DIY Video Content: How To Make Engaging Hotel Videos Without Blowing Your Budget

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Posted on Sep 30th 2016

There are few better ways to show off the unique vibe of your hotel than a professionally shot video. Surpassing static image and text in terms of emotional connection, video has the unique ability to get travellers imagining their breaks and itching to book. In fact, according to Google, as much as 42% of online holiday planners use YouTube videos as a source of travel inspiration when getting ready for their next trip.

Unfortunately, video content has a (sometimes deserved) reputation for being time consuming and expensive. But that needn’t be the case! With a little care and planning, you can put together high quality videos that drive traffic and bookings without breaking the bank.

Plan Your Shoot

Industry research shows that just under 60% of travel shoppers want to be shown quick tours of a hotel’s guestrooms and common areas, while 20% hope to see any leisure facilities such as a pool, gym or spa. Shots of the onsite restaurant, surrounding area and your team of staff are also of interest to guests planning their breaks online. In general, videos which provide helpful information are favoured over those that come across as overly promotional.

Don’t forget to chat to your staff and even your guests about the unique features that make your hotel what it is. You can also consider using guest interviews and testimonials in your video content.

Take Advantage Of Your Smartphone Camera

The most important part of any video is, of course, how it looks. When it comes to video tours and other video content showing off your hotel, you need the visuals to be crisp and clean so your property looks its very best. But that doesn’t mean you need to fork out for ‘professional’ equipment.

Modern Smartphone cameras are now able to record in super high resolution; in fact, the iPhone has now been used to shoot several music videos and even a few feature length and well reviewed films.

Whatever kind of promotional video you’re considering for your hotel, don’t overlook the possibility of using your Smartphone to get the job done.

Tips For Shooting on Your Smartphone

  • Make sure you opt for manual rather than automatic exposure. If you’re using Android, we recommend downloading the Open Camera app. For iPhone, change the camera settings using the native camera app
  • Don’t let shaky hands let your video quality down! Invest in a cheap tripod and mount for your Smartphone to ensure stability
  • As any professional photographer or Hollywood film director will tell you, lighting is everything when it comes to making people and places look great. Since most Smartphones don’t let as much light through the lens as film cameras, it’s a good idea to illuminate your shots with extra lamps if natural light is limited
  • If you want to include a voiceover, don’t try to improvise. Write out a brief script and memorise it so you can sell your property with confidence

Editing Your Video

Once you’ve shot your footage, you need to put it together in a cohesive, appealing way. One of the best ways to do this is to use YouTube Editor, a free tool with enough basic editing features to make a well shot video look professional. Don’t forget to check out the Creator Studio for royalty-free music samples that could add the perfect finishing touch to your video.

If you have more of a budget, Adobe Premier Elements is a kind of stripped down, beginner package of the same software that many professional studios use.

Publishing Your Video

Now that your video is done, you need to host it – both on YouTube and your hotel’s website. Ensure that you include your hotel’s name and website address within the YouTube description, so people know exactly where to go to find out more and book.

How does your hotel leverage the power of video content? Would you consider using your Smartphone to shoot future videos? Let us know in the comments below!


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