For the last few years, video has been at the forefront of social media marketing for small business owners.
This year in particular has seen quite a rising trend of vertical video.
Why Vertical Video?
People naturally hold their phones in “portrait mode” for everyday use. Statista shows us that adults in the U.S. spend an average of 5 hours and 57 minutes per day on video, out of which 10 daily viewing minutes were generated via smartphone. Vertical video is designed for mobile consumption.
And, a recent studyof over 9 million Facebook pages by Socialinsider revealed some incredible statistics regarding the state of video in 2019 and where small business owners need to be focusing their attention. Vertical videos outperform landscape video in engagement for all page sizes.
As of January 2019, 96 percent of active Facebook user accounts access Facebook via a mobile device [Source: Statista]. And, 57 percent of video plays worldwide come from mobile devices [Source: Breadnbeyond].
Millennials are much more likely to be focused on a video they watch on their mobile devices than they are on video watched on television.
Vertical Video Success Tips
Know your aspect ratios
When you create vertical video, there are three distinct aspect ratios you should be aware of, depending on the placement of your video content.
- 9:16 full portrait/vertical - used for Stories on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as Facebook Feed
- 4:5 vertical - ideal for both Facebook and Instagram Feeds
- 2:3 vertical - for Facebook only
See Facebook’s helpful Best Practices for Aspect Ratios.
Creating vertical videos in these three aspect ratios might seem overwhelming at first. However, there are terrific tools you can use to easily create content for these different aspect ratios at the click of a button.
My favorite video creation tool for all aspect ratios is Wave.video. Their tool is popular and affordable. You can upload your own video clips and/or access Wave.video’s extensive library of stock assets. Then create your video with text overlay, branded elements, and then automatically resize it for each platform and purpose. This can help save you time in the editing process and take the technical challenge out of creating a video that can be formatted in different ways.
Keep your viewers engaged
The first 3 seconds of your video are critical in engaging a viewer's attention. This means you need to be quick, clear and concise in getting to the core message you want to get across. Skip the intro with a spinning logo or other effects that take time to come on screen. Just dive right into your content with a quick summary at the beginning, and always include a clear call to action at the end. Don’t speak longer than you need to. The goal is to captivate your viewer’s attention from start to finish.
Use animated graphics and transitions to direct the eyes and attention of the viewer.
Use vertical video to showcase your products
Product videos help customers make purchasing decisions.Vertical video allows you to get up close to your subject. It creates a more intimate setting that invites your viewer in. This can be particularly useful when showcasing products or giving viewers an insight into how your business exists to serve them best. Vertical video is fully immersive, meaning the video covers the entire phone screen, and lets your viewer feel like they are with you.
When shooting products, practice the rule of thirds. This is a photography term that states you should not place the main subject in the center of the frame. Instead, use vertical and horizontal lines to place the subject either on the lines or where the lines meet up. If you are recording your video on a mobile device, there is a setting to show these grid lines.
Also, be sure your video quality is stable. Shaky movements and even fast transitions from side to side can distract the viewer to create a negative viewing experience.
Add captions to your videos
The majority of video on Facebook is watched without sound. If you don’t have captions or text overlay on your video, there is a high risk your viewer will simply keep scrolling because it’s not convenient for them to watch at that moment. Be sure to enable the captions feature when you upload videos to Facebook. And/or use a video tool such as Wave.video to easily add text overlay.
For Facebook and Instagram Stories videos, you can easily overlay text on your videos using the app’s features. You don’t need to caption word for word but by summarizing your main point in a sentence or two, you give your viewers the opportunity to consume your content with the sound off.
Use Facebook and Instagram Stories
In Mark Zuckerburg’s own words, Stories are the future! In a recent article, I discussed how you can bring your small business to life with Facebook and Instagram Stories.
Stories really popularized vertical video. The Stories format is specifically designed for recording or uploading on mobile. Stories are a fantastic way to create vertical video on the go with very little time or skill set required.
Stories are interactive. Your viewers can easily hit reply and keep the conversation going. Simply by giving your audience a glimpse into your everyday business life, you provide them with the opportunity to build a real relationship with you and your company.
Also, when you go live on Facebook or Instagram using your mobile device, make sure your phone is upright in portrait mode. You’ll be streaming in vertical format and will see comments in the lower third. It’s a highly engaging feature for both platforms; live videos get six times more engagement than recorded videos.
Invest in Story Ads
You can easily place vertical video ads on Facebook and Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager. If you leave the Placements setting as ‘automatic,’ so long as you meet the technical requirements, your ad will appear in Stories. This goes for videos of all formats. However, I recommend creating 9:16 immersive videos in the same native format for Stories.
Tip for Landscape Videos
For your landscape videos, you can easily repurpose these to create vertical video content. Simply place the horizontal video into the frame and use the space around the video to display your header, your video captions/text overlay, and call to action. In fact, this is a really popular format on Facebook. You might take a peek at Jay Shetty's style of video - he tends to use the 4:5 format a lot with text above and often below as well. Here’s a helpful guide with infographic from Facebook.
Disclaimer: Mari Smith is the chief brand ambassador for Wave.video.Read next:
About Mari Smith
Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.
Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.
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