If you really want to capture your audience’s attention online, you need to add video to your marketing mix. Few other forms of content have the power to excite and inspire your guests so effectively, with Google data revealing that up to 42% of online travel consumers check out YouTube videos as part of the holiday planning process.
Wondering how to get started?
This quick guide will help you boost your hotel’s online presence and attract more direct bookings through video marketing.
1: Create The Right Videos for Each Platform
Each of the major social networks now allow brands to post video content to promote their businesses. For the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to focus on the two platforms we know our clients are using to reach their guests the most: Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook users consume a combined total of around 100 million hours of video each and every day.
Research shows that the majority of Facebook users watch video with the sound muted – unsurprising when you consider how many people are browsing their network from a crowded train or on the down low in the office.
With this in mind, Facebook recently added automatic captioning to all video content added to its pages. However, since this relies on voice-recognition software, it’s wise to take time to check and edit the captions for accuracy and to make sure the text size and colour allow for easy reading.
Facebook Live video content has also recently exploded in popularity. The immediate, ‘off the cuff’ feel of this type of content makes it ideal for sharing ‘behind the scenes’ style videos at your property, at special events, and more. The good news? Viewers don’t want or expect this kind of video to be ultra polished, which means you can get away with making it on the smallest of shoestring budgets.
YouTube users prefer longer, evergreen content over news style features and quick ‘instant’ videos. Although the site does offer live video streaming, this is the place for your best video content, with the highest production values.
As with all online marketing, the essential aim is to keep your audience engaged until they get to the CTA. Dry, overly promotional and poorly edited videos will have your audience bouncing in droves. Spark curiosity with graphics, an engaging voice over and interesting visuals and when you can, a unique or unusual narrative to drive guests to your hotel’s most important web pages.
2. Identify The Kind Of Content Your Guests Are Most Interested In
Nearly all travellers looking for a place to stay in your city will be curious to see a high quality video tour of your property, including shots of your guest rooms, common areas and leisure facilities. As a general rule, videos which offer useful information are preferred over those that come across as overly promotional.
No doubt you will already have some idea about the other kinds of content your guests are most likely to be interested in. Are they looking to find out about kid-friendly activities in the local area, the high-end shopping scene or all the great local adventure activities nearby?
To get an even clearer idea, don’t forget to delve into your social analytics for previous video content you’ve created. It’s also worth taking time to conduct a quick competitor analysis, as well as using data from your guest surveys and questionnaires.
3: Invest in Budget-Friendly Recording Equipment
There’s one major factor that prevents brands wanting to experiment with video marketing content: cost.
But you don’t have to invest in the most expensive equipment or production companies on the market to produce great quality videos that will engage your guests and drive bookings.
Here are the essentials of creating high quality videos to show off your hotel:
- A good camera: If you own a good Smartphone, you already have access to high quality recording equipment, so don’t overlook the tools you already have in your pocket.
- Basic lighting equipment: You need good lighting to make your hotel look inviting, but Smartphones don’t tend to allow as much light through the lens as traditional film cameras. Don’t forget to illuminate your shots with extra lamps if natural light is limited.
- Quality microphone and tripod: Nothing screams ‘low budget’ like poor quality sound and shaky hands. Purchase a quality microphone and purpose built tripod for your Smartphone.
- Editing software: There are multiple free or very affordable editing apps and software packages out there, including Videoshop, Adobe Premier Elements and even YouTube’s own editing tool, which offers a good range of basic editing functions to add a touch of professionalism to your videos.
Whether or not your hotel has already embraced it, video content is only going to become more and more important. Taking time to experiment and find out how it works best with your audience will reward you with increased traffic levels, engagement and bookings.
Have you tried adding video to your hotel’s online marketing mix yet? Let us know in the comments below!