A New PR Strategy is Growing on the Vine

The time has come to start officially putting Vine into your PR/marketing tool kit, if you haven’t already. We are at the stage now where we were with Twitter four years ago, when the new micro-blog social medium was quickly gaining traction. Twitter has now owned Vine for a little more than two years and that acquisition is making more and more sense every day. If you don’t know already, Vine is the free mobile app that allows you to create and share 6 second videos. Today more than five “Vines” (short videos) are now tweeted every second on Twitter.

Now that it’s more clear that Vine is not a passing fancy, it’s worth exploring more seriously as a medium to engage with your customers and constituents. According to Pew Internet, 41% of 18 to 29 year olds post and share videos online. That’s double the rate of users older than 50. This is the same young demographic that is abandoning broadcast TV, and consuming more multimedia through online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. While they are disconnecting the TV and satellite cables, Vine is among the means we have for influencing millennials with multimedia. Primetime on Vine is 11 a.m. Saturdays & Sundays, the average age is 18-20, so it skews much younger than Facebook and Twitter. This is a coveted demographic to influence, but keep in mind just as the average is very young on Vine, it also happens to have the lowest aggregate income demos, at least for now.

Despite that, Vine is increasingly producing more tangible business ROI. A company called GrapeStory is producing Vines for major brands like GE, Virgin Mobile, Samsung and Unilever at $25,000 a pop (which is a very nice fee for a six second video).

If you study which kinds of videos are most successful on Vine, novelty appears to be king. Anything that is new is also interesting and likely to catch fire. Vine doesn’t appear to reward copycats. Because of the limitations of six seconds, Vine isn’t really a storytelling medium as much as it is one that captures the moment.

Many of the more popular videos feature people– and the videos themselves are one take/one shot wonders. Viewers seem less interested in edited pieces. If you’re doing comedy, save the punchline or the payoff until the end, that way the viewer will be laughing when the video automatically loops again.

If you primarily focus on healthcare like I do, you might follow some innovators like Cleveland Clinic and American Red Cross on Vine. They are doing short, fun edgy videos that capture the imagination. That’s my closing advice—before wading in on Vine, follow your competitors or your peers for a while to see what they are doing—that way your first Vine is more likely to strike the right tone because you’ll have developed a feel for what works and what doesn’t in this new medium.