Your audience loves videos, and they have no problem spending hours watching them online. It’s addicting, interesting, and engaging. There’s a reason why 16.5% of publishers will be producing more videos in 2019—second only to long-form content.
But not all videos are created equal.
It used to be that widescreen videos were the way to go. Remember when Facebook would weirdly shrink and crop vertical videos into a square that was incredibly annoying to view? That’s all over and done with. Vertical videos are now the next “thing” to do because they attract mobile audiences.
The reality is that mobile video consumption has never been higher. It rises by 100% every year, and already, 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices. Best yet, 92% of users watching a video on mobile will share it with others.
Why does this matter? Take a look at how you hold your phone, and you’ll see what we’re saying.
Mobile users hold their phones upright 94% of the time, so vertical videos make sense. A vertical video will take up the entire screen on a cell phone, grabbing your viewer’s undivided attention whether they’re scrolling down the screen on social media or pulling up a video on your website.
Now that you know why vertical video is the latest trend, let’s take a look at how to create quality vertical videos.
How to Make Vertical Videos
A vertical video has a very specific aspect ratio: 19:6 (width to height). However, that ratio can change slightly based on the platform. Here’s what you need to know:
- Facebook and Instagram accept vertical videos with ratios of 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16 (full portrait/vertical).
- YouTube will dynamically adapt to whatever size viewers choose to watch it in.
- Snapchat and TikTok are the true homes for vertical video, and both accept the 9:16 aspect ratio.
In general, these expected aspect ratios can be easily filmed on most smartphones. However, if you’re using a camera, you may need to make some adjustments.
While you can shoot in horizontal mode and then edit the final video into vertical, this is difficult and comes with a lot of risks. Typically, only professional videographers have the required skill to know what’s in the frame for a vertical video when filming in horizontal.
The only way to do this successfully is to film a single subject matter and keep them in the center of the frame so that it’s easy to cut off the excess later without losing anything important. Or you can use a platform that helps you scale video production quickly and easily with a click of the button that allows you to switch between horizontal, vertical, and square videos.
How to Get the Most Out of Vertical Videos
To get the most out of your vertical videos, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Vertical videos require a different aesthetic and thought process than square or landscape format videos, and that can be tricky.
The good news is that with just four tips, you can begin making vertical videos better than ever before.
Keep Them Short
Most of the time, you want to keep your vertical videos fairly short and sweet, particularly if you’re sharing an Instagram story. You have 15 seconds or less for your full-screen vertical ad to appear on Instagram user stories, so you need to make the most of your time.
What this means is that the most important elements should be in the first three seconds. This is how long you have to grab your viewer’s attention and to let people know what they’re getting into. On Instagram, in particular, most people swipe away on the first frame of a story than any other part, so you have to focus on getting your viewers past the beginning.
Since vertical videos are narrow, movement can have a powerful impact — and not always for the better. Avoid too much horizontal movement or fast pans as these seem more intense when the field of view is narrower. Slow pans are fine, but avoid anything that feels even slightly fast.
Instead, we recommend mounting your phone or camera to keep it steady and staying focused on a single spot or subject. Let the people or background of your video move, not the video itself. If you can, get close to your subject, set your camera, and then don’t move it after that.
Fill the Space
Once you set your camera on what you plan to film, make sure it fills up the entire space—just be sure to leave space at the top and bottom (roughly 14% or 250px) to avoid losing some of your footage. Once you have everything you need in the shot, if you still have empty space, don’t be afraid to use text or other graphics to fill in the blanks. A vertical video gives you the ability to create a more immersive and intimate experience. So, focus on your subject and then use any extra space to offer additional features.
Focus on the Subject
Vertical video is up close and personal so don’t be afraid to zoom in on the details. However, we also recommend following the “rule of thirds.” In photography, this rule states that the main subject should not be directly in the center of the frame. Instead, you should create a dynamic and interesting composition that places your subject just outside the center.
Experiment working with the best way to focus on your subject to see what works best for you. Exactly how your focus can help you emphasize certain ideas or concepts, which can be invaluable for a quality video.
To illustrate these points, let’s take a look at 3 great examples of vertical videos created with Wochit.
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Learning how to produce vertical videos is crucial for all content creators. These videos are not only important for your brand, but they’re essential for garnering engagement and demonstrating your creativity. Just be sure to work within the unique constraints of vertical video for the best results and use a platform such as Wochit to help you create a unique final product.