Thanksgiving 2012 has passed and on Wednesday they lit infamous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, signaling that the holiday season is officially in full effect. For retailers, it also means that the most important business season has also officially begun. This year, we are seeing bigger efforts than ever before—across print, broadcast, digital, and social media—to keep the sales going long after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just check out Barnes & Nobles’ campaign for the Nook HD, which makes use of a Pinterest a holiday-themed video.
While business-to-consumer marketers have long known the importance of holiday advertising, the concept is not as familiar to business-to-business marketers. According to Katie Hollar (via an article on BtoB by Jon VanZile), many marketers back down their efforts in December rather than take advantage of the holidays.
Hollar, the marketing manager at Capterra Inc., an online software database service, says the holidays are a great time to advertise things like software. “Software tends to be a long buying cycle,” she was quoted as saying in the BtoB article. “So it makes sense to run ads in Q4 because Q1 is such a strong buying time.”
“But we always encourage companies to advertise in December. It’s great because you can get increased visibility compared to your competitors, who might not be advertising as much.”
And just as 2012 marked the first time that more retail clothing purchases were made online than in a story, more B2B sales take place digitally, thanks in no small part to the increased use of mobile devices. This is making digital video more important than ever.
According to Todd Pollack, Google’s industry directory for retail, 40 percent of shoppers who watch a product video online later visit either the store either online or physically (via Venture Beat). He continue to say that “34 percent of clothing shoppers are likely to buy after watching an online video ad versus only 16 percent after watching an ad on TV.”
It makes sense; videos are simply more compelling than other types of ads, and they can be shared easily with friends, family, and loved ones—the people that the holidays are really about. People are also more likely to engage with content that is relevant to the holidays. According to Facebook’s best practices, posts about a holiday receive about 90 percent more engagement on that day than other content. When you consider that videos are also the most engaged-with posts on Facebook, and rank the highest with EdgeRank, a holiday video can be the best way to reach online fans.
So what makes an effective holiday video? According to Hollar, the end of the year is good for thanking clients, sending out messages of appreciation, and raising visibility without a hard sales push.
For example, last year Magnet Media worked with Good Technology, a leader in enterprise mobile security, to create a holiday-themed video that could be sent to both existing and potential customers. The video was an overwhelming success, and captured the spirit of the season without any specific holiday or weather imagery.
It’s also good advice to keep things light-hearted and funny. Consider this video Magnet Media made this holiday with Norton Symantec for their cloud-based backup service:
“People are thinking of other things,” Hollar said in the BtoB article. “Sometimes a simple thank-you to existing customers is a great way to score sales in the next year. And I think this isn’t something people would mark as spam.”