Video App Use in Mobile MarketingIf the marketing world has seen any one, overwhelming trend in 2013, surely it is video app use in mobile marketing. The trend began in earnest when Twitter unveiled its much buzzed-about Vine app, allowing marketers to produce endless loops of six-second videos. The heat was then cranked up to another level when Instagram entered the fray, departing from its photos-only foundation and offering video upload options of its own.

Short-form videos may be the next big thing in mobile marketing, but how can your brand ensure proper video app use? Our complete guide will illuminate some of the key differences between Vine and Instagram—and some of the best strategies to implement.

Vine vs. Instagram: How Do They Stack Up?

When considering video app use in mobile marketing, it is first helpful to distinguish between the two big contenders. We’ll start with Vine, which presently offers:

  • A user base of approximately 13 million.
  • The potential to tap into the half-billion users who are on Twitter.
  • The opportunity to create videos of no more than six seconds apiece, which play in an endless loop.

And then there is Instagram, which offers:

  • A user base of 130 million.
  • The potential to tap into the billion-plus users who are on Facebook. (Facebook now owns Instagram.)
  • The opportunity to make 15-second videos, editable but not loopable.

Of course, when it comes to video app use in mobile marketing, both video platforms have their advantages. The larger built-in user base of Instagram may give it the edge, but it would be unwise to write off Vine altogether, especially over its 6-second limit. While this may seem like an obstacle at first, many brands have approached it as an opportunity for honing brief and powerful messages.

Tips for Video App Use in Mobile Marketing

But this leads to an obvious question: How can marketers most effectively implement video apps that come with such strict limitations?

  • Remember that, for your videos to be shared and to really make any kind of an impact, the level of quality must be high. Vine and Instagram both make it easy for anyone and everyone to create videos, but this does not mean you can approach video creation casually or haphazardly. Plan your scenes in advance, and re-shoot as often as you need to in order to get it right.
  • Remember that a powerful video is one that tells a memorable story—and with a time limit of either six seconds of 15 seconds, you need to keep your videos focused and uncluttered. Including more than one main idea will lead to crowded and ineffective videos.
  • Consider using these short videos to humanize your brand. You probably can’t tell your entire corporate history in the span of an Instagram video, but you can offer a quick intro to a valued member of your team.
  • Videos are ideal for showcasing your products in a creative and memorable way. Don’t turn them into video catalogs, but rather frame your products in a way that is clever and colorful. For example, many clothing brands and fashion magazines have taken to showcasing unique outfit ideas and attention-grabbing clothing combinations.
  • Even with a six-second video, your brand can offer genuinely helpful and informative content. There is no greater example of this than the home improvement brand Lowe’s, which uses its online video accounts to provide quick DIY repair tips and home project ideas.
  • Vine and Instagram are both useful for offering sneak peaks and tasty previews of your products. Just look at USA Today, which offers quick flashes of daily headlines—just enough to make the viewer want to run out and buy the paper!
  • Finally, both Vine and Instagram are excellent tools for encouraging and facilitating user-generated content. Put out an open request for videos that showcase your products in unique or unusual ways. You might even make a contest out of it.

Regardless of whether you select Vine, Instagram, or both, video app use in mobile marketing is something that can pay off huge dividends. In just a few seconds of footage, you can cast your brand in a whole new light, encouraging social sharing and enhancing the prestige of your products.