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Vertical video and what you need to know about IGTV

Smartphones have changed the way we socialize and process news, entertainment and advertisements. Vertical video is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to reach the hyper-stimulated, visually hungry consumers of today. According to Breadnbeyond, a startling 57% of video play worldwide occurs on mobile devices.

With this shift from desktop to phones, the need to transform how we present our businesses to suit the mobile format is greater than ever. Videos are no exception.

Video orientation matters.

Social media platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, have accelerated the rise in the once frowned upon vertical video. Research has shown that 94% of the time, people hold their phones vertically.

Videos created to fit that orientation simply capture more attention because they take up the full screen. They also create less opportunity for distraction and require no extra movement – however minimal – from the user.

As insignificant as a simple turning of the phone may seem, it can destroy an ad’s chances of success. A Mediabrix study revealed that only 30% of people turn their smartphones sideways while watching horizontally oriented videos.

What’s more, people presented with horizontal video ads only watched 14% of the ad. The majority of that little time was spent searching to close the ad. Vertically oriented video ads, however, were watched completely 90% of the time. People obviously want their information in a fuss-free format.

It makes sense.

Compared to traditional widescreen, horizontal platforms, the narrower, portrait-oriented video offers a more intimate feel. The very labels “portrait” and “landscape” signify the subjects best suited by the formats. When trying to showcase a brand or product, portrait orientation is a more natural fit.

Smartphone home screen and menu layouts themselves are designed to be operated in the upright position. Additionally, many applications only operate in a vertical setting. Over 90% of the 100 most popular iOs apps have a fixed vertical orientation.

Holding the phone in an upright position allows the user a free hand to interact with the video as well. Horizontal format also breaks a person’s focus to physically move the phone and increases the risk of dropping the device. The average user isn’t willing to take that risk or expend the extra energy.

It’s easy to see why the vertical video trend has developed so quickly, as it suits the phone’s native format. We must adapt what we create to a delivery style that consumers want, and for videos, it’s vertical.

What’s IGTV have to do with it?

IGTV is Instagram’s latest feature, and it’s truly tailored for mobile by allowing only vertical videos. It’s an app created for watching long-form, vertical video from others. These videos be accessed from the app itself and within the Instagram app.

Anyone can be a creator and upload IGTV videos to start their own channel. Videos can be up to an hour long for verified accounts and ten minutes for smaller accounts. Upon opening the app, videos automatically play based on who you follow and your interests, and users can easily switch between channels.

Though IGTV experienced a slow start after its release, Instagram is said to be investing heavily in it for 2019. IGTV is set to challenge the traditional TV format, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Youtube. With TV in its name and Instagram’s “just like TV” descriptions, this challenge is by no means subtle.

People are watching more digital video and less TV overall. In fact, mobile video is projected to make up 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021. IGTV may well be the future of television, and you’ll be ahead of the curve if you start uploading now.

Here’s how it’s done.

There are dozens of ways to grow your brand’s visibility by integrating vertical videos and IGTV into your marketing plan. One easy starting point is to repurpose your existing, horizontally oriented videos into the format for sharing with a new audience. You could also create a regular segment posted at the same weekly/monthly time, much like a TV show.

Creating frequent video content may seem challenging, but if you document things you already do, it can be quite simple. A few ideas to consider:

  • take viewers on a tour of your facility
  • provide footage of how your product is produced and distributed
  • capture company events
  • feature satisfied customer stories
  • interview experts within the company
  • introduce new products and highlight features
  • host a Q&A to address popular customer questions

Start recording your videos in vertical format. That’s easy enough with a smartphone by holding it upright. However, you can crop or adapt videos shot with a camera to fit as well. You can do this without compromising resolution by editing the aspect ratio of the video from landscape (16:9) to vertical (9:16). Check out this tutorial for Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

As marketers, we have to adapt our content to the way it’s being consumed. If videos aren’t optimized in a convenient, user-first format for the mobile experience, consumers simply won’t engage. Vertical video and the IGTV platform provide an immediate, engaging opportunity to tell in-depth stories about your brand. By offering an intimate glimpse into what you do, you can position yourself as a transparent, unique and relevant business.

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