience in some way.


  • Optimize for mobile. Soon, more than half of YouTube’s traffic will be from users on mobile devices. To reach them effectively, a combination of simplicity and quality is key.


  • Post regularly. Your viewers are online all the time, especially on mobile. And that means that to stay relevant, you should be, too. Post frequently to increase traffic and views on your YouTube channel.

Who’s getting it right?


Some brands are already succeeding in the mobile video arena, creating video content that’s watchable, shareable and perfect for mobile devices. What do they have in common?

They keep it simple

The number one rule for mobile videos? The simpler, the better.

Smartphone and tablet screens are tiny, and people viewing videos on mobile devices are most likely multitasking while they watch. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for complex shots or storylines. For the most mobile success, keep videos short and sweet, with close-up shots and simple narratives.

One brand that succeeds at simplicity? Google. A recent ad for its Nexus 7 tablet tells the classic story of a boy and his dog in a series of close-up images and screenshots. Visuals are easy to focus on, and text is easy to read. And the video succeeds in engaging viewers while staying concise, at just 30 seconds.

They entertain as well as advertise

YouTube videos aren’t like TV commercials – viewers have to actively seek them out to watch, a task that’s more difficult on mobile devices. That means that first and foremost, YouTube videos need to entertain.

Instead of making your brand or product the focal point of your YouTube video, tell a story. Make a joke or a timely reference. Tug at viewers’ heartstrings. Try anything that will entertain. And try to keep your product secondary to the story.

Verizon Internet hits the perfect balance between ad and entertainment in a video for their FiOS Internet service.The spot follows a little girl who gets back at her brother and his friends by learning everything there is to know about football.

Even though the video is obviously an ad, FiOS takes a backseat to the story (it also doesn’t hurt that the spot is narrated by Modern Family star Ty Burrell).

They have high-quality content

Mobile devices have low-res screens and low-tech audio systems. That means that videos with poor quality are going to look even worse on smartphones and tablets.

Beat the mobile quality lag by creating videos that are optimized for viewing on any device. That means high-quality audio and visuals that can be seen and heard on screens and speakers of all sizes. Quality is always an added expense, but when it comes to mobile videos (and the shareability factor), it’s worth it.

Innovative camera manufacturer GoPro is, unsurprisingly, one of the best at creating high-quality video content. Their videos, like the one below, feature GoPro cameras in action, filming breathtaking views and physical feats set to high-quality audio.

The best part? They show, rather than tell, what GoPro is all about.

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