Just last month, Google announced that as of April 21st, 2015 mobile experience will start to play a key role in page ranking on mobile devices.

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that mobile optimization has been a hot topic of conversation for … I don’t know … years! But Google’s said the word, so now it’s written in stone. You MUST make sure your online experience is optimized for mobile.

Huh. Interesting. But we’re B2B.

I figured that might come up. You’re thinking that, although your B2B market certainly owns a smartphone, the majority of their research is completed on their desktop, right?

You sure you don’t want to call a friend?

B2B product research on mobile is actually catching up to B2C behaviors, believe it or not.

Consider this: business people are just as much on the go as your average consumer. And hey – your average consumer and your B2B consumer are sometimes one-in-the-same! They’re also researching in similar ways, much to our … erm, hesitation. Maybe it’s on the commuter train home or waiting for the plane to leave the tarmac; maybe it’s at a conference between speaker sessions or at a client site in between meetings. Whatever the reason, the proof is in the numbers: B2B customers are conducting research on mobile. And video plays a big role in this.

 Just look at these findings:

  • A Forrester report found that 54 percent of B2B companies selling online report that their customers are using smartphones to research products
  • 61% of B2B customers will watch mobile videos relating to their work, while 57% will access work-related mobile content outside of business hours, according to research firm IDG
  • A survey of 511 executives by Forbes found that even executives use mobile throughout the entire purchase process:
    • 70% use mobile devices to research products or services after first hearing about them
    • 57% use mobile devices to conduct further research
    • More than 33% say they continue referencing information on mobile up to the final decision point

So what can you do to make sure your videos are optimized for this mobile journey?

Improving your video experience on mobile

This is a conceptually simple concept. But suboptimal videos – in appearance, playback, or navigability – can cause a less-than-stellar experience, leaving prospects to reduce their impression of your brand or skip learning about your product altogether.

Here are 4 things to keep in mind to ensure your videos work well on mobile:

  1. Shorter attention spans: you’re already working with limited attention spans to begin with. But given the on-the-go nature of mobile to begin with, designing for mobile means working with even more distractions and even shorter attention spans. Keep your mobile experience short and sweet and focus on optimizing those videos that mobile viewers will spend their time on.
  2. Thumbnails for smaller screens: your video thumbnail on desktop is likely larger than would fit on any smartphone. But on mobile, it may be anywhere from 640px in width all the way down to 128px – that’s no large thumbnail! So consider designing a unique thumbnail for the mobile version of your video, or at the very least create a thumbnail on your responsive site with mobile in mind – simplicity is key as details will be lost in that tiny mobile rectangle!
  3. White space for navigation: be conscious of the lack of handy scrollers on mobile. If there isn’t white space on screen for a user to scroll up and down, they’ll literally become stuck. Their only option? Exit your site. So make sure your video isn’t taking up the full screen (unless they’ve chosen the full screen mode, of course!).
  4. Accessibility: are your videos easy to find? Use analytics to determine which videos your prospects are currently watching on mobile and make sure these are easy to find and navigate to on mobile. (Hint: your home page video and/or product videos are probably the best places to start!).

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Where can I keep learning?

Want more resources on optimizing video for mobile? Here are three great places to learn:

Kimbe MacMaster