On January 24th, Twitter released Vine, its video sharing mobile app, to much fanfare. And though it's been plagued with unbefitting content, many marketers are gravitating towards the budding new service as a means of communicating to their audiences. But is Vine really a worthy addition to the content marketer's toolkit?
How Does Vine Work?
Vine allows you to take a 6-second video and post it via an Instagram'esque interface. A published video also loops, giving it an animated .gif feel.
Users must first create an account within Vine, and follow other Vine users (you can scan your own Twitter profile for Twitter friends who also have Vine accounts and follow them).
The video capture mechanism is actually quite snappy. Though you only have 6 seconds, you can start/stop recording as many times as you can before a total 6 seconds of video is recorded. This means that your Vine video could contain numerous "scenes," providing a surprising amount of content flexibility despite the inherent brevity of the app's overarching concept.
Social functionality mirrors that of Instagram and comes standard with the ability to like and comment on other Vine videos.
Ready to create a Vine account for your business? Slow down a second (or at least six).
With Every App Comes an Application
"The (Vine) interface is cool, but a reminder that you've been able to make 6 second videos since the invention of video." - Jay Baer
A lot is being written about possible B2C and B2B applications for Vine videos. And as Chris Brogan points out, big brands like Urban Outfitters and Red Vines are already producing quirky, substantive clips.
While Vine may be the hot app of the moment, it certainly doesn't break down any video production barriers to entry. In fact, very few barriers to entry exist today. What it does do, however, is provide a gateway to shallow, sub-par content for too-eager marketers.
We Have A 'Bad Content' Problem
Katie Bascuas writes "It’s one thing to create content, but it’s another to use it strategically to drive your mission and business goals."
Any piece of content, whether a 6 second video or a 100 page eBook, should serve a business goal or solve a customer problem. Vine isn't immune from this truth.
According to the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report from the Content Marketing Institute, 64% of B2B content marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content. "Enough" content, not "high-quality" content.
As more and more marketers jump on the content marketing bandwagon, consumers will find themselves inundated with low-quality content. Velocity Partners articulates this oncoming bubble perfectly in their "Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge" presentation:
Vine videos do have the potential to tell a great story in an elegant way, but just because the videos only last 6 seconds doesn't mean you only have to put 6 seconds of thought into producing them.
Think Before You Share
Twitter is a natural delivery system for Vine videos. That doesn't mean that your blog, a presentation, Facebook, or an email to customer are also natural delivery systems for Vine videos.
Although web video is versatile, not all web video is created equal. And a high-to-medium-quality production should not be applied or broadcasted in the same manner as a Vine video.
More and more, the medium is the message in content marketing today - which puts the onus on marketers to deliver targeted messaging custom-tailored for each distribution channel. With Vine, tread carefully and don't cross the streams.
To get started in *good* content marketing, check out our free guide: The 5 Ws of Content Creation.