How to Improve Your Brand Content Experience
Posted by Ka-Lok Ho
Square video on YouTube. Widescreen videos on Instagram stories. Vertical video anywhere except Instagram.
‘Can’t you just crop it?’ is the new, ‘can you make the logo bigger?’
Be a native. Yes that means TOV, identity, understanding your customer etc. But today, native means native resolution.
Repurposing content – I get it, do it once put it everywhere the sun hits, it’s cheap, a great ROI, and does the job, right? If you’re going to want to put the content on multiple platforms, add another production day and shoot for the correct aspect ratio. .
Here’s 3 reasons why you don’t want crop content.
It looks terrible. It doesn’t capture attention. You have the real estate so use the space. If you had a billboard ad you wouldn’t just use 50% of the billboard and leave half of it blank. A square video on Instagram stories means you only used half the real estate available. And god forbid a widescreen video on a vertical platform (or vice versa) means you’re using only 30% of the space.
It’s not favoured by the algorithm. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the SEO and the keywords in place, if you’re not operating at the most basic rules of the platforms, they won’t favour your content. Algorithms always change and it’s difficult to keep up with – plus no-one aside from the tech people behind each platform really know the true algorithm, but one thing that does not ever change on any platform, is that they will always favour the native resolution content. Why? Because it’s a better experience.
Your customers know you’re not one of them. It’s badminton in the park, it’s using a dishwasher as a dish rack, it’s socks with sandals – it sends the message that you don’t know what you’re doing – it shows you’re not a native, as a native wouldn’t make that mistake. It doesn’t make for a good experience or brand image, especially if it’s an awareness ad.
The day vertical video format IGTV was released, GoPro uploaded a widescreen video onto the platform. Its social following quickly pointed what bad practice it was. As one of the leaders in the video industry, who should definitely know better, that’s probably as bad as it gets.
I’ve even heard art directors who you’d think would understand layout ask not only ‘can you crop it’ but, ‘can’t you just un-crop it.’
So when you’re next developing your content marketing campaign whether it’s for video, social or a conversion funnel piece, pay attention to the aspect ratio for each platform and set out to create for it.
Create native content. Avoid a load of crop.
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