Have you considered micro-video platforms like Vine or Instagram to generate more exposure for your brand?
Micro-video platforms are disregarded by many brands, as many find it difficult to create good quality content using short videos.
Yet there are many companies and even individuals, who often have limited resources, that are really kicking ass on Vine and Instagram. Some of them have millions of followers and brands are fighting for sponsorship to have their products and services featured in their videos.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a large audience and generate revenue from your micro-video content?
There’s no magic formula to this, however by taking a closer look it is possible to identify some things that all of these popular accounts are doing.
Obviously great content is the main factor, but these accounts are doing other things to increase their popularity too.
So, after a fair bit of video creeping, I have come up with a list of common threads carried by those popular in the micro-video realm.
1. DON’T FOCUS ON JUST ONE MICRO-VIDEO PLATFORM
You might have a preference for one over the other, but posting to only one micro-video platform will limit your reach, followers and exposure. After all, not all users are present on both platforms.
Even though this sounds obvious, some companies feel limited by the different time restrictions offered by each platform. How can a 15 second Instagram video be displayed on Vine? Or wouldn’t a 6 second Vine micro-video be too short for Instagram?
This is no excuse because there are ways of dealing with these issues. For example, you could create a 9-10 second micro-video and then reformat it for Vine by doing either of the following:
- Create a time-lapse effect, increasing the speed until the content fits in those 6 seconds.
- Cut out a bit of the intro and end, leaving just the most meaningful content.
See how Zach King makes two version of his videos, and note how the area that is common is the middle while the intro and end are cut.
And here’s the Instagram version of the same micro-video:
Don’t be limited by these two platforms; outreach by using the big players like YouTube and Facebook. Place call-to-action buttons at the end of the videos and send traffic to your Vine or Instagram accounts.
Remember the main goal is create awareness first, it doesn’t matter where. If your micro-video is shared on Facebook, and you get a ton of followers there, it will be easier to send all those viewers to your main micro-video channel later.
Also, create playlists on YouTube and put several micro-videos around a topic.
2. ESTABLISH A MAIN TOPIC
As your audience grows they need to know your content has some common ground or a theme. If you are too diverse they may like and share one micro-video and ignore the rest.
Popularity happens when viewers develop an ongoing interest in your content (step 1). And when this happens, they will probably start following you (step 2), which is basically their way of saying they are interested in receiving your content.
This will only happen if they associate your channel with being the place where they will find something specific that they are interested in.
Nobody is going to follow you only because one micro-video was clever or made them laugh. Yes, they may share it or like it, but that’s not enough to earn a follower.
Yet, if they see that most of your videos provide something they like, the situation changes and you may score a new follower.
Another Vine celebrity, Lawrence Becker, has grown his audience base by adding visual effects like colors and background music to everyday situations.
His videos show lots of scenarios like holidays, offices, simple objects etc, but there’s always the common theme of visual effects, which are what most of his users follow for.
3. PUBLISH CONTENT REGULARLY
On micro-video platforms content is consumed very quickly. Users will see your video in just a few seconds and then move onto the next one.
This is normal user behavior when watching videos online. To prove this point, just think about your own behavior when browsing videos on YouTube. Not long after watching one, you are moving onto another one suggested by the platform.
YouTube videos are normally much longer, and users have time to absorb your message and create an idea about you. Also, the extended duration of YouTube videos limits the amount of videos users can watch in the time they have available.
On the contrary, Vine and Instagram users can watch many more videos in the same amount of time. This means that if you are not present in their news feed, it will be more difficult for them to notice and remember you.
And the best way to increase your presence in their news feed is by increasing the amount of content.
There’s no golden rule, but reducing the gap between posts will increase your chances of being noticed.
Eh Bee, Internet most popular family, are, another popular account with millions of followers that create fun and humorous videos every 2-3 days. The simplicity of their videos – which have no editing and show every day situations – makes the creation process much quicker and easier than in the cases of Zach King or Lawrence Becker.
4. TAG OTHER ACCOUNTS
One of the main rules for social media success is to connect not only with other users, but also with other accounts who provide interesting or similar content.
Tagging other users is one of the best ways to establish relationships, as well as letting other people know that you are there. It will also show your viewers that you are a social brand and not just playing solo.
However, whilst seeking popularity be careful not to be that “spammy person” by tagging too many accounts. Make sure their content is related to yours: irrelevant accounts will ignore or even block you!
Avoid overusing the tagging function, but if you use it logically it will certainly help you gain popularity.
Brittany Furlan uses this technique to tag other people who participate in her videos. This has proven to be a great way for her to get more exposure and also to send traffic to other pages. A win-win for everyone!
5. USE HASHTAGS
Hashtags, hashtags everywhere… they are so overused for the wrong reasons, yet when used correctly they can bring so many benefits.
Using hashtags in your videos is a great way of driving inbound traffic.
The key here is using popular hashtags that are related to your micro-video (otherwise, it will count as spam). Choose just a couple, but make sure you include them often in more than just one video. This way, more of your content will show up when users search one of your selected hashtags.
Another smart move is creating your own hashtag and using it as much as you can. If you do this, it is unlikely new users will find your content by searching that hashtag, because you are not popular (yet!). However those who have already found you will be able to find additional content more easily.
Overtime your hashtag will start becoming popular too and attract additional viewers.
Brands like Red Bull have grown their followers lists not only by offering great videos featuring their products and related activities, but also including popular hashtags as you can see in the following example.
6. DRIVE TRAFFIC
Finally, there’s nothing wrong in asking people to follow you.
One of the best ways of doing this is by including social media buttons on your website, newsletter and other channels.
Whilst lots of people think these buttons are only reserved for the main networks like Facebook and Twitter, they also seem to think people only use Vine and Instagram on mobile. Due to this, they don’t add the buttons to their websites.
Helloooooooo!!!… have you checked your web traffic recently? I’m sure that at least 40-50% of traffic is coming from mobile devices. And this is an increasing pattern.
Besides, you might not be able to post content to Instagram and Vine via desktop, but you can still browse content and follow other users.
Furthermore, you can also embed your posts on your website or newsletter which will give you even more views.
Do you use Vine or Instagram? What are the roadblocks stopping you from creating content on these platforms? Do you follow any accounts that you consider to be particularly interesting? Let me know in the comments below.