If you’re on Twitter, then you’re probably noticing an abundance of Vine videos. Vine is a free social media app that launched in January 2013 on iPhone and June 3rd 2013 on Android. It lets you record six-second videos, which play on a loop. Vine is user friendly and allows brands to be creative and innovative. Vine videos are so short and repeating that after a few views, the messages of the video clips get stuck in your head like a jingle does.
Why you should use Vine for promoting your business
1) It’s free
Vine is a perfect way for businesses to promote themselves, whether they’re well established or new with a tighter budget. Other strategies like TV commercials, special events and website development can get pricey. New companies spend up to 50% of sales on promotion. Any time you can promote your company for free and reduce spending on promotion, it’s a win-win situation.
2) It saves time
Vine is convenient because you can make videos whenever you want instead of scheduling time to make your commercials or design a newsletter.
3) It allows for easy sharing
Sharing a Vine to Twitter or Facebook is as easy as tapping a button. You can share to your own website because Vine supports embedding. This leads to a better chance of going viral if your video is creative and unique enough to catch the attention of viewers.
4) It appeals to the short attention span of users
The short attention span of consumers today makes six seconds a perfect duration. The visual aspect keeps consumers drawn in (much like Instagram). People are four times more likely to share Vines than regular videos on Twitter. Studies show every second, five Vines are shared on Twitter.
5) It’s easy, and anyone and can do it
The simplicity of Vine gives it an advantage over other video apps. No video background is required, so you don’t have to own a video editor or pay someone with video experience to make videos for you. You can also exit the app mid-Vine to make a phone call, send a text, change location or set up your next shot without deleting anything.
Ways to Market with Vine:
1) Display the use of your product or service
Show customers a step-by-step process or simply show something cool about your product that can catch customers’ attention.
Example: Like Bacardi showed how to make delicious drinks using few ingredients, a restaurant can show the steps to cooking a certain meal and intrigue a hungry audience.
2) Demonstrate how a new product works
Help the customer become a product expert. Tutorials and how-to processes encourage wary consumers who think the product is too complicated. Example: The makers of the Bike-pack (a bicycle that folds up into a backpack) can show first time users how to assemble or disassemble the bike and fold it up.
3) Host a contest
Encourage users to record Vines and tag them with specific hashtags. The prize can be a gift card, a discount, or a retweet of the best Vine. Example: Show the best location to drive your new #Chevy (passenger as the film maker of course).
4) Use brand ambassadors
Announce certain events or products that attract target audiences. Example: Desigual had Bar Refaeli use Vine to promote a fashion show (Desigual is a fashion company, which I did not know, but do now thanks to this Vine)
5) Make a video that has nothing to do with your product
Get your customers to trust that you’re not strictly trying to get them to buy your product. A sense of humor can keep younger generations coming back. A Vine that captures something surprising and unexpected will not only catch viewers’ attention, but will get them to watch it again or show a friend to see his/her reaction. Example: A company like Google could show their employees playing pranks on each other to show their laid-back attitude.
How is Vine already affecting the business world?
Vine gives you endless opportunities to expand your brand. Businesses like Wheat Thins, Bacardi UK, Malibu Rum, HubSpot and Dove have caught on to using Vines for marketing, and others, especially those that use Twitter, will soon follow suit.
CEO of Vine Dom Hofmann says that the six-second videos really get you to experience whatever message the filmmaker is trying to convey. Taking your customer through different processes or introducing yourself relates to the customer on a personal level and shows that you have similar interests.
Think of how effective a tweet is to describe how you are feeling in 140 characters. A six-second video is like an Instagram photo and tweet rolled into one. Moments like opening acceptance letters to colleges will be instant hits. Companies with exciting moments, like Six Flags having a new ride or Gander Mountain showing white water rafting, will thrive off this app.
Are there negatives to Vine?
The restriction for those who are under 17 years of age doesn’t completely eliminate young people but does add a roadblock. (Parents can approve someone younger, or younger people can just say they’re older than 17.) Some people doubt Vine will continue to be successful because photographs are more popular. These critics think it’s just a fad that is on the way out. Some users also complain about the early bugs of the app with fear that it may crash during a brilliant creation.
Vine is great, but will it stick around?
Yes, I think Vine will prosper and continue to grow. Now that Vine has reached the Google Play store, Android users can download the app. Vine has been the top-ranked app in the Apple store for the months of April and May, and it’s currently ranked fourth. Vine is also directly attached to Twitter, like Instagram with Facebook as its parent company. Vine didn’t match the results of Instagram, which added 1 million users in 12 hours after entering the Google Play store, but I still doubt Vine will be losing popularity anytime soon. Even if there are better video apps that have more editing features, such as Cinemagram, Vine is more user friendly and Vines are easy to upload. It already has more brand recognition than most video apps. Celebrities such as Tyra Banks and Wiz Khalifa use Vine daily.
With apps there are always going to be updates. If there are opportunities to expand or become even more user friendly, Vine will most likely take the next step and accommodate users like Twitter has done in the past. One new feature is being able to mention your friends or even brands to let viewers know who or what is in the video. A feature on the iPhone is the front-facing camera, so people can easily shoot a video of themselves talking, which isn’t a major step in smartphones necessarily, but is a necessity for the app. A feature unique to the Android is the ability to zoom. I’m sure both of these features will be universal soon enough.
So when you’re planning your next marketing strategy, consider ways of reaching a large community of users at a minimal cost by using Vine.