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Yesterday Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo tweeted a six second video clip of himself making steak to his 1M+ followers.
This is a big deal to many because it was using the tech behind Vine, a video sharing startup acquired by Twitter.
It should be a big deal to content marketers everywhere because it's a glimpse into the future.
Doing content marketing well means not only organizing and controlling tone/message, but also getting it seen by others. As I've already posted here, journalists are at the top of the food chain when it comes to generating a reaction to a piece of content online because of the nature of their work in breaking news and trends.
Video pitching journalists has already been lauded by many as a great alternative to a press release, but in our information rich age, getting a journalist to sit through a two minute YouTube clip can be equally as challenging as getting them to the end of a 300-word email pitch.
Here is how Twitter's Vine enters into the equation:
1. It encourages everyone to be back on Twitter
Development of media services into Twitter's platform will encourage the Tweetdeck and Hootsuite diehards to get out from behind those columns and start using Twitter's own iOS/Android app and website.
This is obviously a win for Twitter and the reason it goes on acqusition binges in the first place, but looking beyond this, it also gives stable media playback you can count on to everyone on those channels.
A lot of journalists use filters to drowned noise out of their feed, which may impact your ability to get in front of them with a relevant message, so consider this a win for content marketers.
2) A new viable alternative to Instagram
Instagram as recently become the publication channel of choice for all the cool kids on the block.
The problem for many B2B content marketers, or other content marketers in general who may not have visually-appealing messaging, lies in the format.
A six second video however, which is basically a GIF, opens up a new short story telling ability embeddable into a single tweet. I'd advise content marketers on Instagram to pay attention.
3) The GIF pitch allows your personality to come through
Look at this post by David Pogue at The New York Times, where the writer is outlining his favorite PR pitches from 2011 and you can see it's not about the messaging behind the press release (it was a two minute video pitch that won out), but the personality and methods used to get his attention.
The GIF pitch will allow for new creative ways for content marketers to insert their own personality and creativity in between the message and the journalist they are trying to pitch. Here, everyone wins.
FYI, the technology behind Vine is in no way new. Our social media manager Matt Owen has several picks for apps that can create a similar cinematic feel out of photos. They include:
It's easy to see why Kinotopic is one of the more popular photo animation apps out there.
It's very simple to use and it offers filters that are extremely similar to Instagrams. Simply take a short video on your phone and choose a start and end frame. Kinotopic then allows you to 'paint' on the area you want to remain anaimated.
I'd recommend using a stylus for fine work as those of us with fat fingers will struggle to get detailed movements, but with a little care and patience you can create some fantastic results.
Similar in layout and function, but relies on an image box, so this is slightly less accurate than Kinotopic. That said it does offer quick processing and is very easy to use.
An ideal option if, for example, you had a moving bilboard ad that you wanted to share across social channels. Just snap, crop, animate and post:
Cinemagram were one of the earlier apps to offer animated photo options but it's still a high-quality choice. Filter options include xpro and vintage options so images will slot in seamlessly alongside your current Instagram collection.
Flixel bills itself as 'Inspired by cinemagraphs', and the results it offers are certainly impressive. There's an active community submitting images on the website, and these largely do away with grungy filters to focus on eye-popping colours that will really make your images stand out.
This wouldn't be the internet if I didn't include at least one cat pic here, so here's a very fluffy example:
Good old Photoshop will let you create short animated movies with a bit of know-how. Basically here you'd be importing a video clip, duplicating and reversing the frames, and then adding a duotone layer.
It's beyond my photoshop skills currently (Although they are limited to cropping my own head into celebrity pictures, Forrect Gump-style, so don't let that put you off), but any experienced user should be able to create these for you, and the results will have higher resolution so great for sharing on your website, or social platforms with a larger available screen size.
You can find a step-by-step tutorial over on Net Magazine.
If you are a content marketer and you are also excited about Vine for reasons I forgot to cover here, let me know in the comments!