Crafting the Video Holiday Greeting

Let’s be honest — sending out individual greeting cards all on your own can be a hassle. I always run out of steam after card number five, and most of my cards end up going out a few days late. Luckily, there are a lot of great alternatives now to paper cards, but one option you can use instead of (or in addition to) paper cards is the video greeting.

If you’re looking for a creative way to reach family, friends, connections, clients and customers during the holiday, a video greeting can be a great option. All you have to do is post it to the web or email it out in a newsletter. And while it may not seem as personal, if you put a lot of yourself or your company into the video, you’ll be sure to get a few laughs or smiles. Good videos get attention — and it will keep your audience talking. Think of it as an opportunity to tell the story of your past year, or share what is coming in the new year.

So what kinds of video greetings can you create? Here’s a few suggestions and examples:

Family Holiday Greeting — You can send out your own family greeting on video. You can either do a slideshow of still images, or actually shoot a holiday-themed video, complete with script. I found this great example from a company called Moving Portraits in San Francisco: http://vimeo.com/53998653. You can easily find a local company that does this.

Personal Holiday Greeting — A lot of individuals building a personal brand or blog like to send these out, but you can also send one out for fun. Again, you can use stills or shoot a video yourself. Let people know what you’ve been up to, and thank them for being a friend, customer, reader, etc.

Small Business/Non-Profit/Corporate Greeting — For businesses and organizations, you can use video greetings in a few ways:

  • To say happy holidays to your employees or customers
  • To say thank you to customers you’ve worked with
  • To greet potential new customers, and boost those end-of-year sales numbers
  • To ask for an end-of-year donation, if you’re a non-profit
  • To give your employees/coworkers a laugh at the holiday party

For the video, you can get as technical or involved as you want — you use still images collected throughout the year, or shoot a video with your whole office. Here’s a few things you can try in a video:

  • Sing a song
  • Write a brief sketch
  • Give a communal greeting from the lobby
  • Have individuals speak their message or give their appeal

And finally, here are a few real life examples. These are a few good holiday greetings from businesses and a nonprofit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjFg5M_KPxQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xsf2A9Y5eY

http://vimeo.com/8043373

You have a lot of great options when it comes to creating a holiday video, and if you’re trying to do it yourself, finding templates or images online is fairly easy. You can create simple slideshows without doing a whole video shoot. Here’s one option: http://animoto.com.

If you do want to shoot a video and don’t have the proper equipment, look for small production companies or freelance videographers in your area. I shot a corporate holiday greeting last year, and am hoping to take on new clients this holiday season — particularly nonprofits and small businesses/entrepreneurs. If you’re interested in shooting a video and are in the Chicago area, send me an e-mail, and I can send you some samples of my work. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have about holiday video greetings.

Happy Holidays!

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