From Instagrams to Infographics, the content we come across in the digital world has become increasingly visual. From a marketing standpoint, we can safely assume that the majority of consumers would rather watch a video than read a block of text. And it is not difficult to see why. The visual and aural aspects of the video format in particular, add a layer of engagement that is not possible with more traditional forms of content marketing.
As attention spans continue to diminish, this last trait has become increasingly important. Countless brands have demonstrated their creative abilities with this format (Samsung’s commercial for the Galaxy S3, “The Next Best Thing is Already Here” comes to mind), producing unique, funny, or just plain epic content on YouTube and other easily shareable video hosting sites with immense success.
But what if you only had 6 seconds of video to deliver the same message?
Enter Vine. A mobile app that allows you to shoot and share 6-second video clips. Since its very recent launch in January of this year, Vine has been hugely successful, becoming one of the fastest growing social media platforms in America. The app ranked second on Compete.com‘s list of “Fast Movers” in April of 2013, with over 2 million unique visitors within that month.
In the enterprise business world Vine has been met with some enthusiasm, but also its fair share of apprehension. Considering that the marketing potential of Vine is not immediately apparent, this hesitancy is not unwarranted. How can a 6 second video garner any sort of consumer traction?
Looking first at some of the more tangible benefits of Vine, we can begin to answer this question:
1. Twitter Ownership
A significant contributor to the speed of Vine’s success is its integration with Twitter – the second largest global social network. From the moment of Vine’s release it seemed to be all that the media could talk about. Everyone wanted to know more about Twitter’s newly adopted child. The hype that surrounded Vine because of its connection to Twitter allowed it to gain the steadily growing following that it now enjoys.
Moreover, with an extensive user-base already established, it is easy to leverage your Twitter following to gain exposure for your Vine videos. The majority of work spent on a Vine video will be in coming up with the content, not in trying to find an audience once it has been created.
From an SEO standpoint, Vine’s connection to Twitter also offers a wealth of opportunities. In the same way that tweets show up in search results, videos posted to Vine will also rank in relevant searches. This is hugely valuable for expanding the reach and visibility of your videos.
2. Time Restriction
Believe it or not, there is value to be had in a 6-second video. More than anything it forces marketers to get creative. If you can tell a convincing story in such a limited amount of time then you are doing something right. Similar to the 140 character limit of Twitter, it will eventually become second nature.
From a consumer/viewer standpoint the restricted format is great as it demands a brief level of attentiveness (20% of viewers abandon videos after 10 seconds), but still encourages high levels of engagement. For a marketer it is the ultimate lesson in concision. Success will come with a little bit of imagination.
Without taking into consideration the planning that is required to create exceptional content, Vine is very easy to use. To start recording you simply touch the screen of your phone (while in the application of course) and to stop recording you release. You can do this in short intervals equalling 6 seconds.
Moreover, creating videos for Vine does not require big spending (or any spending), an elaborate production team, or a swanky ad campaign. Creativity and smart execution is really all it takes. It is also very easy to distribute your Vine videos, with embedded share buttons for both Twitter and Facebook.
As most marketers know, success doesn’t come from selling a product; it comes from selling a story. And if that story is quick, quirky, and fun, all the better. What platform is more perfect than Vine to do this? The challenge is in doing this the right way. While it may take some skill and cunning, it is far from impossible.
Now that you know that you should be using Vine, how exactly should you go about using it? I’ve outlined below some key ways in which you can use Vine for marketing:
1. For Audience Engagement
Because Vine is so simple, it is perfect for audience engagement. Making content such as contests and Q&As allow for audience participation with your brand. Giving users (a.k.a. potential customers) a fun and unique way to engage with your products or services is a great way to generate leads and also strengthen your chances of lead conversion.
The Cavendish Hotel in London created a Valentine’s Day contest wherein users had to come up with the most romantic Vine video. They created a hashtag so that the videos would be easily searchable and identifiable. The contest winner was awarded an awesome prize of a romantic getaway for 2. Most importantly however, the contest got people involved with the hotel’s brand in a creative and fun way.
2. For Teaching
Vine can also be used to educate your audience. Short ‘how to’ videos that showcase the capabilities of your product or service is a great way to involve your audience. Behind the scenes videos of how your products are made or other cool company tidbits are perfect ways to get your consumers more acquainted with your brand. This adds a level of transparency to your business that consumer’s value, effectively growing their trust in your company, which can ultimately bridge the gap between audience member and consumer. Including links to landing pages that lead to resources with further information is a great way to drive traffic to your website and garner leads.
Bacardi UK created a series of short “how-to’s” that show users how to make different cocktails. They’re simple and easy to follow, and shows their audience a variety of ways to use their product. 3. For Identity Reinforcement Your Vine videos are the perfect opportunity to really show off the personality of your company. You can determine the style and tone of your videos so that it will resonate with your key buyer personas. Creating a Vine that showcases your company’s ideology in a creative way are just some example of ways to highlight your brand’s values.
Realizing that their brand was falling into irrelevancy, Internet Explorer (IE) opted for a fun re-branding strategy with their Vine videos. Using puppets that represent the old IE and the new IE 10, they contrast the popular perception of their software with their newly updated young and hip web browser.
4. For Hype
As long as it’s not all you do, Vine is a great platform for promotion. Remember, you’re not selling a product; you’re selling a story. Teasers for upcoming new product releases, product features, and special deals/discounts are a few ways Vine can be utilized for promotion. Don’t forget to include links to a landing page where a viewer can get more information.
The creators of Call of Duty® created this short teaser for their new game, Call of Duty® Ghosts. It showcases the gaming space and the graphics, and at the end provides information about the release and where you can see the game live.
5. For Reputation Management
Vine is also great platform to generate social proof through customer testimonials and interactions with your products. Testimonials, especially from people you can see and hear, will build that all-important trust between a consumer and a brand. If a consumer is on the fence about your brand, seeing a positive interaction with your product or service could be that last push they need to commit.
Asos has a series of videos that showcase consumers unboxing their product deliveries. The videos show the excitement of the customer reviving their goods and highlight the positive relationship between Asos and their consumer base. 6. For Humanization More than anything Vine in great for showcasing the people behind your business. Showing your consumers that you are not just a faceless corporation is typically well received as it humanizes your brand. Content ideas include snippets of your fun or unique office culture, “day in the life” videos, staff interviews – really anything that shows off the greaty personalities behind your awesome products or services.
This quirky video by Buzzfeed shows their employees doing what appears to be some sort of interpretive dance in their office. The video draws attention to the laid back and fun atmosphere of their corporate culture, and shows viewers that the people behind Buzzfeed are just as weird as them.
Vine is still in its infancy and therefore much is yet to be discovered in the way of content creation. Expert SEO Marcela De Vivo recently wrote a great article outlining 10 unique ideas for your Vine content, one of which involves the employment of a Magician. Vine is a great resource that is still largely untapped in the business world. This means that there is ample opportunity to become one of the pioneers of this innovate new tool. There is no better time to get on Vine.
Feel free to leave your creative ideas for Vine content below!