When Erik Qualman — social media magic man and author of the hugely successful book Socialnomics — released his latest stat-packed YouTube video he did a great job of highlighting the power of social media in the modern age.
This three-minute clip is a shining example of clever video marketing. Considering that it’s a sequence of facts and figures strewn across the screen, the video drives home its point in a compelling way.
It just goes to show how a smart design combined with eye-catching infographics and a Daft Punk backing tune can hold a viewer’s attention for 180 seconds.
It’s even more impressive if you take into account one of the video’s stand-out statistics — the average person has an attention span of seven seconds.
It sounds extreme but I’m inclined to agree with that — mainly because as soon as I’d read it I immediately started wondering what I should have for lunch. But also because we, as consumers, are being so overloaded with advertisements that we tend to disregard anything that doesn’t appeal to us within the first few seconds.
This sort of consumer behaviour has shifted the way content marketers approach advertising — and that’s where Vine comes in.
In his video, Qualman describes the six-second Vine as the new 30-second commercial. This makes a lot of sense. Apart from anything, no-one’s buying into traditional marketing anymore — just 14% of consumers trust advertisements, according to Qualman.
With Vine, viewers are getting are short, snappy, engaging clips primarily intended to entertain while hinting at a brand or business — it’s the gentle approach to advertising.
One big business that is using Vine cleverly for content marketing is Ford. Ford has only been using the platform since early 2014 yet it has managed to accrue a substantial following by recruiting the help of more established Viners. It has asked these influencers to produce Vines in which Ford cars play a part — but this is more like product placement than traditional advertising and it’s better for it. Re-Vining the clips using the influencer’s handle, as opposed to Ford’s, also encourages more user engagement.
In addition, the playful and irreverent humour in its clips attracts the attention, trust and respect of a younger audience that would typically be less interested in corporate commercials.
Given that Qualman says 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old, then gen Y is the largest and most social media-dependent demographic out there.
So, if you want to tap into this pool of potential customers, it would be worth taking a page out of Ford’s book and start harnessing the power of Vine in your content marketing strategy.
Copyright © 2014 Shelley Hoppe, managing director at Southerly.
You may or may not know (or even care) that the average YouTube video is 4 minutes and 12 seconds long. Taken in isolation, this figure is pretty meaningless and perhaps not that surprising.
But what if we take that average YouTube video length and compare it to two of the newest video platforms on the block — Instagram and Vine? With their compulsory video lengths of just 15 and 6 seconds respectively, the average YouTube video looks like a feature-length film in comparison.
Let’s put this into perspective. Placed alongside Vine’s 6-second limit, the average YouTube’s video is a whopping 42 times longer. Think about it this way — Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings film, at 178 minutes, is 42 times longer than the average YouTube clip. So the difference between a Vine video and a YouTube video is epic.
The death of the linear brand narrative and the rise of omni-screening (watching TV whilst browsing content on a tablet or smartphone) is redefining how advertisers and marketers are interacting with their target audiences.
So what is driving this trend towards ever-shorter pieces of visual content? And how can these different marketing platforms work together?
Jon Mowat, managing director at Hurricane Media, spoke about this at his recent presentation at the SES conference: “If YouTube marketing is all about creating minutes, then Vine and Instagram marketing must be about creating moments.”
Just as the narrative in a film or television series follows a series of beats in which character and plot develop towards a conclusion, now marketing narratives have beats that are usually in the form of a question and answer or an emotional connection.
If the linear brand narrative is dead, then the key challenge to marketers in the new multi-platform age is developing strategies that respond to the beats of different narrative drums. In other words, you must get your moments to compliment your minutes.
This means engaging with consumers and the wider online communities at a level never seen before. It involves knocking down barriers that have traditionally existed between corporates and the consumers, with new kinds of video content produced on-the-fly.
Understanding what’s funny and what’s not, what’s on-topic and what’s yesterday’s news, has become more important than ever before on Vine and Instagram.
There’s no doubt that keeping it short and sweet is key to video marketing on Vine and Instagram, as is injecting brand personality. Involving your community is also essential, as well as planning and reacting. In fact, marketing on Vine and Instagram can be condensed into three stages:
Effective marketing on Vine is about reacting and responding. The ability to plan your video marketing around key events or opportunities in your sector is one thing; using quick thinking to create potentially viral content that plays off the unpredictable at these events is quite another.
You have to understand the condensed nature of the micro-movie format. Content needs to get to the point and be uncluttered. Comic content, using techniques such as animation and montage, call for precision and timing.
Many firms make the mistake of producing detached and irrelevant content that doesn’t engage their targeted viewers at all. Vine and Instagram isn’t just about content marketing but communication. Use video to open up a dialogue with your community or to respond or offer up commentary on something trending within your target communities.
There’s a completely different raft of considerations that go into creating content that is 6 or 15 seconds in length. Vine and Instagram movie-making demands marketers adapt to short narrative beats and rise to the challenges of building brand awareness on these platforms.
Joe Cox is head of content at Bespoke Digital.
Social media has the potential to build brands, get people talking, and bring in business leads. And it moves fast. Here are three new social media developments and how you can use them to boost your business.
A lot of people I meet tell me: “I’m on Twitter but I don’t really get it.” If that’s you, the microblogging site is a concise way to share news, opinions and links, contributing to a constant stream of information. By following appropriate people, you build an engaged mini-community with specific interests, for example this network of local foodies. Now Twitter has launched Vine — an app that allows you to share micro videos on social media sites.
Vine is the new six-second video app for Twitter. Instead of being limited to text, you can use moving images to showcase a new product, create a comical sketch that people will want to share, or even show your team in action, adding a friendly face to your business. For instance, Bacardi has posted a video on Vine showing you how to make a mojito.
We’re not sure if this one is here to stay or not, but Twitter has introduced the ability to space out your 140-character messages on Twitter, paving the way for messages with line breaks and bullet points.
In a crowded and fast-moving stream like Twitter, anything that helps your message to stand out is a good thing. That being said, my advice is to use it sparingly. Overuse of gimmicky features can turn your audience off quicker than you could say #fail.
The recent news that the biggest social network (Facebook) is about to steal a key feature from the second biggest social network (Twitter) caused a bit of a flurry and has even spawned protest groups. We’re talking hashtags.
Hashtags are a good way to encourage and take part in conversation around your product or industry. If, for example, you’re at a trade show, tweeting with the hashtag is a way of getting your message in front of those interested in or attending this event.
Facebook — traditionally more of a friends-and-family network — is trying to get in on this open conversation aspect of Twitter. If it works well, this could be yet another channel to make your voice heard and reach potential customers.
Ahmed Ahmed works at Zoober Digital Training
Find out more about Vine in our article, Six reasons why you should be using Vine.