When it comes to finding new and creative strategies to incorporate into marketing efforts, brands are realizing that the shorter the message, the better the response from their target audience. Forget tweeting your message in 140 characters or less; try seeing what your marketing team can accomplish in ten seconds or less. With new applications such as Snapchat and Vine taking the digital world by storm, it's time to consider how your brand can embrace short-form content, as well as what applications will work best to achieve your marketing goals.
As social media continues to go more visual, with platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, it's no wonder that Snapchat found instant success, with over 60 million photos being shared daily. Snapchat allows users to take and send "snaps", mobile photos and videos that also include typed out messages or doodles, to any contact in their phone. So what's the big deal? After all, we can all take pictures on our phones and text them to friends in our contact lists. Why even bother downloading an app that does the exact same thing? The key to Snapchat's popularity is that it is the exact opposite of platforms such as Facebook, where photos are taken, uploaded and shared with the world for friends and family to see for as long as the image exists in their Photos. The creators of Snapchat based their product around enjoying life. Snapchat photos should be spontaneous, unedited and real. Therefore, snaps can only be viewed for up to ten seconds; once the time limit is reached, the messages vanish into thin air and can never be seen again by either the sender or receiver.
Another reason Snapchat is so popular - its ease of use. How many times have you gone to use the camera on your phone because you wanted to take a picture or video? You hold up your phone, ready to capture the moment and then you realize your phone is taking a video instead of a picture or vice versa. By the time you switch to the camera setting you want, some of the moments you wanted to capture are lost, leaving you frustrated. This is one of the reasons why Snapchat was created. According to their blog, Snapchat is all about sharing moments as they happen. Unlike normal cameras applications, the photo and video settings in Snapchat are the same button. If you want to take a photo, just tap the button. If you want to capture a video, hold the button down and lift your finger when you are done recording. Simple as that!
*Editor's Note: Although Snaps only last up to ten seconds, those who receive the messages can still take screenshots of the images and save them forever.
Another recent short-form content application bursting onto the social scene is Vine, Twitter's new mobile app that allows users to create and share six second looping videos. So here's the question - what can you accomplish in six seconds? Vine gives brands the opportunity to think outside the box and find a creative way to share their stories through GIF-like videos. Just like Snapchat, recording a video is as easy as tapping and holding down the screen. Users can either record all six seconds at once or break the session down into smaller clips. This can be done by holding the screen down to record and lifting your finger to stop. Besides recording simplicity, what makes Vine so popular is that the videos shared by you and others are embedded in the tweets, so you never have to leave Twitter.
Many businesses are taking advantage of Vine because it opens a whole new way to market themselves, with how-to videos, behind the scenes footage and more. Furthermore, when it comes to brand loyalty on social media, transparency is key. People are on social because they want to have a relationship with those companies with which they do business. By genuinely interacting with your target market and sharing creative content that humanizes your brand, most social media users will return the favor by spreading positive reviews online and through word of mouth. This is where Vine comes into play - it's a creative, different way to give people a glimpse into who you are as a business.
As stated earlier, short-form content is the new king of marketing. Vine is an excellent way to not only highlight the personality behind your brand, but also shake up your content strategy by incorporating video. Snapchat, on the other hand, with its self-destructing images, may be harder to incorporate into your marketing strategy - at least for now. According to the New York Times, Snapchat is hoping to partner with brands that want to share sneak peeks of new products or inside scoops of upcoming events and deals. Therefore, whether it's for business or just for fun, take a look into Snapchat and Vine and see how creative you can be in ten seconds or less.