On-the-Go Video: Using Vertical Video to Engage Mobile Users

Welcome to the age of mobile video. Well, a newer age.  While mobile video has been around for some time now, Snapchat’s discovery buttons have opened up companies to vertical video content like never before. Snapchat’s increasing popularity and style has companies itching to tap into their large user base and vertical video is allowing them to do just that.

Vertical video utilizes the whole screen for users holding a mobile device in a vertical, one-handed position. To put it simply, this is a technical change from filming in widescreen, which has been the default for video up until now. Its rise is mainly due to the fact that it omits the inconvenience of needing to turn your device sideways to view the video full screen. Thus the birth of vertical video: a trend, like it or not, that businesses in some verticals will need to consider as part of their mobile strategies.

Buzz Feed, ESPN, CNN, People, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan and many other outlets have taken advantage of vertical video, using Snapchat as a channel for their content through their own discovery buttons, which appear to every user. The emergence of these channels allows ads to be inserted between the content clips when exploring each discovery button, an opportunity companies can take advantage of. 

Are you ready to test out vertical video?  Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Keep it mobile: Vertical videos should be kept to strictly mobile channels. Vertical video’s aesthetic doesn’t translate well to other screens – but there still should be the same amount of effort and care used in creating these videos as with any other company video.
  • Create a company Snapchat account: In order to purchase an advertisement on Snapchat you will have to drop a lot of dough.  Your best bet for getting started is to dip your toes in the water by trying out some ideas using your organic audience as a free testing ground for your videos.
  • Practice: A big draw of Snapchat is that videos shared through the platform disappear after a short period of time. When you are first starting out on Snapchat, the audience will be small – but so will the risk. Any less-than-perfect efforts will disappear eventually. Don’t be afraid to try something creative.
  • Utilize Snap-story: While Snapchats delete in ten seconds or less, Snap-stories are accessible for up to 24 hours and can be viewed multiple times. This is ideal for businesses because it creates more opportunity for visibility. Snap-story even keeps track of how many views your post gets (though it won’t show if a person viewed it more than once).
  • Move to other platforms: Once you’re comfortable with the format, try developing more complex videos for your mobile versions of Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Snapchat, you can edit these videos and craft the exact message you want.
  • Gear your videos towards millennials: Vertical video, thanks in large part to the popularity of Snapchat, is a millennial trend. They are less interested in big, wide screens as generations before them and like to enjoy a quick video on the go. Keep this audience in mind when creating a vertical video, as they’ll make up your largest viewership demographic. 

Looking for inspiration for how to make great Snapchats? See how two big names have gotten creative with vertical video:

How CNN & National Geographic are developing vertical video on Snapchat

Acura sent out this exclusive vertical video through Snapchat below to its first 100 followers

On-the-Go Video: Using Vertical Video to Engage Mobile Users