Vertical video. Does your business really need it or is it just a passing fad?
You’re not the kind of leader who chases every new trend. While other businesses waste time and money trying to keep up with what’s hip, you’re focused on what works. You’ve seen the data showing that video content increases engagement and drives revenue. That’s why you’ve made video part of your marketing strategy.
But now you suspect it’s time to move away from landscape video. Over the last few years what looked like a vertical video trend seems to have become the new standard. And it has you wondering if vertical video ads really do live up to the hype.
Here are three reasons you business needs to embrace the vertical format to succeed in the modern world of online video marketing.
1. Vertical Video is Mobile Ready
So for half a decade, people have been more likely to view your video on a handheld screen than on a desktop or laptop computer. That’s why Google has put so much emphasis on mobile-friendly websites, and it’s why your business should be making mobile videos. When it comes to video formats, vertical video dimensions fit the brief.
When you think about how you most commonly hold your phone, it makes sense why vertical video is the way to go. Vertical video fills the whole screen on mobile. So vertical video viewing minimizes distractions and keeps the focus firmly on your message. When you use the whole screen, details are larger and easier to see.
Sure, the viewer could rotate their phone to watch your horizontal video in full screen. The question is, will they? In most cases the answer is no.
More importantly, why would you want to make it more difficult for people to watch your video? The time it takes to switch to landscape orientation causes the viewer to miss the beginning of your message. They’re distracted, annoyed, and possibly uncomfortable.
Make it easy for them to watch your video. Make it vertical. That means you should be creating in a 9:16 aspect ratio instead of 16:9.
2. It’s Better for Social
Social media platforms know the statistics above. They know that people are more likely to access the internet with their phones than on a desktop. They also know another essential statistic. Among people who use mobile phones, 85% are active users of social media and 99% of those use their phones to access social media apps.
If you plan to share your video on social media as part of your video marketing strategy, you should be making a vertical video. Some platforms, including IGTV, Snapchat, and TikTok were created specifically for vertical video. Using these platforms as intended makes them more likely to show your content. This puts you in front of a broader audience.
Even on platforms like YouTube, which still operate mostly in the 16:9 aspect ratio, you’ll find some vertical videos. Usually, these are short-form videos designed by creators who want to make their content as shareable as possible.
You may have seen data showing that vertical video delivers better engagement and marketing results. That’s not because a vertical orientation holds some magical message-boosting power. Vertical video improves results because it fills the screen, fits the platform, and meets user expectations. In fact, that last point is so important that it’s worth digging into.
3. It Delivers What Viewers Want
The thing that really makes vertical video important for business is its ability to meet customer expectations. Vertical video has become so ubiquitous that it’s what consumers expect to see. Giving them what they want means they can focus on your message, not your format.
Of course, there is value in surprising viewers, but aspect ratio isn’t the right tool for the job. You’ll be better off delighting them with your interesting storyline, your innovative characters, or your high-quality product.
More importantly, if you insist on jamming a 16:9 aspect ratio video into a 9:16 hole, you might give viewers the wrong impression. They could jump to the conclusion that you’re out of touch, not paying attention, or slow to adapt. That’s probably not the perception you’re aiming for.
How to Make Video More Versatile
Even though vertical video is important for business, there are still places where the 16:9 aspect ratio makes sense. If you plan to distribute your video as an ad on television, streaming and OTT services, or on YouTube, you’re better off with the classic format. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself only to portrait mode. Take a look at the example below.
We designed this ad so it would fit the classic 16:9 aspect ratio, but could easily be cropped down to a square format for vertical applications.
If you only have the budget for one video and you want to make it as versatile as possible, square videos might be your best solution.
Keep in mind that it’s always better to design to the final aspect ratio rather than trying to cut down a preexisting video. So if you plan to share a video on a platform that prefers vertical, it’s better to animate or shoot vertical video from the beginning.
So Why is Vertical Video Important?
Vertical video works because it fits the technology we have today. It’s mobile-first and social media ready. It shows that your business is paying attention to what customers want.
That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every possible platform. And it certainly doesn’t mean that vertical will be the dominant format forever. But right now, and into the near future, vertical video is a powerful and valuable asset to your marketing strategy. If it’s not part of your mix, you’re missing out.
Start making your first vertical video today with help from the professional video creators at IdeaRocket.