Feb 17 The Pros and Cons of Utilizing Vine Influencers
While Vine is still a relatively new platform, just celebrating its second birthday in January 2015, it’s impossible to ignore the effect the channel has had on pop culture. Terms originated in Vine videos, like “on fleek,” have been used by CEOs of major companies, albeit incorrectly. Every day users have reached celebrity-status releasing number one songs, attending awards ceremonies, movie premieres and the coveted front cover of AdWeek.
What started as “just another social platform” has launched into a channel that marketers can no longer ignore. Even Twitter, the parent company of Vine, is taking notice by acquiring Niche, a company that matches brands with influencers on platforms including Vine. This move is another indication that popular creators on Vine are gaining significance and Twitter is willing to invest dollars in these influencers. But while Vine boasts 1.5 billion daily loops, this doesn’t necessarily mean activating a Vine influencer is right for every brand. We break down the pros and cons of leveraging Vine influencers for your brand.
Authentic, organic approach to advertising
Vine offers a refreshing platform for advertisers. While most other social channels have been infiltrated by paid advertisements, Vine has remained unmonetized. Content appears more organic without any “promoted” or “sponsored” branding and is weaved into natural content. Consumers look to Vine for relaxed, offhand content. Using influencers allows brands to infiltrate that popular space and reach an audience that trusts the messenger. As we’ve previously covered, when social media content is shared from friends, it resonates more effectively with consumers.
Remember, this informal, humorous nature can easily go over the top. Make sure your influencers are aligned with your brand and aware of any guidelines they should follow. The casual nature of the channel has the potential to work against your brand.
Ability to measure performance with loops
Until recently, Vine did not offer any concrete methods for measurement. In July of 2014, Vine launched loop counts, a measure that simply shows how many times a Vine video has been watched. This finally gave brands a way to measure the success of their Vines past the basic engagements of likes, revines and shares.
It’s important to note that there is no way to determine the number of unique users who watch a Vine, whether on the mobile app, within a tweet or through an embedded link. Loops only determine the number of times a Vine has been played. With an automatic loop feature in place, as well as the short nature of videos, many users watch one video several times in a row. There is also fear involving cheating the system, either by using bots or leaving a video open to constantly loop. Vine has quelled some fears by stating that they have measures in place to combat this.
High volume of impressions within a hard to reach target demographic
Vine attracts a user that many marketers want to reach: the Millennial. While Vine has not released official demographic information, numerous surveys have shown that a large portion of users are in their teens and early twenties.
The quick nature and innate virality of Vine offers brands the opportunity to reach a large audience in a short amount of time. In fact, Domo reports that 8,333 videos are shared on Vine every minute. Like many other brands, Hewlett-Packard took advantage of this, launching the #BendTheRules campaign to announce its newest product, the HP Pavilion x360. The brand hired a dozen Vine influencers to create content and gain awareness in the millennial market. This tactic paid off, with HP reporting almost 1 million active engagements and over 50 million organic views. The Vines were so successful, that HP has continued the campaign and extended offers to even more influencers on Vine.
Vine influencers provide brands with access to thousands, even millions, of active fans. There’s also the opportunity for videos to reach the Popular Now page, which can catapult videos to millions of daily users. Twitter has an undisclosed algorithm in place to determine which videos reach the Popular Now page within the Vine app, which is not necessarily determined by the number of likes, comments and revines a video has.
Perceived authenticity for the audience
One factor to weigh when working with influencers can be their lack of brand loyalty. Many Vine users accept deals from a variety of brands, even competitors. A consumer viewing this can dismiss an ad as unauthentic, especially if they receive mixed messages. Each contract between an influencer and brand is different, but a brand will not likely receive loyalty without a large sum of money and the willingness of the influencer.
Zach King, a popular Viner known for his sharp editing skills and Vine Magic, has created videos for various car brands including Chrysler and Buick. A consumer who follows Zach, sees him creating content for competing brands and may dismiss both. His credibility may go out the window if there is viewer recall to his previous branded Vines.
For some brands and industries, this isn’t as much of an issue. For instance, beauty influencers often use products from a variety of brands to create one look. Because of the nature of the industry, and the fact that most people who wear makeup use a variety of brands, this is not an issue. Additionally, the price point is lower for makeup than big ticket items, like a vehicle. Brands that sell more costly products may want to consider making an investment, offering more money to Vine influencers to ensure their loyalty to a brand.
General lack of information
For a social site owned by Twitter, Vine surprisingly offers little to no information about itself. While Vine is a social force to be reckoned with, there is still a lot unknown about the platform. Vine has not updated its active user count since August of 2013 when it announced upwards of 40 million active users. Without current knowledge of the channel’s audience size, it can be difficult to determine not only how many potential users you can reach, but even the type of user you can reach.
Vine does not offer any background information on the app, nor does it update its social channels or blog with information other than additions to the app. Also, several Vine stars have stated that both Vine and Twitter have not made any efforts to reach out to its biggest influencers. Lately, it seems that Twitter has begun trying to make up for ignoring those individuals who helped make the app popular in its recent purchase (and make some additional money doing so).
No way to drive traffic to other sites
Similar to Instagram, Vine does not support clickable links in content. Brands are not able to push viewers to a website or promotion directly from the platform. Clickable links are not even supported within a user’s profile page, something Instagram offers.
Six seconds doesn’t offer a long time to convey a cohesive, well-thought-out message. Brands should keep in mind that this time limitation can affect brand messaging. Any platform has limitations, think Twitter’s 140-character count, so brands should think of this as a challenge to try something new, rather than a setback.
Lack of concrete metrics
While I mentioned the addition of Vine Loops previously, it’s important to note that there are no other solid metrics beyond this. While both Twitter and Facebook offer comprehensive analytics tools, Vine lacks in this department. Even with loop counts, there is no way to currently measure reach or unique users, something other platforms provide.
With the rise of their popularity and Twitter’s recent acquisition of Niche, it’s clear that Vine influencers are worth looking at when thinking about your brand’s next promotion. But just like any other social channel or brand spokesperson, it’s important to evaluate all the pros and cons of an influencer to determine if he or she is the right fit for your brand and objectives.
What brands do you think are leveraging Vine influencers effectively?