6 Ways to Make Your Videos Holiday-Ready

If your business is at all impacted by the holiday shopping season, you’ve no doubt begun implementing new features and enhancements to ensure site visitors stick around and purchase, rather than go to a competitor’s site.

If your site features product videos, you may not realize that by making them ‘holiday-ready’ you can increase click-throughs to this content, which can in turn drive more sales. If you don’t yet have product videos, that’s a whole different story – and there’s no time like the present to get them added. (See my previous articles for suggestions on the best ways to produce and optimize product vidoes in a fast timeframe.)

Getting your videos decked out for the holidays is fairly effortless and takes little time. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Showcase your CEO or other executive with a personal message
Many retail websites are populated with hundreds of product videos, but especially at the holidays, having a video with a real human who personifies the company can be a nice touch. People like to see the real people behind the business, and you can easily create a short video that talks about your company’s return policies, shipping timeframes, and includes a warm holiday message. Or you can create a few short videos with gift suggestions for different types of people, such as grandparents, teachers, parents, teenagers, etc. These videos can be displayed on your home page, shopping cart pages, and elsewhere on your site – and you can also utilize them in your social media and email marketing efforts.

2. Ensure your videos are indexed
If your videos aren’t indexed by the search engines, you’re missing out on all the video SEO benefits they provide. Just putting a video on your site isn’t enough – you actually have to take steps to ensure they’re found by search engine spiders. Also, many marketers forget that Bing is a viable search engine, particularly as it powers Yahoo and Facebook – so be sure to have your videos indexed by both Google and Bing. For Google, it’s a fairly straight-forward process of creating and uploading your video sitemap. (Full instructions are available at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/80472?hl=en). Bing has sitemap instructions at http://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/how-to-submit-sitemaps-82a15bd4; and you can also send your entire video sitemap to [email protected].

3. Include a holiday promotional message or banner with your product videos
You can call attention to any special sales or promotions you’re offering — such as free shipping or special holiday pricing – by overlaying your videos with merchandising banners or adding a voice-over message.

4. Take advantage of Pinterest’s growing use of video
The popular social pinboard site is seeing users increasingly add videos along with pictures to their pinboards, which gives brands a great opportunity to gain more visibility for their videos and encourage sharing through the site. Pinterest-posted videos are indexed by the major search engines, helping you gain them even more exposure. You might want to give your videos a separate category tab on Pinterest so it’s easier for your followers to find videos among the images. It’s also easy to make your videos shareable on Pinterest, just as you probably do now with Facebook and Twitter: just place a “pin it” button on your website or blog. Also, be sure to include product pricing information, full product descriptions, and good thumbnail images that will make users want to click to watch.

5. Make sure your site hosting facility is scalable enough to handle the increase in video views
Cyber Monday is the official online kick-off to the holiday shopping season, but people will flock to your site well before then to get a jump on their gift purchases. Be sure that your hosting provider can handle the increased traffic and video views long before Thanksgiving, and be sure to conduct testing to make sure an increase in load won’t cause latency on your site.

6. Allow visitors to create a video wish list
You can easily allow visitors to create a personal wish list by adding an “add this video to your wish list” button, just as you would when giving people the ability to add product pages to their wish lists.

By making a few holiday-themed additions and enhancements to your video collection – and even adding a few new videos to your site, you can spruce up your site in just the right way to attract more buyers at the busiest shopping time of the year. A small investment in time and money now can have a big pay-off in the near future.

Dr. Melody King is vice president of marketing at Treepodia.