The holidays are a wonderful time to spread cheer, and not just among your friends and family, but also with the whole wide nets. For brands, one of the best ways to endear fans, attract new ones, and capitalize on the busy season is by creating a compelling holiday video. But with only a limited amount of time and perhaps a limited budget, where do you start? Why with the words just below this paragraph! Here are 5 tips to help you create a holiday video your customers will love.

Keep it short

This tip is for both you and for your customers. Everyone is already busy this time of year with looming deadlines and endless holiday party commitments. If you want people to actually watch your entire video,  the best chances of that actually happening is to keep the length as short as possible.

Spend your time and resources producing a short video — 30 seconds is plenty of time — to celebrate good vibes, show what you’re about, and connect with your customers. Not only is a shorter film easier to produce, but it’s also simpler to make the most of your budget and ensure those 30 seconds are of the highest quality possible. Win-win for everyone involved, boosting your bottom line and endearing your customers. You can even snag quick shots around the office and make a punchy 10-second video.

Be human

This time of year we’re surrounded by a constant stream of ads. Even if your video isn’t intended to be a traditional ad it can very easily be perceived as one. This means being relegated to the abyss that is the glossed-over video feed or unread email. One significant way to avoid that from happening is to take your film in a very different direction than most business-orientated videos.

Be authentic. Let down your guard to connect with your customers on a human level. The benefit again here is that it’s actually much easier to produce these story-driven, human-centric types of video than it is a highly polished, slick advertisement. Show yourself, or your team, and be OK with it being a little rawer and a lot more real. Look at UGC (user-generated content) as inspiration for a more human-styled video.

Tell a story

Even if it’s only 30 seconds and you’re going for a more human approach for your holiday video, you must still absolutely tell a story. By doing so you’re not only going to increase your chances of it being watched, but you’ll also help ensure it’s watched to the very end — and hopefully shared with others because it’s just so awesome.

Wondering where to get started? Here’s Pixar’s story structure, which you can adopt even for your holiday video:

Once upon a time ________________________.
Every day, ________________________.
But, one day ________________________.
Because of that, ________________________.
Because of that, ________________________.
Because of that, ________________________.
Until finally, ________________________.
And ever since then________________________.

Along with Pixar’s story structure, every good story has a hero. For your holiday video, consider making your customers the hero of the story that you’re telling. Afterall, your business exists because of them. Share that love and how, because of their support, your story continues.

Spread the love

The goal of this video is to spread good vibes. And that can only happen if it’s seen. Once you’ve uploaded your video to Vimeo, make use of all of the handy settings that help increase views, such as selecting engaging thumbnail and title. And with Vimeo Business, you can add clickable CTAs and email capture in the player to generate leads and follow up with new fans. Now that the details are complete, it’s time to ensure people see your video.

Remember, ads are everywhere this time of year. Avoid getting clumped in with all of those by connecting directly with your customers. Consider taking the approach you took for the video and applying it to how you’re sharing it. If your video is authentic and unpolished, try sending a personal email to your customers.

Because you’ve kept the video short and sweet and you’ve taken a little less of a polished approach, that extra time you’ve saved can now merrily be spent on boosting your marketing efforts and perhaps even putting some paid social dollars behind your videos. Create that video, spread the good vibes, and may 2017 bring good things for us all. Happy holidays!