Video Production

Three Keys to Mobile Video Viewership

Justin Ware
May 23, 2022

The majority of nonprofit website traffic in 2021 came from users on mobile devices, with 54 percent of visitors checking in on mobile versus the 46 percent using desktop devices. 

This finding from the 2022 M+R Benchmarks study validates what we’ve assumed for some time - when it comes to web content, the mobile experience is at least as important as the desktop experience. 

And we also know that video is critical for donor engagement across all platforms and devices. With that in mind, the firstname.co team is offering these three tips for optimizing video for mobile viewership.

Caption your content

First and foremost, caption video content. It is the right thing to do from an accessibility perspective, and it simultaneously greatly increases the odds that all viewers will notice and understand your video. 

When viewing on mobile devices, we often have the sound off. Several studies suggest as many as 80 percent of mobile content viewers do not listen to audio when scrolling. On mute, captions are the only way to share your organization’s message. Whether uploading SRT files or burning the captions into the video, invest the time necessary for captioning to make the most of your video production efforts.

Go long with Portrait mode

A smartphone screen is very different, with different viewing parameters, than a wider desktop. Adjusting for the screen layout increases the odds your video will be viewed. 

When producing video content, consider recording in a way that allows for both taller “portrait” and wider “landscape” framing. Adjustments can be made in the editing process, but considering both formats when recording will make it easier to produce versions that look good under both framing conditions. 

Follow the “inverted pyramid”

Journalists are taught to write using the “inverted pyramid” to squeeze the biggest, most important facts into the first paragraph of a story. That same approach applies to online video production. You must capture a scrolling viewer’s attention in the first few seconds of their interaction with your video. 

When writing video scripts, consider using an extended headline as the line in a video. Introduce the main concept of the piece in 10 words or less. You might even create a full-screen graphic with this information in bold type. Then, after hooking a viewer, feel free to continue with the full story, which often requires a much more nuanced presentation. Basically, build an attention-grabbing promotion on the front end of your video content. 

firstname.co builds video-centric fundraising campaigns for our nonprofit client partners. Click here to learn more about firstname.co’s integrated services and technology.

Justin Ware
Justin Ware is a digital fundraising expert with nearly 15 years of experience helping nonprofits raise money online. An Emmy-winning YouTube producer and one of the original pioneers of the online giving day and online ambassadors programs, Justin is focused on innovative tactics and "what's next?" for cause-based work.

Team {{firstname}}

Meet the team of bla bla bla bla bla bla bla that make up {{firstname}}