12 Keys to Effective Vertical Videos

November 11, 2021

Are you interested in keys to effective vertical videos? You should be.

Research shows that mobile phones are used vertically 98 percent of the time. What used to be viewed as a too small, incompetent video platform has become the leading format people are choosing to watch. Considering the immense popularity of Instagram and Snapchat, we can expect vertical video to continue to grow and improve. As marketers, now is the time to capitalize on this trend and we’re sharing some ideas of how to do it.

Vertical videos see a 90% higher completion rate compared to horizontal videos”

1. Optimize for all platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram all optimize videos differently. If you plan on sharing content on each platform, it’s important to keep this in mind when designing your content as it can greatly affect the viewers experience. Videos are arranged and shared differently on each platform. Therefor it’s recommended to not only edit your content for consistent experiences, but create variations of a video to suit how consumers view videos on different channels. For instance, videos on your Facebook account can be a couple minutes long, while Instagram’s should be only be seconds. While the videos themselves may differ in composition, the message can stay consistent and achieve equal engagement.

“56% of all online videos published over the last year are less than two minutes in length.”

2. Short but Sweet

Part of what makes vertical videos so appealing is the fact that they require very little prep and production work. To suite the preferences of your various audiences, following platform specific guidelines is recommended.

  • Facebook: Two minutes maximum. Studies show for most videos, engagement tends to fall off dramatically after two minutes.
  • Twitter: 30 seconds maximum.
  • Instagram: 60 seconds maximum. Research suggests 30 seconds is the ideal length as Instagram videos with the most comments averages around 26 seconds.
  • YouTube: Average at least two minutes. YouTube supports much more in-depth videos but depending on your content, two minutes is likely to hold viewers attention.

Snapchat: 10-30 seconds maximum. Currently Snapchat allows for 10 second videos at a time, but if you have a lot to say, we recommend capping it at 3.

3. Create Engaging Content

Because of vertical videos short nature, creating engaging content doesn’t require expensive production resources or time consuming prep work. Depending on your brand and goals, there are numerous simple ways to share vertical videos that your audience will enjoy.

4. Behind the Scenes

Today’s consumers are interested in the backstory behind their favorite brands. Sharing a tour of your office space, quick interviews with employees, or company bonding events can make your fans feel a sense of inclusion and requires little effort on your end.

Free People doubles down on benefits with their vertical videos. Featuring videos of employees introducing themselves and demonstrating how they use some of their favorite beauty products. This not only helps promote products, it creates the impression that the brand is relatable and genuinely enjoyed by the Free People team.

5. Product Teasers

Vertical videos on social media are perfect for sharing new product announcements or special feature tutorials with your customers. Providing a sneak peak of a new product you’re launching can increase awareness and make your followers feel a exclusive sense of being in-the-know.  

6. Collaborations

Excited about a new collaboration happening? Vertical videos are a perfect platform for spreading the word on where fans can expect to see your brand in new scenarios. An interview with a major publication or celebrity guest stylist are great opportunities to engage your audience with exclusive previews.

Nike offers an interesting take on this idea, featuring how some of their particularly inspiring customers lives are impacted by Nike.

7. Live Chats

Most social media platforms offer a live broadcast feature, enabling you to engage followers in real-time. These can be impromptu and cover a range of business related or silly topics.

8. Polls

The poll feature on Instagram is an easy way to engage followers while also sourcing opinions. Whether you’re asking viewers to vote on a new product name or just who their favourite sitcom character is, polls can offer valuable insight into how viewers are engaging with your videos.

9. Consider Viewing Preferences

Taking into account how your audience will view your videos is important to ensure you’re offering consistent quality despite their preferences.

“85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.”

10. Sounds

Because vertical videos are often viewed in public settings such as trains, at work or in waiting rooms, people tend to watch without sound. In order to make sure your videos remain effective in silent mode, we recommended using text overlays. By providing a text alongside your imagery it can help keep audiences engaged and better understand the story behind your vertical video.

11. Promote Exclusive Offers

An effective and easy way to attract viewers is to promote exclusive offerings through your vertical videos. Leading up to a special deal or giveaway with a few teaser videos before the big day can generate an interest and help improve engagement with your brand. Come the big reveal, offerings such as a discount code via your Instagram story or early purchase opportunity for followers is an intriguing and fun way to publicize a product and your brand in general.

12. Feature your best work

Since Instagram launched its Story Highlights feature, numerous brands have started conserving their best vertical videos and featuring them in organized categories. For instance, if you often produce videos of product tutorials, company events, and employee interviews, you can organize them into specific categories and save them on your account for your followers to view at their leisure.

If one thing can be certain, it’s that vertical videos are here to stay. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start implementing vertical video into your strategy. We hope these tips help in your success!  

Author Bio: Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a web designer from the Big Apple.
She lives by running marathons and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.

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