Vertical Video: The Updated Social Strategy

Vertical Video: The Updated Social Strategy

Rukayyah Robun
25 September 2019
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Video marketing is an essential social marketing tool in 2019. With reduced attention spans and the Gen-Z search for brand communities, video content has become the most effective social media tool. It began in 2013, when we saw the popularisation of Snapchat. This was then followed in 2016 by an increase in the use of Instagram stories, and then the 2018 launch of IGTV. The escalation of video marketing means it’s no longer a bonus but a necessity to have engaging video content on your platforms. YouTube-obsessed Generation-Z will make up 32% of the world population, making video content the core of the updated social strategy. It allows companies to be creative with their branding and add another layer to the story. To put it into perspective, here are a few facts to know about video marketing: 

  • Facebook executive, Nicola Mendelsohn, believes by 2021, Facebook will be made up of all video and no text.
  • 52% of marketers say that video positively impacts their ROI
  • By 2022, online videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic – 15 times higher than 2017, according to Cisco.

Video marketing is escalating to become a dominant form of marketing – proving to be the most effective in engaging consumers online. In its most basic format, video marketing can be used to embed YouTube videos into written content and posts. It can also be used throughout a brand’s social feed to capture the attention of a scrolling consumer. But the brands really winning in this arena are taking this a step further and using vertical video to try and engage online consumers. So, what is vertical video? 

What is Vertical Video?  

Vertical video uses a 9:16 aspect ratio, meaning it takes over the viewers full screen – like that of a story on Snapchat/Instagram. It has been popularised in recent years by the likes of Instagram/Facebook stories and IGTV, becoming a highly valuable tool for marketers. 

In the United Kingdom, those aged between 15-24 spend roughly 4 hours a day on their phones, and 94% of the time they are holding it vertically. Because of this, consumers have become accustomed to watching videos and content in that format. Using vertical video instead of the traditional horizontal format is therefore becoming the norm, with brands seeing the benefits of adjusting to the consumer’s viewing style. So, can we measure how effective it actually is? According to mobile advertising agency, Media Brix, vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate compared to horizontal content. The potential of vertical video is clear but how will this impact your marketing strategy? 

The Updated Social Strategy 

In 2019, video should be part of your social strategy whether it’s vertical or not. The key is, don’t use it for EVERYTHING. Vertical video is the future, yes, but avoid relying on it too heavily. The videos in vertical will need to wow your viewer to keep them engaged with the content. Get inventive, be creative and reflect your brand personality through video. A great example of a vertical video video done well is by National Geographic, the official launch partner of IGTV, in 2018. With 92 million Instagram followers, Nat Geo wanted to showcase something new and decided to air the last episode of “One Strange Rock: Home” on the platform in a vertical format. The stunning footage was adapted to a vertical screen creating a more immersive feeling compared to showing it in landscape. The long-form documentary generated 3 million views via IGTV, significantly higher than horizontal clips shared on their Instagram feed. 

What Makes an Impressive Vertical Video?

Using vertical video in 2020 will be a key form of marketing that will provide a worthy ROI. By setting aside part of the marketing budget for video marketing, you are future-proofing your online presence. Here are 4 key tips to vertical video production: 

  1. Time: For each platform, there are recommended lengths of video that will give your content a higher completion rate. For example, when posting on IGTV, keep your content between 45-60 minutes. For Facebook/Instagram stories, limit your videos to 30 seconds. Finally, when it comes to your feed on any social platform keep videos short and snappy, at around 10 seconds. 
  2. Frame: As obvious as it sounds – shoot your vertical video vertically. Filming your content horizontally is pointless and removes the immersive feeling that can be created. Make the most of the frame! 
  3. Perspective: Consider speaking directly to the camera. In doing so, you create a personal interaction between you and the viewer, making them more likely to stay focused on the content. 
  4. Engage: Use this tool to create content your viewers will be fully engaged in. For example, produce a ‘How to’ guide or collaborate with a brand or influencer for a conversation. Alternatively, you could utilise the wider frame to create a visual campaign, using lots of colour and energy.   

Be Part of the Vertical Video Movement 

It speaks for itself – vertical video has a 90% completion rate. Only 30% of mobile phone users are currently turning their smartphone to watch video ads, so avoiding vertical video means wasted consumer interactions. Recently Facebook announced their decision to trial removing like counts from Instagram posts. As a result, this has driven conversations regarding the metric that will replace likes. Brands will likely transition to creating consistent stories via their social platforms to measure engagement, collaborating with niche influencers to construct a more innovative brand image.

Source: TechCrunch

Don’t Get Left Behind 

No time to waste! Vertical video is about to take over the social marketing landscape as we know it. Static posting will lessen and the focus on fresh and on-trend video content will be sought after by Generation-Z consumers. For start-ups, getting to grips with the likes of IGTV, and the story feature across the different platforms, will be the first call of action. These tools will become a major part of social strategies moving into 2020. Remember, content needs to be engaging, fresh and aesthetically pleasing! There is no use in wasting time and funding on content that won’t attract and draw in your followers – make it powerful. Vertical video is the future of video marketing and it’s not slowing down. Are you up to speed?

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