This is not Snapchat. This is not Instagram Stories. Don’t even think about taking that video in portrait mode.
I won’t watch your video and I will stop following you.
You need to shoot your video horizontally, in landscape mode. It’s about aesthetics, and it’s about knowing your digital platforms.
Vertical videos in a horizontal space look awful. There’s an empty area on either end and often some weird double exposure stuff going on to fill it in. Why wouldn’t you choose to fill that space with more contextual content? Show me the full scene! Don’t limit yourself with vertical lines! And as large as mobile devices are, with more and more of them touting edge-to-edge technology, isn’t the idea to be able to use the full screen? You paid for every one of those pixels.
Think about how you watch videos on YouTube (chances are you’re one of YouTube’s 1.3 billion users): on a desktop computer or on your laptop, they appear horizontally. Videos are also horizontal on mobile and, if they appear small (like when they’re inserted in an article or in your Facebook newsfeed), you tilt your phone so the video expands fills the full screen.
On Twitter, whose account do you enjoy following? Ellen DeGeneres, CNN, your favorite local craft brewery? Scroll through their feed. Their videos look nice, right? The videos take up the full space allocated for the tweet. They look like they were created for this space – they were put here on purpose.
The better your content looks the more purposeful it feels. And purpose takes us beyond aesthetics.
You’re attaching your brand to the content you put out. How do you want to be thought of and remembered?
You’ll certainly want to show that you know what you’re doing. This means knowing your audiences, and recognizing that they vary across different platforms. Your Instagram followers want beautiful, thought-out visuals, not your one-off Snapchat selfies. Your LinkedIn followers want to know the latest news in your area of expertise, not about the holiday sale you’re running – save that for Facebook.
While repurposing content is both important and necessary, when you do it all the time it’s tedious. Boring. Unimaginative. And if you truly believe your audiences are the same on multiple platforms, why have more than one?
Video is Queen of Media, and the average attention span in the social sphere gives you six precious seconds to capture your viewers’ attention. You must post with purpose. This means giving a quick thought to what you’re doing before you start recording that video, before you go live on Facebook – simply rotate your phone ninety degrees.