Vine Marketing Key Takeaways from DGS4

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Watch a replay of the Vine Marketing Panelists at Digital Growth Summit:

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Jesse Leimgruber, Moderator, NeoReach - Brendon McNerney, Vine Talent with around 300,000 followers - J.Cyrus, Vine Talent with 1 million followers - Matt King, Vine Talent with 1.1 million followers - Meghan McCarthy, Vine Talent with reach of 4.5 million followers


Creating viral Vine videos

What makes a piece go viral?

Humor plays an important role in creating a viral Vine video. - @JCyrusMusic

When someone takes a leap, a risk, and makes something that hasn’t been seen before. - Brendon McNerney

I think humor is definitely a big part of it, especially if that is what you are known for. Quality wins over quantity. You want the brand that you are representing to have a relatable relevance to your followers, and you also want them to think of you using that brand. - J.Cyrus


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Vine advertising vs. TV commercials

Why do you think a brand wants to work with you versus buying a TV commercial?

Vine creators are more trusted than mainstream celebrities, because they mostly play themselves. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

Meghan, you have recently worked with Walmart and Coca-Cola, both brands who buy TV commercials. Why do they choose to work with you over buying more TV commercials? - Jesse Leimgruber

One reason brands want to work with me is that I am brand friendly. All of my content is PG and that works with many brands. Coca-Cola, for instance, is a very family friendly brand. They require no violence, no cursing, and so on. - Meghan McCarthy

I read an article recently discussing how content creators have a bigger impact than mainstream celebrities. This may be because our followers feel that they know us better and trust us more than an actor who portrays many characters. Many times on our Vines, we are just playing ourselves. - Meghan McCarthy

Vine ads can reach 5-10 times the number of people, for much less than a traditional TV commercial. - @JesseRank

Because, as content creators, “we leave everything at the door” on our social media channels, our followers find us to be more approachable. - J.Cyrus

In terms of the family friendly aspect, I agree with Meghan. Further, brands observe that we have these audiences that have us in their pockets at all times, and that makes our content easily accessible. - J.Cyrus

As individuals, we are on platform, we are the writer, the actor and the whole film crew, so our content is both less expensive and more accessible and impactful than traditional commercials. - J.Cyrus

That is a great point. When a brand buys content from one of these creators, they can reach sometimes 5-10 times the number of people, for much less than a traditional TV commercial. - Jesse Leimgruber


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Vine family friendly content creators

How does being family friendly and brand safe play into your personal growth?

Vine creators should be mindful of content they make and how it might impact their future opportunities - @MattRKing

As a creator, when you start getting a following, you really have to play your cards right. Be mindful of: what type of content I'm making, how big is this going to get and how will the type of content that I am making impact my future opportunities. - Matt King

When my content grew to about 10,000 followers, I started getting sponsorship offers from companies that I didn’t believe in personally, and ones that I would not recommend to my followers, so I turned them down, and kept creating content. It wasn’t until I reached 200,000 followers that I got my first endorsement from Old Navy. - Matt King

Some Viners lean over to the “dark side” by including cursing in their content, and it may work in your favor initially. However, in the long run, it will work against you when you are getting pitched to the larger brands. - Matt King


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Vine influencer outreach tips

If a brand wants a Viner to share their content, what is the best way to reach out to an influencer?

Brands should allow Vine creators to use their own creative approach. - @BrendonMcNerney

Many brands reach out with content that they want us to promote, which works against letting creators actually create. So, I would recommend that brands approach Viners with broad concepts, and allow the creators to run with their own creative influence on the campaign. - Brendon McNerney

I agree that many brands approach us with content, because they know their products better than anyone. However, no one knows our audiences as well as we do, so meeting in the middle is usually the best option. - J.Cyrus

Brands know their products better than anyone, when Vine influencers know their audiences. - @JCyrusMusic

When brands insist that I follow exactly what they create, and it is not in keeping with my brand, I decline, because I do not want to be diluted with content that my followers will not appreciate. When the brand is more open minded, the campaign is more successful in terms of more views and staying power because although it may be an ad, it is a tolerable ad. - J.Cyrus

These brands such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, Sprite and Old Navy who participate in influencer marketing are seeing more followers and more happy followers, and happier sentiments. - Jesse Leimgruber


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Vine influencers usually choose to work with brands that best reflect them and their followers. - @MattRKing

Vine brand sponsorship deals

How many brands contact you, versus how many brands do you actually end up promoting for?

I get contacted by about 4 brands per month, and I will typically work with the best one, the one that best reflects me and my followers. So, I turn down about 75% of offers because either it is not enough money, or because it is not a product or brand that I identify with. I don’t want to clog up the entertainment that I offer my followers with ads. - Matt King [su_spacer size="1"]


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Followers really appreciate when Vine creators are being themselves in their videos. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

Vine content that gets followers

What is it about your content that leads so many people to follow you? Specifically, how could a brand use some of the social media influencer mentality in their content?

I try to be an original. Being family friendly is also important, but I have a lot of followers who write to me to thank me for just being myself and not worrying about what others will think of me. - Meghan McCarthy [su_spacer size="1"]


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Best viral Vine example

What is the best piece of content that you have ever seen on Vine?

I would suggest that Matt King’s Vine that features him lip-syncing Beyonce’s Love on Top is a really good representation of what Vine is. It has over a million likes and 50-60 million loops. It is one of the most shared Vines ever. - J.Cyrus


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Being relatable means creating Vine videos so people can say “that is so you” or “this is so me.” - @MattRKing

Make Vine content relatable

So is being relatable, appealing to a wide audience, important in making viral Vines?

Yes. There are several ways to be relatable: making one that people say “that is so you” or “this is so me.” If many people say that when viewing your content, they will share it, like the singing along with Beyonce in the car Vine. Also, there are situationally relatable situations, that make people say “I hate it/love it when that happens.” - Matt King [su_spacer size="1"]


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Vine vs. Snapchat

So how do you see your interactions on the other social networks as compared with Vine?

From an influencer perspective, Vine has the most loyal fan base. - @BrendonMcNerney

From an influencer perspective, Vine has the most loyal fan base. I encourage brands to be present in Snapchat. It is the most personal look into the influencers' lives. - Brendon McNerney

If these influencers say a brand name, one million people, or more, will see it. And Vine content is not like a TV commercial, which may be playing in the background. Vine is being viewed primarily on mobile devices, and followers are paying close attention. The personal connection is really key. - Jesse Leimgruber

Snapchat is more of a journalistic view of our day. There are no likes so it is not a competition, but it is a glimpse into your day. The transparency is there. People are tuning into your day to day routine and wanting to be a part of it. I get countless Snaps saying “Dude, I have the same shirt,” things that we are not even advertising. The Geotags are another aspect that we can incorporate. - J.Cyrus


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YouTube is a really steady platform and it isn’t going anywhere. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

Vine vs YouTube: What's the future?

Where do you see your presence on social media in 5 years?

I have been trying to move my following over to YouTube. I believe that it is a really steady platform, and that it isn’t going anywhere. It is a great place for your content and to advertise. I have about 700,000 subscribers on YouTube. You need to be careful about what you post on social media when you have a huge following because people can get offended by things that are not meant as offensive at all. - Meghan McCarthy [su_spacer size="1"]


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Pitch email that brands send to Vine influencers should be very informative about what the product is. – @JCyrusMusic

How to pitch a Vine influencer

What should marketers include in a pitch email to you in order to get a response from you?

We are looking for an email that is very informative about what the product is. We need to be able to evaluate if we want to represent your product or brand and have your brand represent us. If we have the sense that you are not able to effectively sell your product, or are not ready to commit a budget to your product, then we will question if we will be able to help. So, your email needs to convey what it is about your product that will be attractive to our audiences. Demonstrate that you know who I am and who my audience is and that you are familiar with what I do. - J.Cyrus

Vine influencers don’t like mass emails, better to approach them directly and personally. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

One thing that is not appreciated is having a brand tell me how much I am worth. I appreciate multiple integrations and support a brand over a longer period of time, a series rather than one video. It is much more believable and convincing that way. - Brendon McNerney

I like attending great events. So throw a great party and invite influencers. It is a great way for the influencers to get familiar with your products. - Matt King

I don’t like to be approached with a mass email that goes to many other Viners in addition to me. I also prefer to be approached directly and personally in a professional manner. Also, include links to your site and social media sites so that I can do my research to understand what you do. - Meghan McCarthy


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When Taco Bell posts in a funny way, people screenshot its responses and they will go viral. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

Brands that engage on social media

Do you know of any brands that have done a really good job on social media?

Taco Bell. They are very active and will respond to tweets. And they often respond in a funny way so people will screenshot their responses and they will go viral. - Meghan McCarthy

Taco Bell once tweeted me “You’re funny,” so I retweeted it and now all of my followers see Taco Bell on my Twitter. - Brendon McNerney

Hamburger Helper asked me to be on their mixed tape. So, of course I will participate in that if I can. They are bringing in a lot of talent and it is a great brand from my childhood. - J.Cyrus

Even brands like Coca-Cola realize that they need a strong presence online, so they invest in Viners. - @JCyrusMusic

Coca-Cola is very active on social media as well. They post a lot of artsy photos as well. The idea is to post frequently but not too frequently. Instagram is once or maybe twice per day. I feel the same way with Vine, you want to be able to scroll through and see all of your connections’ photos, not just one. - Meghan McCarthy

Coca-Cola is a great example because if any company does not need to advertise, it would probably be Coke. However, they still know that they need a strong presence online and so they invest in Viners like Meghan and myself. I love it because you grow up drinking their products and now, you’re working for them. - J.Cyrus

Even these huge brands like Coca-Cola realize that hitting this audience is crucial. - Jesse Leimgruber


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Vine advertising benefits

What makes the 6.5 seconds of a Vine video so special?

There are 200 million people on Vine now, so their reach is massive. - @JesseRank

Well, it loops so it’s not really just 6.5 seconds. You can watch it over and over again without having to click anything. Also, it is easy to share. - Meghan McCarthy

On Vine we are able to not only showcase our own talents and skills, we help one another. As we share collaborative content, or repost content that our friends have created that we like, we can both grow our bases. - J.Cyrus

There are 200 million people on Vine now, so their reach is massive. - Jesse Leimgruber

When you invest in Vine, you are getting a commercial for pennies on the dollar with even greater reach than a commercial would have. There is also tremendous potential for growth in viewership. - Brendon McNerney

Vine ads are cheaper to create and have a greater reach than a TV commercial. - @BrendonMcNerney

And the content on Vine lives on. While with a TV commercial, if you stop paying, you’re gone, with a Vine, new people scrolling back through a favored Viner’s content may discover your Vine every day. - Jesse Leimgruber

And this is something that we love doing. We wake up each day and are thankful that we can be in so many people's lives and have positive effect on them. And to be able to receive a monthly income is amazing. - J.Cyrus

I doubt that anyone would have thought that you could call social media a profession 2 years ago, or even a marketing platform. - Jesse Leimgruber

Vine is a little over 2 years old, which means that it is very new. Working with brands is something that we like to do because it enables us to progress. - J.Cyrus

truTV has a show based on Vines. - Brendon McNerney

Top Viner King Bach will be starring on a Fox show with Key and Peele. We, as Viners are so supportive of his success, because we believe that social media is the future of entertainment. - J.Cyrus

Variety put out a report wherein they surveyed people ages 14-20 and asked them to name their top 10 celebrities. 7 out of 10 celebrities mentioned are exclusively on social media. So for that demographic, these people are bigger celebrities than mainstream celebrities like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. - Jesse Leimgruber


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When brands let the Vine creator create it can go viral and brands will get greater reach. - @MeghanWMcCarthy

Vine influencers recognized in public

How often are you recognized in public?

It depends on the venue, but I was at a music festival recently and I was recognized a lot. It is really a great feeling to be able to put out these humorous videos and get back such positive comments. - Matt King

Most times that I go in public, I get recognized. Although I have 3.2 million followers, many more people than that are aware of me through sharing. In fact, I have a branded video that got shared on Facebook and it has over 30 million views on Facebook alone. When brands let the creator create, instead of making such a branded video, it can go viral and you will get so much more for your money. - Meghan McCarthy

If your content is good enough it will be shared on other platforms, besides Vine. - @JCyrusMusic

The amazing thing about that is that someone, not Meghan, liked her branded video so much that they shared it on their Facebook page that has 2 million followers and it took off from there. The brand certainly didn’t pay for the Facebook advertising, but they got it. If your content is good enough, that is going to happen 8 out of 10 times, that your content will be shared off platform. - J.Cyrus

I have 300,000 followers, but Matt King and I did a Vine together that has 25 million loops. Also, on branded Vines, I did a series for Back to the Future that was extremely successful, and no one really knew it was branded. - Brendon McNerney


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Vine influencers give back

Do you do any charitable work with your Vines?

Besides charitable projects, it's important to support our fans who are in a rough patch. - @JCyrusMusic

We all have individual charitable projects that we take on, but the biggest one is to communicate with and support our fans who are in a rough patch. I just received a message from a fan who is going through chemo and he let me know that my videos are one thing that really help him make it through tough days. How cool is that? That we get to make a difference in people’s lives like that. Another thing that we do that you may not see is to provide insight and advice to you who turn to us. - J.Cyrus

I do some work for animal welfare charities, but we really work a lot with kids who come to us with questions and needs for mentorship. I get frequent messages from kids who thank me for inspiring them to be themselves. That feels good, because we also get a lot of hate online. - Meghan McCarthy


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Vine emphasizes short content

Why did you choose Vine? Isn’t 6.5 seconds challenging?

Using Vine is like posting punchlines. It is a great outlet for that. - @BrendonMcNerney

Vine, because it is so short, is very efficient for me to get an idea, get it out there on the fly for people to see. As someone who sat on YouTube trying to make content, when Vine came around and I only needed to publish 6.5 seconds of work, it was much easier for me to create content and gain a following. - J.Cyrus

Using Vine is like posting punchlines. It is a great outlet for that. - Brendon McNerney

It is not easy to consolidate your comedy to 6.5 seconds, but when you get good at it, then they just come out. - J.Cyrus


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Vine video production time

How long do you typically spend per day on building content? How big is your team?

5 minutes. If I spend more than 5 minutes on a Vine, then I won’t post it. - Brendon McNerney

Vines that are effortless and on-the-fly are doing better than the cinematic productions. - @JCyrusMusic

I spend hours making one Vine, fine tuning it to the point that I would find it funny if I didn’t know who I was. We all have different creative processes. - Matt King

There are Viners who have full production teams. However, more and more, Vines that are effortless and on-the-fly are doing better than the cinematic productions. - J.Cyrus

Some of my Vines take 6.5 seconds to make, some take hours. My team is me and my boyfriend. YouTube takes a lot longer. If I am doing a sketch, it can take hours to film, act, edit, do lighting, do sound. That can take days for a 3 minute video. - Meghan McCarthy


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Vine follower demographics

How much do you know demographically about your followers?

Simply viewing the comments section of your videos can reveal a lot about your audience. - @BrendonMcNerney

With companies like NeoReach, we know a tremendous amount about our followers, all the way down to what kind of shoes that they wear. But, even simply viewing the comments section of your videos can reveal a lot. - Brendon McNerney

Comments, messages, Snapchats that we get from our audiences reveal generally who the audience is. - J.Cyrus

YouTube has an excellent demographic section that you can access. - Meghan McCarthy


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Vine content review before posting

Do you ever have others review your posts prior to posting?

Absolutely - all. It is amazing how much reach we have now. Ten years ago, it was impossible for a traditional celebrity to get a message to all of their followers at once. - Jesse Leimgruber


Vine Marketing Panel Digital Growth Summit