Why You Should Use Square Video

It’s no secret that the social media world has become a very crowded space. I’ve been in the video world for over 20 years, and have seen more than a few formats take center stage. With everyone swarming into the video space, we are seeing many new trends in the social media world and video marketing.

I believe it’s time to embrace the square video format, and use it to your advantage. I truly never thought I would speak those words. In my world, the wide screen aspect ratio has been a blessing over the old school square TVs we used to create content for. But social media has thrown all video marketers and content developers into a tailspin over what size and shape videos should be. It’s interesting to see that within a few page scrolls through Facebook, you’ll find a bunch of formats: square live feed video, widescreen, widescreen in a square box, and, of course, let’s not forget vertical video. Each of these differently shaped videos has a unique use. But today I want to talk about the square video, and why you should use it.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

As you can see in the image above, the format for the entire video area is square. This square format lets you add your original widescreen format video to the center of the square without the need to resize or create a new format for your video. What excites me about this square format is that we have been given some creative space for messaging, branding, or even closed captioning. (If you are looking for some examples of this in use, look up Gary Vaynerchuk or Eric Worre on Facebook.)

The square video fit seems very natural on Facebook. If you leave the top and bottom space all white, it fits right into the Facebook whitespace, and feels very natural. I am certainly not recommending the space above and below the center video be left blank. But here is what I am recommending:

  • Leave the space white for the first five seconds of the video. This allows the audience enough time to engage with your content before adding a brand or anything else.
  • Use the top space for branding, URL or CTA.
  • Use the bottom space for closed captioning, URL or CTA.
  • Bring in all items separately and subtly.

The ability to deploy this square video to Instagram is an added benefit. The Instagram user is familiar with square video, even though you can now upload wide format video on that platform.

All in all, this has given the video marketing world a new place to play and a new way to deploy more content in the same space that has been used in the past. Give it a shot and see what happens: you may be surprised by how much you like the format and additional space to work within the crowded Facebook visual world.

In the battle for the eyeballs, we need to take advantage of every possible branding and messaging opportunity. I believe this trend will follow us strongly into 2017, with new creative concepts for delivering content.

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