October 24, 2019 8 min read
Whether you’re a small business owner looking to make a promotional holiday video or just an amateur filmmaker trying to create a special video for friends and family for the holidays, we can help. Making a video for any purpose can be a time-consuming project that requires a lot of planning and forethought. For holiday videos, you have a lot of time for creativity, so this could be a great project to work on in advance, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to shoot and edit the entire video. Many beginner videographers underestimate just how long the editing process can take. It’s better to get your project finished earlier than expected instead of scrambling to do it at the last minute. All you need to get started is to purchase video accessories and begin planning.
Before you can do anything, you need to decide why you are creating this holiday video. If you’re a company that’s trying to create a promotional video, you’ll need to identify what exactly you’re promoting. Are you running a holiday sale? Are you trying to feature a specific product for the holiday season? You need a clear goal in mind to help guide your video. You should also consider how you can work your company logo, colors and name into the video without making it appear too sales-oriented. During this time of year, you’ll probably want to touch on the handful of different holidays taking place to be inclusive and capture the attention of customers celebrating multiple holidays.
If you’re interested in creating a holiday video as a fun project to share with loved ones, you will probably have a very different goal. You may want to incorporate old family videos from the holidays or even short clips of friends and family talking about why they love spending the holidays together. There are so many different ways that you can take this sentimental video, but your goal will probably focus more on provoking emotion out of your viewers. You may also want the video to convey an appreciation for your loved ones.
Whichever type of holiday video you’re making, remember the goal and try to incorporate this into every aspect.
Budget is very important for any major video project, even a personal endeavor. From a business perspective, you need to calculate how much you can afford to spend on the video and estimate how much you hope to make as a result. This second number can be tricky to calculate, but finding the potential ROI on your investment will help you decide whether or not it’s worth the money. When it comes to video marketing, this is one of the most successful types of online marketing. According to Smart Insights, video marketing results in the highest ROI over other methods like graphics or blog posts. Videos are also a great way to attract new customers, with 93 percent of businesses claiming to have attracted at least one new customer as the result of a video on social media.
Although video marketing can bring in money, you should limit yourself to a budget to make sure you’re not overestimating the success of this marketing strategy. If it looks like you might begin to go over budget, you can try cutting down on spending by purchasing affordable video accessories and using props or settings that are free.
Depending on how long you plan to make the video, the editing process could take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. For marketing purposes, it’s recommended that your videos stay at two minutes or less so as to keep people interested. If your video goes on for too long, people may get bored and stop watching before making it to the end, where most people will insert a call-to-action (CTA). To release your holiday promotional video in time to actually be able to promote your seasonal sales, you should try to film the video about one to two months in advance and give yourself at least two weeks to edit.
If you’re creating a holiday video as a gift to someone, you still need to give yourself plenty of time. Write out a timeline that establishes how many days and hours you plan to spend on filming and editing to ensure that it will be ready in time for the holidays.
No matter what type of video you’re making, you’ll probably need some actors. A great way to reduce costs is by asking people you know to help out. If you have any friends who are outgoing and wouldn’t mind being on camera, you can ask them to be a part of your project or promotional video. But, you can also use your friends and family as other resources, too. If you know someone who is skilled in video editing, you can ask them to help walk you through the process.
Don’t make the mistake of spending a lot of money on props or renting a place to shoot. You can find dozens of great items that will work well in your holiday video without having to drop big bucks. Most people store holiday decorations in their homes during the year, so why not use your own or borrow a family member’s decorations to create a holiday backdrop anywhere. You can also use other props like string lights or candy canes to capture creative and festive shots.
Any kind of professional-looking video needs to have a script. Without a pre-written plan for the video, it will feel disorganized and likely take much longer to film as you try to figure out what needs to happen in each and every scene. Focus on the dialogue and the timing of music as well as specific actions or close-up shots. Your script should contain just as much direction on how to film as it does on dialogue. Your script and outline will keep you on task and make it much easier for your viewers to follow the narrative–regardless of how short it may be.
As previously mentioned, your video needs to have a purpose. It could be simply to entertain or move your audience, but if you’re creating promotional videos, it’s more likely a monetary motive. Determine one goal for the video and make it very specific. If you’re hoping to attract new customers, come up with a concrete way to do that—by guiding them to a specific product or web page on your site. Your purpose should be clear to both you and your audience. If your viewers don’t know what action you want them to take at the end of the video, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.
Even if you create the best professional video in the world, it’s not going to make a difference if no one sees it. Social media is the best place to post your promotional holiday videos to capture the attention of your audience. With social media business accounts, you have the ability to target your specific audience based on information like age, location and other interests. Instagram and Facebook can identify users who have previously expressed interest in other similar business accounts, giving you a better chance of capturing their attention and gaining them as a customer. You should have a social media marketing strategy in place, but you can easily work your promotional videos into your content calendar to increase views and brand awareness.
Although the flash feature on cameras and phones can be helpful when capturing photos where the lighting isn’t very good, it may not be as useful during a holiday shoot. Most holiday videos will include some type of decorative lights, which will catch the Christmas lights and wash out the entire shot or even create a distracting glare. Instead, try using the lights as the lighting for your scene and play around with the amount of soft lighting and hard lighting in the scene to find the right balance.
Professionalism is extremely important when creating a high-quality video of any type, and shaky camera work is one of the surest signs of an amateur filmmaker. The best way to overcome this is by using a tripod or stabilizer. Even if you’re planning to use your iPhone as your filming device, you’ll need to invest in smartphone-friendly video accessories. Your smartphone’s camera actually can capture professional-grade content as long as you use a stabilizer to keep the shot steady. This will help you create a seamless shot and keeps your audience captivated.
Anyone interested in creating professional videos for marketing or entertainment purposes needs to purchase video accessories such as different lens, a tripod stand and a microphone. Without the right accessories, you won’t be able to capture the exact shot that you’re looking for, limiting your creative potential.
Finding the best on-camera microphone is important in order to add high-quality sound to your videos. Your video quality might be stunning, but without top-notch audio to match, your video may not be successful. If your viewers can’t hear the audio or it’s difficult to understand, they will quickly become uninterested and may stop the video before the end. Low-quality audio also diminishes the overall quality and appearance of your video, making it appear less than professional.
The best way to invoke emotion from your audience is by truly capturing that sense of place. This may mean filming natural reactions that epitomize feelings of the holidays. The holidays are typically associated with family, gifts, chilly evenings by a warm fire and snow days. You can capture actual footage of these items, but you need to know how to edit them to create that emotional response you’re looking for. Adding music to your videos can help build up this ambiance and signal to the audience how they are supposed to react and feel.
Now that you’ve compiled all of the material, it’s time for the tedious part—editing. If you’ve never edited video footage before, it’s best to find a free or cheap editing software that is designed for beginner filmmakers. This will help you learn how to edit clips together and transition from one scene to the next. Your transitions are extremely important in making your film look professional. If you’re using cheesy transitions like fade-ins and outs for every scene, it’s going to look like an amateur production. Experiment with different transitions and don’t forget to shoot some B-roll footage that you can test out as transition shots.
Whether you’re shooting a holiday video for your business or just as a personal project, there are some basic things you need to know. Invest in video accessories, including a great on-camera microphone, to capture the best quality audio possible. Making an effective and impressive holiday video requires a great deal of planning, so be sure you write an outline and script for your video to keep you organized and clearly identify the purpose of your project.
Create a budget and stick to it to avoid spending too much money on a video that isn’t going to bring enough of the same amount of money in return. You can cut costs by getting affordable video equipment and using props that you already own or can be found at thrift shops. Once you’ve found a place to film and have an idea for how to run the shoot, it’s time to just start filming. Make sure that you get plenty of extra material so you have a lot to work with when it’s time to start editing. Using these tips, you’ll be able to create a beautiful and festive holiday video.