Video is acquiring a huge presence in the online marketing sector. With shorter clips tending to lead to greater numbers of views and more views all the way through a film, there has emerged a trend for micro videos: very short clips that nonetheless communicate a powerful message.
One of the most popular and extreme platforms for this movement is Vine.
What is Vine?
Part of the Twitter network, Vine is a micro-video social media platform. It ships as a mobile app, from which you can shoot videos. You can post these on your Twitter account, or in shared news feeds. The catch is that those videos are limited to a length of six (6) seconds – but they can run on a loop, and play continuously.
You can also apply editing effects to your clips to give the illusion of extending the time-frame, using filters, time-lapse photography, stop-motion animation, slow motion, and the like.
The Vine Line
For businesses, Vine is an outlet for free advertising – one with an enthusiastic following, and a fair bit of hype in the popular press. The site itself has over 40 million subscribers, and records over 100 million visitors per month. It has a big following among the Millennial population (people born between 1980 and 2000), who are at the forefront of mobile / online content consumption.
Speed and simplicity are the main selling points of the Vine app. Setting up an account, shooting footage with your smartphone and posting it on Vine typically takes minutes, rather than hours.
With consumers preferring their promotional materials short and sweet, Vine’s micro-video approach is one method by which businesses can quickly grab their customers’ attention, and promote their brand.
Your Six Seconds of Fame
Six seconds may seem like a very short time to get a message across, but the anecdotal success of viral campaigns on Vine can’t be ignored. Create a memorable video that generates a buzz among the viewers, and they’ll be inclined to share that buzz with their friends.
The key is to grab the viewer’s attention, tell them an engaging story, leave a memory of your brand in their minds, then go.
The Power of Placement
The video is a means of promoting your brand, so that brand (your logo, flagship product, company name, etc.) can be used as a visual element to create the connection in a viewer’s mind.
For instance, your film might feature an action sequence, shot against a backdrop featuring billboards or signposts bearing your corporate crest. Or your top-selling product might be part of the set decoration on a table where your main action is going on.
Latching on to the hype surrounding major sporting or cultural events, or tailoring your video clip to rhyme with a holiday season is another approach. These tentpole events are typically the subject of keyword searches at the time, so tailoring your video to suit can be a way of steering search engine users to your Vine posts.
Make a clever and creative link between your brand and that holiday or event, and you can create an association in people’s minds that lasts forever.
Continuity and Momentum
Each video clip on Vine is limited to six seconds, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to six seconds on one subject, promotion, or brand. If you can generate a sequence of Vine clips that speak about the same product or service, but which each stand out as a quirky and memorable statement in themselves, then you’ll have the basis of an ongoing campaign.
If you can get an audience hooked with your first video on Vine, they’ll be keen to come back for your second, and third. And so on. They may also “revine” you: the Vine equivalent of retweeting a post on Twitter.
And it’s also an idea to stitch several Vine clips together, to produce a longer sequence which you might post on your company website, or other social media outlets.
Herd it, Through the Grapevine?
With a number of successful and viral ad campaigns having featured on Vine, there has grown up a class of Vine video celebrities – mainstream stars, and newcomers who debuted on the platform. Each has their own fan-base, and dedicated video following.
This kind of stardom translates to “instant audience”, and canny businesses have latched onto this fact. Some seek out Vine celebrities and approach them to collaborate in their promotional campaigns, either by endorsing a particular brand on their own Vine channels, or by hiring them to appear in films made by the companies, themselves.
Dedicated Vine “talent agencies” like Grape Story (founded by Vine phenomenon Jerome Jarre) have even started up, to match established Vine stars with reputable brand names.
Utilising Vine to Promote Your Brand
Imagination and great video content will really have to come from you, but here are some general tips to help:
- “How To” sequences are generally popular, but you’ll need an attention-grabbing hook or innovative presentation to make your demo stand out.
- Time-lapse techniques are a memorable way to feature your brand as it’s encountered during the course of a day or night.
- Put the Fun In. A colourful, quirky, or humorous approach is particularly well-suited to the Vine platform.
- Get your viewers involved with your brand by (for example) offering insights into how their favourite products are made, or by giving exclusive previews of new products and services.
- You can incorporate interactive elements in your videos like embedded links. This increases viewer involvement in the action, and gives them something to talk about.
- Use Hashtags. Vine is part of the Twitter stable, so standard hashtag protocols apply. Use them, wisely and well.
It’s not a one-shot deal, so take some time (and some Vine posts) to refine and enforce your message. And keep pitching.
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