Could a six-second long looping video clip change the way customers connect with brands and products? Six seconds, really? Some marketers may think there's not enough 'space' for creativity in such a short time but, when you look at digital engagement and social networks, big not always means better. Here lies the secret of Vine, the mobile video sharing service so many companies are already using as a powerful customer engagement tool.
It was founded in 2012 but, more important, acquired by Twitter the same year. It's not a coincidence. Twitter seems to be the perfect environment for a service like Vine: a constant flow of 140-long (or short) messages marked with hashtags.
When you think about 'fast and now' there's no better social network than Twitter. It has words, it has pictures, it has social sharing. What it lacked was video. With Vine they filled the hole.
Two years have passed after its launch and Vine is becoming an important part of the content marketing mix for many companies. Of course some brands and products are more suited to marketing on Vine than others, but what really makes the difference is the message you want to deliver. Great content is the key for a great video. It's not only what you say but how you say it. You have to build your content following the rules, as they're not the same rules you rely on when you create a video for YouTube or Vimeo.
Six seconds is all you have to engage your customers, improve their digital experience and hope they will share it through their network. The results of a well conducted Vine campaign? Brand awareness, engagement, social shares and, hopefully, leads. If you're not convinced yet, here are a few numbers you can't ignore: 100 million people are watching vines across the web each month, and over 1 billion loops are played every day.
Once you have decided to make your first video, what are the rules to follow?
- Never sell hard: the connection with the brand or product must be subtle. Advertising the 'classic-way' just won't work on Vine.
- Talk to your community: never upload your video just because 'Vine is cool'. Know your community, because they're your audience and sounding board (heard about 'word of mouth'?)
- Create a story: we know how important is storytelling in content marketing. It is even more important with vines. Create a story and leave them wanting more.
- Use your imagination: the format is strict but open at the same time. Use your six looping seconds with creativity and imagination, focusing on your message and identity within your digital customer experience.
If you want to learn how to implement your content the best you can, the easiest way is to learn from companies that have done it already. Let's take a look at the most used types of vines:
- How-to Video: provide a fresh take to old problems, teaching 'how-to' fixes in just six seconds.
- Behind the scenes Video: your customers may want to know more about you or your product.
- Creative Ads: explore your creativity and create amazing advertising (i.e. stop motion, animation).
- Highlight product: does it have a special feature? Highlight it while entertaining your customer.
- Promote UGC: create a video and ask your customer to do the same in a 1-to-1 connection.
- Run a contest: few companies are doing it already. Create buzz with a creative contest.
- Use looping: to establish your brand identity or your message.
- Create a short film: take advantage of the 'six-seconds' rule, creating connected videos in a neverending film.
- Play with your customer: keep your followers entertained with a game. Use gamification to engage and delight your digital customers.
Vine is an evolving platform and there's plenty of room for your ideas and creative inbound marketing thinking. You are encouraged to create your experiment and experience.