Create a holiday video for your brand

1. Decide what style of video will best communicate your brand and your campaign.

Common choices are animated videos, music videos, skits, and themed infomercials. Be aware that some styles will cost you more in time or money. For example, unvoiced animated videos won’t require the recruitment of in-person talent like a live action video would but may require additional software and production time.

2. Create a production roadmap. Include the tasks listed in this playbook as well as important goal post dates where you can check in on progress.

Set an ultimate deadline that will allow time for all your tasks without sacrificing momentum. Plan to finalize your video well before the holiday season so that there are no holdups in distribution. Unexpected events and new information may shift your timeline, which is normal. Allow yourself some flexibility, but starting with a rough baseline will help discipline your workflow and focus your big picture overview.

3. Calculate the budget that you'll need for the project. Include expenses for recording equipment, editing software, advertising, and hiring talent and crew.

Costs will vary depending on the type of video you’ve chosen and its complexity.

4. Recruit a crew and cast the necessary parts.

Once you have an overview and a budget, you should now be prepared to either schedule work for your in-house team or recruit outside help. If recruiting outside of your team, you can find help from production and casting agencies, or you can search for independent contractors or freelancers. Live action video crews usually include at least: Camera crew Microphone operators Directors Lighting assistants Cast Editors  You might also need to fill roles like animators or musicians.

5. Schedule days dedicated to filming and capture all the footage for your video.

You may have to split filming into multiple days to accommodate cast schedules or to capture specific angles for natural lighting. Keep filming efficient to avoid the extra costs of reshoots. If possible, capture takes from multiple angles to allow more options in the editing process. Capture B-roll if needed.

6. Edit your footage and cut it together to form your video, using professional editing software.

Choose the editing software that suits your video and your budget. Adobe Premiere is the industry standard for cutting together footage, with Adobe After Effects standard for graphics and composition. Cheaper and free options also exist, such as DaVinci Resolve. Some things to consider when editing include: Color correction Audio mixing Music Compositing and graphics. The editing phase is key to establishing the holiday tone. For example, a winter holiday video would likely benefit from color correction that emphasizes cooler colors, but summer videos may highlight warmer tones.

7. Render and export your video to suit the platform you'll be adding it to.

Don’t overlook this step as this is where you ensure the audio-visual quality of the final product. YouTube videos typically use mp4 files with a resolution of at least 1080p. With higher qualities like 4K becoming commonplace, consider upgrading if your hardware and software allow it.

8. Upload and distribute the video online.

Schedule your video in advance to have optimal control of its arrival to your audience. In addition to YouTube, you may also want to consider other video sharing sites like Vimeo. Make sure you have an SEO-optimized description with holiday-themed keywords, tags, and links to your brand website.

9. Advertise your video and promote it on your social media channels.

Consider paying for ad space to feature your video, including it in a newsletter, or earning views on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. This will spread out your reach to your social media audiences and allow you to pair the video with SEO-optimized captions to increase overall visibility.