For those who have already discovered it, Vine is on fire.
Vine is a new short video app available for iProducts only (but that we expect will get an inevitable Android birth in the near future). You can use it to share a maximum of six seconds of video footage on Facebook, Twitter, or Vine’s native social network. What makes it a really powerful app is the ability to splice together bits of nonconsecutive video content to create a montage.
Brands seemed to jump on the trendy new app almost as quickly as consumers did. Vines appear inside a tweet, which means you don’t have to redirect your viewers to another website. If you have a major Twitter presence, that in-tweet experience offers a great way to engage and differentiate your brand in a sea of branded micro-content.
Looking for some ideas to add Vine to your content marketing arsenal? Here are six tips that make it easy to jump onboard.
1. Show off your brand
What’s more powerful than an elevator pitch? A six-second video that shows your brand, products or services in action.
We like it short and sweet these days, and we don’t want the pitch. It’s much more convincing to show what you do than to tell people about it.
Product-oriented Vines are especially powerful for B2C brands. You might show a woman wearing your new line of warm gloves out on a snowy day, for example.
Consumers aren’t the only ones with an opportunity to show off. Maybe you have some representatives speaking at SXSW. Or you’ve walked into Google’s offices for a partner meeting and you want to show off your clout to your clients.
Pick the approach that’s best for your audience and show them how it’s done.
Popular clothing and accessory brand Urban Outfitters took to Vine almost immediately, sharing the short video clips over Twitter. The company uses Vine to showcase seasonal lines (like this one for St. Patrick’s Day).
Urban Outfitters also features great novelty gifts and accessories, some of which are well suited for Vine. (Check out this great bobblehead Vine based on AMC’s The Walking Dead, for example.)
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) March 4, 2013
2. Send a message to your customers
Have a news announcement, a quick tip or a cause with which you’re aligning your brand? Choose to send that message through a Vine. Vines are more engaging and interactive than text. Sending messages through the short video service gives messages more impact, in some cases putting a face on your brand to help connect with your audience on a more personal level.
A social start-up called Sonar recently shared the news via Vine that it received funding through a new set of investors.
— Sonar (@sonar) February 28, 2013
3. Encourage your fans to contribute
There’s no more powerful way to generate content on a budget than recruiting your customers to help out.
Vine is trendy, which means plenty of iPhone-equipped consumers are already interacting through the app. Give them a prompt and watch their creative juices start flowing.
Motivate customers to contribute through contests or come up with inspiring ideas that will excite audience members into participating. Or simply reach out to readers, asking them to submit Vines around a specific idea that gels with your brand.
The Cavendish London
The Cavendish Hotel in London created a Valentine’s Day contest (#ValentineVine) encouraging followers to create a romantic Vine. The winning Vine contributor won an overnight stay at the hotel. Here is the winner.
— Chris Lovell (@CjLovell) February 11, 2013
4. Leverage existing video content.
Have some video content sitting around and collecting dust? Vine’s a good way to re-leverage that content. Use Vine to create short previews that link back to longer videos, for example.
Existing content can be used in other ways, too. Creating a six-second short that neatly sums up a brand message, sourced from existing video content, could be a useful tactic. However you apply your existing video content, Vine is a great tool to change how you promote that content on Twitter for the better.
New York Rangers
The NHL started the season with an image problem because of the lockout. But now that the shortened season is underway, the New York Rangers organization is making the most of it to showcase its marketing chops.
So far, the Rangers have used Vine to feature a winning shootout goal; the team celebrating a win; and the process of preparing the stadium for hockey following a Knicks game, among other Rangers-themed Vines.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 4, 2013
5. Become a journalist
Attending an event your customers might find interesting? Report back in digestible visual chunks with Vine. Vines became a popular form of brand journalism at this year’s SXSW, where brands and brand representatives took video footage of presentations, concerts and other cool tidbits of the gigantic Austin event.
SXSW is known for more than its presentations on interactive marketing and technology. Throughout the event, Fender tweeted Vines of different bands gigging, including this Vine of Thurston Moore’s new band.
— Fender® [Guitars] (@Fender) March 13, 2013
6. Explain a concept
Like much of your content marketing, Vine can also be used as a teaching or informational tool. It can help further flesh out a concept as a visual aid to complement text or stand alone as its own tip. After all, some concepts just are easier to understand visually. Even if your concept isn’t specifically meant for visual digestion, you can always find creative and unique ways to use Vine to demonstrate.
Ogilvy PR (London)
The Ogilvy staff in London put together a pretty cool looping Vine that demonstrates Twitter’s new ad API and what it means for content marketing.
— Ogilvy PR/London (@OgilvyPRLondon) March 11, 2013
How are you using Vines?
Doing something cool with your Vines? Share your story with us in the comments.