We’ve been following (and playing around with) Vine’s new six-second video app these last few days, and thinking about what Vine means to you as digital and social marketers. Here goes:
Early struggles, quick recovery.
The first edition of the Vine App came with its fair share of struggles. Some videos didn’t get uploaded, log-in credentials were swapped with other users, and there was the case of the slightly pornographic six-second video that Vine featured as one of their editor’s picks. But, by the next day, a new version was already in the app store, battled tested, and ready to go. As of the publication of this blog post, Vine has been lightning fast on updates to the App–I’ve already downloaded the fourth version of Vine and it launched just six days ago
The Social Battle Continues
Lost in the initial buzz of Vine’s launch was Facebook’s immediate clamp down on Vine’s integration of Facebook to add friends. Just hours after the launch of Vine, Facebook turned off the “add friend” feature, later accompanied by a blog post from Justin Osofsky. The tech community reacted just as quickly with a rallying cry around Vine. Was this a move by Facebook to limit growth from one of its closest competitors? While opinions vary, it seems to be another salvo launched between the two social giants. Remember the kerfluflul with Instagram?
Agency or Brand Applications and Implications.
Creating a six-second video has immediate appeal for the iPhone-toting student, young professional or aspiring artist, but what does it mean for a large brand? Is this just a trendy video version of Instagram? Can a six-second video possibly create better awareness and engagement for a brand? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Here are some examples of recent Vine’s put together by brands big and small:
General Electric: What sort of story could a global conglomerate of energy, capital finance and technology possible tell in six seconds? Well, a good insight into their brand
(Disclaimer: this was a sponsored tweet on January 25th, so we have a feeling that GE might have had a few days notice to create this)
Gap: The evolution of the Gap brand. Clever.
Moose Tracks: A simple, low-budget product snapshot and endorsement
What can your brand do? Don’t limit Vine to brand awareness. Consider the following when using Vine:
- PR: Having trouble pitching a product/service? Create a six second video and pitch to reporter via Twitter.
- Event Coverage: Want to give industry insiders a peak behind the stage or the red carpet? Give them a teaser.
- Product Launch: The Automobile and Retail industry have a real opportunity here. Consumers can make quick judgments on visual cues for new cars, clothing–you name it. Imagine what Ford, IKEA or H&M could do with this. Here’s what Alial Fital did:
- Customer Rewards and Loyalty: Thank steadfast customers by sending them a personalized Vine or hold contests for best Vines showcasing your product or service. Crowdsource product ideas from your most loyal customers.
- Customer Service/Employee Involvement: Do you have a customer service or social media team? Introduce them via a 6 second video—we did!
More opportunity for Vine
While it’s still early, here are some additional thoughts on the capabilities of Vine:
- Personal Branding: We’ve seen a clever way one person branded themselves as a product on Amazon. Why not try a creative approach using a six second video? Highlight the video at the top of your LinkedIn Profile.
- The Super Bowl (The Holy Grail of Advertising for us media types) is this Sunday. An innovative and opportunistic brand could do an online mashup of the best six second video spots for their product or service. Look at what Doritos is doing, albeit with a longer form.
- Leverage social networks you may not usually think of: There is no direct Google Plus sharing feature in the Vine App, but you can still share your company’s six second piece of magic with these directions.
- Don’t forget the hashtag: One of my favorite (and least talked about) features in the Vine App is the gallery they have of pre-selected content sections with their own hashtag (Travel, food, DIY, and more). If you’re a Home Depot, This Old House, JetBlue or Taco Bell, consider following a few of these threads, find your sweet spot based on user behavior, and push something out there. For goodness sake, don’t pepper it with your company logo.
Finally, three general suggestions for the Vine app developers…
- Provide the option to film using both the front facing and the rear-facing camera. LOTS of people are pushing for this online…
- Make it easier to find and follow people and companies. It’s obvious that Vine is a mobile-based product and service (and that’s a good thing), but there is no equivalent of a company or personal home page on Vine–i.e. facebook.com/cocacola or twitter.com/jetblue.
- The ability to “post-share” your Vine. Once you’ve shared it with friends on Facebook and Twitter, it’s pushed out to those platforms–you can’t go back and re-share the link or embed code.
All in all, we’re keeping a close-eye on Vine, and like what we see. What do you think?