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Storytelling is an essential part of branding, allowing business owners to wax lyrical about their products while holding their clients’ attention in new ways. Depending on the type of brand you’re trying to promote, your story may make the viewer feel hopeful, inspired, excited or sentimental. This has long been the purview of the advertising world, but technology advancements like social networking and video sharing sites like Vine have changed how and where business owners can tell their stories.

Vine, Twitter

Photo by Flickr user clasesdeperiodismo

These sites have also changed the number of stories a business can tell. Instead of being restricted to a single commercial that airs at specific times, advertisers can create a number of moving commercials that can be passed from friend to friend at any time. Vine encourages users, both private and commercial, to create six-second videos. This format has been perfect for businesses, many of whom are still reeling from the attention that was garnered by the recent Dove Real Beauty Sketches.

Successful Vine Storytellers

Several big companies have been exploring Vine, the Twitter-owned mobile app that that allows users to create and post short videos. A case study of Vine put to excellent use can be seen in Mondelēz International‘s Oreo brand. Posting videos on everything from how to eat an Oreo to news about their new flavor, Oreo has captured the attention of millions of fans — fans who actually seek out, enjoy and share the company’s advertising videos rather than fast forward through them.

Urban Outfitters is also reaping the benefits of Vine. Rather than focusing on posting their own content, the company solicits videos from users. Recently, users who created the best videos for showcasing their Chuck Taylor sneakers were entered to win a series of prizes. Urban Outfitters, through, was the real winner with thousands of viewers watching the contest closely. General Electric decided to reach its customer base by posting value-laden content. The company’s six second videos introduce kids (and their parents) to a variety of scientific concepts.

Opening the Story Circle

The big players in the game are making their stamp on Vine, but the beauty of this social media tool is that it can be used by anyone from anywhere, in any way they can imagine. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or an entrepreneur launching a venture from the basement of your rural home, you can find Internet service somewhere, and start creating and posting six-second videos. Vine has built-in editing tools which make everything from adding a retro background to adding sound effects to animating portions of the clip easy, regardless of how tech-savvy you are. Thanks to this simplification, anyone can tell a story in the Vine story circle.

Getting Started

Vine is typically used in conjunction with Facebook or Twitter. If your company already has a loyal following on either of those platforms, jumping in with a Vine account with be easy. However, it is not the only way to get some attention. CNN has many stories of Vine users who went from insignificance to popularity over a relatively short period of time just by posting quality videos. The advice from one Vine sensation is to focus on the writing. Regardless of what you are selling, tell your story carefully and creatively, and the Vine community will notice.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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