Video Marketing for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and More

Megan O'Neill


Thanksgiving is the signal that officially kicks off the holiday season in the U.S. It’s immediately followed by a rush of post-Thanksgiving retail holidays: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.


According to the National Retail Foundation, around 30 percent of retail sales occur in the months of November and December. This post-Thanksgiving rush is an opportunity for holiday marketing you won’t want to miss. Read on for tips and ideas for making the most of this important marketing season—with video! To skip straight to the video ideas, click here.

2019 Thanksgiving and Shopping Holiday Dates

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what videos you should create, here’s a quick look at the 2019 calendar dates and some recommendations for when to create and schedule videos related to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. Take a look and make a note on your marketing calendar of the days you’ll plan to post videos this year!

Thanksgiving and Cyber Week Holiday Calendar

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 28, 2019

If your customer base is in the United States, celebrate Thanksgiving alongside them. You can show your customers you’re thankful for them with a quick video greeting, posted organically to your Facebook page, Instagram, or wherever you interact most with your customers.

Black Friday – Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday is the official beginning of the holiday shopping season in the United States, and retailers celebrate with special, unbeatable deals and promotions. Black Friday has traditionally been celebrated by brick and mortar retailers, offering in-store deals.

Small Business Saturday – Saturday, November 30, 2019

The post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping extravaganza continues with Small Business Saturday, a holiday designed to encourage consumers to #ShopSmall. Some brick and mortar small businesses celebrate with in-store deals, while some online businesses plan pop-up shops and other in-person events.

Cyber Monday – Monday, December 2, 2019

Cyber Monday is the internet’s version of Black Friday and is a big day for online sales. We should note, however, that even if you don’t have a brick and mortar store location, you can still hop on the sale bandwagon earlier and promote your online holiday deals on Black Friday (or even sooner). These days more and more consumers are opting to do their holiday shopping online and the rules of holiday shopping holidays aren’t set in stone!

Giving Tuesday – Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Last but not least is Giving Tuesday, or #GivingTuesday. It’s a national day of philanthropy and giving and is an opportunity for non-profit organizations to get the attention they deserve. But even if you aren’t a non-profit, you may choose to post a video promoting a non-profit you support, or simply to remind your customers about this special day.

Calendar planning for your marketing

Once you’ve decided which of these holidays is relevant to your business, take a few minutes to mark your calendar. Which days do you plan to share marketing videos?

For sales and events tied to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we recommend posting a teaser earlier in the week or the week before, as well as a day-of announcement and, if your sale will span several days, a last-minute reminder before your sale ends. You can post these videos organically and/or run them as targeted ads.

For awareness videos, like a Thanksgiving video showing thanks for your customers or a video reminder about Giving Tuesday, a video on the actual day of the holiday should do.

Plug the dates into your own calendar and check out our full holiday video calendar for more ideas and a timeline for creation for your the entire 2019 holiday. You can also join the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook for inspiration, ideas, and to hold yourself accountable for holiday video creation.

Thanksgiving and Holiday Shopping Video Ideas

Need some inspiration? We’ve compiled some video ideas for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Giving Tuesday to get you started.

Each of these video examples was created using a video template in Animoto. Click the button under any video to get started with the template that was used. You can drag and drop to add your own photos and video clips, or add stock from our library over over 1 million images and video clips, update the text, font, colors, and add your own logo.

PRO TIP: Our templates are super flexible. Choose one with a basic outline or look that fits your story and drop in your own photos, video clips, and text to suit your needs. You can also delete or add blocks, as needed. You’ll notice that for some of the video examples here, we’ve gone with templates that may not feel obvious at first. Get creative and have fun with it!

Thanksgiving Video

As we mentioned, Thanksgiving Day can be a nice day to put sales aside and show appreciation for your customers. Thinking about creating a Thanksgiving video greeting?

To create this example, we actually used the Valentine’s Day Gift template! We just replaced the text and images to tell a different story. Feel free to take inspiration from the text in our example or get creative and write your own special greeting for your customers. For the visuals, you may choose to include photos and/or video clips of your customers, yourself and your team, or your products.

If your business is on Instagram, create a special greeting for Instagram Stories too! Here's an example, created using the Animoto: Social Video Editor iOS app. This Story was created by customizing the Inspiring Quote template in the app.


PRO TIP: Speak directly to your individual customers to create a more personal connection. Instead of "We love our customers" say "We’re so happy to have you as a customer."

Holiday Sale Video

We all know the objective of Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns—to get your customers to BUY! BUY! BUY! Which is why a holiday sale video is a must have.

We recommend pairing a sale teaser video with an actual sale announcement video. The teaser gives you an opportunity to build suspense and create a sense of urgency, while your sale announcement give you a chance to remind customers about your sale on the day it beings and provide all the necessary details.

The three examples below—a teaser, a promo, and a reminder—were both created with our Holiday Promotion template. As you can see, we use the teaser to build suspense, while the sale announcement hones in on the promotion details, and the reminder promotes a sense of urgency.

We created the teaser first and then simply copied it and made a few minor tweaks to the copy and imagery to update it for the sale announcement and reminder videos. Repurposing your videos can save you time.

Holiday sale teaser:

Holiday sale announcement:

Holiday sale reminder:

PRO TIP: Try offering a special deal just for followers on Instagram or Facebook to promote a sense of exclusivity.

Small Business Saturday: Event Video

If you’re hosting an event for Small Business Saturday, promote it with a video like the example below, created using our Holiday Event Invitation template.

PRO TIP: Add recognizable Small Business Saturday assets to your video. We grabbed customizable materials from the Shop Small Studio to include in our example.

Small Business Saturday: Share Your Story

What made you decide to start your business? What’s the story behind what you do? This can be a fun thing to share on Small Business Saturday too and spread awareness. Our About Us template is a great starting place for this type of video.

Creating a video for Instagram Stories? Check out the Behind the Scenes template in the Animoto iOS app for inspiration.


PRO TIP: Don’t forget to include the #ShopSmall hashtag when you share your video to join the conversation around Small Business Saturday.

Giving Tuesday Video

Whether you’re a non-profit organization looking to celebrate #GivingTuesday and drive donations, or simply want to support a cause you feel strongly about, video is a nice way to spread the word. We’ve actually put together a full guide to video marketing for Giving Tuesday, which you can check out on our blog. Check out this example, shared for Giving Tuesday 2018 by Project Chimps, and hop on over to check out the full guide and learn more.

Post-Thanksgiving Holiday Video Tips

Before you get to work on your videos, here are a few more tips to help you make the most of this exciting season:

  • Use hashtags. Hashtags will help you get more eyes on your videos. We mentioned #GivingTuesday and #ShopSmall, but using hashtags like #BlackFriday, #BlackFri, #HolidayDeals, #HolidayDeal, #FreeShipping, #Handmade, and other hashtags related to your specific industry or products can help you get the word out.
  • Include clear calls to action. A clear call to action (CTA) will help your viewers figure out what to do next. Do you want them to click on a link to buy? To learn more? Make sure the next steps are clear and additional information is easy to find.
  • Target your ads. If you do plan to put spend behind your videos, use targeting to reach the right customer. And remember, when it comes to holiday shopping you may want to expand your targeting to include people that may be shopping for your regular customer.
  • Increase ad spend. This time of year is prime time for shoppers and for sellers. With more competition out there, consider increasing spend for the videos you plan to run as ads to reach more potential buyers.
  • Tell a story that continues throughout the season. These videos are the first of the holiday season. Approach them with December in mind and use assets, colors, and messaging that’ll continue as you create all of your videos leading up to the holidays.

For more information on holiday video marketing planning, check out our full holiday video marketing calendar. Happy holiday video making!