Is the future of Videography vertical?

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Is the future of
videography vertical?

Is the future of
videography vertical?

Love it or hate it, there’s no arguing that the time of vertical video is now. What was once looked down on has now truly made it’s way into the main form of social media consumption. Instagram reels, Youtube shorts and Tiktok videos have made this medium a powerful strategy for any brand. More views, more engagement and a far greater connection to your audience. So best hop to it and start posting videos right? Ah if it only was that simple…

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs

I’m sure you dont need me to tell you that there is a sea of poor quality content flooding the networks out there. Videos that dont offer any value to the viewer but instead just to please the all elusive algorithm. Brands big and small feel forced into posting videos of anything and everything – with very little strategy or planning. Not to mention an increasing amount of AI generated content (I’m looking at you TikTok!). Consequently this makes the world of vertical videos a bit of a scattered and impersonal place. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case! Vertical video offers limitless potential for reaching your audience in a more direct and personal way. Instead of posting just any old video, why not implement a bit of production value and strategy? Tell your audience a story! Essentially create videos that reach your audience in a new and fresh way. Videos that resonate and that your audience actually wants to watch! 

Giving value to your audience

This should be at the forefront of any piece of content you make. Asking, ‘What value does this video give?’, immediately changes your mindset into problem solving mode. You stop thinking about what you want to make and more about what your audience wants to watch. Respecting your audience always pays off and will always lead to greater engagement. 

To do this, start with research into your target audience. What are their pain points? What other brands do they follow? Is there anything you posted in the past that they particularly engaged with? You want to identify what it is your audience already likes (and dislikes) and then give them value based on that data. When producing a vertical video there are 3 ways to give true value to your audience.

1. Educate

Educating your audience about something offers them valuable knowledge. This is interesting to watch in a video for many reasons. People are curious about the details related to their interests. To illustrate this, I’m going to show you one of my vertical videos related to Scotland on my channel. My audience loves content related to Scottish culture so I decided to educate my audience on Robert Burns in his hometown of Alloway in Ayrshire. I created my own custom music to reinforce the fact that this was a video very true to Scotland.

2. Inspire

Inspiring your audience with a video related to their interests makes them feel something. This is effective in vertical videos as it evokes a strong emotional reaction in your audience. In effect, your video inspires them and they feel compelled to comment, share and repost it. Open up and offer your honest thoughts about something you are passionate about. 

This will resonate with other people who share your interests. For the video below, I wanted to inspire people who are passionate about Scotland. To focus on what Scotland means to them and to hold on to what they feel when they think about Scotland. And again, my original music reflects this feeling that I set out to achieve.

3. Entertain

Entertaining your audience gives them joy and happiness which is always appreciated. Your video provides momentary relief from the monotony of daily life. The approach to this is different for everyone but it’s always important to remain professional. You positively reinforce the humanity of your brand and people see you as more human. For the vertical video below, I used a simple text based commentary for a Halloween video in Scotland. Again, my original music reflected the fun and whimsical nature of a fun day out whilst remaining professional.

Work out what value you want to give to your audience and frame your video content around that. This is the key to creating videos that people actually want to watch! Posting low quality videos for the sake of it can actually hurt your brand. Your audience is more likely to swipe away and be less inclined to watch future videos. This low engagement might even make your videos less likely to be recommended by the algorithm. 

Instead, think about how you can engage with your audience by offering them value. This is a far better strategy going forward. If you can align this with your existing business goals, then you have a recipe for success! But maybe this is easier said than done. Read on to discover some techniques that I use to make vertical videos that offer value.

Telling a story with your videos

Taking your audience on a journey and telling them a compelling story will always pay off. Who doesn’t want to be told a good story? It can increase retention which in turn increases engagement. But how do you tell a story effectively through video? Well there are many ways to answer this and there is absolutely no one size fits all. But one method that you may have heard before is by using a simple 3 act structure. This consists of the setup, the confrontation and the resolution (the beginning, the middle and the end).

The Set Up: ‘Today I’m going to climb this beautiful Scottish hill! The weather looks amazing and I’m so excited to reach the top for the incredible views!’ 

This simple example introduces what the video is about and states your intentions. It’s an effective beginning as you can propel the story from the get go and build hype for what’s to come.

The Confrontation: ‘The rain is lashing down and this is so much harder than I thought it would be. These conditions have become so challenging I genuinely dont know if I’m going to make it to the top!’

The second act brings uncertainty to the story by introducing conflict. It juxtaposes the set up and your audience becomes invested to see if you actually make it to the top. Bonus points if you actually start with this stage! It can be powerful to drop the audience into the confrontation right away to increase retention.

The Resolution: ‘I cant believe I made it to the top! That was so unbelievably difficult but I pushed through even though I was so tempted to turn around. The views are incredible and thank you so much for joining me on this incredible journey! Please follow for more adventures in Scotland.’

Because of your set up and confrontation stages, your audience feels elated when you accomplish what you set out to do. You made it! You can show your excitement and happiness about what you have done. This is earned due to your effective story structure. When done correctly, your audience will comment, share and follow you for more. The video below is this example in action, where I climbed a Scottish hill in less than favourable conditions. Again my original music was designed specifically to fit the mood and to create atmosphere.


Composing your vertical video strategy in this way can elevate your production tenfold. It really is such a simple but often overlooked technique in vertical video production! You create something that truly engages your audience but also a video that you can be proud of. But what techniques can you actually use to tell a compelling story?

First person narration

Storytelling requires the use of certain narrative techniques. Amongst my favourite for vertical video is first person narration. This can be done through voiceover. Here you can talk to your audience and help them make sense of your visuals. A well constructed script provides context and meaning to what it is that is being shown. This is such a powerful way of connecting to your audience! You can literally talk directly to them and show them what it is you want to say. It provides a level of intimacy that would be much harder with visuals alone. 

First person narration is authentic, personal and instils trust with your audience. This elevates your video to reach more people with a greater connection to you and your brand! Using a human voice in this way gives your video true personality. The video below utilises first person narration and amassed over 140k views on Instagram and over 40k on Tiktok.

Now it’s time to shoot!

After your development and pre production are both ready to go, it’s time to capture all the content you need. This involves filming your main shots, b-roll shots and perhaps any interviews. It also includes recording your voiceover. You should at this stage have a pretty good idea of exactly what you need. Your planning has led you to this stage and you can be laser focused on only getting exactly what’s required. This maximises efficiency when you’re out in the field. You can focus purely on the quality of content you capture. There is now a plan and you just have to execute it! 

Your work earlier in the process has freed you up to focus on the craft of shooting high quality content. Bonus points if you shoot your video content in horizontal orientation at a high resolution. That way you can crop at no sacrifice to quality and you can reuse your footage for longer more traditional videos.

Editing your masterpiece

You have now captured all your footage, congratulations! Enter the world of post production. Here there is lots to consider for a captivating video. As you know TikTok, Instagram and Youtube Shorts are all limited to 1 minute. This means that your video edit will have to be much faster paced than a regular video. But don’t let that limit your storytelling, it’s actually more than enough time to tell your story! You want to pick music that allows for more cuts. Personally I prefer to create my own music from scratch. This ensures that I am in full control of the exact tone and atmosphere that I want to achieve. 

Additionally you want to optimise your thumbnail and opening 3 seconds. People that watch videos on these networks are scrolling through hundreds of videos at a time. This makes it even more important that your first shot, and thumbnail are on point. You want your audience to stop scrolling and enter your storytelling funnel.

Getting to the point

Audience retention is a huge factor here. You want to hook your viewer from the very first moments of your video. Think of your first shot as a thumbnail – it should be bold and should grab you immediately. If your 3 act structure doesn’t allow for this, then you can actually borrow from the confrontation or the resolution stage. This acts as a preview shot and is often paired with the phrase, ‘coming up’ to great effect. You essentially use your ‘money shot’ as your opening shot. Put your best work first and your audience immediately knows what to expect. 

This is perfect for grabbing attention and holding it through your 3 act structure. If you do this well enough, your first shot should be good enough for your actual thumbnail. Get to the point and your audience will stay! The video below uses this preview technique to show the audience what to expect. I then narrate my journey towards reaching that goal.


Implementing change

If you now feel inspired to make some changes to your vertical video strategy then that’s great to hear. You’ve got this! But I realise a lot of this is easier said than done. There’s so much to consider and it can be overwhelming. But there are videographers, marketers and storytellers out there that specialise in this very thing! Why not get some help with your vertical videos and hire a professional? This doesn’t have to be as daunting or expensive as you might think. Many of us, myself included, would be thrilled to hear from you and willing to negotiate on budget. Someone with video marketing and writing skills is an added bonus! This ensures you get targeted content tailored for your brand. Videos that speak to your audience that offers them value!

Prioritising the audience, always

As a Content Producer I have made amazing videos for people and brands alike. I have gotten brands their highest ever view counts and engagement on videos. This translates to higher conversions, increased sales and greater brand awareness. It is never about my own personal vision or what I want to make. This is about telling the story of your brand and creating videos that your audience values. I pride myself on researching into exactly what it is your audience wants to watch. 

Writing engaging scripts, I create professional videos that add production value to your brand. I have professional experience as a videographer paired with specific marketing knowledge. This means I can devise a personalised strategy that you can use to elevate your vertical video content going forward.

We’re all in this together

Vertical video creation is such a rewarding process, but it can also be an intimidating one. There’s a lot of competition out there especially with the rise of AI technology. You can feel pressured into just posting to keep up. This can result in you feeling a bit alienated and lost. 

Luckily you are not alone as many of us are in the exact same boat. By embracing our authenticity and telling our own unique stories, we as humans will always come out on top. There can only be one you and with that there is no competition. People connect with other people and nobody wants to consume lazy content (that includes AI content). 

Get in touch

What I’ve shared with you today is a small fraction of techniques that I use for all kinds of brands, including my own. But I’d love to share some more of my ideas with you! I would love to help you with your video strategy and help to elevate your content. It’s my absolute passion in life to create amazing videos and it would be great to work with you in doing just that. Please get in touch using the link below for an informal chat about how I can help you to make better videos that resonate with your audience. It would be great to hear from you!

If you’ve made it this far thank you so much for reading my blog! I’m so excited to create valuable content through my writing and video production. I want to share my knowledge about creativity and help as many people as I can create better videos.

And with that…best of luck to you and your brand! Let’s make amazing videos and change the social media landscape forever.

Stay inspired and dont forget to get in touch!


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