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September 26, 2018

The Rise of Vertical Storytelling

Author: Valerie Baker

As the way people consume content and interact with brands becomes increasingly mobile, a new concept of “vertical storytelling” has emerged. Think about when you take out your phone to capture a moment in front of you – do you turn your phone sideways or hold it up vertically? Most likely, you hold your phone upright – research has shown that we hold our phones vertically 95% of the time. *

Users would typically consume video content through Facebook or YouTube with full-screen views on their desktops, but things are starting to change. With Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Stories becoming a major force in the content marketing world, the importance of vertical video can’t be ignored in conveying your brand’s story.

The Key to Great Stories

As valuable a vertical storytelling is to capture customers, there is always new content available, and users can move onto the next story with the tap of a finger – so it’s important to stand out in the crowd. To be successful, you need to be captivating enough to capture your users in the moment, and relevant and authentic enough to get them to act.

Think about ways you can go “behind the scenes” to give your followers a more intimate look at your company and be more in-the-moment then you would be in a curated newsfeed. Use the opportunity to answer questions or share an exciting part of your day. At Atilus, we took advantage of Instagram stories when we attended the Digital Summit in Tampa last month, to take our followers along for the ride in the event and help they connect with us on a new experience.

Challenges of Vertical Storytelling

Social media content produced by brands – especially video – can typically be highly curated, planned, and edited. But the very nature of vertical storytelling is raw, done in one take, and in the moment – so while it requires a certain amount of planning, it also needs to be spontaneous. The format also requires a closer, cropped view which can be difficult when were used to the depth of a widescreen format. Also, the stories are typically 5-10 seconds, so content needs to be built for users to consume in short burst and still be able to get the point across while being interesting.

It’s also important to note that vertical storytelling is a trend among social media and overall social messaging, however, we do not recommend vertical video for website use. It often is difficult for designers to design around and doesn’t have the greatest look/feel depending on where the video is placed. For more information about video content for websites, check out our latest blog here:

Following New Features

Vertical storytelling isn’t as simple as lifting your phone and pressing play. There are countless features that Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms provide that you should be utilizing to make the most of your stories.

Filters, stickers and GIFs can be used to enhance your stories and convey a certain mood. Instagram recently introduced the poll feature, which is a great way for you to engage fans and get them to directly engage with you. With the introduction of virtual reality, the sky is the limit with the future of how closely fans will be able to interact with your stories moving forward.

Statistics have shown that Snapchat is the top social media platform for teens, with 45% of them choosing it as their favorite, with Instagram in a close second with 26% of teens choosing it as their favorite*. Whether you are marketing to teens, millennials, or any other generation – vertical storytelling is an important trend that gives allows you to directly connect with consumers in the moment.

To learn more about how social media can grow your business online from the content marketing experts at Atilus, contact us today!

Source: Digital Summit, August 2018

Valerie Baker

Valerie is the Senior Account Manager & Project Manager here at Atilus.

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