In January 2013, a new app called Vine was released into the “apposphere.” This app allows users to upload six-second videos for public viewing. Vine is currently one of the fastest-growing social networks, gaining an unprecedented 40 million users in just nine months. Even more startling is that many of the top influencers of Vine have already become celebrities, known as “Viners.” One Viner went from 3,000 to 1 million followers in just 30 days.
So how does Vine impact marketing? As with other social media sensations, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, marketers are already looking for ways to integrate Vine campaigns into the marketing mix. With a demographic that reaches a target of 10- to 23-year-olds, there is plenty of fodder for experimentation. The key is to market without actually advertising.
Traditional methods are often overt; nontraditional methods are more subtle. When advertising within a six-second vignette, the challenge is to not look too desperate, but to be noticed and remembered.
After Vine was introduced, several companies emerged that specialize in Vine advertising. One such company, Boomopolis, organizes the best Vine influencers to do sponsored posts on behalf of a brand. These partnerships include contests and public appearances with the influencers, who can often draw hundreds of fans. Bloomopolis handles the Viners; tracks them daily; and negotiates rates, contracts, and payment.
Brand experimentation on Vine started in March 2013 and has been growing steadily. In the beginning, brands were releasing Vine videos on their own but soon realized that the Vine celebrities hold the key to gaining interest and an audience. Some of the brands that have used Vine are: Lyft, Spotify, Hulu, GE, Wendy’s, Trident, Virgin Mobile, Disney, Urban Outfitters, and Jolly Rancher.
Types of Promotion on Vine
Sponsored posts: for a clothing company, this may be the influencer wearing the item of clothing and tagging the brand in the text of the post.
Contests: a group of influencers create a Vine about a brand and then ask their followers to make a better Vine about the brand. The winner receives a prize.
Public appearances: Viners call out a “MeetUp” in a particular city. Hundreds of fans then gather at that place, providing a great opportunity for a brand to do a promotion. To gain even more social exposure, fans can take a picture that includes the product and then post it on Instagram for a discount.
Why Advertise on Vine?
Vine distinguishes itself from YouTube and other Web video services because it’s viewed through one’s smart phone, the device most connected to the social universe. The platform is intimate because phones are associated with personal contacts, which creates the feeling that top Viner personalities are real friends. And these Vines are immediate, so the video may have just happened minutes ago, which is the next best thing to talking directly to a celebrity. Slipping a subtle brand display or mention into that mix results in serious traction. There is an opportunity for additional PR, since media outlets are reporting on brands and Vine.
As evidenced by the number of likes and revines, top Viners are getting an incredible amount of engagement for branded vines (e.g., 75,000 likes for GE).
Not every brand is suitable for Vine, but with a little exploration, it’s easy to see what people engage with, like, and share. If you have something that interests people between the ages of 10 and 23 years old, produce a Vine video—or better yet, build a program that enables loyal fans to do it for you!