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Experimenting with Vertical Videos

Should you make your videos vertical?

It all comes down to mobile-first content. We know that people consume digital content primarily on their mobile devices. Data indicates that 57 percent of video plays worldwide are from mobile devices. People naturally hold their mobile devices in portrait mode so it makes sense to start thinking about how and when to optimize video for that viewing format.

According to Breadnbeyond, marketers and digital media communicators should consider shooting videos in vertical format because:

1. Smartphone users hold her phones vertically 94 percent of the time.

2. Vertical videos see a 90 percent higher completion rate.

3. Fewer than 30 percent of users will turn their phone sideways to watch an ad.

Take a look at this very interesting infographic from Breadnbeyond to get the full scoop on what you need to know about using vertical videos as marketing tools.

#CSUSocial and Vertical Videos

Our first venture into vertical videos was several years ago when Snapchat and Instagram Stories came onto the scene. With the explosion in popularity of Instagram Stories and the advent of IGTV, we regularly film in vertical format for those platforms (however, we are currently not using IGTV). Fun fact: On average, our Instagram Stories have a 96% completion rate.

This fall, we’ve experimented with two vertical videos on Facebook.

The very first video we filmed in vertical format was on a fall day in October when it snowed for the first time in Ram Country. There is something magical about the first snow. People love it. Heck, I love it. Jen bundled up and went all around campus filming the giant snowflakes falling. And she filmed vertically. We knew this content would be popular with our fans but decided to see if we could optimize the impact by experimenting with a vertical. It worked. This post was our most popular post that month. By far.

Screenshot of snow video analytics

The second vertical video we filmed was at the start of the Homecoming football game. The post’s performance was fairly typical of our video posts. This also goes to show, just because you film in a vertical format does NOT mean that it will automatically become a top-performing post.

Screenshot of football video analytics

Moving forward, my team is going to be thoughtful about integrating more vertical video in our content mix but are not ditching horizontal videos completely.

Kimberly Stern

About Kimberly Stern

Keeping Colorado State social since 2009. Love my job and believe that people behind the computer (or mobile device!) matter. I’m a Ram through and through.