In the right corner we have Instagram. On the left, we have Vine. One, two, three, FIGHT! Brands are exploring usage of video for marketing content and both Instagram and Vine are strong contenders in the mobile-social-video space. Instagram has about 130 million users while Vine is newer with only 13 million users. However, based on an analysis from Luce Performance Group of 1141 Brand profiles and 5933 tweets, Vine videos got .0206 percent average engagement rate and Instagram videos only got .0111 percent average engagement rate.
Which service has a stronger community? Should brands focus making content on Vine or Instagram? Brad Walters, Director of Social Media & Emerging Platforms at Lowe’s Home Improvement, Dave Marsey, EVP & Managing Director of DigitasLBi, and Katrina Craigwell, Manager of Digital Marketing at GE recently spoke on a panel at SXSW 2014. This panel featured use cases of both Instagram and Vine from real brands.
However, despite the title of the panel being “Instagram vs Vine: Real World Smackdown,” there was no clear winner at the end of the panel. Both platforms are excellent for marketing. The brands in discussion are equally active on both Vine and Instagram. While both mediums are for short videos, content is produced differently and tailored to the audience as well as what is most fitting for the platform.
“When it comes down to a lot of this stuff, it’s all about the users. They’ve both helped us find different aspects of our voice.” – Katrina Craigwell, Manager of Digital Marketing at GE
For example, Lowe’s uses Vine videos for quick tips and fixes and Instagram for more traditional inspirational content. Walters gave the example of how Lowe’s used Vine for their #FixInSix Campaign on home improvement tips. It was a great success. The content was useful, informative, not too sales-y, but very relevant, and it was quickly shared on social media and picked up by press.
Craigwell talked about how GE used Instagram as a way to show innovations by GE. Some of these videos include captures from their aviation facility and more. On Vine, GE held its audience captive with their fascinating #6SecondScience Fair. Using video leaves a lot of room for fun and creative audience generated content. GE received over 600 submissions for its 6 Seconds Science Fair marketing campaign and had 800,000 views on its compilation video.
Despite there being no clear winner between Instagram and Vine, what the audience came away with was how important it is to have a clear strategy to engage users. Native advertising is the future and both Instagram and Vine are ways to reach and engage with an influential consumer base. The marketing strategy has to be clear, interesting and relevant to the audience. Successful content marketing using Vine and Instagram involves storytelling and tailoring the brand’s voice to the audience on each platform. However, the beauty of Instagram and Vine is that it leaves a lot of room for user generated content and audience engagement. If done successfully, there can be tremendous benefits to the brand as demonstrated by Lowe’s and GE.