In the mid-2010s, Vine was the go-to place for short online clips. YouTube catered well (and still does) for longer clips, but it never really focused on micro-clips of less than ten seconds. Vine made a name for itself as an online repository for short, sharp video clips of six seconds. It became so popular that Twitter saw its potential and bought the site. Unfortunately, they later changed their mind and closed Vine down in 2017, arguably as a cost-cutting measure.
However, like a phoenix reborn from the ashes, we now have Byte. In many ways, this feels like Vine 2 and is building a reputation as an updated, supercharged version of its predecessor.
Like all such video and social media platforms, Byte provides new marketing opportunities for brands. If your target audience hangs out on a particular platform, it makes sense that your brand has a visible presence there too.
It is early days for Byte, and they still need to work on building their popularity. They have had to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic in their formative months, too. However, Byte has made enough of an impact for competitor TikTok to buy Google Ads, which show up in the results whenever anybody searches for “Byte” in the Google search engine.
Byte also recognizes that they will have more advertisers in the future. They are in the process of opening the Byte Partner Program, which will allow the distribution of advertising money to creators.
The Ultimate Guide to Marketing on Byte:
What is Byte?
The arrival of Byte piqued interest, as it topped the iOS free app charts in the week of its release. Android users have also appeared keen, with it performing well in the Google Play Store.
Byte, like Vine, is the brainchild of Dom Hofmann. We have previously written in detail on What is Byte and How Does it Work?
Byte went live in beta in May 2019, before going fully public in January 2020. it saw more than 780,000 downloads in its first weekend. In comparison, the much more established TikTok had 8.2 million downloads in the same weekend.
Byte features ultra-short videos. The typical Byte video lasts for a mere six and a half seconds, although they are currently trialing eight-second videos. According to their What’s New page, “8 second bytes: This is an experiment. You may notice bytes feel slightly longer. They are. For now, at least.” Whether they be six and a half or eight-second videos, there is no room for filler. Byte videos are sudden and straight to the point.
Byte includes all the typical social features you expect in a video-sharing platform. These include a feed, Explore page, notifications, and profiles. Currently, Byte misses some of the flashier features you find in TikTok or Instagram, like augmented reality filters and transition effects, but you will find everything essential. Over time, you will undoubtedly find that Byte adds more "nice to haves."
Byte has continued to add additional features since its debut. For example, in March, they added Byte Beats (little looping audio tracks), and Floaties (floating objects that you can create, place in the world, and then record.) In April, they introduced the ability to add text to your bytes, along with new profile badges and the 8-second video trial.
Byte includes an advertising marketplace for businesses, although they have limited the locations for Byte ads. Ads will not, initially at least, appear:
- in front of Bytes
- in the ‘following feed’
- in retargeting
The Byte Partner Program
Back in February, before COVID-19 sent much of the world into chaos, Byte announced that they were reaching out to content creators for their partner program. They were offering a total of $250,000 in their initial trial.
news flash. next week we’re gonna start reaching out to cOnTeNt CrEaToRs for our partner program. some quick info on the first group of partners…...
? $250,000 in the pool
? up to a hundred creators
? kicks off april 15
more details here: https://t.co/T21JPbwalS
— BYTE.MP4 (@byte_app) February 28, 2020
The monetization possibilities of the Byte Partner Program are likely to be a critical factor for Byte’s success. Some commentators believe the lack of monetization opportunities was a crucial factor in Vine’s ultimate lack of success.
The Partner Program will have only a limited role initially. Byte will only make it available to 100 US creators. Byte invited interested creators to apply to become members of the scheme. Byte is looking for creators who produce original and unique content. They are looking for the following in particular:
- Originality: Your content should showcase your unique voice and be created for Byte and the Byte community – clearly, Byte doesn’t want TikTok leftovers.
- Community participation: Partners should be regular and active participants on Byte. This means doing things like constantly posting quality bytes and engaging with others in positive, constructive, and inspiring ways.
- Format — 9:16, non-letterboxed videos: They are looking for the content that looks best on Byte, which means full screen without letterboxes.
The Byte Partner Program will eventually become a revenue-sharing scheme for influencers and successful Byte video makers. Byte will calculate viewership every thirty days. Based on these numbers, and the comparative viewership of each of the Partners, Byte will calculate an amount they are willing to pay creators. The sum paid each month is the amount that advertisers have spent on the platform. Byte determines different payment tiers for its creators, placing each creator in a level, depending on his/her channel's success. Byte pays every creator in each level the same amount.
Byte says it will create a new Partner Pool every 120 days and pay its members in four 30-day installments. The initial $250,000 applies to the first 120 days.
Although Byte has initially restricted its Partner Program to US creators, they do say they will share their intentions about expanding to other regions as they develop.
This was supposed to launch on April 15. However, Byte appears to be silent on the topic now, presumably due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Byte announced in its Byte Bulletin on April 10 that their team was working remotely, although that hasn’t stopped them introducing new features. They did say, "As of this bulletin, about 80% of the invites have gone out, and conversations are continuing. Once the program starts, there will be an indication in the app of who's a partner. The group so far reflects a variety of styles and voices from the community. It includes people who have been on Byte since the beta days as well as newer creators. This felt like the right approach toward our goals of ensuring great content on Byte and helping new people find us.”
Byte Shares 100% of Ad Revenue with Creatives, For Now
Ultimately, Byte will be a revenue-sharing scheme, much in the same way that advertising revenue is split between YouTube and its creators. However, as an incentive to the platform’s influencers and best creators, Byte has announced that they are prepared to return 100% of the ad revenue during the period of the pilot program.
Byte has stated, “a majority of the revenue going to creators, with a minority going to us to help with our operations and business.”
Creators in the Partner Program gain a few other perks, compared to other Byte creators. Membership of the program gives them a range of benefits:
- Monetization: Participate in revenue share and get compensated for your bytes.
- Direct contact: Text or email Byte to chat about anything creator-related you’re thinking about.
- Experimental features: Get access to features Byte’s testing and considering introducing. They will seek your feedback, as well.
- Opportunities: Meet and greets, Byte apparel, etc.
Nike Launched the First Byte Ad Campaign
Nike launched the Byte Ad program. Its first ad appeared as a sponsored section within the app, distinguishing it clearly from the everyday uploaded videos.
Byte made it clear from the beginning that it hoped the ads that played on the platform would celebrate creativity and community. It’s not as if you could play your typical television ad in a 6-8-second slot. The primary users of Byte appear to be Generation Z, as with TikTok, and this generation has demonstrated a low threshold for blatant salesy-type ads.
Nike’s ad campaign featured a series of “Self Hail Mary” videos, showing people throwing and catching impossible football passes. They used a simple editing trick to make it look like someone was throwing a ball to themselves.
Ideas to Help Your Marketing on Byte
Make Original Videos for Byte
Originality is essential for Byte success. It is probably the most crucial factor that Byte looks at when considering membership of its Partner Program. According to their Byte Bulletin 12, “While “quality” is subjective, it’s the main criteria we’ve used to select partners. We aren’t focused on numbers or current popularity. Partners are in this program because we genuinely enjoy their creative expression and because we fundamentally believe that creators should be able to earn from the platforms where they share their work.”
Apart from any other reason, Byte, TikTok, and YouTube all favor different video lengths. Therefore, it is essential to customize your videos for each platform.
Engage with Your Followers
This is almost a cliché because it is the same for every social network, but to gain maximum success from your social marketing, you need to genuinely engage with your followers. If you think you might struggle with this, then it might be better to work with an influencer on Byte, who already engages with his or her followers daily.
Share Quick Tutorials
Depending on your product, you might be able to make short videos where you give a quick tutorial. However, due to the extremely brief nature of Byte videos, these can only be mini-tutorials and certainly can’t go into any great depth.