The first viral sensation of the holiday season is a master class in video advertising: the U.K. retailer John Lewis unveiled its new Christmas ad featuring a little boy and his beloved penguin, Monty. The spot was posted to YouTube on Nov. 6, and has been viewed more than 15 million times. The annual holiday videos have become an institution in the U.K. and, according to Mashable, John Lewis spent £1 million on the clip, hoping to push awareness on a global scale.
If you're a small business with a local presence, you don't have millions of dollars to spend. However, the viral success of the John Lewis clip demonstrates how video advertising has the power to boost brand visibility through the power of emotional storytelling. Most consumers probably weren't in the mood for heartwarming holiday ad spots in early November — or so they thought. But because the content of the video is so creative and sweet, John Lewis was able to successfully convert an audience of Grinches into Santas-in-training.
The good news is that leveraging video advertising to engage and build brand awareness with holiday shoppers can be achieved even without a million dollar budget. Here are some tips to help you create excitement with your campaign.
Embrace the Season
Whether your customers observe Christmas, Hanukkah or other special days in December, the holiday season presents an opportunity for you to refresh your brand and communicate directly with them. Infuse your videos with new, seasonal messages that deliver cheer, excitement, gratitude and humor. This is a great time to give customers a glimpse at your organization's culture and values, as well. It's even appropriate to showcase your employees as they celebrate, as online retailer Overstock.com did with a popular video advertising clip. It shows a montage of the retailer's global staff singing "Jingle Bells" while showcasing merchandise, as text pops up on-screen demonstrating the company's values and commitment to customer service.
The trick is to evaluate your prospects' previous shopping behaviors and then anticipate what they need — sometimes, before they even know themselves. Creating personalized videos helps your customers find what they need at a hectic time of year and establishes customer loyalty. Popular Etsy shop owner Audra Kurtz issues a personalized holiday gift guide video each year showcasing not only her shop, but several other Etsy vendors offering unique items. The video received more than 3,000 views its first week — not as many as Monty the Penguin, but still great results for a small, local vendor.
Businesses are turning to video advertising as a valuable digital marketing tactic and customer engagement tool to boost sales, brand awareness and loyalty. The holiday season is an ideal time to maximize the power of video, and it's not too late to enhance your marketing initiatives with video.