It’s officially the holiday season, which means family gatherings, office parties, lights, decorations and Christmas tunes. But just because the year is coming to an end doesn’t mean you can slack off. The holiday season is actually the perfect time to strengthen your brand image through appropriately themed video content.
While Santa is making a list and checking it twice, you should be making a list as well. Only your list will have nothing to do with presents under the tree. Your list should be more of a to-do list for improving your branded video content. Put these eight tips on your list.
1. Forget the call-to-action.
“Don’t forget your call-to-action.” How many times have you heard this advice? After all, who would invest time and money into creating a branded video, only to leave off a call-to-action that encourages customers to act? Well, this holiday season you may do well to buck conventional wisdom.
This new TV spot from Amazon is the perfect example. It’s a simple commercial that doesn’t feature a single word or call-to-action. The only thing that even tells people it’s an Amazon commercial is the three-second still-frame shot of the iconic yellow arrow.
Watch the Amazon video and consider how much less powerful it would be if it ended with a big voice over that said something like, “Shop Amazon today and find great deals on knee braces!” The power of the video lies in its simplicity and selflessness.
2. Prioritize creativity.
Who doesn’t want their ad to go viral? It’s every advertiser’s dream to have the consumer share their ad directly to their communities. The internet has made that possible. What is impossible, however, is that anyone is going to share a boring or conservative ad.
"Fear can make companies feel that taking a bold creative approach to an ad is too risky. However, in our media saturated environment it’s risky not to be risky,” says Ted Passon, co-founder of All Ages Productions. “There is no incentive for someone to share your ad if they are not entertained or moved. When you’re competing with millions of hours of content that exists purely for entertainment, you need to be bold to be seen. Once a year advertisers bring out their A-game for the Super Bowl. It’s the only event where people tune in for the commercials. They anticipate them and share them online. That has to be every day now.”
3. Be careful with holiday selection.
Think very carefully about what holiday imagery you want to include in your message. While you may celebrate Christmas, does your audience? It would be a shame to produce a video filled with Christmas trees, Christmas music and Santa Clause, only to later remember that 40 percent of your target audience is Jewish.
Unless the vast majority of your audience celebrates one specific holiday, it may be best to include imagery from a bunch of different holidays into one -- or to just go generic with classic winter scenes.
4. Publish and share early enough.
“When the holidays arrive, the underprepared invest in ads conservatively because they haven’t yet tested their latest creatives. Before they know it, the celebration is over and they’ve spent a mere fraction of their overall budget,” digital marketing consultant Eric Samson says.
While you don’t want to start sharing holiday content in the summer, it’s wise to begin tinkering in late October and early November. This gives you a head start and allows you to gain enough feedback in time to tweak and optimize accordingly.
“By promoting your holiday sale early, you get first-mover advantage,” says Samson. “This helps you prime buyers to choose you as their default shopping destination for the holidays.”
5. Leverage social media.
While numbers aren’t everything, views are certainly important when it comes to video. And while you may be able to generate some direct traffic to your landing pages and websites via SEO and PPC ads, you really need to focus on social media. Creating viral content around the holidays can be a great way to drive sales.
6. Partner with a local cause.
Have you been trying to improve your brand image in the community? The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to get charitable. Try partnering with a local cause and creating some sort of branded video around the experience. Push this content out, and expect nothing but positive branding in return.
7. Prepare customers for next year.
While there’s probably very little that actually changes for your business between December and January, there’s a universal sense of hitting the reset button after the holiday season. Customers respond to this well and tend to be open to giving new brands a chance -- or re-engaging brands they’ve done business with in the past. Make the most out of this opportunity by using the holiday season to prepare customers for next year.
Since you probably already have a good idea of what you’ll be doing in January (in terms of marketing and branding), give your customers a bit of sneak peak in December. Produce video content that teases some upcoming event or launch. If nothing else, this increases the receptivity to your campaign at launch.
8. Don’t miss out on the holiday buzz.
Even if you aren’t an overly festive person, you don’t want to miss out on the holiday buzz. Nobody likes a Scrooge, and that’s exactly who you’re being if you don’t tap into the power of the holiday season to create better branded video content.
The holiday season is the one time of the year where people let down their guard a little bit and feel more enticed to engage with brands. Make the most out of this opportunity by showcasing your brand in the appropriate light.