Marketer’s Guide to Vertical Videos

Mobile marketing is an essential element to all successful marketing strategies today. Although the majority of the population uses a smartphone in some form or another, it’s in any savvy business’s best interest to build upon the opportunity mobile presents for engaging current and potential customers. As mobile usage has continued to rise, so has the use of mobile videos. In order to ensure you’re reaching your target audience where they are, vertical video is the key to capitalizing on mobile video marketing. To help get you started, we’re sharing the ultimate marketer’s guide to vertical videos.

Research shows smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94% of the time and less than 30% of users will turn their phone sideways to watch an add. These numbers demonstrate the need for marketers to appeal to consumers’ preferences and focus on vertical content. Aside from the convenience and comfort of the natural way people tend to hold their phones, there are several benefits that make vertical videos so appealing.

Limited interference

Vertical videos allow for fewer distractions. Unlike desktop users, who can switch from tab to tab, vertical videos take up the entire screen. Using vertical videos holds the viewer’s entire focus, without ads or additional content getting in the way.

Personability

People naturally hold their phones vertically to talk, text and video chat. Producing videos that align with this normalcy can make your content less feel less sales-y.

Vertical video best practices

The beauty of mobile marketing, particularly through social media and video content, is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, formal production. Successful vertical videos come in a variety of formats and offer the flexibility to create whatever suits you and your audience. That being said, there are a few recommended best practices for producing engaging, quality content.

Use graphics

Holding the attention of viewers is essential in getting your message across successfully. Aside from creating enticing topics, it’s important for marketers to put themselves in the shoes of their audience and consider how viewers will be receiving these videos. For example, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure your videos can sustain themselves should the audience choose to watch in silent mode. The simplest way to achieve this is by incorporating graphic elements into your videos. Depending on the platform you’re using to create and share your videos, there are a number of different elements that can be used such as text, overlays, subtitles and stop motion. Supplementing your imagery with any of these options can help keep viewers engaged and help them to understand the storyline of your video.

Keep it simple

Once again, it’s important to keep your audience’s viewing process in mind when creating vertical videos. Considering a high percentage of mobile content is viewed while on-the-go or in spurts of free time, shorter is better. As a general rule, aim to keep all vertical videos under two minutes. Depending on the platform, of course, this rule may vary slightly.  For example, a two-minute Snapchat is not nearly as effective as a two-minute Facebook video. Consider common behaviors other users on each platform demonstrate, and try to replicate that with your videos to get your message across in the most efficient and impactful way.

Focus

Unlike horizontal filming, which allows for a much wider view, vertical videos are primarily focused on a single scene or subject. This gives you the opportunity to spotlight the subject of your video, making every aspect and movement meaningful to the content’s story. Don’t be afraid to zoom in and really engage the star of your video. The more captivating, the better.

Stay consistent

Just like traditional marketing efforts, vertical videos for business are most impactful when they maintain a consistent brand voice. Figure out what channels and style of content your audience prefers and continuously deliver it. It’s easier to build a loyal following when consumers know what they can expect from you.

Vertical video for social media

Instagram

Instagram launched their stories feature in 2016 and has since gained notable popularity among consumers and businesses alike. A prime platform for vertical video, Instagram stories enables users to post short videos to their feeds that expire after 24 hours. This sort of snackable content provides tremendous opportunities for brands to demonstrate new products, company events or just spontaneous office happenings and employee interactions. Plus with all the editing and graphic features stories offers, it’s simple to make even the most basic videos engaging and unique.

IGTV

In contrast to Instagram stories’ short nature, IGTV is designed to allow for long-form vertical videos with a maximum time limit of 10 minutes for the average account and up to an hour for larger accounts. For marketers, this feature can resemble a mini television channel. Should there be a subject you want to cover in-depth via vertical video, IGTV is the way to go.

Snapchat

As the originator of vertical video stories, Snapchat is becoming an increasingly popular channel for marketers — and for good reason. Snapchat found that vertical video ads on the platform are watched all the way through nine times more than videos with a horizontal format. Depending on your marketing goals, Snapchat is great for incorporating short ads within other publications’ stories or creating your own subscription channel on the discover page.

Facebook

Facebook has also jumped on the stories bandwagon in order to stay competitive with other social channels. These features, like Snapchat and Instagram, are ideal for vertical videos and presenting your brand in a more engaging format than traditional ads. In fact, Facebook found that people spend 5x more time on videos than static posts and videos receive 59% more engagement than other types of posts.

Like any marketing campaign, the underlying key to vertical video is understanding your audience and creating content that will engage them. Video is presenting businesses with the opportunity to show off more of their brand’s story in more substantial interactive formats, and the rise of vertical video is only going to improve this potential. If you haven’t already, we hope this guide helps get you started in your vertical video journey.

Author Bio: Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building and redesigning websites, running marathons and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.