The vertical video is gaining popularity, and for a good reason. Sample this: You are watching a concert by your favorite band or are at a sporting event. You want to record the proceedings to enjoy those moments again in the future. So you pull up the phone, launch, and hit the record button.
Now consider the position of the phone you are holding. In most cases, the likelihood is that you probably have the phone vertically, in the portrait mode. That means that you are playing your part in the generational media shift of horizontal to vertical videos.
Earlier there would have been widespread ridicule and criticism for shooting vertical videos. The producers of vertical videos were perceived as amateurs, and their content eventually became undermined. For generations and ages, the video footage has always been in the landscape or horizontal mode.
The television screens, computer screens, and cinema screens have all been in horizontal mode. However, that mode of operation has been significantly challenged in recent times so that the brands can no longer afford to ignore the vertical videos' impact and prominence.
That is is why you have to pay attention to this new video production line and start using vertical videos on social media platforms.
The Benefits of Using a Vertical Video Format
Let us look at five reasons why you should start using vertical videos on your social media instead of the traditional, horizontal approach.
The Beginning of Vertical Video Era
The studies have suggested that most of us hold the phones in vertical position almost 94% of the time, be it chatting, calling, banking, scrolling the news feed, or viewing videos.
For instance, you wouldn't expect the laptop or desktop users to tilt their screens for watching it in full screen, so why is it expected from the mobile users?
One fascinating aspect is how quickly this trend is developing into a normalized way of watching videos. Back in the past, when "Vertical video syndrome" was having the highest peak popularity, the mobile video views accounted for only about 14% of all of the video views.
The vertical video came across as ludicrous as it catered to the viewers that barely existed. However, as we entered the 1st quarter of 2018, that number had grown significantly to a whopping 58%. It's just going to highlight how dramatically and quickly the shift in the viewing pattern has happened.
There is also excellent logical reason to believe this number will only grow further in the coming years as mobile video viewing continues to grow.
New Innovations For New Audience
Some of the biggest social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram embrace the vertical video viewing pattern. When the latest features and trends get integrated into prominent social media platforms, they rapidly become the accepted social norm.
The vertical video is now fairly mainstream, and it has been rolled out throughout most of the big social media channels. This switch has been so comprehensive that now horizontal viewing feels jarring and strange.
Snapchat was one of the first responsible for pioneering vertical videos via ads. Twitter and Facebook are not too far behind with them bringing out the vertical ads in recent years.
In recent times, YouTube launched the dynamic video player integrated into its mobile apps and automatically adjusted to the content in various aspect ratios.
In July 2018, YouTube launched the new desktop player to eliminate black bars in its videos, which used to be criticized in the vertical video syndrome. The vertical videos have become so mainstream that they are making their presence felt even on the desktop.
The latest Instagram, IGTV venture has also adopted a vertical pattern as the core to its video content. The head of business for Instagram recently spoke of living in the vertical world, which further proves social media's leanings towards vertical patterns.
So regardless of the social media platform, your audience is expecting the vertical video functionality on it.
Following the Trend
Today some of the biggest brands of the world are getting involved in the vertical phenomenon. The new technology of video, like any innovation, requires the pioneers, i.e., the big brands willing to put their resources into it. Such stuff tends to trickle down from big names to smaller enterprises.
The new tech can be as exciting as it wants. However, if the big brands don't touch or adopt it, it is unlikely to take off, and it remains a strange, fringe phenomenon. Even if there is potential in the new stuff, the possibility alone cannot convince mainstream marketers to take a dip into their advertising budgets.
That is why it is fascinating to see some of the more prominent brands jumping on the vertical video trend.
These social media companies are some of the industry's most significant, and they have some of the best professionals on board. Plus, they spend colossal amounts of money on advertising and marketing. So if these companies are on the vertical video bandwagon, you can rest assured that it is a considerably safe investment.
As the industry leaders continue their vertical video investment and gain significant returns, the smaller brands will likely follow suit. And with them following the trend, your audience will expect you to be on board as well.
Efficiency of the Vertical Video
There is increasing evidence that you get better performance with vertical video. Obviously, you will not invest in any marketing technique just because others are doing it.
You want to be assured that you are reaching out to the audience through the format that provides you with the best possible opportunity to engage with them and convert them. So it is encouraging news that the performance numbers of the vertical video on social platforms are very staggering.
For instance, vertical videos on Snapchat are watched, on average, nine times more than the horizontal counterparts. Studies around Facebook vertical video advertisements have determined increased user engagement.
Those at Wibbitz reported that the vertical videos attracted four times more attention than the square videos on Facebook.
There is also good evidence to suggest that consumers get a positive feeling about the vertical video. As per Facebook business, 65% of the consumers considered those brands that advertised using vertical videos to be more innovative. And about 79% of the 'novice video consumers' preferred vertical format and thought it to be more engaging.
These consumers make up for the majority of the audience. So the bottom-line here is the vertical videos are remarkable for the video metrics. It also places you as the innovative brand right at the cutting edge of the newest marketing techniques.
Be More Social
The vertical media is made for social platforms. It has now been widely recognized that most browsing on social media takes place on mobile devices.
The ComScore reported in 2016 that mobile phones accounted for 80% of time spent on social media from the consumers. While there is no latest research, it is hard to fathom that this number might have fallen rather than increased even further.
This means that the large majority of social media consumption is done on mobile phones. As phone usage, for the most part, is vertical, it means social media is essentially the vertical phenomenon. So from the user interface point of view, you need to consider this fact when you are sharing and publishing content.
For instance, you are scrolling the timeline on Facebook, and as you are scrolling vertically through further updates and pictures and spot the video thumbnail.
And as you tap the 'play' button, it isolates the playback from the rest of the news feed. Suppose the video is displayed in the landscape orientation. In that case, you must choose between watching it in a miniature version of flipping the phone for watching it in full screen - which is an inconvenient requirement for the user experience.
While this might sound like a minor issue, the entire user interface domain is occupied with minutiae types and is a big industry. This fact occurs because it is ultra-competitive out there, and these little decisions add up to become huge factors in determining the eventual success or the failure.
So what does the vertical video imply for you? It means you must rethink how you do videos on social media. It's time to go back to the drawing board and factor in the audience that is now browsing in a vertical pattern. Your videos should be compatible with that experience.
That means you have to challenge popular logic surrounding the production of social video. Most of the "how to" guides teach that you should hold your camera horizontally. So the guys in the viral video talking about the vertical syndrome probably were on to something.
The vertical syndrome is spreading fast, and it has taken hold in the mainstream platforms. And this is a good thing for businesses and the customers.