How To Boost Micro Business Sales (and have a little fun) With Vine


Video playerMove over Facebook – there’s a new kid on the social networking block, and it packs a punch for marketers.  A simple video app, launched in partnership with Twitter in January 2013, Vine gives you the tools to create short films, lasting just six seconds.

It is currently available on the iPad and iPhone, but is expected to be developed for Android later this year.

Just like its bed-fellow Twitter, Vine challenges us to get creative with content by giving us a small window through which to share our message.  Thousands of people have already filmed and shared great marketing content, including micro-interviews, mini how-to guides and a snapshot of life inside a company.

Are you ready to give it a shot?  Fancy trying your hand at using the latest social network to add to your marketing?

Here are five things you can do with Vine today to support your business:

1. Indulge your inner curtain twitcher

Are you one of those people who can’t resist taking a peek inside someone’s bathroom cabinet when you visit their house for the first time?  Or someone who can’t help but peer into the shopping trolley of the person in front of you in the supermarket queue, just to see if they’re getting their five-a-day?

The popularity of reality TV shows, such as Big Brother and The Only Way is Essex, are indicative of our fascination with other people’s lives, but are also a great source of inspiration for behind-the-scenes footage of your business.

  • What’s in your desk drawer?
  • What do you see on your journey to work every morning?
  • How do you come up with a new product range?
  • Who do you work with?
  • How do you package products before sending them out to customers?

Vine provides a simple way to give your audience a real insight into how your business works day to day, whether that’s introducing your team, sharing your creative process, or giving a tour of your premises.

2. Hold a Q & A

If you could ask Stella McCartney anything about her latest charity t–shirt collection for Comic Relief, what would you ask?  Imagine you had Peter Jones’s ear for just a few moments – what would you ask him about running a business?

Many companies, large and small, make effective use of Twitter to run live question and answer sessions – Vine offers another platform where you can build loyalty with customers by answering their burning questions in just six seconds on film.

Invite questions through Facebook, your newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn, then film yourself or the CEO, the designer, the artist giving an answer (make it quick!) and share through Vine.

3. Show how you make things

Last week we met a couple of friends and their kids for lunch, catching up at a local seaside restaurant, sitting at a table that overlooked the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean and miles of beautiful sandy beach.

But rather than admire the view out of the window, the children spent most of the meal craning to see into the open kitchen, where the chef was flambéing crepes, throwing fresh stringy pasta into the air, and kneading dough for fresh bread.

The finished product he served was impressive – presentation is everything, but the process is something else, and it’s fascinating to see.

What does your business make?  How could you use Vine to give customers an insight into your creative process?

4. Demonstration’s what you need

One of the most effective ways to get people excited about a new product is to show them how it works.  Last week saw the grand unveiling of the PlayStation 4 by Sony – following sales of over 100 million of the original PlayStation console in the nineties, 150 million PS 2s since 2000 and 66 million PS 3s, the company has high hopes for its latest tech.

To launch the latest model, they gathered hundreds of journalists, gamers and tech bloggers in a room, and showed them exactly what the new console would be able to do.

Dyson are masters of the demo adverts – enter a smiling woman, moving with ease between table legs and the family dog to lift every piece of dirt and grime from the cream carpet using the latest Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Product demos are powerful – create one for your latest range and excite your customers by showing them just how amazing it is.

5. What inspires you?

Quicksilver women’s clothing uses virtual noticeboard Pinterest to show customers what inspires their latest collections.  The latest pin-board for their 2013 Spring collection features vintage images of 1950s seaside resorts, photos of rustic wooden signs pointing visitors to the beach, and action shots of swooping sea gulls silhouetted against a bright blue sky.

The collection of images tells a story about how the new clothes came about, what inspired the look, and it hints at the type of person who may buy it.

How could you use Vine to do the same thing?  Perhaps you could film the view from your office – and describe how it inspires you.  Or you could record shots of the top ten things that influenced your latest product range.

The beauty of Vine is its simplicity – you could:

  • Film one long shot of a mind-map you scribbled down while planning your new product range
  • Record 50 shots of individual objects that boost your creativity
  • Make a three-second film of your favourite place and then film another three seconds that show what it inspired

To use it well, you don’t need to be a techie, you don’t need to be a marketing master – you just need to know your business, your products and your customers, and the films that you create through Vine will support your marketing in the most natural way.

And it’s fun.

What’s not to love?

How have you used video in your marketing?  Share in the comments below.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Have you explored video marketing for your micro business? Videos provide a highly visual and effective way to engage potential customers and grow your business. Take some time today to map out five different ways you could use Vine. You only need 6 seconds of content – what will you create? And please feel free to share what you film with the Hub.