Both allow you to post video clips, but each has its own unique appeal
BY DAVID WRIGHT
There’s never been a greater time for small businesses to harness the power of social media as marketing, promotional and engagement tools. Nothing demonstrates this better than the current video-sharing phenomenon and its capacity to turn brief clips into overnight sensations. According to Brent Purves, president and CEO of Vancouver-based Stir Communications Group, a micro-video campaign should already be part of any small- or medium-sized business’s online-marketing strategy.
“Our attention spans are incredibly short and so is our time,” he says. “Unlike webpages, blog posts and online text-based content, video allows a business or brand to get its messaging out there quickly in a memorable way.”
Vine (owned by Twitter) opened the video-sharing floodgates early in 2013, but Instagram (acquired by Facebook) quickly upped the ante by adding a similar feature later that year. Whether you just want to post your clips online, or embed them on your company’s website and integrate them into your social-media feed, important factors enter the picture when deciding which platform is best for you.
These six-second video clips are typically recorded and edited through the app itself (a recent update now lets users “vine” older videos stored on their smartphones, too). Once posted, they can be “revined” and tweeted, and easily shared or embedded. Continuous looping gives them a mesmerizing quality, and loop counts are instantly tallied for everyone to see.
Pros: Even on a limited budget, the most effective Vine videos strike a chord that resonates. Especially popular with millennials, Vine is a great way to reach the youth market.
Cons: Unless properly executed, Vine videos can seem down-market or downright silly. At last count, active monthly users were still hovering around 40 million.
Best For: Entertainment value and PR. Vine can show your product in a quirky new light and demonstrate your ability to engage audiences in a fun and friendly way.
The biggest difference is the 15-second time frame, but Instagram also provides more editing tools, filters and the ability to incorporate higher-quality video from outside the app, plus thumbnails to announce your clip.
Pros: Slicker results and a bigger audience: more than 300 million active monthly users.
Cons: It’s still primarily a photo-sharing service where clips get lost amid the pics. Monetized late last year, Instagram is also a more crowded commercial arena where brands already compete for attention.
Best For: Launching a new product (or piquing interest in the lead-up), taking viewers behind the scenes, introducing members of your team, testimonials and calls to action.
So, which will it be, Vine or Instagram? It’s your call, but what really matters most is how you tell your story and who sees it. “More important than the platform a business chooses for the creation and dissemination of online micro-video is the intention, the planning and the execution,” Purves notes. “Consider your audience carefully; be clear, concise, timely and engaging.”