This article explains why it's hip to be square.
Our work in the auto sector requires us to understand drivers' needs and wants in the light of our clients' services. We have to analyse how drivers consume their business information:
- what they like to read or watch
- and what makes them act.
Video works in short bursts
Perhaps unsurprisingly video and animation have become important tools for getting marketing messages across to this market.
Over time, we've produced moving image content of various sorts, lengths, formats and production values. The content that works best—at this time and in this niche—is short, square video.
Professional drivers are busy people, always on the move, relying 100% on their mobile devices. Many drivers mount their mobiles on the dashboard in vertical, portrait format; and some will run two devices as they like to have their booking or despatch app in a different place.
Video: Vauxhall Astra Tourer
Video: BRAVE Start-ups
Are customers using mobile for social media, and to browse and learn?
In this market, definitely. Here's the evidence:
- 85%+ of email is opened on the mobile with Apple iPhone the most popular device
- Almost 70% of website activity is on mobile; 12% is on tablet, meaning that less than 1/5th of website activity is on a desktop or laptop.
Although Facebook is falling in popularity for some consumers, in this market it remains the platform of choice (with Instagram growing in popularity). And since—in the Facebook app—square video takes up 78% more real estate in a person’s mobile newsfeed than landscape video (16:9), producing and using square video is a no-brainer for us. The square format takes up more space and therefore captures attention better.
Gut feeling, anecdotal and hard evidence
We can see from our own results that square is more popular than landscape. And drivers tell us the same thing. But it's nice to know that Buffer has done some formal testing on square video performance on social media:
“Both square video and letterbox video (1:1 format) outperformed landscape video when it came to average engagements, views, and completion rate (%) – particularly on mobile devices.”
(Brian Peters, Digital Strategist at Buffer)
So we will continue to feature square video in our clients' marketing where their customers are heavily mobile and do engage with social media.
When to use landscape format
Landscape videos will be best where people watch on a desktop, laptop or television screen because chances are they will watch on widescreen.
With an understanding of your market, how and when they access content (including yours) will help you make a call when it comes to formatting your video.
You’ll find a general overview of BuzzedUp's marketing services right here.