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How Can Brands Maximise Engagement through Vertical Storytelling?


BBDO Singapore's CCO Tay Guan Hin on harnessing the power of vertical for brands

How Can Brands Maximise Engagement through Vertical Storytelling?
At BBDO, Vertical Storytelling is a top priority for our clients, here’s why: smartphones are playing a significant role in the purchasing journey, with consumers relying on mobile devices at an increasing rate.

To engage your customers today, you've got to be creative in your approach. By 2022, 82% of internet traffic will be consumed by online videos. If your mobile content is not presented in the right format, it’s not going to effectively reach your consumers. 

Throughout this article, you’ll realise how to create content which maximizes the full potential of the mobile screen and increase your brand's online presence by selling more products or services. We hold our phones vertically 94% of the time, so we need to stop thinking outside of the box and start thinking within the vertical 9:16 box. 

All social media giants are vertical, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. support vertical videos. Even YouTube, who stuck to their horizontal format until recently, realised that more than half of their views come from mobile devices, so they quickly adapted their app to "Dynamically adapt to whatever size you choose to watch it." Tik Tok, use vertical exclusively, is fast becoming the home of this format. The use of Tik Tok shot up since 2018, and more advertisers are jumping to this if they want to reach a younger audience. An independent test by Annenberg Media found that vertical videos reached 25,000 more people on Facebook, beating both square and horizontal formats.  

So how can we then effectively grab the attention of people with our online content, be it our social circle, business network, or customers? Vertical storytelling can capture your consumer's full attention and help grow your brand’s online visibility.  
Here are five important creative vertical principles to future-proof your mobile content strategy:

Reveal your story

Linear horizontal stories tend to go from left to right.
The act of using your fingers to scroll up and down is a natural way for vertical stories to also do the same.
Reveal your story piece by piece, either from the top or bottom, to create suspense or surprise. Utilise the full height of the vertical space.  

Create multiple stories
Optimise your horizontal shoot by creating mobile-first vertical content. Design a second storyboard. Not from left to right but from top to bottom. Plan to shoot the subject at the centre. By adapting the same scene from a television commercial (for example) you can create new short, relevant stories for your vertical content.

Frame your story
Crop your content to maximize the full mobile 9:16 screen size for a more immersive experience. Landscape visuals work best on a big movie screen where you sit back and relax, however a vertical format is up close and personal, it's essential to frame shots that'll hold your viewer's attention and keep them engaged at arm's length.
Try and tell stories from a different perspective. 

Visualise your story
We live in a visual world. Content with visuals gets 94% more total views. Visual content is now 40X more likely to be shared on social networks. Create stories without the benefit of sound. Your audience must listen to your story with their eyes. Don't just add subtitles. Mix beautiful typography with impactful visuals. 

Split-Screen your story
Experiment by dividing up the vertical screen to tell your story by splitting your screen into halves, thirds, or quarters. Hijack static formats and templates to give the illusion of objects flying off the screen, creating a 3D effect. You can even include multi-products shots at the same time. Create a relationship between multiple different screens so characters can interact with each other seamlessly. 

I hope you are now more convinced to make the change to vertical storytelling today. At BBDO, we believe digital marketing approaches must be mobile-centric for it is no secret that within two years’ time 4 out of 5 pieces of mobile content will be video.  We make sure videos are designed vertically for the brands we work with to ensure maximum engagement and impact. 

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BBDO Asia, Fri, 12 Feb 2021 14:18:00 GMT