You annually scroll the vertical height of 150 Burj Khalifas

by Staff Reporter
Published: Updated:
You annually scroll the vertical height of 150 Burj Khalifas

By Alina Zuberi

The average person scrolls 125 kilometers per year. That means you would need approximately 150 Burj Khalifas stacked on top of each other to represent the amount of scrolling you’ve done in the past year.

For us as communication professionals, industry leaders, and brand strategists, this means we must adapt to the growing smartphone dominance.

To help emphasize this, I use the phrase “Think vertical” which serves as a visual aid and mnemonic to emphasize the importance of smartphone-centric strategies in marketing, communications, and PR.

It’s coined to keep this concept top of mind, helping us innovate and execute tailored approaches effectively.

Embracing “Think vertical” means creating visuals for vertical screens, adopting this mindset to the fullest, and crafting concise, impactful content.

To leave you all with quick wins, I’ve identified three tactics and strategies that can seamlessly integrate into our daily communications practices. These are straightforward ways we can immediately adjust our approach and fully harness the concept of “Think Vertical.”

Simplifying media outreach

In the West, research indicates that 85% of individuals access their emails via smartphones — a trend I believe is similarly ingrained in the GCC if we delve into the numbers and research. This extends to journalists, who, like everyone else, can be more responsive to email notifications on their screens and depend on apps while on the go. Therefore, when reaching out to media professionals, simplicity is key.

Journalists are constantly on the move, attending events or travelling for stories. To make their lives easier, opt for concise, informal pitches.

Use direct, engaging language that’s easy to read on a small screen. A friendly tone can differentiate your pitch and make it more personal. Moreover, prioritize formatting to ensure your emails are visually appealing and accessible on mobile devices. This approach not only helps you get responses but also makes your pitch cut through the noise.

Adopting social media trends

Social media trends are born on smartphones. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are predominantly mobile experiences.

By keeping your finger on the pulse of these trends, you can create content that resonates and engages.

When a new TikTok trend emerges, collaborate with the relevant influencers to develop the right content and get your brand engagement kicked off.

A great example of this is the way beauty and fashion brands have brilliantly capitalized on the GRWM (Get Ready With Me) trend, subtly integrating their products to boost engagement through user-generated content, gifting, and influencer collaborations.

Additionally, while riding the wave of existing trends is effective, creating your own can be even more powerful.

A standout example from the region is the #MyDubai campaign. Launched as only a hashtag by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum in 2014, #MyDubai invited people to share memorable moments in the city.

Fast forward to a few years later, Leica Camera and Dubai Economy and Tourism (DET) took this further by creating a campaign culminating in a dedicated MyDubai social page which received over 35 million mentions.

Optimizing smartphone experiences

To drive deeper engagement, ensure your website, apps, and social content are optimized for smartphones. Various tools, from Canva to the Adobe suite, can help you achieve this depending on your needs.

For example, Canva allows you to easily adapt your designs to different formats, such as Instagram Stories, posts, and Facebook covers.

Similarly, platforms like WordPress, Weebly etc offer responsive themes and plugins that ensure your website looks great on any device.

Vertical video formats

Vertical video formats like Instagram Reels and TikTok have transformed content consumption, offering a prime opportunity for increased reach and engagement. This goes beyond simple resizing; it requires crafting layouts that are intuitive, responsive, and engaging. In a digital world where 96% of internet users access content via smartphones, consistency in design elements and a user-centric approach are essential in maintaining brand identity and ensuring that your message resonates effectively in the smartphone-dominated digital ecosystem.

Looking ahead, as our audience has evolved from Generation X through Millennials to Gen Z, digital behaviors have undergone a significant transformation.

Now, with Gen Alpha ready for the world, a tech-driven, smartphone-first strategy is imperative to prepare for a better-connected tomorrow, making “Think Vertical” more of a necessity than a choice. And, even though the above tactics may just be the basics, they still lay the essential groundwork for a more layered approach that you and your team can peel off together to truly create the perfect harmony between your communication strategies and the power of the smartphone.

Alina Zuberi

The writer is Senior Account Executive at Atteline.

You may also like

Leave a Comment