By now you will have undoubtedly heard of Vine – the mobile app that lets you share images and 6 second videos on Twitter. What you may have also heard is that Instagram, an image sharing app which is owned by  Facebook, recently launched their video sharing feature which offers 15 second clips.

Although there is a veritable war for pride of place going on between Vine and Instagram right now, we’re not going to discuss that in this post. What we are going to tell you however, is that short form video content is the current rising star in social media. This is a fact that South African brands need to sit up and take note of – because most local companies haven’t done so yet!.

Video content is already an established marketing medium on the internet. Think of YouTube which sees 800 million unique visitors monthly and 72 hours of video content uploaded every minute. However did you know that branded Vines are already four times more likely to be shared than other branded internet video’s? That is absolutely astonishing considering the fact that Vine was only launched in January 2013!

While just about every forward thinking company will have active accounts on Twitter and Facebook, their greatest obstacle right now, lies in how to be heard. Competition is rife and delivering content that is truly constructive, informative and engaging, requires constant attention.

Because of the quantity and variety of social content available, attracting and retaining an engaged social network is an ongoing challenge. Enter the new kid on the block – short form video. This form of social media is still fairly niche and brands who adopt this as a marketing tool early, using the correct marketing approach based on solid planning and strategy, will reap the rewards both now and in the future.

So why should your business be jumping on the bandwagon?

Engagement through Emotion – video has the ability to evoke an emotional response in ways that static images just cannot do. People don’t share brands and commercials – they share emotions. Whether you make them laugh, or make them cry – that emotion is the hook that will make them share your video (and ultimately your brand) with their network. Happy birthday Nicolaus

Interaction – self publication is the new norm and short video enables those customers who love your brand or product, to create and share unrestricted positive content about something they love. Word-of-mouth marketing has always been the most powerful form of promotion, and short video takes this to a whole new level! See this user generated clip featuring Nutella which was a contribution to a recent ‘Hug for Mandela’ campaign. This is a great example of how a product can be elevated without any effort on the part of the company itself.

Customer Participation – people engage the most through a combination of sight and sound, so short video can be a far more effective way to inspire participation when you are running a campaign. Take this Doritos Vine as an example. It is both quirky and humorous and many people who watch won’t be able to help guessing the song and sharing with their network!

Brand Influence – does your company lead or follow trends? If your company takes advantage of new technologies and trends in marketing, you give yourself the opportunity to establish a relationship with the early adopters of a platform or tool. Early adopters are a group of people who are poised to become important influencers as a the new platform grows. If you engage these early adopters, you can potentially boost your brand significantly. Oreo is one great example of a brand which is not only  creative in their advertising, but which is not at all scared to use new tools to their full advantage early. Take a look at this informative, yet engaging Vine and the incredible publicity stunt Oreo staged, much of which was shared and aired by consumers using Vine!

Uncharted Territory– as opposed to the more established forms of social media, such Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, platforms such as Vine and Instagram are not yet bound by studied metrics and consumer expectations. Short video represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for your organisation to establish real influence in the market and to actually help guide this form of new media and its journey.

Hey what about Instagram?

So we’ve been feeding you examples of great Vine video’s – but what about Instagram you ask?

As far as its video feature is concerned, Instagram is still brand spanking new as it was only launched on the 20th of June. One great example however of a brand which has literally wasted not a moment to get their foot in the door, is Lululemon with this popular video. This is what it means to be ‘ahead of the curve’.

Think First!

In South Africa, we can be particularly tardy when it comes to adopting new technology. This need not be the case however. We challenge you to take this golden opportunity to capitalise from being at the cutting edge of a new marketing medium.

Before you get all fired up to go however, we recommend as with all marketing, that you do your homework.

As with all social media – Vine and Instagram are free to use and this means that you don’t need to lay out large sums in order to get going. What you do need to do however, is ensure that you have developed a solid strategy around the type of content you want to send out to the market.

While getting in on the act early with short video presents you with great opportunities, you can quite easily kill these if at least some thought hasn’t gone in to what you want to communicate.

Far from promulgating your brand alone, remember that short video content needs to be entertaining and engaging enough for it to leave a lasting, positive impression – one that is worth sharing!

To kick-start your short video marketing strategy, give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: Remember that all our marketing consultations are free!

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