Last week we continued our blog series on inbound marketing by discussing Instagram, the social media outlet focused on sharing original pictures as you take them on your cell phone. If Instagram appeals to you, or if you are already an avid Instagram user, then you may be interested in taking photography-as-social-media a bit further and trying Vine.
What Is Vine?
Vine is a similarly app-based social media outlet that focuses on sharing videos that users film with their cell phones. Vine is owned by Twitter, famous promoters of brevity with their 140 character limit on tweets, which should make it no surprise that Vine videos are limited to six seconds.
It is worth mentioning that Instagram, likely in response to the growing popularity of Vine, added video capabilities to their app this past summer. If you are a fan of Instagram, particularly of their well-known filtered look (which is available for videos as well as pictures), you can use their app to much the same purpose as Vine. The main difference is that Instagram videos allow fifteen seconds instead of just six. Most of the content of this post could be applied to either medium, but we’ll focus on Vine since they were the first to popularize the super short video format in social media.
Exploring the Possibilities
If you’d like to see a wide variety of examples of successful Vine marketing, Brands on Vine is a great place to start. Viewing well-known companies’ Vine videos will give you not only an idea of how much creative branding potential there actually is in the span of six seconds but also a feel for the format itself.
You may notice that many if not most of these videos feature a jerky, stop-motion quality and quick, abrupt cuts and edits. Upon initial exposure to the format you may wonder how much editing is necessary to create these videos. In truth, no editing is necessary at all – in fact, no editing is possible. A video that seems as though it must have been carefully edited was actually well planned in advance. When filming a video using the Vine app (and the same applies to Instagram) recording only happens while you are touching the screen; lifting your finger will immediately pause the recording. This makes the jerky feel easy to accomplish by simply tapping the screen rapidly, and makes stop-motion style videos simple to execute.
Why Use Vine?
Vine, like Instagram, isn’t for everybody. If visual creativity isn’t your strong suit then you may have no interest in this format. If, however, you’ve always thought it would be fun to produce your own commercial but you lacked the equipment or funding, Vine may be perfect for you! A good Vine video relies on cleverness and planning instead of on budget – anyone with a smartphone (or tablet!), an idea, and some time, can produce one.
What are the benefits of using Vine? If you could produce and air a commercial with a $0 budget, you’d want to take advantage of that opportunity! While your Vine video may not air on prime time television it has just as much potential reach through social media outlets.
What To Film?
Remember that the most memorable and talked-about commercials aren’t the ones that focus on pitching the product but the ones that tell a story, whether clever, funny, surprising or moving. Twenty years later people still remember the Taster’s Choice couple – you probably can’t think of a commercial with that kind of longevity that doesn’t tell a story of some kind. Incorporating your brand is important, yes, but you need to do more than just show off your brand to create a memorable video.
Your goal should be to create the kind of video that people will want their friends to see. When you post your video to Facebook you want your audience to share it – the more shares you get the wider your potential audience and the better the SEO boost that results.
Sound like too much to accomplish in six seconds? Creativity is a must! Again, take a look at what other businesses are doing to get inspired!
Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New!
Vine is, clearly, an entirely different type of social media than any of the others we’ve discussed previously. Don’t feel as though trying Vine requires a commitment to post videos frequently. Vine is its own social media outlet, but like Instagram it has a much smaller base of followers than Facebook or Twitter – your real potential audience will come from sharing your video to those larger venues.
Posting regularly on whatever social media outlets you’re choosing to concentrate on is, of course, important, and diversity in what you post is a good thing. Posting a video is a great way to keep things fresh and to reach people in a different manner, but it doesn’t obligate you to post another video next week.
As stated previously, Vine isn’t for everyone. It is, however, a format with endless potential if the video medium interests you. If you’re curious, don’t be afraid to give it a try! The result may not be perfect, but no one expects it to be – experimenting with a new and trendy medium is a great way to show off your creative side and grab your audience’s interest!