Each year, we're seeing more and more video campaigns launching for viral and social media distribution on Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere by larger brands and businesses intent on tapping into the power of video as a marketing tool. Likewise, we're seeing an increase in video marketing content centered around holidays.
This trend is by no means restricted to big brands and businesses. The Internet has leveled the playing field considerably, so video and viral marketing can be as effective, with a small budget, proportionally speaking, as with a big budget. Big brands have to reach millions of people, while smaller businesses may only have to reach thousands. As always, targeting is key, and quality of views and shares trumps quantity.
As my agency puts the finishing bows and ribbons on a Valentine's Day video campaign for one of the larger wireless companies, I started thinking about why launching videos based on holidays is such a good idea and why everyone seems to be jumping on board.
1. Frequency. The holidays are always there. They happen each year like clockwork, so brands and businesses can plan far in advance and build campaigns around central themes associated with each holiday and major event. We worked with one Las Vegas hotel that scripted and shot video content for their website that included special messages for every single holiday of the year, from the Super Bowl to Saint Patrick's Day to New Year's.
2. Buyer targeting. Holidays can be easily broken down into identifiable buying groups. Valentine's Day is mostly about men of all ages buying things for women and, to a lesser extent, women buying things for men. Christmas is about parents buying for children and husbands and wives buying for each other. The Fourth of July is about partying at picnics and saving money on cars, furniture and carpet installation.
3. Special promos and offers. We are accustomed to being offered specials around holiday time. There are one-day sales, two-day sales, buy-one-get-one-free sales and tent sales everywhere. When launching a video marketing campaign, consider not only the consumers you are targeting directly, but also all of the people that interact with them on a daily basis. These are the tangential influencers, and they are viral marketers' best friends. Say, for instance, Kate sees a really funny or touching video for a special offer on smart phones. She doesn't need a smart phone right now, but she knows her sister Jane is looking for one. She could just tell Jane about the offer but she's just as likely to post the video on Jane's wall where hundreds of Jane's friends can watch. You can't do that with a TV or print ad.
4. Video is for sharing. Holidays establish and maintain many of the cultural bonds between us. Pair this with the always-on social networking ability we all enjoy and brands have an awesome opportunity to give their audiences content worth sharing at a time when they are most likely to share!
Many holidays are also attached to the sharing of cards. Video is a logical extension of that tradition that doesn't cost the sender a dime. People are typically looking for ways to reach out and say "hey" so why not let your video campaign reach out and say "hey" for them along with your brand message?
5. Holiday content as message. Simply put, holidays give marketers a great excuse to produce and launch video marketing content. Conversely, audiences are more receptive to holiday-based videos since they seem more relevant and welcome. "You're sending me a Happy Ground Hog Day video. I've heard of Ground Hog Day." A video message wrapped in an exciting, funny, touching or otherwise entertaining holiday video always feels less salesy and more safe to share.