This article was originally published on Marketing Land by Brent Hieggelke.

Summer is officially over, kids are back in school, and it’s time to start diving into holiday planning. Brands can avoid the rush of the holidays by doing some of the legwork now. At Brandlive, my employer, we assembled some of the key details to start considering today — even if your potential holiday video marketing efforts are still a few months out.

What would your customers find useful for the holidays?
What will resonate with your target customer for the holidays? Will they want to sit back and watch videos or lean forward and participate fully in a live event? What problems do they face, and what video approach would best solve those?

Gift ideas and inspirations are great opportunities to give them a way to ask questions and participate in a live video event with real depth and meaning. But if they would just want to see holiday feel-good content, then highly produced video content may be the solution.

By anticipating customers’ questions and problems that come with the holidays ahead of time, it’s easier to create video marketing that people want to watch and that will be effective. But proactively addressing concerns creates more value for the video later on as well.

Unique live video opportunities
Some companies have vibrant marketers or chief executives who can effectively connect directly with consumers through various social platforms. Those individuals may have followings of their own and can draw an audience with ease. Live video can be extremely agile, allowing them to reach an audience, interact and solve their problems in real time.

But sometimes generating interest in a video event needs a more notable third party, which can also lend some additional validation to your marketing. That’s where an influencer can come in.

While influencers can be valuable assets to campaigns, their time is also easily booked up — especially come the holidays, with every brand looking for the right recipe to connect with consumers. If you know who you want to utilize, even if you haven’t planned the whole event yet, book them now!

Make your list and check it twice
Need a set? New video recording equipment? Baskets of swag to send to influencers? As your plan unfolds, identify what needs to be purchased, built, created or sent well in advance.

Then, create realistic goals for when each of those micro-projects must be completed. All of those elements are essential to your event going off without a hitch. Don’t pass up the benefit of the long ramp you’re currently working with (which will make everything a lot easier in the days leading up).

Embrace a holiday (brain)storm
You have time until your holiday video event, but these months can be used to continue refining your ideas and run-of-show as much as possible. The more information you have now, the more buttoned-up you’ll actually be when the event goes live. Start taking a crack at a rough script and enlist other points of view to make sure early plans are resonating beyond your own thought bubble.

As a marketer, it’s unlikely you’re an army of one. So ask around for what others have seen in holiday videos that have kept them watching. What products or services need to be front-and-center, and what are creative ways to lead customers to spending money with you as as a direct result of the event?

This article was originally published on Marketing Land by Brent Hieggelke.

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