The holiday shopping season is upon us! As always, retailers – online and in-store alike – are ever on the lookout for new ways to share their promotions with consumers. While the old standbys like email, direct mail and online and in-store advertising are almost always in the mix, savvy marketers are turning an eye toward video marketing to spice things up for the holidays.
Whether you’re new to video marketing or just need some quick tips, here’s how to effectively use it in your holiday content campaigns.
YouTube Reigns Supreme
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. It’s the fastest growing video sharing website in the world, with more than 100 hours of video uploaded every hour by its 1 billion unique monthly users. While you can find quite literally any type of video you could imagine – from movies and music videos, to instructional how-to videos, inspirational talks, and even boneheads attempting to construct homemade rollercoasters in their backyard – there is one common thread: attention span. Or better yet, our lack thereof.
Remember the Time article highlighting the Microsoft study that found people now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish? Yeah, you’ve got your audience for about 8 seconds, and that’s being generous. Hook them quick, or they’re out.
Today’s online consumer is stretched thin. They have multiple tabs open, music playing in the background, social media notifications distracting them, and that “one more thing” they need to “look up really quick.” It’s no wonder video content is rapidly outpacing traditional written content as the preferred medium for consumers. People want their information in short, easily digestible clips that allow them to casually watch and listen while multi-tasking.
Moreover, they want something real. Reading something versus seeing real people behind a brand on camera, talking directly to customers, and hey, maybe even messing up a line or two, makes a brand more relatable.
For these and so many other reasons, brands are realizing the power in video marketing and are quickly getting onboard.
Video Marketing Is More Than Making A Video
First things first, you don’t need to hire a professional production company to shoot a video. Video marketing comes in many forms, from casual conversations with employees, to product feature videos, to webinars with slides and speaking in the background. You can even take existing content, like an infographic or blog post, and break it apart into slides and convert it into a video. A video can be of real life people and things, but it doesn’t have to be in order to be effective.
Second, simply creating a video and posting it to your YouTube channel doesn’t ensure it’s going to get found. While YouTube videos consistently rank well in the SERPs, like all online content, there is a (mysterious) algorithm that determines relevancy and what videos are shown in a given search. While the specifics are unknown, number of views, video title and description (hello, SEO!), and video rating (likes/dislikes), seem to be factors that impact rankings in SERPs.
And this leads to our final point: people need to see your video and give it some social currency in order for it to gain organic traction.
This means you need to share your videos far and wide!
Here are some ideas:
- Post to your brand’s YouTube channel first – use the YouTube link for all other sharing/promotion.
- Share the YouTube video link on your social sites – ask for feedback. Ask people to “like” and subscribe.
- Embed the YouTube video on your website – just don’t make it auto-play as soon as the page loads. Give people the option of clicking on the video.
- Include the YouTube link in your email marketing – be sure to tell subscribers what’s in it for them and why they should watch your video.
- Promote it in-store with a sign and dynamic QR code – include an incentive for viewing the video and leaving feedback (think discount code at the end of the video!).
- Include the video in your advertising campaigns – oh yes, you can use videos in your PPC campaigns, Facebook ads, Instagram Stories, and in native advertising.
Leveraging Video For Holiday Promotions
Now let’s dive into how to actually use video in your holiday content!
*Quick note: One thing to keep in mind regardless of the time of year, is that most people watch video content in public or at work – often without sound. While Facebook automatically ads captions to videos, not all sites do, so it’s a good practice to add your own captions to videos with speaking. So feel free to jazz up your holiday videos with some jingle bells and ho-ho-ho, but understand that most people probably won’t listen to it.
So what kind of videos can you produce for holiday content? Here are some ideas:
- Sneak peek of sales, promotions, and special offers. Be sure to include the dates and, for in-store promotions, hours.
- Product videos highlighting popular items, features, and pricing.
- Product review videos, including any from bloggers and influencers if you have them.
- Instructional and how-to videos, if applicable to your products or services.
- Behind-the-scenes videos with employees, showing your facility, staff, and holiday preparations (you can quickly evaluate their willingness with pulse surveys).
- Store walkthrough (if you have a brick and mortar location) showing where to find sale items.
- GIFs. Nothing says a video has to be lengthy or chatty! Create a festive GIF, or use an existing one to capture the spirit of holiday shopping.
Need some inspiration? Check out this promotional video AMC Theaters did in advance of the Minions movie a few years ago. The Minions are Christmas carolling, so it’s hilariously adorable, and the theater group was promoting free popcorn vouchers for every $30 spent on holiday gift cards. You’re entertained by a video of Minions carolling, you realize movie theater gift cards are the perfect holiday gift, and you get free popcorn. It’s a holiday video marketing grand slam!
Using Pop-up Offers To Create Excitement And Urgency Around Videos
We already talked about how to promote your videos in general, but let’s take a closer look at how to use pop-up offers to create some excitement and urgency around your holiday video content.
Picreel customers have the option of using GIFs as the background of their offer campaigns. And the holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of this feature to add some festivity to your offer. Think falling snow, twinkling lights, or excited holiday shoppers. The animation and movement in the offer catches visitors’ attention better than a static pop-up, and let’s face it, there are so many FUN holiday GIFs to choose from!
Another way you can use offers in your video marketing strategy is by setting the targeting of the campaign to trigger the pop-up when visitors click your video. You could also show an offer for a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming sales and an exclusive offer when visitors subscribe. The visitor provides their email address, you send them an email with the video, and at the end of the video there’s a special offer.
Or, you could use an offer to tell visitors to visit your Instagram page every day for a special price on an item, discount code, etc. Using Instagram Stories, you can create short videos for your holiday promotions that are only viewable for 24 hours. The ephemeral nature of these features on social sites like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat create a sense of urgency and shoppers won’t want to miss the “deal of the day” on your story.
People love videos, and the fun, festive, and glittery nature of the holiday shopping season is the ideal time to add video marketing to your strategy. Get started by creating a video or GIF to promote your holiday offers, then get shoppers excited by sharing the video across multiple platforms and using pop-up offers to promote it to site visitors.
How do you use video marketing around the holidays? Leave us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!