Hundreds of millions of people are creating and consuming vertical video on Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Periscope. Sure, people used to complain if you didn’t shoot video in landscape mode, but those days are long gone.
Don’t believe me? Consider these stats: In 2010, vertical video represented only 5% of multi-platform viewing time. Five years later, that figure had exploded to 29%. Now the world’s biggest platforms are evolving to accommodate the vertical video rise. On YouTube, for example, uploads of vertical videos boomed 50% in 2015, and the platform’s mobile app now allows vertical playback. Facebook, where more than 100 million video hours are consumed daily, has now began showcasing vertical videos in its news feeds.
Whether vertical video is placed on Snapchat, Instagram Stories or lives a longer life on your website via Curalate Tilt, it’s important that it’s clear, concise and above all entertaining.
Here are five tips for creating compelling vertical videos:
1. Use Text Overlays (Because Most People Watch on Mute)
With so many people watching vertical video on buses, trains, at work or in other public places — most of them are watching without sound. In fact, up to 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed without sound, according to Digiday. What’s a marketer to do? Use text overlays to help tell the story. Remember, insert the text at the beginning of the video to give the viewer context, making them more likely to watch the entire clip.
2. Promote Exclusive Offers or Giveaways
Vertical video is the perfect medium for contests, exclusive offers and giveaways. Brands can use the first few videos in a Story to tease the giveaway, then use the final video to offer a discount code. J. Crew did this to perfection on its first try. The brand used Instagram Stories (when it was just a week old) to stir up excitement around the release of a new line of pink sunglasses — offering Instagram followers the exclusive opportunity to purchase a pair one week before the official drop of the September 2016 collection. J. Crew shared a combination of GIFs and photos to tease the campaign before announcing to followers that only 50 pairs were available for early purchase. The brand directed followers to the Curalate-powered Like2Buy link in its Instagram bio. Half of the merchandise sold out in just two hours, and six hours after the launch their entire stock was purchased. More importantly, J. Crew publicized a new product in a fun, modern way.
3. Lists Are Perfect for Vertical Video
People love online lists. BuzzFeed has made an entire industry out of it with classics like: 24 Images To Help You Forget About This Garbage Election and 26 Things You Definitely Do That Makes The Barista At Starbucks Hate You.
Vertical video is a series of quick hits — after all, Snapchat and Instagram Stories videos only last 10 seconds — so it’s PERFECT for lists of all types. For example: A retail brand can do a list like: 10 Great Fall Jackets or a food brand can do 5 Awesome Thanksgiving Recipes. A home improvement supply store can use Curalate Tilt to create How-To videos showing people step-by-step ways to install flooring or fix a toilet. Putting content in list-form is a sure-fire way to keep people interested.
4. Tease Launches or Collaborations
Vertical video is a great medium to showcase a product launch or a collaboration you’re excited about. GQ magazine used vertical video to help spread the word of its Best New Menswear Designers in America program — where the designers created special capsule collections that were sold for a limited time at Gap stores. With #GQforGap people could discover the items and learn more about each designer. Killer collabo.
5. Align Your Brand With a Lifestyle
Brands are all about projecting a certain lifestyle. Harley Davidson wants to project an image of the leather jacket wearing motorcyclist. Nike wants to associate itself with a sports-loving person obsessed with exercise.
Forever 21, has a brand ascetic that’s young, stylish and trendy. So Forever 21 sent some folks to the Coachella music festival to show what the consumer experience and lifestyle is like for its prototypical customer — and it captured the whole thing on Snapchat. The brand used poll questions asking people which bands their most excited for, keeping its audience engaged with its story throughout the festival.
Vertical video like this makes consumers feel like they’re viewing a friend’s content, not a commercial from a corporation. It’s got a point of view, it’s fun and it projects an enviable lifestyle. Now that’s branding.