Should you use vertical video in your marketing?
Over 15 years ago, when we first learnt our craft, the notion of filming in a vertical format seemed like nonsense! However, with the shift in audience behaviour and social media consumption, there is a compelling case for integrating vertical video into every video strategy. In some instances, it may even become the driving force behind the approach you take to your content creation.
With that in mind, should you use vertical video in your marketing? The simple answer is yes. However, as with any marketing tactic, it depends on your audience, where you are using it in your sales funnel and balancing it with your budget.
Four things to consider before switching to vertical video
If you’re using your mobile to scroll social media or YouTube, do you hold it vertically or horizontally? Statistics out there say that 94% of mobile users hold their phones vertically. While that doesn’t feel fully substantiated I think we can agree the majority of us scroll vertically.
1. Channels and devices
But, it is also worth considering the channels and devices your potential customers are using. Are you a B2B brand that can see from your analytics most people visit your website on a laptop? Or are you a B2C brand that sees the most engagement on Instagram Reels?
Understanding where your audience is and how they view is important. If they gain the knowledge they need during lunchtime at their desks that might be more suited to horizontal viewing. But on the other hand if they are looking to shop in an evening a vertical video might be more engaging.
The University of Birmingham sums up this perfectly. They use landscape video for their LinkedIn audience, who are likely to be in work and looking for an opportunity at the university:
And then combine this with more ‘fun’ content for their current students:
2. Content length
We’d also recommend thinking about how long you want to try and keep your viewers engaged. Vertical video is largely short and snappy. Viewers want to watch for 90 seconds maximum and is that enough time for you to communicate what you need?
If you have a complex subject to communicate that might be better in a traditional format. Your marketing can then encourage viewers to sit down and watch at a laptop, tablet or similar as if they were watching TV.
3. Channel ‘trends’
Reels, Stories, Snaps, TikToks, Shorts, any vertical video has its own channel ‘trends’. Some of these apply across all social media but different filming techniques alongside storytelling techniques make vertical video distinctively different. You might need to tell a story without words or with subtitles to encompass all types of viewing habits.
It is worth thinking about how you want your brand to translate to vertical video. You don’t need to use all the ‘trends’ that you can see. Instead create videos that communicate your brand while lending themselves to the channel in question.
4. Shopping on social media
While shopping immediately makes you think of B2C brands when you hear the statistics that 58.2% of TikTok users said they used the platform for shopping inspiration and that Facebook will be the top platform for social commerce next year with 64.6 million social buyers, followed by Instagram (46.8 million), and TikTok (40.7 million). But it might be an opportunity for B2B brands to start their sales funnels on these channels while B2C take a more direct approach.
Screwfix have a B2B and B2C focus with their customers of trade and consumers. While their TikTok doesn’t necessarily include a direct link to purchase, the product promotion is clear:
Whereas brands such as Adobe are focused on user-generated, educational content that fits within their sales funnel:
@linh truong is back with advice every creative needs: “Sore eyes and wrist pain no more! Here are some of my tips to elevate your creative process and get the creative juices flowing.”
A final piece of advice: create your production for vertical and horizontal video
We’d always recommended putting together a production shoot that will allow you to create vertical and horizontal video. This might be through filming the same scene with multiple devices to capture the different ratios. Or to widen the frame when filming landscape to be able to crop in when editing.
Whichever approach you take, we recommend including your viewing options during the pre-production stage. Planning ahead is far easier, and more cost-effective, than adapting in post-production. We’re always happy to have a chat about how to approach different filming techniques, why not get in touch with Chris on email@example.com to find out more on vertical video in marketing.