Lights.Camera.Action. These words used to be reserved for the Director on set of a Hollywood film- but not anymore. With the growing trend of mobile social video platforms, everyone has the ability to be a film director-albeit in short clips not Hollywood feature films. Google is predicting that by 2017, digital video will be even more popular than previous social media platforms. In the travel industry, online video use has been steadily increasing. In 2013, 51% of leisure travelers and 69% of business travelers have watched online travel videos respectively when planning a trip. Both figures are up 5-6% from the previous year. (Google, 2013)
People watch videos because they tell a story. Watching a video can be both informative and transformative, making it an ideal medium for researching travel. Consumers want to visualize their trips. They crave videos ranging from professional virtual tours to quick casual clips made by fellow travelers. With the introduction of platforms such as Vine and Instagram, video has never been easier to produce, share, and consume. Short clips can be easily shot, edited, and shared, all from your smartphone.
By the end of this mini series, you should have an informed opinion on which mobile video platform works best for you as a hotel marketer and how to utilize short form video to tell your story!
Vine Versus Instagram: The Battle for Brand Adoption
Batman vs. the Joker, Coke vs. Pepsi, and now, Instagram vs. Vine. When it comes to new social media, this is the battle that everyone is tuning in for. Which short-form video service should my hotel use?
In early 2013, Twitter launched its latest media offering- the video app Vine, and it had people climbing the walls with excitement. Unlike the ever-popular YouTube, content creators had only 6 seconds to create original content in-app. The finished videohad an animated .GIF like feel that have become more and more popular on the internet as of late. Vine grew like a weed, amassing over 40 million users (TheVerge.com). Of course, this could only mean one thing, competition wasn’t far off. A few months after Vine’s release, Instagram, owned by Facebook, came knocking. Capitalizing on the hugely popular photo sharing service, Instagram now allowed users to share short 15 second, filtered videos. Because short-form video was so new, many businesses had not adopted the service yet and are faced with the choice of which app best suits their needs.
Which short-form video service should my hotel use?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Vine, Instagram or both? The choice is yours. To give you a clear idea of what each service offers, we’ve broken down the features of each one.
Filters: Instagram followed suit with their much loved photo-sharing service, in allowing their video producers to enhance the look and feel of their videos with 13 new filters. When videos are created on Instagram, filters can help enhance the quality, offering a more professional and aesthetically pleasing video. Vine on the other hand does not offer any enhancement or editing features to improve the quality of your footage.
Video Length: Instagram allows its story tellers a total of 15 seconds; more than double Vines 6.5. The theory behind Vines brief time limit is similar to that of their parent Twitter’s philosophy. Twitter believes that messages are clearer, more concise, and creative when limited to the 140 character maximum. Not unlike Twitter, the 6.5 second time limit is meant to inspire creativity in its content creators and offer a more concise message. Instagram has a different philosophy. The 15 seconds gives creators breathing room to tell their story. The longer time frameis not unusual for brands, as online video advertisements tend to be around 15 seconds, this is no coincidence. There’s a strong battle here of creativity vs. comfort.
Editing: Both apps offer in-app video creation. A difference being is that Instagram allows users to edit their last shot if it’s not up to the directors standards. At this time, Vine does not allow any editing, which means a bad shot means restarting.
Import Video: A very enticing feature for brands on Instagram is the ability to upload a previously createdvideo and the ability to edit it to fit Instagram. Vine on the other hand, only allowsusers to create content within the app. Instagram allows brands to create polished, professional, and tailored video messages to then be posted on Instagram, whereas brands would need to record on screen in-order to share the same video in Vine. Vine content MUST be all original content created on Vine for Vine.
Sharing:The big question is which service will amplify my story best? Instagram allows direct sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Email, and Foursquare. Vine only allows direct sharing to Facebook and Twitter. On a pure numbers basis, Instagram video has the ability to reach Instagrams’ 130 million users and Facebooks’ 1 billion active users. This compared to Vines 40 million and Twitter’s 200 million. Many Facebook pages and websites have begun to surface, where funny Vines are shared daily. In comparison, Instagram videos have not caught on virallylike this. Because of the unique qualities and effort that goes into Vine videos, users are compelled to share them more than an Instagram video.
Loop: Looping is a cool Vine feature that can create the effect of a never-ending video, the short video automatically replays as long as the user wants. This can add to the creativity of what you post and can inspire some cool ways for you to show off your hotel.
Now that you know the key differences between the two platforms, you’re likely wondering which one is the best fit for your hotel. Stay tuned to part 2 of this blog tomorrow to learn what other brands are using, and how you can leverage social video at your property.