How to Market Your Business With Vine Videos

by Christina Jones on May 30, 2013
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As social media transforms how businesses and customers interact, video is playing an increasingly important role in their conversations and, as a result, setting new consumer expectations of commercial brands.

This is where Twitter’s storytelling app Vine comes in. Vine, which debuted in January, allows users to share six-second looped videos shot in low resolution, such as with a mobile phone camera. According to business intelligence platform RJMetrics, Vine quickly dominated the video-sharing market on Twitter: The app was used by 2.8 percent of the site’s highly active users, compared with its competitors Viddy (0.5 percent) and SocialCam (0.2 percent) in its first month. In April, Vine ranked as the top iPhone app available for free from Apple’s App Store in the U.S.

Marketing your business on Vine is a snap. The app allows you to create “mini ads” quickly and easily at essentially no cost. Vine appeals to consumers’ short attention spans, giving both prospects and existing customers brief, bite-sized pieces of your brand in a new and personal way.

What’s more, when it comes to digital advertising, people tend to prefer brevity: A mobile study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau shows that 44 percent of respondents remembered seeing an ad while watching mobile video, with short 10- to 15-second spots being the most recalled format. Perhaps six is even better?

“I think places like [Vine] are a great way to allow us to be more human, while not getting in the way of the larger tapestry of our efforts,” says Chris Brogan, co-author of The Impact Equation.

So, how do you capture customers’ attention on this new, already crowded platform? Here are a few pointers.

Workplace Culture

Transparency is one of the major components of building trust with your customers. Feature short interviews with employees, or share interesting facts about your company’s history. For example, Gap created a recap of how its jeans have evolved since the company’s inception in 1969, with a designated hashtag (#denimevolved). Consumers love to learn about brands through stories.

You could also give people a peek at your company’s office culture by uploading behind-the-scenes snippets of your daily operations. Show a funny moment in the office to connect with your followers in a humorous way. WeWork accomplished this with its Vine version of the recently popular “Harlem Shake.”

Products and Services

Use Vine to show how your products and services look and work. Release new product teasers to generate buzz around an upcoming launch. For example, stores can share daily deals and promotions, and restaurants can display new menu items or limited-time offers. Taco Bell did this with the March debut of its highly anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. The video is animates the company’s latest taco and includes a branded hashtag (#coolranchDLT).

Crowd Participation

The highest form of engagement in social media is crowd participation. Encouraging users to respond to your question or submit their own video for a contest is an effective way to accomplish this.

Urban Outfitters launched one of the first Vine contests in partnership with Converse. The contest encouraged users to submit their own six-second documentary of a day in the life of their Converse sneakers with a designated hashtag (#yourchucks). The best submission won prizes from both brands. Users were able to view other people’s submissions, which helps to create a sense of community and competition.

Other Tips

While promoting your brand on Vine, try the following:

  • Have a well-thought out plan for your posts. What kind of impression do you want to leave with your followers? What do you want them to do?
  • Give an otherwise boring idea a new and exciting outlook. For example, clothing retailer ASOS reminded its customers how exciting it can be to open a package from an online order with a fun demonstration.
  • Use illustrations to make your video unique and memorable. You can also use drawings to provide humor or nostalgia, such as an animated flick book.

How have you used Vine to connect with your customers? Share your insights and best practices with us in the Comments field below.

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