What can we learn from Vine’s short lifespan.
If you blinked, you might have missed the rise and fall of the social media platform Vine. Twitter launched the app on January 24th, 2013, and by October 27th 2016, it was discontinued. However, in less than four years, it changed how consumers interacted with videos, each other, and companies. If imitation is the best form of flattery, you could easily argue that Vine paved the way for Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.
Vine allowed content creators to upload six-second-long videos. Users would scroll through videos and watch them on a loop. The videos with the highest loop count had the power to go “viral.” At its height, the platform had over 200 million active users and became the most used video-sharing app (Source 1). However, due to popularity, other social media apps would eventually allow users to post videos longer than six seconds, leaving Vine’s most influential content creators to move on to other platforms.
But what Vine did for marketing was unlike anything seen before. Vine gave birth to what we now know call “social media influencers.” People like Jake and Logan Paul, David Dobrik, Gabbie Hannah, and even singer Shawn Mendes got their start and found their audience on Vine. Let’s look at the “Damn Daniel” case to explore the notion of influencers further.
Damn Daniel is a 2016 viral video wherein Daniel Lara walks around school while his friend Joshua Holz compliments his style by saying, “Damn, Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans.” (Source 2). The original video was retweeted more than 300,000 times on Twitter, looped more than two million times on Vine, and had 45 million views in a matter of days across multiple platforms/channels (Source 3). This video caught on like wildfire and even landed the two young men a guest spot of Ellen, where Lara received a lifetime supply of Vans (Source 4).
But what does that mean for Vans or marketing in general — why does it matter? For starters, the company saw a 20 percent increase in retail store sales and a 30 percent jump in online sales, including being sold out of the meme-famous white Vans (Source 5). So with an increase in interest for these shoes, Vans needed to make sure its inbound marketing team was ready to respond and that its sales channels, social media platforms, etc., were putting up consistent content (also known as integrated marketing).
However, not all influencers are created equal. Vans got lucky because Lara and Holz were generally good teenagers, and Daniel even donated the lifetime supply of Vans he received on Ellen to sick children in the hospital (Source 6). If you are a brand hoping to use an influencer/ambassador for your project, here are a few things to consider. The first is to use a micro-influencer or someone with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. The benefits of using a micro-influencer include a higher ROI because their engagement tends to be better. In addition, the smaller the influencer, the lower the cost, and you can partner with someone who will appear more authentic to potential future customers (Source 7).
Vine also proved something else- traditional marketers needed to stop putting so much money into print and radio and move into the digital space. A new HubSpot survey shows that more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands (Source 8). Video is better at holding the attention of its audience, and our brains retain 95% of a message when we watch it versus 10 % when we read it (Source 9). In many cases, video can be universal and may not need to be translated into different languages for different audiences.
You don’t want to put all your proverbial eggs in one basket; marketing efforts and dollars should be spread across different platforms. As I mentioned before, integrated marketing is a plan that creates consistent messaging for a brand across social media, website, brick-and-mortar retail stores (if applicable), print and digital ads, etc. For example, you may have a long-form article that you post on LinkedIn, but because Twitter limits the number of characters you can type, maybe you select a sentence or two from that LinkedIn post and link to it on your Twitter feed. Similarly, you may have print signage in your stores that’s part of the same ad campaign that you send out in email and post on Instagram. Also, think about your who your audience is and what platforms they are engaging in. If you’re selling kids apparel- you may not need a linked in account but rather, you should definitely know how to use TikTok. Further research on your audience and their digital usage will be necessary.
Remember that you never know when your brand’s “Damn Daniel” moment will happen — when it does, are you ready for it?
UF CJC Online #vine #socialmedia #marketing