The Pros and Cons of Vertical Video

If you know anything about digital video, then you probably have an opinion on vertical video. For the uninitiated, vertical video is footage you shoot in portrait mode. It’s essentially the reverse of horizontal video, offering a final product that’s taller than it is wide. You generally see black rectangles on either side of the video filling up the blocked-out space.

There are some who love this style of video, but others can’t stand it. What side of the debate do you come down on? Let’s examine the pros and cons of vertical video.

Pro: Mimics the Way People Hold Their Phones

These days, a great deal of video gets consumed on smartphones. Video needs to be tailored to smartphones to be effective, and most people hold their phones vertically rather than horizontally;  fueling a rise in vertical video devotees.

Con: Vertical Video Syndrome

You may have seen the popular meme about “vertical video syndrome,” which claims those affected can shoot only in portrait style. People blame everyone from Apple to YouTube for the “syndrome,” which is supposedly less viewer-friendly, according to the people behind the meme. Whatever your take on the debate, some of the memes about “VVS” call attention to the problem in a clever way.

Con: It’s an Unrealistic Viewpoint

Artistic privilege can be invoked in all manner of circumstances. Still, many criticize vertical video because it’s not the way the human eye sees. We see on a horizontal plane. These critics argue it’s unnatural and confusing to shoot vertically because it throws off the eye.

Pro: Social Media Advantages

People overwhelmingly use smartphones to catch up on their social media feeds, and as we’ve already established, those devices are held vertically. So it follows that video appearing on social media will be vertical. Since the amount of social video has exploded — Snapchat alone serves up 10 billion videos a day — most social sites have even removed the black borders on videos.

Con: Offers Less Diversity of Capability

Vertical video puts certain limitations on shooters. They have to adapt their video techniques and change the way they compose their shots. This becomes frustrating when you have a set amount of time to shoot a set amount of content. It can also be difficult for those with less experience with the medium to make the transition.

Con: Not All Video Players Work With Vertical Video

While people debate the artistic merits of horizontal vs. vertical video, one problem is quite straightforward. Some video players don’t work with vertical video, limiting where you can post or requiring some serious back-end maneuvering to come up with a way to display the video.

Horizontal video has many advantages as the standard in the video industry. It doesn’t require any special machinations to play, and it’s usually the default approach for most shooters. Certainly, those who prefer an easy experience will prefer horizontal video to vertical, despite its recent trendiness. For more information about horizontal video and how to use it in marketing, get in touch with a member of the PixelFish team.

Five Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Video Marketing Strategy

When you miss the opening to the Oscars ceremony everyone’s buzzing about, what do you do? Head to your computer. When you want to watch a football game during a layover at the airport, what do you do? Pull out your phone. When the latest season of a popular TV show drops, what do you do? Fire up your tablet and binge.

Video has become arguably the hottest thing on the internet over the past decade. More than half of Americans watch digital video every day and nearly four in five watch it each week. It’s rising as rapidly as television did in the 1950s and making just as big an impact on advertising. If your company misses out, you miss big.

Still aren’t sure you need a corporate video marketing strategy? Here are five reason it pays to put one in place.

1. Get Better Results

If you don’t have a digital video strategy — or, equally bad, you are not deploying digital ads at all — you likely aren’t generating as much in sales as you could be. A clear, focused video strategy will result in more engagement with your brand, which will drive conversions. The more people who see your videos, the more potential customers you get.

2. Reach People Across Platforms

The internet isn’t just one vast entity. There are many smaller communities of the web. Luckily, video reaches across all of them. You can deploy it on social media sites, mobile devices, email blasts and more. When you adopt a video marketing strategy, you can plan which of those you’d like to target and how.

3. Produce Better Content

No one expects online video to be of Shakespearean quality, but once-low expectations are rising. Some companies produce standout content that has set the bar much higher for digital video. Keeping up with those high achievers will help your company’s videos stand out and draw attention, rather than having people click on the “skip ad” button.

4. Humanize Your Business

In the era of social media, humanization is everything. Corporations want customers to know there are people behind the big façade. Video offers a way to show that. When you feature your employees in your videos, it lets potential customers know more about who you are and what you value. Video has a unique way to showcase that.

5. Without a Strategy, You’re Shooting in the Dark

Just jumping into digital video advertising isn’t enough. You need a marketing strategy to give you specific goals to aim at. For instance, you need to know:

  • What sites to target
  • How many views you hope to get
  • How much you should budget
  • How many digital ads you should produce

If you don’t know the answer to these questions on your own, it may be time to enlist the assistance of an experienced digital marketing company that can assist you in forming your strategy. Take a look at some of our recent commercials, then contact PixelFish today to discuss your digital video marketing strategy and how you can implement it.

Tips for Creating a Successful TV Commercial Campaign

Think about an unforgettable television ad. Why was it so unforgettable? Perhaps it aired during the Super Bowl or the Olympics or the Academy Awards. Maybe it starred a famous actor, actress or athlete. Or it featured a memorable song you can still recite years later.

No matter what the ad was, it undoubtedly had one thing in common with other effective ads — it told a great story. Whatever product you are hawking, storytelling is essential to building memorable television ads.

Here are a few tips for making TV commercial advertising that will reel people in and get them to buy your product.

Tell a Story in Your TV Ad

You only have 30 seconds or a minute to get viewers interested in your commercial. You can do this by getting them invested in the outcome of the ad. Make them care. You can do this by:

  • Building strong characters: Show, in a short amount of time, what makes them tick.
  • Setting up big conflicts: You need a problem to drive your ad, and your product should be the solution.
  • Treating it like a half-minute play: All the elements of a great drama or comedy can come to light in 30 seconds if you have smart writing.

Better Yet, Tell a Serialized Story

One of the most popular TV commercials of all time was the early ‘90s instant coffee saga featuring a British pair whom viewers desperately wanted to get together. Each time a new installment was released, it would get loads of hype, almost like a new Marvel movie.

Play to Your Brand’s Strengths in Your Commercial Advertising

Consistency can help your brand connect with people in TV advertising. Does your brand cater to families? Then make sure your TV ad is family-friendly and not racy — that would be off-brand and off-putting for potential customers. Make sure your creative lines up with your company’s values, whatever those may be.

Stay Relevant to Your Product

Here’s a dirty little secret about Super Bowl ads. Many of them are funny, touching or otherwise memorable, but they often have no relevance to the product they’re selling. Think about the funny beer or chip ads. Do you remember, years later, what those ads had to do with the chips or beer? Probably not. You probably only remember the protagonist or the punchline.. Creating emotion is a key element in marketing, but unless you have $5 million dollars to place a thirty-second ad during this year’s Super Bowl, make sure your messaging is clear about the product you are selling.You want people to remember your product and not just the ad itself.

Use Professional Assistance to Perfect Your TV Advertising

Just as you want people to use your professional services, you shouldn’t be afraid to call in help when you need it. If you have never run a TV ad campaign before, you may need help envisioning your commercial and coming up with a focus that will engage viewers. Reach out to PixelFish. We have experience doing this for our clients and can help you find the right television ad approach for your brand.

Video Marketing and Social Media: Why It’s Important

Social media has gone from a medium focused on words to one obsessed with images to the current infatuation with video. Over recent years, video has become an integral part of the social media experience, with virtually every major platform now supporting video.

Whether you watch a new movie trailer on Facebook or a product demonstration on Snapchat, you run into video no matter where you browse. In fact, people watch more than 100 million hours of video each day on Facebook alone.

So why is it important to incorporate video into your social media campaign? Here we outline the reasons for this trend as well as how to keep your social media video marketing relevant.

The Rise of Social Video

Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined undertaking a successful advertising campaign without television. Video marketing is to social media as television was once to advertising — an essential ingredient no brand can afford to overlook. The proof is in the statistics. Videos have become an integral part of social media in the past few years because:

In short, you can’t ignore social video. It’s become in many ways the gateway to all video content. People discover video on social media and they share it there to continue to spread the word.

That’s something no brand can afford to pass up.

The Mobile Video Factor

More people look at the internet on mobile devices than desktops, so to remain relevant, any form of marketing must be mobile-friendly. Social video most definitely is. Consider that 93 percent of videos served up on Twitter come via mobile. That’s an overwhelming majority.

The Hipness Factor

For the past few years, any company that wasn’t on social media has been seen as way behind the times. People expect business to have a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account. Social video has quickly become just such an expectation. It can damage your brand’s reputation if you fail to offer videos on your social accounts. You could be tagged as tech-deficient or out of the loop.

The Emotional Factor

Nothing gets feelings across quite like video, and emotion sells. If you can show instead of telling someone how your product can benefit them and what it makes the user feel like, then you can sell. And social video makes that testimonial shareable, making it a huge benefit for your company.

Address Your Social Media Video Marketing Strategy Today

Are you on social video, or do you have a social video presence you’d like to improve? Don’t be left behind in the social video field. Get in touch with PixelFish today to see how we can help you raise your profile.