The Impact of Instagram Versus Twitter Vine on UGC Contests
Why did Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram introduce 15 second videos now? Because he can? That’s a possible answer since barriers to download speeds have all but disappeared. This is thanks to 80% penetration of smart phones and tablets among adults 18-34. But technology aside for a moment, there is more to it as Systrom suggests; “You can capture a lot in 15 seconds. It’s the right balance between not too short and not too long where you have to wait a lot of time for it to download.” Sounds like Goldilocks and the three bears to me. Twitter Vines (too hot) and the rest of UGC (too cold). So will millions of users prefer the 15 second Instagram video (Mmmmmm, just right) format? It is an important question for promotion marketers because UGC contests are bursting as a tactic to drive engagement. As a contest administrator we know that clients want two things; 1. Quantity; and 2. Quality of Submissions. It is hard to know which format may work better, but here is some counsel we are offering our clients.
Impact on Entry Quantity
Downloading an app is a disrupter to consumers who may enter a contest on impulse. If you are after a young audience, immediate is not soon enough, so pick your format with that in mind. It stands to reason then, that it helps if your target already has the app. Instagram is made up of people who have used it to document “moments in time.” It is an easy thing to do and that’s why 130 million already have it. That’s 10X the number of Vine. There is a simple reason for this as well. A video, even a 6 second one involves a bit of thought. Downloading a new app is not a heavy burden but offering a video contest to a large installed base of Instagram users may produce more entries.
Impact on Entry Quality
The number of current Instagram and Vine users to pick a format is a credible metric to use for quantity. For quality, the critical thing is to make sure you match what you are asking someone to do to the right format. Example, Labor Day the unofficial end to the summer is coming up. “Tell us why our hot dog will make your barbeque better for a chance to win.” Can quality content be gathered in 6 seconds? Do consumers need 15 seconds? By the way Instagram permits any length between 3 and 15 seconds, but that is also a possible cause of confusion for users. Confusion equals disconnect, not ideal when trying to encourage contest entries. Some luminaries in the industry have suggested Instagram’s 15 second length fits the 15 second TV ad unit presumably for the type of UGC programs made famous by Doritos. It may or may not have been by design. From a production value side Instagram has filters that enhance quality. Vine is raw in comparison. It depends on what you are looking for. Innovation continues daily as well which is something to keep an eye on. For example, Instagram is now making videos recorded through its service embeddable on other sites. This provides an easy way to spread content and is particularly useful if public voting is part of your contest structure. Match your call to action to the right format and you’ll be all set. And here is a statistic to keep you grounded. YouTube still receives more content minute to minute than both Instagram and Vine combined. It is for a good reason. Someone who is creating video content may want more than a few seconds to do so.
So when Goldilocks arrives at your UGC contest site, offer just a single bowl, the right bowl every time. “Mmmmm, just right.” You’ll be sure to get the most entries every time. To discuss what may be the best platform for your particular contest idea please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help.
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