How to Harness the Power of 6-second Viral Videos

camcorder video public domainThere are two completely opposite currents in the ocean of content marketing today. One is pushing long-form articles. The other is producing very short content. Today we are considering one aspect of the second position: Vine videos, which, by the way are looping videos no longer than six seconds in length.

Frankly, although these two trends seem like they should cancel one another out, they are really indicators that prove how varied the landscape is for content marketers. This is because audiences are different and desired outcomes are different.

Short content, either Tweets or Vine videos, are attention grabbers that have the potential to create buzz. Short content is eminently sharable but fairly short lived. It’s also inexpensive to produce.

A company selling big ticket items to a handful of customers may not benefit much from this micro-content. However, a company that needs to slap millions of consumers upside the head to get their attention could accomplish a lot with Vine videos.

Vine is the video arm of Twitter and Vine videos can be easily featured in tweets. If you have already established your business on Twitter, you have a built-in audience for any Vine videos you produce.

Let’s look at these videos from two sides:

  • Videos you produce and post, and
  • Videos you encourage your customers or clients to produce and post.

Businesses are doing a good job finding the niches in which Vine videos can be productive and just in general terms, tweets with Vine videos are more likely to be shared. Here are some ideas:

New products. Use six seconds to whet your customers’ appetite for something new. Check out this video from Toyota. It uses stop-action to create a very simple animation. With Vine videos, it doesn’t have to be about production values. Saks Fifth Avenue is promoting its new men’s collection in six seconds.

Shameless self promotion. Use six seconds to express what makes your business different. What do people know you by? If you own a restaurant and have some dishes that are absolute customer favorites, put together time-lapse videos that show how they are prepared. That should make people hungry.

Just a clever video that says something about what you do or makes good use of your logo can capture eyeballs. This Etsy seller created something fun to watch on a very low budget.

“Hack” something. And by “hack” I mean “teach” Show how something is done. Home Depot produced a clever video to show its customers all the different ways a USB charger can be used.

Turn your customers into six-second videographers. You probably know how much people enjoy opening packages. A UK online clothing seller tapped into that and asked customers to upload Vine videos of themselves opening their orders. Another classic way to encourage participation is through a contest. Hey, with Vine videos, you won’t spend much time reviewing the entries for winners!

I’m sure there is some killer Vine video concepts that will take your content marketing viral. Spend an hour or two browsing the site to find your inspiration.

TIP: Need to find out how to make a great six-second video? Check out this Wall Street Journal How-to article.

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