Vine Video App for Marketers: Deciding Whether It’s Right for You


Written by on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 15.24.36

Twitter’s video sharing service Vine is quickly becoming the pretty young thing of the online video scene. And in case you have been living under a rock these past few months: Vine is an iOS app that allows sharing 6-second, looping short videos, similar to GIFs. Twitter acquired the service back in November 2012 and launched it in January 2013. With the growth of the platform, marketers should consider whether Vine is right for them. Essentially, it comes down to:

Target audience – Is your target audience using the service? Vine is currently doing well in the US, Canada and Sweden. We can tell that Vine users are iPhone and iPod Touch users and early adopters; however, no demographic data have been made available and there is very little insight on what users are interested in.

Resources – Do you have significant resources to produce content and run another social media channel? Even though Vine videos are shot with an iPhone and the app does the editing for you, a creative idea, careful planning and time to execute are still needed. And no, you probably shouldn’t upload your Vine videos to YouTube. All in all, the less resources you have, the more focused you need to be. If your brand is active on Twitter, Vine content can be leveraged there and even advertised with Twitter’s promoted Tweets.

Commitment – Are you ready for longterm commitment? Even if a brand uses Vine as more of an experiential platform, there should be a dedication in serving the audience. When building up a loyal follower base, the worst thing you can do is abandon them and throw away your hard-earned leads. Also, with a service and format no one is an expert in at this point, there should be commitment to continuous learning.

So far, companies have used Vine to promote their products, services and competitions. Some have used it to educate their audience with how to videos, while others have tried to build brand awareness with stop-motion animations, short films and behind the scenes videos. Film companies in particular have used the service for distributing entire films or sharing teasers on upcoming releases, including Wolwerine.

As a new service, there are still significant limitations, for example, no Android or Windows Phone apps, no advertiser support and no native analytics tools. Not to mention that low-quality 6-second videos are not the easiest format for getting your message across. That is not to say Vine is not showing signs of development: it recently announced it is now possible to embed videos on other websites and it launched a ‘trending hashtags’ section – features that significantly improved shareability and content discovery.

Beyond what has already been said, the best and most obvious piece of advice is to sign up as a private person and try it out. Even if there may not be a clear business benefit to Vine for now, have fun and live a little. Put yourself out there in the name of professional development. For further examples on how businesses can utilize Vine, click here and here.

Tropicana’s Vine execution for Valentine’s Day:

About the author

Vilja Sormunen looks after publishing and distribution at online video agency KLOK. She has previously worked in social marketing at Nokia as the global YouTube channel lead, online marketing at e-commerce company Spreadshirt and public relations at TBWA/Helsinki. Vilja studied international business at the Helsinki School of Economics and wrote her Master's thesis on viral marketing.