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The rise of vertical advertising

13th November 2020
Reading time 5 min
The rise of vertical advertising

The past few years has seen a dramatic rise in the use of mobile devices versus desktop for viewing digital content. As the majority of users hold their phones vertically, there has been a surge in the vertical advertising format, with many brands adapting their content for mobile consumption. Not only that, but social media content is primarily viewed on mobile. In light of this, formats that have traditionally been horizontal, like video and online banners, are experiencing a shift towards vertical to parallel this change in consumer behavior.

”In the era of unlimited choices, information overload, and reduced attention spans, users tend to only engage with significant content and filter out the rest.”

Benefits of vertical

Incorporating vertical into your marketing mix has a number of clear benefits. The simplest being that in most cases, users feel inconvenienced by having to rotate their phones to view horizontal ads. Removing this unnecessary step in the user experience leads to higher impact ads that are less likely to be skipped. In fact, market research has shown vertical ads have a positive effect on overall engagement – an outperformance that makes them particularly cost-effective.

Mobile usage also means that many people discover new content via scrolling through web or social media pages. As scrolling is carried out vertically, it only makes sense that vertically designed ads are starting to dominate the market. These ads are more immersive because they leverage the whole screen, making them more engaging compared to horizontal ads that are more difficult to see clearly. Non-full screen views also tend to have distractions that can disengage users from your content.

Vertical video

These days, most video viewing happens on mobile, driven by the popularity of apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. These platforms are huge players for views and engagement. When marketers invest in vertical video, they provide a better experience for the millions of people who use these sites, helping them reach more followers. This is supported by tests showing that vertical video has a 90% higher completion rate compared to horizontal on these formats, and is particularly more relevant when it comes to short-form videos like stories. Not adding vertical video to your social media content strategy could therefore be a huge missed opportunity in your digital content production.

Vertical online banners

The same goes for banner ads – vertical lets users view them in a more natural way that helps improve performance. Again, because all social media platforms have embraced the vertical format, it makes sense to bring vertical banner ads into the mix. That way, you can pop in ads between stories, or on newsfeeds for users to view effortlessly while scrolling through their feeds. Because social audiences are predominantly mobile, they’re more likely to pay attention to the ad if it’s vertical. If the ad content is too small, as often the case with horizontal, users are likely to scroll down without taking any notice to your content.

The huge surge in the vertical ad format is a great way for brands to bring more eyes to their products and services. In 2020, investing in the format seems like a no-brainer, particularly when vertical content continues to gain more and more traction across social media content. It provides an intimate and effective way to reach on-the-go and mobile viewers – this continuously emerges as the principal way people view and engage with content. Integrating vertical video and online banner ads into your creative production plan is therefore a must for any brand wanting to please today’s mobile and social media friendly audiences.

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