One of the most common questions I get right now is “which is best, Vertical or Horizontal video?” My answer is “it depends”. First of all, let’s examine vertical and horizontal video, which is best for real estate and in what situation(s).
What is Vertical Video?
A vertical video is a video that is created in portrait mode and has a 9:16 aspect ratio. Unlike horizontal videos, vertical videos are taller in height than they they are in width. The dimensions of a vertical video are 1080×1920 pixels.
Vertical video is best viewed on mobile phones. Unlike horizontal videos (which have to be turned to view in full screen mode), vertical videos are already full screen and therefor are easier to consume for mobile viewers. While platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have seemingly always embraced vertical video, platforms like YouTube have not. That recently changed with #YouTubeshorts which as you may have guessed, are vertical. Not really surprising given over 60% of YouTube’s views come from mobile devices.
Why Vertical Video?
Vertical video is all about user experience, they fill the screen which lends itself to higher engagement rates. They take up more real estate than the traditional horizontal video making them ideal for mobile devices. I recently saw a study that said 82.5% of mobile users hold their phones vertically when watching videos or scrolling through social media (I know I do). Many of these users do not flip their phones horizontally to watch videos, so vertical videos not only look better, they are much easier to consume.
Vertical videos also have a higher completion rate than horizontal video, not like 10% more either, but 90% more. So if you want more engagement with your real estate content some of it should be vertical. Almost every social platform is already embracing vertical video. You’ve likely seen so many vertical videos on Instagram and TikTok at this point that horizontal video now looks kinda strange.
When should you go Vertical with video?
Pretty much any video that can be horizontal can be vertical as well, but that doesn’t mean that it should be. My general rule is this: if the video is meant to be consumed on social (Facebook, Snapshot, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube Shorts etc), go vertical. BUT if the video is meant to be displayed on your real estate website, desktops or tablets or will be viewed on YouTube (the normal YouTube) go horizontal.
Longer videos, longer than 2 minutes, like interviews, community videos, testimonials etc should be horizontal while cinematic property videos should be vertical AND horizontal.
Why You ask?
While vertical video looks great on social platforms, they look horrible on pretty much anything else (think black bars on both sides – yuck). And while social media is important for brand awareness and engagement, it’s not always the best for real estate. Consumers at this point, don’t turn to social networks like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram when they are looking for homes for sale or to learn about a specific area when determining where they would like to live next. For that consumers still turn to search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing and Yahoo and 3rd party aggregators like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and all of these platforms embrace horizontal video.
Look at your won behavior and you’ll agree: Social media is largely where content is discovered by ACCIDENT and is largely a place for ENTERTAINMENT while YouTube and Search Engines like Google and YouTube are INTENTIONAL. Want to know how to change the spark plug on a 1957 Chevy or how to program the garage door button on your new Mercedes…. you’re heading to Google and YouTube not social media platforms.
Consider Your Audience
It’s also important to keep your audience in mind when creating video content: marketing to active adult communities? They will likely find vertical video annoying. Marketing to baby boomers? They also may find vertical video annoying. Marketing to first time home buyers or Generation X or Y? They will likely find horizontal video annoying.
If you have the ability to do so create your video content to be vertical for social AND horizontal for your website, search engines, ads etc. If we have shot a property video for you (which is delivered horizontally) we can edit it to be vertical as well. Just make sure to mention that you would like a vertical edit in advance of the shoot as it changes the way we shoot the property. We can also shoot the video vertically which looks even better as it uses the cameras full sensor.
Need professional video content like the videos above for social media (vertical), your website or search engines (horizontal)? Schedule time in our Tempe Green Screen Studio. Send us your scripts in advance some in and read from our teleprompter and 48 hours later you could have enough content for the entire month,