The short video-looping platform Vine lives and dies by its brevity. The reason the Twitter-owned app, where users post six-second videos that automatically repeat, has been so successful is that it boasts the perfect social media middle ground; quick, to-the-point clips are more captivating than an Instagram picture and faster to digest than a YouTube video.
One in four American teens use Vine, representing an addicting niche for marketers looking to tap into younger audiences. With its hypnotic repetitiveness, Vine offers a social media space to deliver punchy, clever mini-stories that boost brand recognition.
Though some speculate the app is on the way out due to falling viewership, it still boasts a steady stream of content from “Viners” hoping to go viral.
Brand recognition, Viral potential, Elevator Pitch, Great for specials or discounts
Launched in 2013, Vine rapidly bloomed among the teenage demographic. On the app, users can record and publish brief, looping videos, but instead of forming a continuous clip, much of Vine’s enchantment lies in the creative freedom to splice a series of tiny snippets together and sculpt a story within the six-second limit. Every time the reel finishes and starts over, a new loop is counted.
The most-watched content consists of comedic shorts and sports. While top Vine influencers can garner around 300,000 views a month with silly, shenanigan-filled videos – the quirkier, the better – brands have capitalized on the short-style format by developing clips as a type of condensed commercial.
- Thomas Sanders (277M Views)
- Bleacher Report (218M Views)
- Lele Pons (189M Views)
- NBA (125M Views)
- MeechonMars (101M Views)
- BachelorsPadTV (80M Views)
- Evan Breen (74M Views)
- MLB (68M Views)
- Brandon Calvillo (66M Views)
- Quensadilla (63M Views)
Even the top April Vines give a glimpse into comedy’s reign on the app, with seven out of 10 users falling under the category of humor, while the other three were big-name sports organizations.
Vine is used by American teens across all races, income levels and zip codes. But to rack up views and reach a larger demographic, top content creators will share Vine videos on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Individuals and brands alike follow this model.
During the NBA Finals, for example, pro basketball media accounts shared a Vine of LeBron James on Twitter cut from Facebook videos, accompanied by hashtags #NBAonABC and #NBAVine. It tallied more than 650,000 views in less than week.
Furthermore, Vines are often posted in YouTube compilations.
Takeaway: On Vine, cross-pollination is key.
Think of Vine as an elevator pitch, except instead of trying to impress a company executive, chances are there’s a teen on the other side of the screen. This is the moment to be quirky, concise and entertaining. Young viewers are hungry for brand personality.
Finding the Formula
On Vine, the main pillars are “loop” and “length.” Like Top 40 hits, Vine videos follow a formula, and whether making music or crafting comedy skits, this blueprint can generally be boiled down into three steps: 1) setup 2) build 3) punch. For instance, if you’re creating a beatbox video, the first second of the clip could consist of an ear-catching intro, followed by a two-bar buildup and then a drop.
Although the six-second window barely scrapes the surface of what we consider enough room to tell a cohesive story, the best creators say a lot with a little. The delightfully stunted environment presents an allure different than those of YouTube and Facebook, which thrive on longer formats.
Consequently, what made the app so successful in the first place will likely be the very thing that will cause its demise. Today, Vine attracts roughly 100 million people a month, according to TechCrunc, but it’s gradually losing viewership to other video-based apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
Marketers, pay attention to these metrics:
- Loop Count (views)
Interestingly enough, each view may not be unique, as idle screens can still increase view count without a ceiling.
Vine facilitates quick viewing of influencer content but does not have a standalone audience or reach within app. So keep in mind that to gain the greatest traction, you’ll want to share videos on other social media; your brand awareness will widen as a result of this cross-promotion.
Because of Vine’s narrow six-second window, it can be challenging to execute clear messaging and calls to action. The trick, however, is to master concise, quirky loops.
Take Coca-Cola for example. In January, the soda mega-brand teamed up with Vine influencers Lucas and Marcus to create content that generated more than 858K views. Before Super Bowl Sunday, Home Depot developed a clever stop-motion clip advertising an HDMI cord for TVs, which garnered some 290K loops.
Many well-known brands harness the platform to announce deals, discounts or specials, since space is limited. Companies might also pay elite Vine stars to conduct a product placement in what now have essentially become mini-commercials. Unlike TV ads, however, the cost remains much lower and the delivery feels far more personal.
The Brand-Influencer Partnership
Vine collaborations operate similarly to those on other social media platforms. A brand looking to engage followers on Vine will connect with an influencer whose message and audience are in line with its own. After agreeing to terms (most partnerships are brief, around 30 to 60 days, though some extend past six months or longer), the company will formulate campaign guidelines, and give the influencer creative freedom to design brand-specific Vines. Once the content launches, the company and influencer can mutually decide whether to cross-promote on other social platforms.
Engagement versus Conversion
Vine, Instagram, and Musical.ly all specialize in micro content, making them more potent in driving brand awareness than boosting conversion. Much of this is because the user base is so young. Of course, a 14-year-old doesn’t have the same spending power as a 32-year-old. Still, the significant recognition brands can gain from partnering with Vine stars shouldn’t be overlooked.
Questions about launching a campaign on Vine? Contact Trending Family!