Vertical Videos on Social Media

A proven vertical video guide to reign on 8 social platforms

8 social media platforms that publish stories

Let's paint a picture together.

You see a mad crowd; they have surrounded a cafe. There are fainters and screamers in the batch. You're sure that some bat shit crazy things are going on. You wonder what's happening and you start to gallop towards the crowd. You pierce through the wall of people, then you could barely see your favourite artist’s face.

This is not an ordinary moment. You can't let it slip away. So, why not make this once in a lifetime experience immortal? You draw your phone and press the record button. Now, tell me, how are you holding your phone?

V

E

R

T

I

C

A

L

L

Y

Right?

Camera app shooting a video with Kendal Jenner in it.

You are the living proof of the vertical content ascension.

This eBook will help you understand and prepare your company for the inevitable vertical transformation. Vertical video is a thing now and will remain a thing until the digital end of time. Because events like these are happening every day in different story forms. Sometimes it's a bar brawl, football game, funny cat or a concert. If everyday examples aren't your cup of tea, there is a statistical feast for left brains in the next chapter. You'll see the reasons why in detail.

Let's start with some reasons why then.

Vertical icon

4 reasons why the world is going vertical

(unless Apple releases a new square iPhone next year)

The story format is the first original born video format of the internet. It grew to 1.5 billion users in five years. And it's one of the most significant events that Nostradamus couldn't predict.

TLDR;

  • Mobile phones are vertical, and we’ve always used it vertically. Have you ever tilted a laptop to watch a vertical video?
  • It’s easier to get attention on the 9:16 vertical format. Fullscreen, no distractions and your audience has nowhere to run.
  • The more people consume vertical content, the more social platforms promote it. It’s smart to give people what they want.
  • Vertical content kicks horizontal competitors’ ass like there is no competition. Statistically, vertical content is the best for sales.
    If you want to see some numbers don’t hesitate to check the reasons down below.
    Challenge accepted.

The nature of the smartphone is vertical

Here is a starter for our left brain; We hold our phones vertically ​94% of the time​ and rarely put them down. People use them to pay their bills in the boring supermarket line. We suddenly stop studying and check "Drake's net worth" on Google. On the train, we tap through our friends’ Instagram stories.

All vertically.

If we use it all the time vertically, why would we ever want to tilt our mobile phones to watch horizontal videos? Have you ever seen anyone who tilts his TV or laptop to watch a vertical video? It may seem like a small thing. Maybe you're thinking like, "Of course, I can tilt it in milliseconds and watch it in full bleed."

Challenge accepted

You’re on a bus on your way to work. It’s crowded and the driver is kind of mad on the brakes. Would you turn your phone sideways to watch the video? Pretty sure, you would watch it vertically and hang on with the other hand for dear life to survive the rollercoaster.

There are hundreds of scenarios and reasons. But the truth is I’m lazy. You’re lazy. We're always in the pursuit of minimal effort, and these small differences will make the difference.

So please, create your content vertically!

Vertical video is eye-catching

All you need is the attention of the viewer! And it’s easier to obtain it with vertical videos. They have nowhere to run. Imagine that you’re watching a horizontal video without tilting your phone. There are so many things that can and will distract you. You can get pulled out because of little detail in the left corner of the screen. Maybe you’re curious about the first comment and poof. You’re lost.

Vertical content almost forces people to focus on what you want to show. It uses all the available space for maximum engagement. That means less distraction for viewers and increased conversion for you! They see nothing but your brand or product. Light that candle. It’s you and your customer.

All the social media platforms promote vertical content

No surprises here. ​Over half of the videos​ on the internet are viewed from mobile devices. We use social media ​on mobile apps 70% of the time​.

The equation is simple.

People love to consume vertical videos, and social platforms want more screen time. Look at YouTube. YouTube is the world’s largest horizontal video platform and is now promoting vertical videos. Every platform in the game embraces the transformation of the vertical format. In the next chapter, you’ll discover all the important players and how they structure their environment for a more pleasant experience.

Vertical content performs better than horizontal

You know it. Vertical video is somewhat hypnotizing; it’s hard to skip once it starts to play. Plus, it often starts to play automatically. Advertisers are aware of that. This is why they started experimenting with vertical videos a long time ago, and they got compelling results. Here are some of the savory outcomes:

It’s enough with statistic slam dunks, right? Now, it’s time to get to know the leading vertical platforms. Let’s discover what’s happening in the vertical world of social giants.

Which vertical platform should you choose?

All the social media platform in line

You can't just blindly pick with one platform (there are quite a few). To make things easier, we did the groundwork for you. You'll get to know 8 big vertical platforms by users age, behavior, consumption habits, plus lots of interesting statistics. After this read, you'll know where and how to post your vertical content to your customers. You may know some of the platforms. So, we wrote a TLDR for each. Feel free to scan and skip without fear.

Instagram Stories

Instagram

TLDR;

  • 500.000 million daily users. If they jump at the same time, we may have an orbital shift.
  • Instagram is the Bible for Millennials and Gen-Zers. And BTW, Instagram has all their credit card info as well!
  • Over 1⁄3 of users have bought on Instagram. Cha-Ching $ for you.
  • People use IG like Google. They search for the brand before they buy products.
  • Stories are hypnotizing, with the completion rate of 75%.
    We don't want to bore you with general stuff. You know how big Instagram is and how crazy people are about it.
    In short, Instagram took the inspiration (stole) from Snapchat and worked hard for years.
    In 2019 they have:
  • 500 million daily IG Story users.
  • 500.000 influencers that broadcast all the moments of their life in the stories. All the attention and credit card info of Millenials and Gen-Zers.
  • A massive market and ad ecosystem for brands.

But we're here to talk about vertical content. So let's begin... People rarely share regular IG posts nowadays. There are two reasons why.

  • Instagram placed stories at the top of the screen. You start to scan from the top left to right. And it's hard not to press when you see your bestie or crush up there.
  • You can share every moment of your life. You can get more attention, and it doesn't stick to your profile. (unless you want to)

That's why ​Instagram is the perfect place for brands.

Look at these​ numbers:

  • People watch stories until the end. The average completion rate is 75%.
  • 15–25% of people swipe up on the links in branded stories. That's a LOT!
  • Half of the brands use video in IG stories and it has better retention.
  • Instagram is a new way to confirm purchases. 70% of users search for brands, and 60% of them discover new things to buy.
  • Brands transform stories into sales machines. 59% of brands link stories to a shoppable page.
  • Your buyers want to stay in touch. 8 out of 10 follows business accounts.

And finally, you can track your ads and analyze with FB ad manager. Even retarget your prospects until they buy. What? It's not a crime.

A place for the next generation market

Millennials and Gen-Z will grow up. Even now they have huge buying power (actually, it’s the baby boomers that have the cash), and in a few years, they'll be your low hanging fruits.

They ​create and consume ​like crazy:

  • 31% of Millennials and 39% of Gen Z users create stories content.
  • 60% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Z users watch Instagram Stories.
  • 1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of the products or services they want to buy.

I can hear you ask “what about IGTV?”

IGTV is the hidden gem of Instagram. Currently 17.8% of users watch them according to the latest data.

However, they recently came up with a feature that lets users share 1-minute previews of their IGTV videos to the IG feed. It went well. ​Some brands saw 5 to 10 times more views​ with the new preview feature. And BTW, you can link your IGTV videos with a story swipe-up.

IRRELEVANT FACT: The most liked photo on Instagram is an egg with 58M likes. @​World_record_egg

TikTok logo

TikTok

TLDR;

  • It has 668 million downloads in 2018 alone.
  • TikTok might be the next big thing. (Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about this)
  • It has a built-in toolbox for content creators
  • If you want to sail to Asia, it’s your ship
  • Most of the users are Gen-Zers and Millennials

Now people pay attention to this. TikTok is much more than just little kids dancing and lip-syncing on their phones.

It has 668 million downloads in 2018 alone. And it's the third most downloaded app in 2019 Q1.

It might be the next thing.

Why?

They started in China and took Asia by storm. And you know the mobile consumption of Asian countries. TikTok has ​150 million​ daily active users in China and roughly 43% of TikTok's​ user base is located in India.

TikTok is a toolbox for content creators. With features such as filters, control over video speed, access to professional audio, video editing and more.

It gives you a framework to create your content from zero to hero. Even six-years-old can create and have fun with TikTok.

What's in it for vertical content? (Well, TikTok is all vertical)

Logo Linkedin

LinkedIn

TLDR;

  • It’s the place where B2B happens.
  • More than half of the traffic comes from mobile.
  • LinkedIn generates leads for 62% of B2B marketers.
  • For 91% of marketing executives, LinkedIn is the top place to find quality content.

LinkedIn supports the vertical format and they even promote it.

Yes, it’s a serious business platform and you can be a bit skeptic about vertical content. But the truth is attention ratio stays the same whether you're a 13 years-old teen or 45 years-old executives.

What's in it for Vertical?

  • 97% of B2B marketers ​use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel.
  • More than half of the traffic comes from mobile.
  • For 91% of marketing executives, LinkedIn is the top place to find quality content.
  • 78% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for content marketing.
  • LinkedIn generates leads for 62% of B2B marketers.
  • Vertical videos start to play automatically.

You see, they’re ready to consume your vertical content.​ Go, be one of the vanguards. Here are some ideas to start today:

Highlight Personal Achievement

You can share your achievements and stay humble. You can shout out who helped you along the journey. Even better, you can show your team to humanize your corporate identity.

Ask Me Anything

Answer the questions from your followers and show your business expertise.

Go Behind the Scenes

You hit the sales goals? Did someone get promoted? You can share your happy or fun moments. It’s an opportunity to show your team and environment.

Educate Your Market

Show how-to’s series about your product. Do interviews. Position yourself as an expert and thought leader.

Google AMP logo

Web Stories

TLDR;

  • This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
  • Google wants to transform the internet into a gigantic Instagram feed.
  • If you use Web Stories (previously named AMP Stories), Google will boost your traffic.

What you’re about to learn can help you to drive a hell of traffic to your business.

It’s not a secret, but not so many people know it. Seriously, you can get a promotion at work or simply beat your competitors.

Onwards.

You know Google people, they’re smart. Now they have a plan (surprise). Soon you’ll witness a transformation on the internet. Every page you’ll visit will start to look like the Instagram Story format.

Why and How?

They call it Web Stories (previously named AMP Stories), which means: Accelerated Mobile Pages. As the name implies; it loads faster than standard mobile pages.

Web Stories look exactly like the story format we know. Well, you already know how addictive stories are.

To sum up. If you start to use Web Stories (previously named AMP Stories), these things will happen:

  • Google will boost your content and you’ll drive more traffic, sales and conversions.

Because they want to remodel the mobile experience to a gigantic Instagram feed (then they’ll probably name it something shinier). Sorry but not sorry Instagram. You did the same to Snapchat.

  • Your content will be boosted because your page will load faster. SEO 101: Site speed affects your ranking on Google.
  • You’ll be a pioneer and first to experiment with Web Stories content.

Want to see some ​results​?

  • Washington Post — 23% increase in mobile search users who return within 7 days.
  • Slate — 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per unique monthly visitor.
  • Gizmodo — 80% of traffic from AMP pages consists of new users. 50% increase in impressions.
  • Wired — 25% increase in click-through rates from search results, with CTR on ads in Web Stories up by 63%.

Want to build your first Web Story? Get early access.

Create your first Web Story

Snapchat logo

Snapchat

TLDR;

  • Survived the IG attack.
  • Still has lots (190 million) of users.
  • One of the best places to communicate with teens. (13-17)
  • Tons of ads and features to experiment with like AR. (augmented reality)
  • Easy to measure your campaigns.

Snapchat is the creator of the vertical story format. They even survived the IG attack and now have 190 million daily users. How? Well, teens love Snapchat. And they can transform your business.

  • Most of the Snapchat users are 13 to 29 years-olds. However, 13-17-year-olds form the ​majority with 69%​, and most of them are female (61%).
  • As you guessed, Snapchat isn’t for every business. If you’re a B2B company that targets decision-makers, it isn’t your best bet.
  • 55% of users enjoy viewing stories from brands​ they follow, and 88% enjoy stories made by advertisers. So you’re welcome to push.
  • You can ​get creative with Snapchat ads​. There are tons of options like AR (augmented reality) filters. It's easier to freak out teens with new features because they're ready to embrace all that is new.
  • They have an advanced analytics console. You can measure any metrics, create custom audiences, retarget your audience and so on.

youtube logo

YouTube

TLDR​;

  • YouTube is more touristy than NYC with 1.9 billion monthly visitors.
  • Now, they support vertical videos without black bars.
  • 70% of traffic comes from mobile.
  • They have stories because it’s just a must.
  • YouTube can see the future! They recently announced vertical ads.

People use YouTube to learn how to build a house from scratch or to find out how nuts the some people actually are.

They use it as a research tool before they make a purchase. A few videos later, they find themselves watching how a honey badger can survive a cobra snake bite.

We're not going to flex YouTube stats here because they have 1.9 billion monthly active users. You see, it's impossible not to flex.

62% of businesses use Youtube and 90% of people discover new products.

What's in it for Vertical Content?

  • YouTube started to support vertical videos without black bars because 70% of the traffic comes from mobile phones.
  • YouTube is responsible for 37% of all mobile internet traffic.
  • They announced stories for brands and content creators. The format is the
    same, but they stay in the feed for 7 days.
  • Recently they announced vertical video ads for ($) gripping mobile video experience.
  • Artists create a horizontal clip and a vertical one. Just check out Dennis Lloyd’s – Never go back videos. ​Horizontal​ VS. ​Vertical​.

Well, it's an excellent idea to mirror your vertical content and ads on YouTube.

IRRELEVANT FACT: As of October 2019, Despacito has the highest number of views on YouTube with 6,474,457,110

Twitter logo

Twitter

TLDR;

  • 40% of users ​purchase a product after seeing it on Twitter.
  • 70% of users don’t find video ads intrusive.
  • 63% of users are between 35-65​ years-old and 66% of them are male.
  • It’s a huge personalized newspaper.

People use Twitter as a smart newspaper. Politicians use it as a weapon. And most of the brands use Twitter for community management. Well, you have to be there when people talk shit about you.

Just like other mediums, vertical content takes all the real estate and works well on Twitter.

What is in it for vertical content?

  • Videos get 6X more retweets ​than photos, and that is 3X more than GIFs.
  • 40% of users ​purchase a product after seeing it on Twitter.
  • 67% of B2B businesses use it as a digital marketing tool.
  • 85.4% of Twitter users find Promoted Accounts useful for discovering new brands.
  • 70% of users don’t find video ads intrusive.
  • 63% of users are between 35-65​ years-old and 66% of them are male.

Facebook logo

Facebook

TLDR;

  • FB is the biggest social platform in the world.
  • Vertical videos are cheaper and reach​ 58% more people.
  • Users think story format is more innovative and engaging. (hell yeah)
  • A grandmother and grandson can meet in the comments. People from every age are on FB.

You know Facebook. As a matter of fact, your grandmother, cousins and nephews know Facebook too. So, we’ll not bother you with the ancient history of FB.

This time we’ll start with the main dishes:

  • Almost 1⁄3 of the world’s population use FB monthly.
  • 88% of users come from mobile
  • 44% percent of consumers admit FB influences their shopping behavior.
  • 26% of users who clicked on ads reported making a purchase.
  • You can target every age group on FB.

What’s in it for vertical content?

Verdict

Do you remember Vertical Video Syndrome or VVS? It's a so-called disease from six years ago, where people were bashing vertical videos. Well they got it ALL WRONG!

Millions laughed at vertical video shooters. But NOT anymore....

However, they couldn't see that the whole industry would turn into vertical. Samsung made a Vertical TV. Laugh at that.

The tide has turned. Literally! Your audience shoots and browses vertically. So let’s give them what they want and engage with them on their level.

Here is our prescription to future proof your business. Think where your content will be viewed, think mobile, think vertical and try to apply these learnings whenever you can!

So from now on hold your smartphone vertically before you press the record button!

PS: We have written 2 extra blog posts about the best tools to publish vertically on Social and the must-know tips and trick to make you content pop on these platforms.

This guide was brought to you by Tappable. Tappable is a brand that aims to improve the accessibility and legibility of content on mobile! That’s why we are working on setting your brilliant vertical content free from the grasps of Social Media.

Hans Pauwels
Tappable

Helping you shape the content your mobile audience deserves.

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