It’s no secret. Viewership is moving online, and the mobile phone has taken center stage.

Nigeria isn’t left out of this tectonic shift – according to Hootsuite’s Nigeria Digital 2020 report, Africa’s largest country has 85.49 million internet users on any device, and 96% of them access the internet through their phones.

As viewership moves online, consumers’ behaviors, preferences, and attitudes towards video are rapidly changing. This shift presents a never-before-seen challenge for brands, as they struggle to create content that builds emotional connections, is shareable, and gets consumers to engage with the brands’ message.

After over 1000+ hours of scripting, shooting, editing, and testing digital videos for my brands at Diageo Nigeria, here are four must-dos for creating videos that work in this age of limited attention.

Deliver Immediate Branding

You have to make the first five seconds count. The feed form factor of most social media platforms means you probably have less than five seconds before they get distracted by something else, or scroll past your video/ad.

Bring your story to life quickly!

Your logo or product imagery needs to be evident to the viewer within those first precious seconds.

Size The Video For Mobile

While most videos will be watched on a mobile phone, most brands still create videos using the horizontal aspect ratio – 16:9. The most favorable ratio for mobile phones is the 1:1 (also called square videos).

A 1:1 video means your viewer doesn’t need to rotate the device. The vertical aspect ratio (9:16) is also another safe zone when creating video content for mobile.

You also don’t want to try converting a vertical video to a square if you didn’t accommodate that while shooting, the outcome can be horrible.

Design for sound off

While this sounds like a rule made for the Facebook universe (WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram), you never know where your viewer might be when watching your video. And besides, these three platforms are among the top five most used social platforms in Nigeria, according to Hootsuite’s Nigeria Digital 2020 report.

Building for sound off means you need to tell your story visually, use captions, subtitles, and graphical callouts to grab the attention of your viewers. Once enabled, the video’s sound should delight and further bring your content to life. Jay Shetty does a great job of creating this sort of content.

Introduce Your Key Message in The First Half

With traditional TV commercials, you had time to dance around with the princess, kiss the frog, and then tell your viewers why you wanted them to watch the video so badly.

With mobile, nobody has time for that! Even if they have gone past the dreaded five seconds attention test, you need to communicate your key message immediately.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that taking advantage of these fundamental principles when creating video content doesn’t negate the need to to appeal to one or more of the four key emotions (happiness, awe, curiosity and empathy).

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