It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For many, December is the month to buy and give gifts–and maybe even receive some too. That, of course, is not the reason for the season, but it has become a tradition that spans cultures and faith backgrounds.
Another tradition is the holiday card. These come in a variety of styles…
And now, increasingly, holiday “cards” are coming via new channels. From the holiday email, to the social media post, and even to cutting edge bitmojis, there are more ways than ever to send your season’s greetings to family and loved ones. For our team at ExactHire, we opted to move away from our traditional Thanksgiving Card (snail mailed), and we embraced another trend: the video holiday card.
If your small business forgot to budget a holiday card this year–or if you were just too busy takin’ care of business–it’s not too late! You can produce your very own video holiday card in one week and bring some holiday cheer to the hearts of your customers. Here’s how:
- Invite your co-workers to participate. Not everyone is cutout for the big screen–or even the iPhone screen–so make this optional. It’s much easier to work with willing actors and actresses.
- Determine your direction. Need inspiration? There are tons of examples out there on YouTube, Vimeo and the blogs of companies who provide video editing software. Go ahead and find a handful of different ideas and put them in front of your team for feedback.
- Storyboard. With a direction in mind, you can now start the process of scripting and storyboarding your video. Best advice here is to keep it simple and short (60-150 seconds). Also, avoid long shots if possible–it makes the filming and editing easier, while also cutting down on retakes (your co-workers will appreciate the limited distraction and time investment too).
- Choose your weapon. GoPro, Camcorder, SmartPhone…you choose! We used an iPhone 6 and were very happy with our results. Use what is comfortable for you and is readily available.
- Schedule the shoot. You can realistically shoot this in a morning, but it may be hard to get time on everyone’s schedule. Remember that you don’t need to necessarily shoot the scenes/shots in order. If your owner appears last in the video, but is available first, go ahead and shoot him (his part in the video, not him). You can reorder the shots when editing. Use an online scheduling tool to help this go smoothly.
- Edit. For this you’ll need some type of video editing software. If you are on a mac iMovie is free and capable enough. Wistia and Camtasia are also affordable options with more capabilities. You’ll want to pull it all together, add graphics or text and maybe some background music.
- Publish and Distribute. With a completed video in hand, go to your favorite hosting site and upload. You can link the video into a holiday email, on your website blog, and on your social media sites. It’s a good idea to send to your customers/clients first as part of a customized email. After they have had the opportunity to view, then unleash it to the world!
These are roughly the steps that ExactHire took to create “Thanksgiving Potluck In 7 Steps”. If you have additional advice or questions, please leave these in the comment sections below. This was our first year making a holiday video, and we are eager to improve our skills. Thanks!