Using Vine for Marketing
The newest social kid on the marketing block, Vine, is Twitter’s clever, fiendishly simple video app that allows you to record video clips direct on your iPhone, self-edits seamlessly, and which can then be uploaded via the Vine app to share on Twitter or on the Vine platform itself. Each Vine can be tagged with keywords and hashtags, and people can like and comment, just as they can on YouTube and other video sharing platforms.
What Makes Vine Different?
Each video is limited to six seconds in length and it will loop continuously after it is published. It’s also incredibly simple and enjoyable to use. Instead of the standard video-sharing experience, you record videos by holding your finger on the screen. Lift your finger and you pause the recording, making it possible to create a miniature movie out of multiple scenes, which the app then stitches seamless together in to a six-second video with a series of jump cuts. The end result usually resembles an animated GIF with sound, rather than the traditional videos produced on a camera or via apps such as Viddy or Socialcam.
Who is Making Vines?
Artists and fashionistas, new media geeks, students, brands, charities and pretty much anyone creative and/or under 26 years old who owns an iPhone – see here for some artists to get inspired by, and follow ‘Joy of Six’ on Tumblr for added inspiration.
Is it a Useful Marketing Tool?
Fashion is already jumping in with both feet to use Vine in the marketing mix, as are charities, and the type of Vines being created overall is pretty impressive, so Vine does look set to be a valuable tool in the marketing arsenal.
However, it would help enormously if they would get an Android version sorted… yes, bizarre and old fashioned as that sounds, Vine is currently only available on iPhone and last month (ie in February, AFTER the launch in January) Twitter was still looking to hire an Android engineer to convert the app for Google-based phones. All of which seems a tad regressive considering the majority of the world uses Android or Rim phones, not Apple.
There is an Android app in which to view Vines, although how many of your clients or audience would bother to download it to view a Vine if they didn’t have an iPhone is debatable. Obviously they can still view your Vines on a web browser, but in this uber-interconnected world, that really isn’t good enough – no one likes getting a 404 on their phone browser.
Vine Best Practice Tips
Marketing use is still quite experimental, obviously, as it’s so new, and it is slightly hamstrung by the lack of Android app, as outlined above. However, if you are considering using it and you know you have a captive audience, here’s our best practice tips to get you started:
1. Be Clear and Succinct
You have six seconds. Let me repeat that: SIX SECONDS. That’s an incredibly short amount of time and given that the final Vine links on a continuous loop, there really is no scope at all for telling a complicated ‘from here to there’ narrative! It’s more a case of sharing one clear succinct piece of information and using the looping element to reiterate that point over and over again. Immediate uses that spring to mind would be a ‘How to install our products series’, for example, showcasing how your lunchbox is put together, or a garment is produced, or how to apply make up.
2. Vines Need Sound
The Vines without sound seem odd and disjointed; it clearly begs to have that added dimension, so add it every time and use it to provide context, whether that’s appropriate music or as a narrative to explain what’s going on.
3. Remember Vines Loop
I know I’ve already covered that, but some Vines look really weird because the start and finish join haven’t been considered properly, so plan it out properly before you start. We would suggest storyboading is essential for a smooth and effective Vine.
4. Don’t Leave Vines Hanging
Provide context and narrative in the body copy of the tweet/vine, and make use of the description and the tags. Add hashtags if appropriate.
5. Use Vines to Showcase
Start with your own company or charity and try it to showcase your products, your headquarters or your employees (or office dogs if you are the Dogs Trust!). You could also ask your clients to record their delight at receiving your products (as ASOS did) or how they use your products.
6. Use Vines to Connect
Say thank you to your clients or to your fundraisers if you are a charity – Diabetes UK do this to very good effect – or say thank you to your new followers on Twitter perhaps – see here for some examples.
7. Make Your Vine a Mini Movie
You could show clips from a charity fundraising event, or awards ceremony your company sponsored, attended or organised. You could make teasers for upcoming webinars, events or trade shows. Use it to film rebrand events (wish it had been available when we helped Blind Veterans UK raise the flags on their rebrand last year, for example) or launches, perhaps getting your clients/audience/supporters involved so you create a mini series of them.
8. Use Vine to Reiterate Your Point
Use it to do a speed pitch, show a ‘how to do that’, or make your point strongly and we love the way Diabetes UK is doing just that, although it’s frustrating that there isn’t any sound. Marie Curie is also spot on and the Asthma competition is very neat – see them here for inspiration.
9. Integrate Your Vines
Remember that not everyone can view them, so make a point of adding them to your Storify coverage or upload them to YouTube, so even those who can’t view them on their phones or don’t use Twitter can still see them.