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How to film a vertical video

By Claire Goodwin

It’s the newest addition to Facebook and Instagram – and you should have the vertical video in your content marketing armoury.

The format is filmed with mobile users in mind, particularly those who’d rather not turn their phone from portrait to landscape just to view a video.

Instagram’s new IGTV service is dedicated to vertical videos, and you can expect Facebook’s news feed algorithm to be favouring them over good old 16:9 aspect ratio shorts while the public get used to the idea of treating film like they do a Facetime conversation.

Even with just those two social media sites, your brand can reach out to a huge demographic. So you’ve got every reason to be adding vertical video into your content marketing mix.

Getting started is easy – as long as you keep our five key tips on how to film a vertical video in mind. 

Be prepared

Preparation is key to shooting a vertical video. Decide if you’re going to shoot horizontally first then edit later or if you’re going to shoot vertically straight away.

There are benefits to both – one gives you more scope to pick and choose what viewers see, while the other lets you see the results instantly.

Keep the purpose of your video in mind when you’re making this decision: are you wanting to be arty or direct, for example? And do you have time for a potentially lengthy editing process or are you wanting to react to something that’s hot right now?

In the frame

Find a good angle, find good lighting, and make sure your sound is really good. You can invest in radio microphones that are really affordable. They can plug right into your iPhone.

Bad lighting and sound make your efforts look amateurish, so it’s worth a little care and attention to look slick and professional.

Be prepared to experiment to get the best results. With a little trial and error, you’ll find a way of working that suits.

Take social seriously

Know your guidelines. Make sure you double-check your video will be approved for whatever social platform you’re advertising on.

If you’re going to all the effort of getting video into your content marketing mix, there’s no point in investing that time if the result isn’t usable. Why make a film that won’t be seen?

Seen and heard

Remember to add subtitles.

Besides making your video accessible to those with hearing impairments, there will be people watching your video on a train or at a bus stop, for example. You can’t count on them having headphones – so let them see what you’re saying and they won’t have to annoy other folk by turning up the volume.

Just be sure to check your subtitles carefully. Misspelled, misused or mistyped words annoy viewers and undermine your authority.

Get engaged

Remember to encourage people to like and share your video.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a little love – how else can you spread the word? Get that call to action in, and offer a link back to your website or a “buy now” button where you can.


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