Thinking of Giving Vine a Swing?

Just why is Vine so addicting? The new app, which lets users create short looping videos, makes it easy to become a cinematographic genius. Well, maybe not a genius, but the app does lower the barrier to entry with its easy-to-use interface and six-second time limit. This is just one reason thousands of users are joining Vine every day, taking close-ups of their cats, demonstrating important life skills and showcasing the, ahem, unique talents of their dogs.

A New Tool for Social Brands?
As with any successful new platform, social marketers are instantly imagining how to utilize it for their brand. It certainly is a boon for brands already active on Twitter. Since Twitter purchased the app, Vines now show up directly underneath tweets in the stream, giving brands a new way to share media on the network. And many are taking advantage. (Just make sure you don’t misuse it.)

To inspire you, we’ve compiled a few examples of creative Vines as well as ideas for making the new tool work for you.

Show (& Tell) Your Product Story
During the Super Bowl, Calvin Klein made a strong Vine debut, pairing its racy commercial with Vines showcasing the same male eye candy. And, when the lights flickered out during the big show, the brand jumped in with a clever video that played off the situation and got over 250 retweets.

 

Think about the unique aspects of your product that visuals could play on. A restaurant might feature a “how-to” video walking through the steps that go into making a popular recipe. A fashion line might unveil its latest collection. Or, a retail store might simply present its product in a interesting way, such as this tweet from Urban Outfitters.

 

Encourage Your Audience to Vine
Ann Handley with Marketing Profs aptly described the magic of Vine, writing: “Just as Instagram put wizard wands into the hands of us Muggles, allowing us to create and share photos that were beautiful and expressive, so Vine allows us to elegantly create short, 6-second videos through an intuitive interface.”

In other words, it makes even the creatively challenged among us feel like artists. Encourage the aspiring artists among your followers by asking them to submit a Vine as part of a social contest. Or, lower the input needed by asking followers to RT your Vine to enter a contest. Cadbury UK gave their contest a boost through Vine his week (and promoted a new product) – a technique that’s earning them 1,000 retweets and counting.


Get Creative in Advertising

Give your advertising a boost by adding a visual component. The movement of a Vine draws the eye and requires only a short time investment from the viewer, making it the perfect fuel for a promoted tweet. General Electric is trying this model by promoting animated Vines like this one:

Show your Clever Side
At this stage in the game, creating a Vine is an experiment to see how your audience reacts to this form of visual storytelling. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun. Here at the Shoutlet offices, we enjoyed Red Vine’s Vine-within-a-Vine.


Bottom Line
At its heart, Vine is a storytelling tool. Remember this as you consider where it fits within your marketing strategy. Our recommendation? Don’t put the main focus on growing your Vine community just yet – focus on how visual storytelling, in general, is part of your strategy this year. Videos (and images) will be key to marketing in 2013, so now’s the perfect time to have the conversation.

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