Social Media Content Strategy and the Future of Vertical Video

Sep 15, 2023

Vertical video transformed the way that content creators filmed and distributed video. From marketers to influencers, everyone started adopting this new format where you could create content by holding your phone upright.Now that vertical video has been around for several years, marketers are looking around, wondering what comes next. What will be the next big video marketing sensation and the best social media content strategy? And how can you jump in early?Learn the future outlook of vertical video and the steps you can take to stay ahead of the game.

Where Vertical Video Is at Today

Users hold their phones upright for 94% of the time, from browsing online to reading texts. Watching video upright feels natural. In addition, content creators feel more comfortable shooting vertical video because it requires less effort than horizontal video, which requires two hands and turning the phone.Because of the popularity and ease of vertical video, businesses developed apps specifically to support vertical video content. Some of the most famous of those apps include:

  • TikTok
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram Reels
  • Facebook Stories

TikTok has over one billion users, making it one of the largest vertical video platforms.

Why You Should Stay on Top of the Latest Changes

What happens when the popularity of TikTok goes down? This had happened in the past when Snapchat lost its momentum, and TikTok passed it to users.While there are no guarantees on what the future holds, marketers should keep an eye out for emerging apps and trends. Getting on an app early has a huge potential for boosting your marketing.For example, Nike was the first brand to sell a product on Snapchat. The app partnered with Shopify to offer users an online shopping experience. As a result, Nike sold out of their sneakers within 23 minutes.Knowing what comes next also helps you stay one step ahead of your competition instead of constantly lagging and trying to adjust your strategy in real time. Trends can move so fast that by the time you catch up, the next trend has already started.

Image from TechCrunch

What Is Shaping the Future of Vertical Video?

Several main influencing factors will determine the future direction of vertical video.

Immerging Technology

Technology is the main determining factor of vertical video. As smartphones and other technological devices advance, apps grow alongside them with new capabilities. For example, facial recognition and AR are now a crucial part of vertical video platforms today whereas they were barely used in social media when vertical video first emerged on social media.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is also growing in popularity. During the pandemic, ecommerce grew by 50%, reaching $870 billion. Because of the power of persuasion that influencers have, they are becoming instrumental parts of marketing and sales strategies.For example, influencer marketers promote products in their videos for monetary compensation.As influencer marketing and ecommerce continue to increase, consumers will demand easier ways to shop. Platforms are already working with ways that consumers can purchase products without leaving an app. The future will expand on this trend with new ways to improve online shopping in the vertical video format.

Increase in Apps

When Snapchat arrived on the scene, it was an entirely new experience. Even when TikTok joined the social media lineup, it was still a fresh idea. However, most of the other platforms now joined in with their vertical content versions, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.Vertical content apps are no longer a new item. While you might see continued growth in current existing vertical video apps, you most likely won’t see a new app have as much of an impact as TikTok and Snapchat did on vertical video. This is because there is far too much competition for a new app to cut through the noise successfully.If an app creator were to design a new app for vertical video, it would have to be an entirely new concept to create a significant buzz.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related Content: Stay on Top of More Social Media Trends

Learn about more social media trends shaping the future of vertical video:


10 Steps You Can Take to Future-Proof Your Social Media Content Strategy

Since you can’t predict the future, what can you do to prepare?

1. Stay on Top of Your Data

Data is a powerful tool. It can predict trends far before they occur. Monitoring your marketing data will alert you to any significant and noteworthy changes. For example, you might start noticing a steady downward trend in a specific app like TikTok. If that’s the case, you could begin shifting your marketing strategy to a new platform before you lose money on the current platform.Your data could also tell you if you see a steady increase in traffic from a different source, like a particular social media channel. That might indicate a change in that channel that will make it the new top app.

2. Follow Big Names on Social Media

If a change is brewing, content creators on social media will be some of the first to know. In addition, they will often let their followers know when they find out.Following some of the most popular accounts on social media video apps and trending videos on social media will ensure you get updates if they start using a new app or introduce a new trend. You will also detect changes in their behavior that might spark a shift in virtual video trends.

3. Stay Informed Through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the home of all professionals. A post on LinkedIn reaches over 65 million decision-makers. Many of the most knowledgeable people and influencing decision-makers on emerging trends will be a professional on LinkedIn. You can stay informed about new ideas, technology, and trending social media news by monitoring data and the latest trends on LinkedIn.

Image from LinkedIn

4. Create Flexible Plans

Keep your schedule flexible as you build your marketing goals and plans for the following year. Agile marketing is a flexible approach to marketing that leaves room for adjustments as changes occur.For example, agile marketing depends more heavily on short-term marketing campaigns rather than long-term campaigns. Short-term campaigns allow you to gather your results, view the current marketing industry, and adjust your plans accordingly. This ensures you’re always on top of trends and aren’t stuck midway through a long-term campaign that is no longer effective.

5. Follow Thought Leaders

Thought leaders are experts in an industry. They are very familiar with a niche and can detect changes earlier than the average person. Because of their expertise, they will be some of the first to announce new changes.Some ways you can follow thought leaders include:

  • Attending webinars
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Following thought leaders on social media
  • Attending live events

6. Get to Know Your Social Media Accounts

You could become your own expert if you invest the time to understand your video marketing platforms. If you want to know what will replace TikTok, Snapchat, and other vertical video formats, first understand what is currently trending.By analyzing the current popular apps, you might identify a gap. You might also notice new technology that apps haven’t tapped into yet. For example, the introduction of the metaverse may have a profound influence on the next stages of vertical video.

7. Ask Your Customers

You might not have to guess the next big change in the vertical video. Most changes occur to fill a need. If you can identify a need, you can predict the change. Sending out surveys and asking for feedback will give you a better idea of what consumers want to see in the future.For example, you could ask them what feature or product they want to see in the next few years or what their biggest challenges are currently.

8. Monitor What Your Competition Is Doing

If several other businesses in your niche are shifting their marketing strategy, you should also look at your current processes to see if you need a change. Watching your competition alerts you to new trends or marketing transitions that would profoundly affect how you perform vertical video marketing.For instance, if several other businesses in your niche start using a new app, you might begin to explore how you can also use that app and whether it applies to your business.

9. Create Flexible Content

When you create content, think about potential new uses of that content beyond your original intention. For instance, when you film a video for Instagram Reels, consider what else you might use that footage for. If you created it in a strict Instagram format, you would be locked into that social media platform.However, apps are constantly changing and adjusting their current features to grow more user-friendly. For instance, Instagram shifted from IGTV to one seamless app experience. Keeping your content flexible allows you to shift alongside the apps you currently use.

10. Stay on Top of Trends You Do Know About

You might not know what the future holds for vertical video, but you do know what is happening right now. While waiting for the data you need to prepare for your next steps, be sure you’re also investing in trending content on social media.For example, consumers remember 95% more of a message when they hear it in a video than just 10% when they read it. This behavior shows the importance of including vertical video in your current marketing strategy.

Prepare for the Next Wave of Vertical Video

No expert can accurately say what the future of vertical video will look like or what app will replace TikTok as the new vertical video giant. What you can control is how you prepare now. Always keep an eye out for shifts in consumer behavior, monitor your data, and stay updated on what the experts in your industry are predicting, and you will be one of the first to adopt the latest trends.Contact us to learn more about trends shaping modern video marketing and be an innovator in your industry.

David Ledstrup
Chief Strategy Officer

As Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) @ Kubbco, I lead the global strategic efforts and oversee the research and planning, community, content strategy and paid social teams.

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