B2B video marketing: Does Instagram still love vertical content?

Written by Matt Smith

1 July 2019


B2B video marketing evolves all the time, and brands are often caught out by sudden platform changes.

If you’re among the growing band of B2B marketers experimenting with Instagram, you may have seen its recent announcement about allowing landscape video formats on IGTV.

To date, IGTV’s been home exclusively to vertical video, a format that’s exploded across social in recent years.

So why has Instagram decided to support landscape content within IGTV and what does it mean for your video marketing efforts?

Is this the death of vertical video?

In a word, no. Vertical is alive and kicking across all major social media platforms (except LinkedIn at the time of writing who will crop your vertical format to square).

As a format, it continues to provide some of the strongest performance metrics too.

Those in the know believe the IGTV decision is due to demand from influencers. Essentially, they want to re-purpose YouTube content onto the platform without re-formatting it.

Should I switch back to horizontal video?

Also no. Not by default, at least.

When it comes to social content you should always experiment with formats to find out which performs best for you. This is especially the case for video.

Planning and developing edits optimised for the platforms you’re publishing to provides the best performance return. It also has the important ‘soft’ benefit of showing your audience you’re invested in their experience.

Be agile in your approach to video content. Pay attention to what the performance data is telling you and adapt accordingly.

Vertical video = great storytelling

Think less about where you should use vertical – the platform dictates this – and more about the type of content you create.

The vertical video format is a staple of Instagram Stories and IGTV.

The content appearing in Stories and IGTV is markedly different to the polished imagery in the regular Instagram feed. The former is far more authentic.

From a B2B marketing standpoint, this presents great opportunities to embrace storytelling. Rather than having to invest in polished, unique content, it gives you a chance to bring your company to life

It lends itself to showcasing behind the scenes at your events, or the day in the life of your employees on the road. Maybe it’s a piece to camera from your CEO on their lunchtime break. It could even be the Spotify playlist you’re listening to in the office.

Think about the role it can play in telling the story your audience wants to hear, not just the messages you want to shout about.

B2B video marketing tips: Going vertical

You’ve got a whole host of options with Instagram vertical video, so here are some of our top tips for making the most of them:

Think in soundbites

When you use the camera in the Instagram app, it captures content in consecutive 15 second chunks.

If you use the regular phone camera, you can shoot longer footage and Instagram will automatically chop it up into 15 second chunks when it’s uploaded.

Keep that in mind and deliver your message in short, digestible soundbites.

Don’t be shy

There lots of customisable elements in Stories – stickers, GIFs, zooms, etc. – and its users love them! Don’t shy away from experimenting here.

Also consider making branded templates to make your content more consistent.

You can intersperse video, static imagery and text quotes, so use a variety of them to keep the audience engaged.

Link it with Facebook

Facebook integrates seamlessly with Instagram so a quick switch in the settings gives you a whole new audience to reach. Facebook stories are getting more weight in the algorithm, so don’t ignore them.