Lessons in Leveraging Vine From 5 Successful Brands

With only six seconds to produce a compelling and engaging video, some companies struggle to figure out the best way to use this micro-content platform.Take a page from these five companies and you will be on your way to being a Vine master.

By Stephanie Castillo

This story originally appeared on Visual.ly

With more than 40 million users, Vine is a pool of great opportunity for brand growth and development. Launched in 2012, the app that enables users to create and post six-second looping videos has seen an evolution in the way its users create and share content.

Given its accessibility and low cost, this form of micro-content gives marketers a chance to get some hands-on video production experience. But don't be fooled. Though the app promotes a quick and raw form of capturing video, you shouldn't take this as a cue to wander away from quality content. Rather, the stakes for a quality video with a strong story are now higher, because you have an ever shorter amount of time to get your point across.

Many may doubt the effectiveness of a video this short. After all, how much can you really say or show in just six seconds? But think of it this way: The limited time frame forces you to be focused and concise. Used strategically, Vine can enable you to produce visual content that is impactful, easy to share and not that difficult and time consuming to produce.

By now, brands have had the chance to explore the many possibilities with Vine.

Let's take a closer look at five brands that are leveraging Vine in a smart way for some inspiration on creating micro-videos that capture the attention of your audience.

Tribeca Film Festival: Contests

Shortly after Twitter acquired the app, Tribeca Film Festival partnered with Vine to launch a #6SecFilms competition. They held an open call for anyone to enter a six-second film in the categories of #GENRE, #DRAMA, #COMEDY or #ANIMATION. The turnout was so great that they have done it a second year.

Related: The One Reason Vine Isn't as Great as it Could Be

Launching a Vine contest is a smart strategy, because it places emphasis on user-generated content. In turn, this creates a direct relationship between brand and consumer because getting fans involved in contests pushes them to connect and identify with your brand. Depending on the contest, this may also work to crowdsource feedback and reception of your brand.

General Electric: Corporate Campaigns

If you're a big brand like GE, with a laundry list of products, you have to position yourself in a relevant light. GE accomplishes this by humanizing an otherwise faceless brand. Through a number of corporate campaigns (#springbreakit, #GEDEsignQuest, #GravityDay), GE uses visuals, color, depth and motion to make science fun! This strategy helps illustrate company culture and makes it easier for consumers to connect with larger companies.

Besides animation and behind-the-scene views of your company, playing with sound is something that can help give your Vine some life. Sound is often forgotten in Vines, because the app mutes the video by default, which is a shame. Together, both visual and sound can produce a powerful video that can leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Vine and Instagram Videos Are Great for Your Business

Whether you utilize voiceovers, sound effects and music loops, among other features, take advantage of all the available resources.

Nissan: Product Highlights

Before the release of the new Nissan Versa, the automaker launched a contest asking followers to submit a Vine with a paper cut out of the car for a chance to be featured in the commercial. Nissan pushed out a series of Vines informing its audience the many ways to enter, giving inspiration for user-submitted Vines and an array of feature highlights of the car.

Although this campaign used a contest as its strategy, the underlying purpose was to promote the new product. Not only was this successful because it got people to talk about the brand, but it directly injected the product into the Vines without having it seem like a forced placement. The focus was placed on the story with the product.

When you embark on your next Vine campaign to highlight a specific product or feature, keep in mind that your audience wants to be spoken with and not spoken at.

USA Today: Narrative

All best Vines have a great story to tell, no matter how simple or complex the concept. It's true, you shouldn't overload a video with too much information -- leaving the viewer overwhelmed. However, it's the way in which the story is communicated and constructed that determines its success. If you have a complex topic, choose one or two focal points to construct your story around instead of addressing everything. Focus on the necessary and captivating, forget the rest. A common practice for weaving a story together with Vine is through stop-motion.

Related: Why Video for Instagram Isn't a Vine Killer

USA TODAY's Vine account is a great example of how Vines can serve as teaser to a larger piece of content. Enticing viewers to engage and share (especially with relevant hashtags), your brand becomes a part of a larger conversation and comes across as innovative in a space that tends to focus on one medium.

Lowe's: DIY and Useful Information

Lowe's does a very good job of providing its audience with invaluable everyday hacks through its Vine. Its "fix-in-six" series features home improvement tips, while also incorporating brand marketing. The marriage between brand promotion and useful information is something of an art -- too much and it screams commercial, too little and your brand doesn't even get noticed.

To find the right balance, you have to really know your brand and how its services are beneficial to the everyday consumer. Find your niche and ask yourself how the consumer can take it a step further and engage with your product in an intuitive, yet inventive way.

It's easy to capture six seconds of anything, but it's imperative to keep in mind that your story and messaging determines your reception and shareability. Whether you're capturing a moment from an event or promoting a recent product release, it's all about the creative delivery.

Related: 3 People to Follow on Vine for Branding Ideas

Stephanie Castillo
Stephanie Castillo is a digital marketing specialist at Visually, a visual-content marketplace. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history of art and visual culture from University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Business News

This OnlyFans Star Was Once Part of a Fanatical MLM Cult. "I Was Forced Into Celibacy."

Cami Strella was lured into a multilevel marketing scheme but escaped to start her own six-figure-a-month business.


This Is the Overlooked Tool Your Business Needs to Reach Your Target Audience

Voice search is growing, and your business can utilize this important functionality to get more customers. Here's how.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.