By Sergio Claudio
In the land of mobile Millennials, vertical is the way of our one-handed, swipe-happy friends. We know audiences respond to relevant content and this means content formatted for optimal viewing on specific platforms.
Snapchat recently encouraged marketers and media companies to shoot ad vertically. Snapchat touts itself as the go-to platform for millenials and the most effective way to engage them is through a vertical video. Snapchat is on to something and its latest move is putting the customer first. And why not? When you create with the consumers’ preferences and habits in mind, your efforts have a much better chance of connecting with them and delivering greater impact.
This should sound familiar to the introduction of square photos. Not too long ago, Instagram completely changed the way people shoot and edit photos, and inspired the use of square-ready apps to make sure users fit everyone for a selfie into that infamous square frame. Even the most prominent devices and platforms now have square cropping options built-in to make the process easier for users. This became a no-brainier for brands as they quickly began crafting square content for viewers around the world.
In the age of “native” advertising, people want to engage with contextual (and formatted) content that fits into their current experience. Having to click away, squint, or tilt your phone (or head—people do it) creates a barrier between users and your message. Just as print and display ads have to adapt for publishers, it is now video’s turn to do the same and adapt for the mobile screen. 1080 x 1920 is right around the corner.
In terms of distribution for this new vertical content, the framework already exists. Facebook currently expands vertical videos to fullscreen from the mobile newsfeed. Responsive sites are the new standard, and could benefit from having a vertical video option available when scaled down for mobile. Plenty of rich media formats could also use a refreshed use of video, as advertisers have squeezed horizontal videos into vertical 300 x 600 ads and mobile interstitials for years. Snapchat might even want to explore network partnerships with vertical display ad placements to help sweeten their distribution offering (that one is free, Snapchat ;)) .
The concept is not as far-fetched as brands may think. Whether it comes in the form of new cropping options, shooting techniques, or a “responsive video” concept, there is no question that video is being consumed on the slim screen. This may now mean more production work upfront, but in the end, your content works harder and delivers where it matters most: in the results.