Hey, I just heard of this great new tool for marketers called Vine … oh wait, it’s dead.
Okay, it’s not dead yet. But when Facebook launched Instagram for video on June 20, the 6-second-video-creation platform certainly had a massive coronary, and its prognosis is still anyone’s guess.
Why are people worried? Because Instagram video hosts 15-second clips, as opposed to Vine’s 6 seconds. This means Instagram video is better – 2.5 times better, to be exact. At least, that’s what Instagram would have us believe. That’s in addition to Instagram’s trademark filters to make your clips feel 13 shades of washed out or lived in, and its millions of users ready and waiting to see your new videos.
Video versus what?
When asked why Instagram landed on the 15-second limit, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that anything shorter limited a person’s creativity (oooh, sick burn!) and insisted that the move wasn’t catering to marketers.
And there’s research to show that, for marketers anyway, 15-second videos perform great online. They’re short enough for pre-roll, efficient to produce and communicate messages clearly and concisely. Plus, 15 seconds is a familiar format for broadcast. Cozy. Old-fashioned, perhaps?
Which is where it gets cloudy about whether Vine and Instagram are really competing. Because, at 6 seconds, Vine clips (this, for example) can feel like a new medium altogether, more akin to the GIFs people are so fond of building Tumblrs out of than traditional videos. On the other hand, Instagram videos,even well-done pieces like Lululemon’s, feel like spots or vlogs, like this one from Tony Hawk.
What’s a marketer to do?
There are marketers using Instagram video already – Charity Water, Michael Kors and Burberry were among the pioneers. Not to mention the host of other brands already using Instagram for still photography.
Then there are brands using both – General Electric, for example. So that begs the question, where does this new channel fit into a brand’s communication scheme?
Many experts are already predicting brands will be tempted to use Instagram for video as simply another channel for their existing broadcast/pre-roll creative. The trick, most agree, will be to avoid this way of thinking and seize opportunity to communicate differently with Instagram for video, or Vine for that matter.
Whether your brand is a Vine, Instagram, both, or neither, it’s all about understanding the content your audience wants and how to deliver it.
Barrett Condy is a senior copywriter at gyro Cincinnati.
Follow him @barrettcondy