Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Vine: Short Videos for a Short Attention-Span Audience

February 20, 2013

You only have a few seconds to make an impression on the web. But even a 6-second video can speak volumes for your business.

Remember how Twitter opened to mixed reviews? 140 characters? What can you do with that?

But Twitter is now – according to most accounts – the #2 social media site.

Todd Martin 021913 image 1Twitter acquired an app called Vine last fall, and its recent launch has gotten lots of buzz. Available only for the iPhone and iPod Touch right now, Vine does one thing: It lets you create looping 6-second videos that you can drop into Twitter and Facebook.

One serious caveat

Be forewarned if you download the app and browse the content that has been created: Many of these videos are pornographic. The iTunes page warns about this, and states that you must be at least 17 years old to download the app.

Many limitations, but business applications

Vine’s developers didn’t want to create just another video management app. Their intent was to make it as simple and one-dimensional as possible. So you won’t see Play or Pause buttons, a blinking red light or any other standard video creation and editing conventions, because those functions aren’t available. You can record what is reported to be a rather choppy, very brief video that runs over and over again.Todd Martin 021913 image 2

Should you consider planting Vine-produced apps on your social networks? I can see some potential brand-building, social relationship-managing, educational uses, like:

  • “Before and After” videos: Have you changed your products’ appearances in significant ways? Moved your offices to a nice new location? Redesigned your logo? Modified your packaging?
  • How-to’s. Can you demonstrate a basic or creative use of your product(s) in 6 seconds?
  • Brand promotion: Think really, really short advertisements.
  • Inside views: Who works at your company? What do they look and sound like? What do the tops of their desks look like? If you build things, you could display particularly interesting manufacturing equipment working. A restaurant could tempt potential diners with continuous reels of its best-looking dishes.
  • Something funny or heart-warming or inspirational: Ask your employees for ideas here. It doesn’t hurt to throw in something that’s not all business.

You get the idea. Think of the messages you already convey through video and see if you can abbreviate them. Vine may also allow you to emphasize a simple concept in a compelling way that lends itself to brevity.

Consider the impact

Remember that these video shorts are going to run continuously until the viewer moves on. So when you create one that you’d like to share, sit and watch it yourself for a minute or two to see if there’s anything disturbing or untoward or otherwise unpleasant. You want this to be a quick, easy-to-digest look at an element of your business that lends itself to such a platform, not something whose visual impact is distressing.

Todd Martin 021913 image 3Remember, too, that Vine is a young app, and it may not produce the quality or have the impact you want. As always, choose your online tools with a critical eye.

Stock image courtesy of

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