It’s a little scary, but we just might be able to predict the future. Just a few weeks ago, HasOffers CEO Peter Hamilton expected video to be the next big thing for advertisers. (In fact, an entire panel at Affiliate Summit West agreed.) Now, a hot new social “network” is sprouting up enabling Twitter users to share super-short video clips of six seconds with their followers. Vine – a standalone app for iOS users – enables users to create (or compile, if you wish) a video and then share it via Twitter, Vine’s own social network (which strongly resembles Instagram’s stream) and/or Facebook.
The reception to Vine – which just debuted last week – has been nothing short of controversial. There is the issue of users uploading inappropriate images. There are the naysayers that nothing meaningful can be shared via a video that is only six seconds. (These people, of course, also once said that nothing meaningful could emerge from 140 characters or less.)
There is the argument the content marketers and advertisers can’t possibly do anything effective with Vine.
We beg to differ.
The reality is that – just as Peter explained when he outlined the challenges with the impeding emergence of video as an advertising platform – attention spans are short. Online audiences actually don’t want to watch a long video. The shorter a video advertisement, the more likely a user will watch it in entirety. And if you can actually convey your entire message to that user, you have the best chance as possible of getting that user to act on your message – and then hopefully convert.
Of course, your ultimate goal is conversion – and in today’s online marketing world, brevity is key. With Vine, a six second video shared to your thousands of followers and fans could actually be very powerful if executed effectively. Some brands are already doing this well by using a few different tactics that utilize the concept of a short video to advertise their brand in a way no other platform has enabled before. Based on these success stories, here are a few ways advertisers can use Vine effectively:
Show – Not Tell – Your Brand’s Story
One brand that has used already used Vine especially well is Gap. Using Vine, the popular clothing brand created a short clipped that flashed back through their advertising history. While Vine videos themselves are not shareable (which is a disappointing feature), the company shared the video via their Twitter account. So far, the tweet has amassed 57 retweets and 33 favorites. In terms of metrics for generating brand awareness and promoting a product, these are obviously not numbers.
Other unique ways of showing your brand’s story in ways not possible before could also include introducing your employees, or even the history of your offices (or wherever the action happens). Other brands have already demonstrated this kind of content is not only shareable, but interesting their fan and follower base, generating retweets and shares – which ultimately means using thes tactics with Vine can generate effective Advertising content.
Go Behind the Scenes & Demo Your Product
Other effective ways to use Vine to create Advertising content include behind-the-scenes clips or short demonstrations of your product. A coffee house in Virginia Beach, VA used Vine to put together a video demonstrating how they make a latte (and latte art.) The accompanying tweet generated a few retweets, but was picked up by Business Insider as part of a compilation of “cool ways” brands are using Vine, which undoubtedly generated quite a bit of brand awareness for this small business in a tourist town.
Besides “behind the scenes” of your product and showing how it’s made, advertisers can create potentially viral content with Vine by showing how people are using their product, how people can use the product, or even answering a quick question question about the product with a short answer. These types of content about your brand is not only interesting, but likely helpful, and your fans and followers will be sure to share it, generating brand awareness – and hopefully leads for you as well.
Ask Your Fans To Promote Your Product
As every advertiser knows, the ultimate way to promote your product is via your biggest fans, who essentially do the work for you. With Vine, brands can utilize the power of their existing social networks to leverage their fanbase and ask these evangelists to create their own Vine videos that feature your product. Since Twitter lacks the stringent rules about contests and promotions that Facebook features, a brand could easily encourage fans to make Vine videos about their product and share them via their own Twitter accounts, including a specific hashtag that tracks this campaign. To really entice fans, brands can even highlight some of the best Vines created about a brand by retweeting occasional contributions, which will likely motivate even more fans to create Vines in hopes of gaining similar recognition. While you don’t necessarily need to run a contest in conjunction with this kind of campaign, leveraging Vine for contest submissions is a great way to generate advertising by your fans – without having to do any work yourself.
While there will undoubtedly continue to be naysayers of Vine – including by others in the advertising industry – there is a definite potential value of Vine for creating viral content for advertisers. Just be sure you treat it like any other marketing material and give the content the time and attention it deserves. Creating a careless video on Vine will not only lack any benefit for your brand – but could actually backfire.
Have you started using Vine to create advertising content? Let us know your thoughts on this new platform in the comments.
In addition to writing about emerging news and trends in the performance marketing industry, she is a columnist for Forbes, covering the intersection of technology and society. She can be can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog... and usually with a cup of coffee in hand, too.