Last year, video sharing service, Vine, hit the mainstream. Shortly after that, Instagram launched a similar service. The death of Vine was immediately predicted because of the huge user base that Instagram already had. Yet, here we are, and neither platform has been declared the winner of the Short-Form space. These two services are not the only apps with their hats in the ring, but they are the two that are the most talked about in general in the social space.
Both have proven to be valuable tools for marketers and each has good and bad things about them. As a filmmaker, what I like about Instagram video is that you can record and edit video outside of the app and then use the app to share the video that you have created. Cell phone cameras are great, but professional camera and editing equipment do a much better job than a cell phone camera. This of it like trying to type a 5,000 word essay on your smartphone. Sure, it can be done, but there are better tools out there that would get the job done better.
Vine, on the other hand, doesn’t allow you to import content but, because of this, it often feels more organic. However, it is also harder to create content that people will want to watch because of the limits of the recording device and because it is harder to tell a good story in six seconds (which is the maximum length of a Vine video).
Some people have found a hack to get their external videos into Vine, but each new version of the app seems to make the hacks unusable. The closed system of Vine has not stopped brands from creating some great videos.
Instagram just announced now has over 200 million users, but keep in mind that Instagram started as a photo app and is still primarily used as such. On the other hand, Vine only has one function: creating six-second, looping videos.
The big plus to these video apps is the way they easily integrate with other social media sites. Vine is owned by Twitter and Instagram is owned by Facebook. Both apps allow posting to both social media sites regardless of who they happen to be owned by.
Furthermore, there are even sites that show the best of Vine and Instagram videos, and awards are even given out for best short videos! Unruly keeps track of the best videos from brands from each platform with a weekly list of best branded videos from both Vine and Instagram.
I was worried that marketers would kill the micro video, like they have with the QR code. The QR code is great technology but, 9 times out of 10, when you scan one, it doesn’t take you to any valuable content. Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case with short-form videos. While some companies have phoned it in, there are many others that have worked hard to be creative.
British auto maker, Jaguar, has been using Instagram video to follow up on their ‘Good To Be Bad’ campaign from the Super Bowl.
Of the most popular posts, brands account for around half of the most shared Instagarm videos. Brands like Ford, Samsung, Lowes, Dove, and Pepsi, just to name a few, have all created micro videos.
While good micro video content is important, your plan for distribution and marketing is equally important. Fortunately, it is somewhat built in with the ability to post to Facebook or Twitter from both apps. They also both allow the use of hashtags. Branded short-form videos are more likely to be shared than regular branded videos.
Short-form videos are a great way to say in front of your audience, especially with more people using video to make buying decisions.
How will your company make short form videos part of your social media strategy and which platform will you use?