Market Your Destination with Video: 7 Tips for More Success

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Photo: Novy Studios

Have you tried to market your destination with video yet? If not, your organization is missing out. Video provides many opportunities, especially for those in the travel industry.

In this blog post we’ll explore the reasons why video marketing is so effective and seven tips you can use today to create better marketing videos for your organization. Let’s get started!

The Verdict Is In: Video Wins

You may have noticed, video is a pretty big deal these days. How big? According to a Cisco study conducted in 2016, online video is expected to account for over 80% of a consumer web traffic by the year 2020.

Currently, more than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube alone each day. That’s a lot of video! And the medium is only going to keep growing. Let’s look at a few more stats as they pertain to marketing:

General Video Marketing Statistics

  1. Video marketing produces 66% more qualified leads each year.
  2. 90% of users appreciate product videos during the buying process.
  3. Video marketing averages a 157% boost in organic traffic from search engines.

Video and Destination Marketing

  1. 61% of travelers watch videos when choosing a destination.
  2. 45% of leisure travelers and 72% of business travelers have been prompted to book a trip after watching a travel video.
  3. Millennial families are considered the “biggest travel opportunity.” Most of this demographic (60%), would rather watch a company’s videos than read its newsletters.

The numbers don’t lie. Video is the future and your destination marketing team needs to jump on the bandwagon. Here’s how:

The List: 7 Tips to Better Market Your Destination With Video

Ready to make amazing marketing videos for your destination? Study and implement these seven tips and you’ll be well on your way.

1. Have a Plan

Great destination marketing videos don’t just happen. They take strategic planning and purposeful execution. Let’s begin with the planning phase.

First and foremost, you have to know your target market. Who are you trying to reach? What people group do you want to attract to your area. A successful destination marketing video for baby boomers will look a lot different than one for millennials.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can plan out your video. Don’t just hit the record button and “wing it”. Create a video structure that outlines the main points you plan to make. If you’re really serious about video marketing, consider scripting the entire project as well.

Remember the old adage, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” To successfully market your destination with video, you need to really take this saying to heart.

2. Don’t Go Overboard

The natural response when first creating destination marketing videos is to “go all out”. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to serious overwhelm and/or gross overspending. We don’t want either of those to happen to you.

So don’t over complicate the process. Keep it simple. With a bit of creativity, you can accomplish a lot on your own, using the smartphone in your pocket and a free piece of video editing software.

Now, that isn’t permission to produce subpar work. With so much video content crowding the internet, you need to create quality videos in order to stand out. Instead, really evaluate the scope of your projects and the budgets involved.

You don’t necessarily need to invest in the latest gear or hire professional services — at least not right away. Start with a doable concept your organization can realistically afford and grow from there.

3. It’s All About Story

The coolest, most ninja level video editing tricks won’t make up for lackluster content. And great video content starts with a compelling story. What’s yours?

Use your destination’s unique selling proposition (USP) as a foundation. What makes your state, city, or geographical area different? Why should tourists care about these differences?

Addressing your destination’s uniqueness is a fantastic way to invoke emotion. Maybe you share a bit of city history or relate an old folks tale. Perhaps you educate your audience on specific issues and how your state is addressing them. If it’s of interest to your ideal customers and sets your destination apart, let travelers know about it.

Just remember to show, not tell. Meaning your videos shouldn’t just tell audiences what to feel, they should actually make them feel it. This can be done by melding stunning images, moving music, and your destination’s unique story together.

4. Watch Your Video Length

Let’s get practical: the length of your video matters. Like, a lot! You definitely want to make sure you get this part right. FYI, this is another reason to structure out your videos rather than simply flying by the seat of your pants.

So how long should your video be? Studies show that two minutes is the ideal length. This should be long enough to adequately relate your story, but won’t bore viewers. It’s also a lot easier (and cheaper) than shooting a 30 minute epic.

If you really need more than a couple of minutes, aim for between six and twelve. This is the secondary sweet spot and will allow you to convey more information to your audience. Just make sure you’re able to keep the viewers attention.

Speaking of attention, your video needs grab it. And fast! Viewers make their “watch of run” decision within the first 10 seconds. If you haven’t captivated them by then, it’s all over. So start your video with a bang and keep viewers engaged.

5. Make It Mobile Friendly

You’ve heard it before, we’ll say it again: mobile is mandatory. There are just too many video watchin’, smartphone-totin’ folks out there to neglect catering to them. To reinforce that statement:

  • 51% of all video views come from mobile devices.
  • On YouTube, the average mobile viewing session is more than 40 minutes.
  • 92% of mobile video viewers share what they watch with others.

All this to say, your audience likes to watch videos on their mobile devices. Your destination needs to give them what they want and create mobile friendly content. Ensure that the orientation, aspect ratio, and all captions have been optimized for mobile devices before uploading them.

6. Create Content Regularly

Real talk: the more videos you have, the better chance your destination has of getting seen. It’s a simple numbers game. That doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking second creating content, but it does mean you need to commit to a regular posting schedule.

What’s it going to be? Once a week? Every other month? Make the decision now and hold yourself accountable to that standard.

If you’re worried you’ll quickly run out of content ideas, fear not! Just ask yourself, “what do our ideal travelers want to see?” Then go create whatever the answer is. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Solve Your Travelers Problems: What does your ideal customer struggle with? Create videos that explain how they can overcome these challenges.
  • Teach the History of Your Destination: You’ll find some interesting stories if you dig through your destination’s history. Maybe someone famous used to live there, or it’s the birthplace of some great invention. Share that information in a video.
  • Report on What’s New in Your Area: Recent happenings make for great video material Is your city about to welcome a popular restaurant chain or build a new community center? This is information travelers would love to know about.
  • Share What’s Makes Your Destination Great: Finally, simply share what makes your location so amazing. Award-winning entertainment, national parks, beautiful weather; these are all reasons travelers may want to visit.

Lastly, don’t forget about live video. This is a quickly growing medium and many marketers are seeing tremendous success using it. Why not give it a whirl?

7. Video Promotion > Video Creation

Just because your organization makes a video, doesn’t mean anybody will watch it. In fact, the vast majority of videos spend the entirety of their miserable little existence in obscurity. Don’t let this happen to your films too.

The most valuable piece of advice we can give you regarding video promotion is to spend more time marketing your films than you do creating them. Here are a few strategies you can use:

Distribution

Once you’ve created a video, share it with as many people as possible. Start with your current circle of fans and followers and post about it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media is a wonderful content promotion channel.

Use your organization’s email list as well. Message your subscribers and notify them of your new destination film. Email marketing has an incredibly high ROI so don’t neglect this tactic. It may be one of your most successful promotional channels.

Finally, post your video in multiple locations. Host it on Facebook and YouTube. Create a blog entry on your website containing the film. Make your videos discoverable in different areas of the web. That way your audience has a better chance of finding them.

Partnerships

Your can only take your organization’s marketing videos so far. To reach the masses, we suggest you form partnerships with other companies and influential individuals.

This could mean simply reaching out to other travel brands and asking them to share and link to your videos. Agree to do the same for their content so the relationship is mutually beneficial.

You could also work with influencers, people who have built up large followings via email, social media, or some other channel. If they cater to a similar audience as you (i.e. travelers), then you may want to consider asking them to promote your videos as well.

You’ll likely have to pay them a fee, or compensate them in some way. But their reach is often worth it.

Paid Ads

Lastly, paid ads might also be a viable promotional option for your destination marketing videos. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are the two heavyweights in this area. But Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest have advertising options as well.

For complete details on how to run successful social media ad campaigns, we recommend this guide from Sprout Social. If Google Adwords is more your speed, you can’t do much better than this ultimate guide from Adespresso.

Three Amazing Destination Marketing Video Examples

Before we wrap up this post, we want to share with you with a few amazing videos and why they work so well. Use these three examples as inspiration.

1. “Find Your Chile” – Chile Travel

Chile Travel did a great job with this promotional video. The visuals are stunning and really spark a desire in viewers to visit the country. Also, including so many traveler testimonials was a stroke of genius.

Finally, the video did a great job of addressing a chief concern many potential visitors might have before booking a trip to Chile: safety. One of the interviewees mentioned how safe she’s felt during her stay and video viewers are inclined to believe her.

2. “Door of Thrones” – Discover Ireland

This is a very unique video, which in and of itself is a huge win for Discover Ireland. They’ve done a great job capitalizing on the Game of Thrones popularity as the show films specific scenes in the country. If you’re a fan of the series, this is likely a major draw.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck when a massive storm hit the filming location back in 2016. But Discover Ireland saw an opportunity and took it; using the wood from fallen trees to craft artisan oak doors and use the story in their marketing.

We all love a good redemption story and this video really hit the nail on the head.

3. “Only Slightly Exaggerated” – Travel Oregon

This is an example of “going all out” for a destination marketing video. It must have costs a small fortune to produce and may be out of reach for your organization. But there’s still a lot to be learned.

First, it’s utterly captivating. From the vibrant colors to the way each scene flows into the next, the viewer can’t tear their eyes away. The organization took great care to put their USP — nature, outdoor activities, diverse topography — front and center.

They did all this in a fun and playful way, too, by naming the video “Only Slightly Exaggerated.” Well done Travel Oregon!

Market Your Destination With Video

Video is a wonderful marketing platform, especially for destination brands. It gives your organization the opportunity to quickly showcase what makes your location unique and build desire inside travelers.

Fortunately, if you follow the seven tips outlined in this blog, creating promotional videos doesn’t have to be an expensive or arduous endeavor. You can get started with the tools you already have and a healthy dose of creativity.

Have you created any destination marketing videos before? We’d love to see! Link to them in comments and let us know any lessons learned while making them.

One thought on “Market Your Destination with Video: 7 Tips for More Success

  1. Pingback: How to Define Your Destination USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and Attract More Visitors | CleanPix Blog

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