Why Vertical Video is Crucial for Your Brand on Social

Research shows this winning content format maximizes engagement.
We all know that video is the most compelling format to get viewers to engage with a brand’s content on social media, and you’ve probably also heard by now that there’s one format that has been shown to yield better results than the others: vertical video.

Data shows that vertical video is a better option than landscape and square formats for social content marketing, including branded content. But why and how is this the case? Let’s break it down further with 4 benefits of vertical video publishing:

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1) Vertical video comes more naturally. Whether you’re checking your email while you wait on line at the grocery store or catching up on your social media as you ride the train into work, chances are you’ve used your phone more than almost any other technology this week (and every other week). There’s no denying that the world has gone mobile, and what’s the obvious way that the vast majority of people consume content on their smartphones? The way they naturally hold their phones — vertically. Research shows that most people use their phone in portrait orientation 90% of the time.

Vertical video aligns with the mobile-first way that people are consuming content, and users are increasingly logging into social media from their phones. A 2016 comScore study found that nearly 80% of social media use occurs on mobile devices, with 61% being on smartphones alone. Social networks have always been more vertical video-friendly, and vertical-only Stories videos have now become a focal point of some of the most popular social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and of course, Snapchat.

2) Vertical video is more visually appealing to viewers. Branded content published in a vertical format is believed to be more engaging simply by using more of the available screen space. Taking up more of the screen means less distraction for viewers and an increased opportunity to capture their attention.

3) Vertical video equates to lower CPM. Looking for a better ROI with your branded content? Data shows that vertical video publishing will boost your social marketing results by increasing audience engagement, compared to the other video formats.

Research from Wibbitz found vertical videos to “attract almost four times more engagement than square videos on Facebook, and 2.5 times more on Twitter.” Wibbitz also found that for Facebook specifically, vertical videos are getting in front of audiences 13.8% more often than square videos — not to mention over vertical videos get 90% more visibility than posts with an embedded image.

A test campaign from Facebook itself showed that branded vertical videos reaches 58% more people than horizontal videos.

4) Video completion rates improve with vertical video. Keeping your audience’s attention for longer is another reason why publishing vertical videos will maximize your social media marketing efforts. One study found that vertical video social ads see a 90% completion rate, while that same research found that fewer than 30% of users will turn their phone sideways to view a horizontal ad, and even when they do so, they only watch around 14% of it.

Snapchat told publishers back in 2015 that vertical video ad completion rates were 9x higher than horizontal video ads on the platform.

Video instagram.com/gorozhanova for brand Solar Power
The fact that vertical video content naturally blends into users’ feeds and utilizes more screen space, coupled with the data that tells us that publishing in portrait format yields better results, makes vertical video a no-brainer for your brand.

Make sure to maximize your audience engagement by keeping video best practices in mind, including these 5 tips:

· Grab your viewers’ attention right away with something eye-catching.
· Make sure to feature branding early on — ideally within the first 3 seconds.
· Remember that mobile is king. Mobile user experience should be in the forefront of your mind when creating content.
· Keep your video short and sweet — under 15 seconds is ideal.
· Plan for sound-off views. Many users engage on social media with the sound muted, so it’s important to make sure that your ad will have an impact with or without sound.

Here at Insense, we’re always working to make our platform easier for our users to manage and more efficient in conveying their brand messaging. Below are a few ways that our platform has made it simple for our users to create authentic social ads, such as this Yogago Instagram video ad:

· Our “Top Creators” category includes thousands of social media content creators who produce high-quality videos and images that can be repurposed for custom branded ads. This resource makes it easy for our users to find influencer content that can be run as social ads.
· Insense’s campaign briefs now feature video specifications and formats, with specs matched directly to Facebook and Instagram. This makes it even easier for advertisers to obtain video assets that are designed and optimized for social.

To sum up: as users of social media ourselves, we all see that video is the most engaging format for virtually everything on social, including branded content. As marketers, we know this too, thanks to a wealth of data, such as the findings cited in this post. Ultimately there’s a place for all types of content, including images, but for brands who want to get the best results on social (and give consumers the best possible content experience), then it only makes sense to take a mobile-first, vertical-video focused approach.