When I first saw Vine, the new 6 second video sharing app from Twitter, I thought to myself, well, that’s thoroughly unhelpful. But then I watched it in action and realized it was something old that was new again: an animated GIF maker.

For those old souls in the digital marketing world, you likely remember the bad old days of PPC banner ad making when you had to painstakingly produce animated GIFs by hand using Macromedia Fireworks (before they were acquired by Adobe) to piece together animated banners, frame by painful frame. Each image had to be manipulated and assembled into the final frame set with precise timing and calls to action.

Once I realized Vine wasn’t a video tool so much as it was an animation tool, its value became more apparent. Speech is highly inefficient for conveying information; it’s slow, and when you try to accelerate it, you end up with garbled output that’s incomprehensible. With Vine, you have to think visually only. Here are a couple of examples of Vine videos. One’s a 6 second webinar on ROI (which is really all you need for the core concept):

Vine: Marketing ROI in 6 Seconds

… and the other is on how to deal with the office coffee maker being broken:

Vine: How to deal with a broken coffee machine

Think of Vine videos (Vines? Vine-ettes?) as animated GIFs and you suddenly know how to handle them. They’re not video, and they shouldn’t be constructed like video.

What should you do to make the most of it? Use the lessons from animated GIF making:

  • Mise en place is important – lay out everything you need in advance!
  • Create a detailed shot list!
  • If you need specific audio cues, make them consistent tones rather than audio that needs to be stopped and started
  • Remember that Vine videos are saved as local videos on your mobile, so they can be loaded to YouTube for wider sharing

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Get your copy of AI For Marketers

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!

Subscribe to My Free Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to My Free Weekly Newsletter

Sign up now to the free Almost Timely Newsletter, released every weekend with the latest news about marketing, technology, analytics, data science, and AI.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You have successfully subscribed to the Almost Timely Newsletter!