Marketers' video campaign decisions just got harder - Vine and Instagram are proving to be strong competitors.

Last week, Facebook and Instagram took the video content sharing world by storm when they introduced their own streaming digital media feature on the photo-sharing site. The announcement is particularly striking because it puts the fast-rising social network in direct competition with Vine – an application scooped up by Twitter earlier this year that has demonstrated immense growth.

This challenges marketers to assess which channel to use for their video marketing campaigns – a decision that’s made more difficult because both platforms continue to hit impressive performance benchmarks.

Instagram video hits the ground running
Instagram video content performs well after initial launch.

While some purists may feel disdain about Instagram’s foray into video marketing, the platform hosted a year’s worth of video content within the first eight hours it was live, according to a post on the networks’ official blog. It also boasts famous users have taken to recording live clips, including professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, rapper and actor Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Snoop Lion) and British luxury fashion brand Burberry.

Vine still holding its own

Despite it’s 9-second disadvantage, Vine is still beating Instagram in application downloads. (Vine currently only supports 6-second video clips, while Instagram allows users to record for 15 seconds. See Brafton’s previous article to learn about other differences between the platforms). Vine takes the No. 7 spot in Apple’s free application iTunes charts, while Instagram comes in just behind at No. 8.

Unruly Media just released data showing the number of Vine Tweets sent every second increased from five in April to nine at the beginning of June – nearly doubling in a two-month span.

“Vine and other platforms, most recently Instagram, are leading a revolution in social video sharing.”

“Vine and other platforms, most recently Instagram, are leading a revolution in social video sharing,” said Unruly COO and co-founder Sarah Wood. “Mobile video consumption tripled in 2012 … Advertisers can get ahead of the competition, grow their social footprint and extend their mobile reach by including Vine as part of an always-on content marketing strategy.”

Vine may be the best choice for some companies, but marketers must take a pulse on their target audiences to determine which channel is best for each brand. When they find the platform that resonates with prospects, marketers have great opportunities to share entertaining or educational clips that can drive brand awareness through internet virality.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.