Last year, two-thirds of online shoppers used video to help them find the gifts they wanted. This year that will rise to three quarters, the highest it’s ever been in the holiday season. The rise is due in part to the increased usage of mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads, which are excellent video delivery hubs. Thus it’s imperative for marketers to not only make videos to attract customers during the Black Friday-to-Christmas shopping period, but also to produce memorable, actionable video fare that will lead to higher sales and better engagement.
Here are some tips on how to make your videos stand out this holiday season. Whether it’s funny or poignant, your video should tell a story that makes the viewer excited about your company and interested in learning more about your products.
There’s a reason “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Home Alone” are watched over and over again this time of year: They’re funny. People love to laugh, and producing a funny video is a great way to market your brand during the holidays. A 2012 ad by Norton, the anti-virus and computer backup company, shows a frazzled woman preparing a holiday dinner. She accidentally cooks her laptop instead of the tray of appetizers she meant to put in the oven, and once she discovers her mistake, it’s too late for the busted machine. The cooked computer is a funny visual image, and it also serves a point: You should back up your files just in case.
The very best videos demonstrate something in action that is difficult to convey with words. Bold images work best in video, because these pictures will stick with the consumer after watching. For example, a video on cook ware demonstrates in vivid detail the durability of Ceramcor’s Xtrema ceramic cookware by placing a regular aluminum pot inside an Xtrema pot. The video shows the aluminum pot melting to a silvery mess when exposed to intense heat, while the Xtrema pot remains unscathed. That’s an image that will stay in the viewer’s head, and they’re sure to come away with a new feeling toward aluminum pots.
Tell a Story
At this time of year, people are always in a rush. It’s go-go-go to wrap that final present or make that final fruitcake. That’s why it’s also the perfect time to remind customers about the real importance of the holiday, no matter what their religion: family, friends and giving. Releasing a video that tells a story related to those ideas creates a deep connection with potential customers, showing them you value more than just money and profits. John Lewis, a department store in the United Kingdom, has had great success with a series of warm, family-oriented ads the past few years.
Say Thank You
Saying thank you to your customers is advisable no matter the season, but it’s particularly smart to do it during the holidays, when giving thanks is at the top of people’s radar. Whether it’s a heartfelt message from your CEO or something a little more ambitious, this can be achieved through a video. A few years ago Klick!, a brand marketing company, compiled a clever video that touched on 63 of the year’s biggest Internet memes while also saying thank you to its clients. The video drew more than 128,000 views on YouTube.
Reference Pop Culture
Nothing makes a video go viral faster than a timely parody. As long as you can fit the idea into your marketing theme, you’re sure to get a lot of traffic if you spoof something red hot in pop culture. Last year Jawiin, a writer who makes nerd-themed videos, scored a hit with a video entitled “The Walking Dead Christmas Special.” It showed what happens when the humans fighting the zombies try to squeeze in a bit of holiday gift swapping, among other hilarious moments, and the video scored nearly 200,000 streams, becoming Jawiin’s most-viewed video.
Promote it on Social Media
Once you have your video made, don’t forget to promote it on your social media channels. Holiday-related posts receive 90 percent more engagement than non-holiday ones, according to Facebook. And according to EdgeRank, an algorithm developed by Facebook to determine what is displayed where on its newsfeed, videos are some of the most engaging posts on the social media site.