Instagram, Vine and the importance of short videos

We have already talked about how designers can use Instagram to promote their work, using it as a virtual showcase. But this isn’t only applied to designers or creative professionals. Any brand can be on Instagram with the same goal (or to create more empathy with its audience).

How do I set myself apart from other brands? With videos!

The most common kind of posts on our social media feeds are pictures. In a community with 300 million active users it can be hard to show originality.

15 seconds are enough for a teaser, to present a product or to convey a message… And that’s what we’re after in the hasty pace at which we live in: a quick and concrete message. Meagan Cignoli (@meagancignoli), a viner and instagrammer, saw here a business opportunity.

Always packing.

Video by Meagan Cignoli + VisualCountry (@meagancignoli)


In addition to her personal projects that enrich her account on Vine and Instagram, Meagan creates short videos for brands, directed towards social media and the digital world in general. Her clients are brands like Coca-cola, Ebay, Vogue, Disney, Mercedes Benz, Ikea, Samsung, Dolce & Gabbana (and I could go on…). You can check out some of her works on her website. Convinced? If you’re not then you’re about to: these videos have budgets between 10 thousand and 250 thousand dollars! That says a lot about her efficiency.

The key to make this kind of content work is simple. On social media the trick is to be a part of the community. The best way to do it is to provide content that is similar to what a normal person would share.

“What we always try to tell the client is we just want to make you part of the community, we want to give you content like a normal person would have and give you a cool factor so it’s more humanizing.”

Meagan Cignoli, in Contently


What are the guidelines when producing videos for vine and instagram?


1 – Make the short duration of the video a challenge

The fact that videos can’t have more than 6 or 60 seconds will force us to think of new ways to tell our story. And even new techniques! Stop motion is without a doubt the king of videos on Instagram and Vine. But there are different ways to do it, like this montage of old photographs of Volkswagen cars (the vine from Volkswagen Canada is worth a peek).

2 – Planning the idea

It is not possible to develop a complex narrative. Therefore, we’re forced to think of a concept that goes straight to the point. This demands more planning and a better notion of what really is important to say.

3 – Exploit the loop

That, when well done, has us watching the same content over and over.

4 – Sharing through other social networks

On Instagram hashtags help us spread our posts. But when we can further exploit our content if we share it on Facebook. The same works for Vine, but in that case, by sharing on Twitter. As we know, Facebook owns Instagram, making the shared content from Instagram to Facebook more visually appealing. Not to mention that it does the opposite with posts from competitor networks (such as Vine) on its news feed. On the other hand, Twitter also isn’t very nice towards Instagram: content shared directly from Instagram to Twitter are shown in a visually unappealing way, since only the video URL is shown.

There are countless brands already having fun on Vine and Instagram. Oreo, Adidas, Target, Puma, Gap and Starbuck are some of them. Do you know of any others that have already done the same?

Andreia Calhau

Even with a sleepy face, she’s always ready for a challenge. Highly proactive and full of “scalabis” culture. Audiovisual is her thing and her inspiration sources are endless: from shorts films on Vimeo to the one and only Justin Timberlake.

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