They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what about a 6-second video? Or a 15-second video?
With the number of mobile phones on the planet set to exceed that of human beings, it’s no surprise that video is all the rage these days, from adorable doggy videos (Thanks Janette Speyer!) to major brand promotions.
Earlier, this year, Twitter launched a video platform called Vine, which allows users to create and share 6-second long videos. I’ll admit that my first thought was “Really? What can you possibly say in six seconds??” And yes, the time limit is definitely an obstacle, but it also forces people to be creative and use every second to showcase something amazing and meaningful to the viewer.
Recently, Facebook-owned Instagram debuted their own video service, titled Video for Instagram (I’ll be referring to it as Instagram for simplicity’s sake), which allows users to record and share 15-second videos.
Here’s a brief comparison of the two video services, via Social Media Today:
But the question is, should marketers use these services? My answer: Maybe. No, this isn’t a cop-out – it depends on how the brand is using these tools. Like anything, the tool is just that – it’s a tool. The value it could create comes from how you use it.
- Teasers: Taco Bell posted a teaser, which included pyrotechnics (!!!), for their upcoming Doritos Locos Tacos. This 15-second video was very effective and got Taco Bell’s fans excited for the launch.
- Sales Promotions: Online retailer Topshop posted this stop-motion video, which puts 3 summer outfits together and lists the item numbers in the description.
- Announcements: Samsung recently posted a Vine, using their signature Galaxy S 4 phone and, thus, announcing Vine for Android. The 6-second video was a very clever (check out this subsequent Vine to see how they recorded it) way of announcing the long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated Android version of the app. It’s also a great way of illustrating what you can do with six seconds!
- Tutorials/How–To’s: Lowe’s has taken to Vine to share quick (obviously) tips and how-to videos to help their customers with their DIY projects. These videos are extremely easy to follow and have become very popular. The company made the conscious effort to brand these videos with the hashtag #lowesfixinsix, which makes this series searchable and very easy to find on Twitter.
A timely example of Instagram and Vine campaigns comes to us from MTV. According to Mashable, the network is releasing videos on the two platforms, announcing the nominees for the upcoming Video Music Awards (VMAs), being held on August 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Using the hashtag #RoadToTheVMAs, MTV will release one video per hour (beginning 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 17th) on both Instagram and Vine to announce the nominations of one major category. Here is the first video (nominees for Video of the Year), posted on both Instagram and Vine:
It comes as a no-brainer that MTV would use these services as marketing tools because they’ve had great success in the past. In their article, Mashable also states that MTV used Instagram photos to reveal the VMAs’ location in a campaign that amassed a quarter of a million Instagram likes, 16 million Twitter impressions, 8 million Facebook impressions and 1 million Tumblr impressions. The cable network was also the first brand to reach 1 million Instagram followers and now has 1.37 million on the platform, in addition to 117,000 followers on Vine.
What do you think of Instagram Video and Vine? Should they be used as marketing tools? Are there any campaigns that got it right, or terribly wrong for that matter?
Please share your comments, Instagrams, and Vines below!
Kavita Chintapalli is a recent MBA graduate from Rutgers University and is currently seeking a full time position in digital marketing or social media. She enjoys all things beauty-related, cool tech gadgets, TV, blogging, and social media. Learn more about Kavita on her website, http://kavitachintapalli.com.