Video-focused content marketing is one of the most powerful tactics in the marketer’s toolbox, and if you’re not using the right aspect ratio in production your content could appear dated, or worse yet, be simply ignored. But between the vertical video haters and the equally loud voices proclaiming that horizontal video is dead, it’s easy to be confused about which aspect ratio to use for what content. Touchstorm has been producing online video since it became a marketing option and we put our latest know-how into this Video Aspect Ratio cheat sheet:


The Era Of
One-Size-Fits-All
Video Production Is Over

There are multiple aspect ratios and shapes to consider and practically each platform demands its own style. The new viewing habits of consumers make it vital for marketers to adapt the content for the device, the platform, and the intended viewers through every stage of video creation, from pre-production to production, and even post-production. 


Click the infographic to enlarge or download.


Plan The Right Aspect Ratio, Optimize Your Production

Because you can’t simply produce content in one aspect ratio anymore, it’s important to plan ahead in order to make the most of the canvas you’re using. Without that proper planning, a sizable chunk of your budget can be wasted on the logistical headache of executing against a different shoot for each platform or trying to Frankenstein your creation to fit an unplanned-for size. But there are ways to optimize the production to maximize your efforts and resources:

  • First, it is possible to film some important shots for 16:9, 1:1, and 9:16 at the same time. If planned well, when you edit across the different aspect ratios, you can use the otherwise awkward “negative space” as a place to add graphics.
  • To get additional vertical video content, draft someone to use their smartphone to get some behind-the-scenes footage that can feel more intimate — exactly what your mobile audience wants.
  • Finally, adapt your editing style to fit the medium. Short, square, entertaining videos with a small amount of information go to Facebook and Twitter with a call-to-action such as “Go to our YouTube channel for the full video.” On YouTube, you’ll publish the 16:9 videos with longer content and more information. Then publish the 9:16 versions on Snapchat and to your Instagram Stories feed. Of course, don’t forget to drive viewers to your social accounts in the descriptions to close the loop.

There’s no question that video is more powerful than ever and it’s vital to use the right aspect ratio on the right platform. 


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