Video has been the most engaging form of content in Social media. Video content also has seen the most changes and updates for online video industry than any other form of content. Vertical videos which once were counted as low-quality video content, have now emerged as one of the most engaging video formats in online video platforms. From stories to native video posts and Facebook video ads, a Vertical video is ruling every video format in Facebook, clocking in maximum engagements and viewership compared to square and landscape format. Now with the launch of IGTV, I can definitely assure landscape videos would only be limited to movies and for television in the future. Vertical videos will rule all digital video formats. Here is a Complete Facebook Vertical Video Guide for Beginners.
Facebook Vertical Video Landscape
The growth of Social Media has fuelled the growth of e-commerce and m-commerce industry. But the maximum time spent by active internet users on the internet has been through mobile devices followed by desktop and tablet. Availability of affordable smartphones with better specifications has been the major reason for the growth of mobile audience and m-commerce. This along with better camera specifications which can capture high-quality video/image through smartphones has also fuelled the growth of video content (Vertical Videos) in the social media world surfed through mobile apps.
A mobile device is by default best suited for a vertical video viewing and vertical video shooting. Unlike initial days of camera phone when the quality of the camera was not up to the mark and vertical videos did not match the required quality and dimensions for mass scale viewing, the time has changed and some camera phones give better results than high-quality video cameras also. This along with the recent findings from a market research done by Facebook & Neilson which showed outstanding results supporting the growth of vertical video on Facebook.
79% of novice vertical video consumers agreed that vertical video is more engaging, while 65% of the respondents believed that brands using vertical videos are more innovative in their ads compared to landscape.
Another major reason for the growth of Facebook vertical videos has been the rise in demand for Facebook stories. Stories (Images, Text or Videos Active for 24 Hours Only) format was first started by Snapchat and was adopted by Instagram, Facebook & YouTube subsequently. Although it was started by Snapchat the maximum usage was seen on Instagram and this is where it became a hobby for every person in Social Media to add a story. With the dying organic reach of Facebook, stories are one way of staying connected with your followers as compared to other forms of posts. Facebook stories also have the maximum organic reach. Stories taught the millennials or whoever using this feature the art of vertical video viewing and vertical video shooting and from then 16:9 has been replaced by 9:16.
Facebook Vertical Video for Beginners
According to Facebook the reason for such sudden growth of vertical videos on Facebook has also been fuelled by scientific reasons. A vertical video helps viewers see the video with complete detailing as their eyelids move up & down in a vertical video as compared to a landscape video where the eyelids of viewers move left and right. In a mobile video, it is easy to direct eyes up and down rather than left to right and a vertical video utilizes the maximum space available + a vertical video also requires one action less, i.e no tilting of your phone screen to have a better viewing experience. This one less action helps in higher audience retention and therefore better engagement and higher viewership.
Recommended Aspect Ratio for Facebook Vertical Video
Although the recommended aspect ratio for a Facebook vertical video is 9:16 but Facebook also allows vertical video viewing for other aspect ratios as well.
- 1:2 News Feed- A normal native video post both organic and Facebook Ads.
- 1:1 Square- After 9:16 vertical video, a square video has the maximum share of engagement and viewership. This is the recommended aspect ratio for native video post both organic and Facebook Ads.
- 4:5 Vertical (Instagram & Facebook) – The aspect ratio is also supported on Instagram and for news feed.
- 2:3 Vertical Facebook Only- For any video with an aspect ratio between 2:3 to 9:16 all videos would be rendered to a 2:3 aspect ratio.
- 9:16 Full Portrait/Vertical- The recommended and to go aspect ratio for full-screen vertical video viewing on any high-end smartphone.
For vertical video viewing on a desktop in news feed the aspect ratio is rendered to 1:1 with letterboxing and for a desktop player it’s rendered to 9:16 without black bars and letterboxing.
Facebook Vertical Video Guide: Tips for Creators
Apart from the recommended aspect ratio for creators working on Facebook Vertical Videos, here is a list of Tips or the best practices to be followed by creators focusing extensively on vertical videos on Facebook.
- Mobile First- Post the growth of Smartphone market globally, every website or online platform’s traffic is majorly mobile audience, i.e around more than 50-60%. This also made Facebook come up with a mobile-only viewable post form called Facebook Canvas. Enough reasons to give more focus on mobile-friendly videos. According to Facebook, a majority of active users spend their time on Facebook from their mobile app and maximum of video engagements and viewership also comes from mobile. This leads to the conclusion that video content creators should focus their video with an aspect ratio between 2:3 – 9:16 to create an immersive and better vertical video viewing experience for the audience.
- Include Sub Titles- We have already mentioned maximum traffic on Facebook is from mobile users. Based on Analytics by Facebook, 76% of the users from mobile see the video in mute condition. In such case for longer view duration of the video either include subtitles or include a CTA at the beginning of the video to enable sound. At times a loud background music is an instant turnoff for viewers. Videos with soft BGM have higher chances of viewing with sound on thereby ensuring higher chances of being featured in the news feed.
- Split Screen for Better Storytelling- The advantage of vertical video is eyelids of viewers move from top to bottom and provide an immersive viewing experience on mobile. This enables video content creators to use spilt screen to share their story thereby adding a creative element to the video. Split screen also helps add dominance for a particular scene or divert audience attention towards any specific information.
- Add Information through Animation- Any text information to be added between the video should be included using 2D or 3D animation instead of just plain text information. Animation maintains the aesthetics of the video and does not hamper the look and feel with simple and plain text.
- Grab the Attention Initially- With every new update in the video landscape, the total duration of each video ad in the digital platform is on decline each passing day. It’s important for marketers to showcase their brand’s identity within first 3-4 seconds of the video to ensure a higher brand recall amongst the audience. According to Facebook, videos which projected their brands within first 3-4 seconds of the video have 1.23X higher chances of brand recall from the viewers.
- Position your CTA (Call to Action) Strategically – Well there is no pre-defined position to place your CTA within a video but based on feedbacks shared by different video content creators, the position varies based on category and duration of the video. If your Facebook vertical video is short in duration and is more of a direct advertisement, include the CTA in the middle of the video. Ensure your CTA draws the attention of your viewers but is not an obstacle in their viewing experience. When your Facebook vertical video has a longer duration and is highly story oriented or in branded content format (Sponsored Content), include the CTA at the end. In longer videos, content creators can also include an outro part with a personalized request to LIKE | COMMENT | SHARE | SUBSCRIBE etc.
The above-mentioned tips may not be fruitful for every video content creator looking to create a Facebook vertical video as the results also vary with categories, duration and genre. One last point that every video content creator looking to explore the Facebook vertical landscape should keep in mind is to define the KPI or goals for the Facebook vertical video before finalizing on the best practices to be followed. This has to be followed by an A/B testing to track the performance and then zero down on the Facebook vertical video marketing campaign for best results.
Video landscape was largely dominated by horizontal video experience through YouTube. Content creators, therefore, followed YouTube recommended sizes as the platform allowed monetization which doubled up as an earning opportunity for content creators. Instagram stories made people habituated with the art of vertical viewing and shooting and with the launch of IGTV on June’18, content creators have now started exploring this platform with 9:16 aspect ratio for vertical viewing. With Facebook video monetization launched globally, video content creators are expecting the same to be rolled out in IGTV soon and therefore the importance of vertical video viewing has gone up rapidly.
Never underestimate the Power of Vertical Video.
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