The secret to success on Vine: creativity and guts. Honda, Urban Outfitters, MTV, Virgin show us how

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The video-based mobile offering from Twitter, called Vine, has grown enormously since its conception in June 2012. It reached 40 million users in August of this year. As “bite-sized” content is becoming the go-to format for social, this technology has quickly become a source of interest to Brands. If you would have asked an agency a few years back to develop a 6 second film that addressed a communication objective for one of their clients, they would have likely given you a TV-show sponsorship bumper style creative solution. Joking aside, Vine has forced agencies and their clients to think very differently about film.

The short film format puts a lot of pressure on visual impact and entertainment. The luxury of customary storytelling formats such as TV, Youtube videos, and the like simply do not apply. Instead you need to look at the other type of content that vies for attention in social: the picture. Pictures and photos are the most consumed content on social because they are telegraphic, simple to consume, and extremely quick to absorb. Therefore, Vine creators need to better what pictures and photos have to offer. You’d think that with moving image you’d have an advantage, but in 6 seconds you have to be very selective. Have a look at the best consumer Vines from 2013 below as inspiration.

A great Infographic on Vine video “secret to success” (see below) suggests that you must always (a) use hashtags, (b) craft your content to match the call to action, (c) be smart about your distribution strategy, and (d) above all be creative. The last is most important. There is no playbook for this format so you have to be very creative and take risks. Just think about what you’d think is worth watching in 6 seconds. There are some Brands who have found great ways to use Vine. Shopify outlined 7 creative ideas that are worth considering as you develop Vine content.

The first type of content that can be successful on Vine with a good dose of creativity is the “how to” video. People want to resolve issues quickly and don’t want to look at a 6 minute Youtube video. Vine forces discipline and heavy visual power to make “how to” incredibly successful and entertaining. Lowe’s developed a series of short Vines that did this very well (see here).

The second type of content that has success on Vine is Influencer created. Clearly Influencer Marketing has become incredibly popular as Social Media has become a dominant media for most Brands. These are the 1% who create online content that the other 90% consume and 9% edit. An agency called Grape (see here) has even been created to manage these new stars. Virgin was one of the first Brands to tap these new stars. See the work below.

The third type of content that has success on Vine is stop motion creative. Stop motion is incredibly visual and feels somewhat DIY, which lends itself very well to Vine. It is also a technique that forces discipline in what you show because of its tedious production. MTV did a great stop motion Vine piece for Snoop. Have a look.

The fourth type of content that works well on Vine is where you show product features. Yes, you can use Vine to do the modern-day “demo”. The content must be very visual, impactful, simple, and informative. A demo hits all these buttons very well. Carmaker Opel explored this approach with great effect.

The fifth way to be creative with Vine is to use the platform to have 1 to 1 interactions with your consumers. Old Spice did this very well a few years back when they developed a series of videos with their “sexiest man in the world” protagonist responding to social media comments (see here). Honda recently did the exact same thing on Vine through their #wantnewcar campaign. Customer Tweets were responded via Vine videos. Have a look.

The fifth way to use Vine creatively is to run contests. This is an obvious one but here is where the moving image piece makes a promo outreach more impactful than a static image. Urban Outfitters developed some content for their Converse promotion where they encouraged Vine video creation to get great goodies.

The seventh way to use Vine creatively is through “behind the scenes” videos. With consumer culture asking Brands to be more transparent, a peek into the inner workings of your Brand or Company is key to generate intimacy with your consumers and fuel their evangelism. See what the Weather Channel did.

Expect Vine to explode given that a video version of Instagram is now available making access to Facebook that much simpler. Look at some of the Vine stats below.

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