Christmas video marketing: a gift for all brands

23rd December 2013

Christmas marketing, how does it work for your brand? With all the high-profile adverts becoming TV and social media events in themselves, it can be difficult to know how to compete in your sector marketplace.

So we’d like to offer you some video marketing tips as an early Christmas present to give your brand an edge. Read on to find out how video can help your business get festive and reach your brand objectives.

Christmas is not just for retail…

Retail is the big focus at Christmas. But we work with brands across a wide range of sectors from engineering and technology to medical and financial services, and all can use the Christmas hook in their video marketing content.

Christmas is one of the few times when millions of people come together to enjoy a shared experience. If your business is noticed during the holidays, it could help create brand loyalty for 2014.

Christmas Planning

Like the perfect Christmas meal, you need to plan and prepare in advance. Data-driven marketing is the key, so make sure you act on what’s worked well for you in the past and throughout the year. What was the drop off on video marketing ads last year? Tailor the length of your videos accordingly for this year’s content.

Many big retail brands are now starting their Christmas advertising before Halloween, with the majority of campaigns in the first two weeks of November, so it’s important that you’re prepared too.

The teaser trailer, then the video, then the ‘making of…’ video can all be planned into your schedule. Here’s the teaser trailer from M & S which was debuted on social media rather than broadcast media – a first for the brand.

Obviously, the budget and scale of your video marketing campaign depend on your business size and your sector. Nonetheless, planning goes for all brands. To improve the impact of your blogger outreach, build relationships with the influential bloggers in your market early for more effective results with Christmas sharing.

Think emotional

Video ads can easily revert to Christmas clichés, but one thing is sure, it’s important to focus on the story and the emotional response that they create rather than solely on the products. One recent study on the science of sharing indicated that positive emotions work more effectively. The authors of the study suggested:

“Creators should worry less about whether the video content contains a baby, a dog or a celebrity, and instead invest in pre-testing to ensure the material makes the viewer laugh, gasp or get goose pimples.”

A study by video viral agency, Fractl, using a Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion found that the most viral content played on the following emotions:

  • Anticipation
  • Surprise
  • Trust or admiration
  • Joy

Work with your video marketing agency to discuss how your brand can tell stories to elicit these responses. The elements combine in this American ad for Kohl’s.

What kind of video content this Christmas?

There are also lots of different types of video content which you can use to promote your brand.

Longform content

Sainsbury’s marked itself out from other supermarket chains this year, opting for longform content. The brand’s 50 minute film by Oscar-winning director Kevin McDonald gave the brand PR and social sharing opportunities, plus a portfolio of shorter videos to broadcast and share socially. Figures from YouGov’s Brand Index show that Purchase Intent for the brand is up 6.6 points to 21.1.

Longform content can work really well for your brand in written form, post-Hummingbird, giving more opportunities to get into the longtail search.

Likewise, longform video content certainly has its place. Why? It showcases your brand in a way without screaming “sell, sell, sell”, which works well on social media, offers PR opportunities, and as it’s more in-depth content, associates your brand with quality. More than a third of all YouTube viewing now comes from longform video content.

Product Videos

We’ve highlighted Google’s advertising campaigns for Google Stories and Google Maps in the last few months, and here’s another example from the brand. This Google Chrome video isn’t for Christmas but it reinforces the family message and uses emotions to promote the product.

An advent calendar of videos

Advent calendars can go digital too, and it’s a great way to encourage your users to engage with your brand repeatedly throughout December. It can also help you to capture data from email signups and increase engagement through social sharing. The Love Magazine created a video advent calendar last year with retro style pinup videos with top models such as Daisy Lowe and Cara Delevigne each day in December until New Year.

Food brand, Gü, also ran with a digital advent calendar with competitions each day and video clues from their head chef.

Christmas is a time to be thankful

Social media fan engagement is not just critical for sales in the short term, but for sharing your content long-term and helping you improve your brand via real-time feedback. So Christmas can be a good time to say thank-you. Here’s a social media video marketing example from Burberry, which thanked their fans when they reached 10 million Facebook likes.

You could also work with a video agency to storyboard a fun video showing the personality of your brand, which could be shared over the Christmas period. Can you come up with a fun way to say thanks or Season’s Greetings to your audience? This video could be used as an alternative Christmas card.

Integrated video campaigns

Short videos can also work when integrated into a campaign. Fedex is a good example of an integrated marketing campaign creating a series of videos, Vine videos and print ads with the tagline ‘Introducing FedEx One Rate. Simple, flat-rate shipping with the reliability of FedEx.’

Video and social media: socialise this Christmas

In the UK 26% of shoppers recommend or seek out recommendations on social media, so it’s important to encourage people to share your content. Christmas is an emotional time, so if you get the content right, there’s more chance of it being shared.

Let’s go back to basics, and ensure that there are clear social sharing buttons with reasons to share, and that all your video content is on YouTube and optimised for search.

Incentivising sharing has its place too. You can offer rewards, discounts or exclusive content if people share videos or post a recommendation after purchase.

You can also add Christmas cheer to your social channels. Why not set up a related video Pinterest board? (See our top 10 tips on using video on Pinterest.)

Don’t stop at Christmas

Ensure that you have content scheduled during the Christmas and New Year period, for instance, you can contextualise your video content in scheduled blogs and email marketing campaigns.

And just as you’re feeling all festive, get ready for some “new you” content for New Year and romantic-themed content for Valentine’s Day….

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