Why you need a great vertical video strategy

By: David Arkin
January 6, 2024
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Just the other day, a colleague was asking what I thought the biggest storylines of 2024 will be?

No. 1? Video, I said, enthusiastically.

It’s pretty funny, really, as I remember saying probably back in 2010 the same thing. I was at GateHouse Media (Gannett now) at the time, working in the company’s news division and can almost swear I wrote a memo or a blog post declaring that year would be The Year of Video.

It’s been a bouncy almost 15 years with video and media.

  • It was hugely important. Then it wasn’t.
  • It was going to make lots of money. Then it didn’t.
  • It could be really fast and efficient to build it. Then it just took too much time.

It’s one of those things where media companies have learned an awful lot and are probably better for all of the ups and downs as so many lessons have been learned that make it easier to create a winning strategy today.

I firmly believe that you need a solid video strategy in 2024. It’s how people are consuming information and the paths to monetization are many.

Here are four things to think about when it comes to video:

🎬 1. Social media will be less links and more video

Facebook will prioritize video:It’s pretty clear that any media company living on social media links is going to find the sledding even tougher in years to come. I just have to imagine the video prioritization we’re seeing on Instagram and TikTok will eventually become the norm for Facebook in the future.

Get ready for a shift: Paid campaigns may be a way to maintain some of that traffic publishers have depended on but I have to imagine in a year or two to survive on social media, you will have to be pushing more video than links.

📱 2. If you focus in one area make it vertical video

Focus on Reels and Shorts:If you are not producing video consistently, vertical video is where I would start. Reels and Shorts are receiving an amazing amount of algorithm love from social media companies, so it makes a lot of sense to plant your resources there.

Vertical video can come in different forms: While I would do everything possible to use video in Reels, just remember that your imagery can also be a powerful way of telling a story through Reels. Think about photos from a game you cover, an event or even breaking news, told through a Reel with images and text. It can be powerful.

🗃️ 3. Get your video creation organized

Bring video into your content planning: The best way to plan for video is to build it directly into your planners. This means, when you assign a story, ask yourself, how could we tell this story in video and what is the best tool to use? Just as you might do this for the art you need for a front page story, you should do the same for that story for the different distribution tactics you might take, including video. But not all video is treated the same and you should let your content drive if you use a Reel, live video or traditional horizontal. But make it part of the conversation you have with each story you are creating.

Tell your story: Today, especially when it comes to social video, not leaving the reader needing more, is key. This means that vertical video shouldn’t always serve as a promotion to go read your entire story. Use your video clips and images to tell a complete story with text and stickers that provide the reader enough information where they follow your page for more valuable information.

🚀 🎥 4. Make it part of branded content

Make it part of the sale:I love the idea of adding additional dollars to your branded content campaign by offering a Reel, a Short or a produced video interview with a client. Advertisers want to tell their story in the places where readers are spending time and that’s why vertical social media video makes so much sense.

Do your storytelling thing: I’m a firm believer that we can tell really any advertiser story in social video. From tip oriented videos for a tutor advertiser to a tour through a home that a Realtor just sold, the opportunities are endless. Just get creative.

2024 will be an amazing year for video. The demand will be there.

I’d love to work with you on a video strategy. Reach me at david@davidarkinconsulting.com.

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