7 ways of using Instagram and Vine for your online shop

By 4th November 2013 December 18th, 2017 Digital Marketing, Social Media
Vine logo

Two weeks ago we had a look at things you could do to drive sales and engagement to your online shop with Instagram photos. With Instagram however, you can create and post both photos and videos. This time, let’s have a look at Instagram’s video function and its competitor – Vine and how these can be used to drive visits to your online shop. Vine is a mobile app that allows you to create and share 6 second videos. If you never heard of Instagram or Vine, it’s safe to say that they are both extremely popular. Vine reached 40 million users this summer and Instagram recently hit the 150 million mark. Instagram is owned by Facebook and Vine is owned by Twitter so they are both in good hands for growth.

Differences between Instagram and Vine

If you want to start using video to promote your online shop, should you use Instagram or Vine, or maybe both? What are the differences between the two?

  • With Instagram you can create both photo and video whereas Vine is a pure video platform.
  • The other big difference is the length of the videos you can create. Instagram allow you to record 15 second videos, whereas Vine is limited to 6 second videos.
  • There are a number of minor differences as well like filters (only Instagram), image stabilisation (only Instagram), looping (only Vine) etc.

OK, enough technicalities. Let’s have a look at how they can be used.

1. How-to videos

Video is a great way to explain how to use your product. With a bit of creativity you can use your 15 or 6 seconds to share tips of how to best use your product. Practice a couple of times to make sure your message gets through and that the actual quality is good. Remember that you only have 6 or 15 seconds so it will be easier to show how your product works rather than explaining it verbally.

2. Show your product in action

Especially for e-retailers it can be difficult to convince potential clients to convert since they cannot touch, feel or try your product as easily as they would in a physical store. Help them and show what your product (or service) look like in action.

Talk about your product, service or company and why it’s good, or, illustrate it by text or drawing. I’m sure you can come up with various ways of presenting it with a piece of paper and a pen. Remember that both Instagram and Vine allows you to do stop motion videos.

3. Commercials

TV ads are usually around 30 seconds long. With a 15 seconds video, you can create informative ads for your target audience. Or, why not push yourself and try it out on Vine where you are limited to 6 seconds!? You can even embed your product videos to your online shop!

4. Use influence marketers

Only 1% actively create content whereas the other 99% are spectators. Working with an already established Vine or Instagram user would increase the likelihood of you getting noticed. For local businesses however, this might prove a too big task. But have a look, there might be a local hero or heroine in your neighbourhood.

5. Behind the scenes

Your customers like to see what happens behind the scenes and learn more about the products they purchase. This works well with both photo and video. Some behind the scenes ideas are shots from your work environment, your production processes and your team. You might also want to reach out to your customers via Facebook and Twitter and ask them what they want to see!

6. Video contest

Get your audience active and start a video contest. Ask them to create a video related to your product or services and show the winners contribution on your website for example.

7. Promote yourself

Use your video to promote your website, social channels or contact number by showing your URLs in a video or at the end of your videos. You can also ask your viewers verbally to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook.


Video is a great way to express creativity. Remember your brand values though. Practice a couple of times to make sure you set a tone that you feel is representable for your brand.

I would suggest that you try both Vine and Instagram to see which format and Interface you are most comfortable with. There isn’t a lot of statistics on user demographics yet so you might initially want to try them both out to see where you get the best response from your audience.  If you need some more inspiration, check out Vinebox for top Vines, Brands on Vine to see what other brands are doing or this post by Mashable for inspiration.

And as always, if you have great ideas you want to share. Please share them below!