The debate lingers over whether Instagram Video or Vine is a better platform for brand marketing. But one thing is certain: Vine offers a unique and effective means to deliver quick presentations. Perhaps that’s because Vine is owned by Twitter, and its clips, which are limited to six seconds, really feel like video versions of the 140-character missive.
Of course, you may be reluctant to join the fray. Another social media account to manage? But Vine offers you the opportunity to convey concise visual messages. Your story-telling videos, recorded on a smartphone in a snap, can invoke a mood or a feeling — and say everything potential customers need to know about your company.
Need inspiration or someone to emulate? Four big companies are hitting Vine out of the park right now, and their tactics offer excellent models for small businesses.
Dove is a well-established soap and body wash brand, but in recent years, the company has maintained its relevance through campaigns that empower women. Many of its ads reflect this, and the company uses Vine to underscore its message. Its latest video shows a mirror bearing the words, “You are the fairest of them all.” Another one features a woman writing a letter to her younger self to tell her she will only get more beautiful with age. This imagery helps Dove give customers an in-depth view of what its brand represents and its organizational values.
Lowe’s videos provide direct consumer value by offering quick tips and how-to instructions for small, do-it-yourself household projects under the hashtag #lowesfixinsix. Recent selections provide suggestions for storing leftover holiday ribbon, how to prevent paint brush bristles from bending while soaking, and how to temporarily turn AAA batteries into AA with aluminum foil. Such practical advice offers immediate value to existing and potential customers. Remember: When it comes to content marketing and engaging on social media, you have to provide value that informs or entertains, or (preferably) does both.
Sephora’s Vine account features numerous videos that show off its cosmetics and personal care products: In one, roll-on perfumes skitter out of a makeup bag. In another, viewers watch nail polish dance about. get a wavy-hair tutorial. There’s no doubt that Sephora is using Vine to sell beauty supplies. But the short format peels away layers of direct-sell hype and gives customers what they want: information and entertainment.
Target (Vine pictured) avoids directly selling anything in its Vine videos. In fact, most of its clips don’t feature any products at all. Instead, the company uses Vine to showcase compelling standalone content that’s creative and visually appealing. For instance, to promote Black Friday in November, Target created an interactive video that offers “conversation starters” to use with other customers while waiting in line at its stores, such as “Want to play Rock, Paper, Scissors?” and “Have you done this before?” Target used Vine to differentiate itself from big-box competitors by working to improve the customer experience on what is often the busiest shopping day of the year.