Vine is a social media video platform, the brainchild of Twitter. The mobile app allows you to take six-second videos and post them on shared news feeds, or on your Twitter accounts.
The video clips allow different types of video editing – for example, time lapse, slow motion, stop motion and filters. The app exploded in popularity in early 2013 when it was obtained by Twitter, and has managed to maintain this level of success leading into 2014.
This popularity means that companies are clamouring over each other to sign stars of the Vine world, using them to market their brands.
Some companies however, have taken an alternative route, and started making and designing their own Vines. These companies are using creative people who work within their company network to create interesting videos and post them.
The reality of Vine, is that it can be used as a tool to make money for brands, and is a free form of advertising. Similar to guest blog writing, the content has to be either noteworthy or contain innovative and humorous content to get noticed. If these bases are not covered, there is little to no point in producing a Vine, and in some cases it can have a negative effect on your brand.
Viners making money for companies and themselves
In the Vine world, there are countless "minute-made" celebrities, with popular Vines getting thousands of ‘revines’ (effectively the same as a retweet), likes and comments. These videos reach an extensive audience worldwide. This is why Vine can be a great tool to market your brand, services and products.
Big brands are already spending marketing budget for Viner celebrities, campaigns for the creation of Vines that are specifically tailored for the products they offer.
The money-making aspect of the app has meant that a new agency company has been founded by the ‘King of Vine’, Jerome Jarre, called Grape Story. Effectively, it is a talent agency for those who have a reputable Vine status. Grape Story works to liaise with these brands, to work out deals that will benefit companies and the Viners themselves.
A professional Viner, Brandon Calvillo, recently landed a 10-ine deal with Virgin Mobile. Virgin is effectively paying for his audience base, the content, and quality of the Vines that he creates. The Vines that he produces will appear on the Virgin Mobile Vine feed, as well as appearing on his own populist Vine feed.
Companies successfully using Vine as a marketing tool
Many companies have cottoned onto the various benefits of using Vine to reach a wide audience base, and have started using the software to create their own content and posts online.
As the Vine app is directly linked to Twitter, you can #hashtag anything you like along with your video. The list of companies using Vine as a promotional tool is significant, with big brands such as Taco Bell, Urban Outfitters, Dunkin Donuts, Oreo, Target and Trident all hopping on the bandwagon.
A couple of the best Vines we have seen this year from big brands include those from Toyota and ESPN. These demonstrate some techniques that can make Vine a marketing tool success.
1. Toyota and the Muppets
Toyota recently teamed up with The Muppets in a co-dependent move to promote both the new Muppets movie – 'Muppets Most Wanted' – and Toyota's New Highlander car.
The Vine sees one of the Muppets’ characters in the boot of the new Toyota, talking, while having the boot slowly close on him. The Vine incorporates The Muppets' comedic value, while advertising and showing a feature of the car. This covers both bases, comedy and functionality, promoting both products simultaneously. There are not many other marketing tools that can provide you with the benefit of this social media and video platform.
2. ESPN – X Games GoPro
Using GoPro footage, ESPN has created a Vine that is from the perspective of a professional snowboarder performing a double backflip. This is to market the upcoming X Games, and promote the coverage that ESPN will be providing of the event.
Again, this displays great talent, while conveying what ESPN will be covering during the event. As a double backflip is a significantly hard manoeuvre to pull off, it creates a buzz around the Vine, which in turn promotes the GoPro and ESPN. From this, the partnership of Vine and the brand have met to create something that will be of interest to the social media platform's users, and promotes the company and their skill base.
Instances where marketing through Vine doesn't work
Like any marketing, your target audience is the most important aspect. Vine users tend to be a younger audience, so if you are trying to market dentures on Vine you are probably not going to hit your target demographic.
Marketing does not work through Vine if it is boring or lacks inspiration. Anything that doesn’t immediately grab attention, have novelty or comedy value, will not be an effective marketing project. This is why a lot of branding companies have teamed up with the pre-existing Vine celebrities, as they know how to make people smile and reach people with an emotional reaction.
Using Vine can be an effective marketing tool if you have the right mindset and research under your belt. If you are considering using Vine for your brand, then make sure you do your research on what makes a brand Vine buzz, and the type of thing that the Vine audience is expecting and what they will like.
Drew Rapley is a Content Marketer working with Miromedia.co.uk