Can Micro Social 6-Second Videos Work for Direct Marketers?

Is it really possible to apply direct marketing principles to those new “micro social” 6-second videos (like Twitter’s Vine)? … And expect to monetize it? We’re about to find out, and we’d like to invite you to get on board with the campaign test with your ideas. In turn, we’ll share with you the results and statistics we’ll gather from email blasts, Facebook posts, YouTube views, and ultimately sales performance. You may know about Twitter’s latest foray into “micro social” with six-second videos on Vine, and if you’re like us, you shake your head and ask, “really? Who would do that and why?” Moreover, is there a way to make money from this?

Our opinions on such wild concepts, however, don’t matter. Results are what drive us as direct marketers. So rather than pour cold water over a new tool, we decided to dive into it to see if we could make it work. We’re about to test the concept and find out if we can make it a success. We’ll report on what’s happening over the next few weeks and in April we’ll have the final results.

(If the video isn’t just above this line, click here to view it.)

This six-second video test starts next week, so it’s early in the campaign with time to adapt and adjust. And that’s where your ideas can come in. The campaign extends into early April, allowing plenty of time to adjust it along the way.

But there is a twist: because the organization we’re testing this concept for doesn’t have a large Twitter following, we figured, heck, why not create short video blasts that can reside on YouTube, Facebook, and a web landing page (where we already have a large audience), and see what happens.

We invite your participation in formulating this test by answering a few questions (along with other questions and suggestions you think of) in the comments section below. Here’s how you can participate:

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  • MaryBal

    I agree, cross-platform campaigns always are more effective. I have seen a few of the 6 second Vine videos and think that you can get more across than you’d initially think, being a little repetitive even in 6 seconds can work too.

  • Peter Terhune

    Intriguing idea, I’ll be eager to join the conversation about how it performs.

  • NatMoraisBR

    Hi Gary,
    This is a very interesting idea, but what people cannot forget is that online results are also a reflection of what you do offline. Vine videos and Facebook campaigns wont be successful if there’s no offline efforts.
    That said, Vine can be very useful tool to tease customers about a new product (see what Taco Bell has done here: or to show them something you do (like here: I don’t think you can base a whole campaign and have a positive ROI only using Vine — the short videos are just an addition to your marketing efforts.

    I’m curious to see your results!

  • Lynn Krenz

    I think it would be a great way to showcase those who have seen performances and telling their favorite part of the performance.

  • David Leopold

    The first thing I would do is create the YouTube/Google vs. Facebook Challenge.
    "SmallBizDavid" LIKES Challenges!

  • Gary Hennerberg

    Thanks to all of you with your comments, and emails! The response to this message has created a lot of interest. And we’ve made adjustments based on your input. For example, we had an offline/direct mail component, but in a duh moment, I realized we weren’t promoting the contest on the postcard. That’s being changed. Of course we’ll include the contest in both our email promotions and on Facebook, so it will be a cross-platform push. We’re settling in on production of the video (in our next blog we’ll show you an example), legal has reviewed the rules, and much more. Thanks again for your feedback, and we look forward to reading more and reporting back in our next blog with progress.

  • Chris Mader

    Can’t wait to see what comes of this! I work in the wedding photography industry where we are consistently educating brides to the length of time quality work takes. Do you think a series of 6-second videos would undermine that?