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“Features and Benefits” is sooo last year. The hot new trend in destination marketing? Video.

Ok, video is NOT new, but it IS becoming more common and more critical to any destination marketer. Think about it: YouTube receives more than a billion unique visitors a month. A 2015 survey of 120 U.S. ad agencies says online video is as effective — if not more effective — than television. And while TV is still the 800 lb gorilla in the room, online video is the fastest-growing segment of the digital media world. Including video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. And 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.

So how to use it?

Well, first think of what it is that makes your destination different or special. Now, capture that on video for your destination marketing. Boom!

But seriously, the best video delivers the right message to the right audience. True, that can be said for a lot of mediums, but targeting your video messaging is definitely the way to go. Family destination? Family images. Pretty simple, right? There is a bit more to it, actually. Travelers today are seeking the experience and not just the destination. They don’t just want to know what a place looks like or how many guest rooms there are or what the rates are, but how it feels. That’s one reason Go Pro and selfie videos are everywhere. They can capture a visitor’s experience in a first-hand sort of way.

People will watch and remember videos if the content really speaks to them, if they offer interesting or unusual content or if they do a good job of capturing the feeling of your destination. That feeling can be fun, thrilling, comfortable, elegant, delicious, awe-inspiring, cozy or any number of adjectives. This goes back to identifying what it is that makes your destination different or special. Put some serious thought into how you are different from your competitors — that is, what the soul of your brand is all about.

And how to do it?

To capture those feelings and experiences properly, TURN THE PHONE SIDEWAYS! Honestly, I hope you aren’t forced to shoot your destination’s marketing video on your phone, but if you are, shoot in landscape mode, not portrait. It’s the best utilization of the space — and how we’ve been watching movies and TV since forever.

Not everyone is prepared or willing to go the DIY route. If you ARE tempted to go that route, one word of advice … Don’t. Professional video production costs have come down significantly with the digital revolution. Getting good audio, lighting, composition and image quality are important to the overall video experience. Just as you want your staff to look their best for your customers, you want your video message to look as good as it can, so do it right. Treat it as importantly as any other aspect of your destination marketing. This is YOU. This is how people see you and decide whether they want to spend money with you. Give yourself an adequate budget to capture high-quality video and audio and be disciplined and thoughtful about producing this important marketing tool.

Getting Started

To get started, make a plan (or creative brief). Decide on your audience and the message for that audience (you’re allowed to do multiple videos for multiple audiences). Script your video if possible. Use descriptive words to capture the feeling of the experience you offer so your video director has something to shoot for. Look at other videos and get a sense of the pace, look, feel and tone you want to portray. Include a call to action — that is, let people know what you want them to do after viewing your masterpiece. Call? Go online? Tell a friend? Show up on the front porch?

Easy breezy, right? Admittedly, it’s easier for some than others. But lucky for you, there are professionals who do this successfully on a regular basis. Questions? Give us a call. Annnnd … ACTION!

Also, check out these destination marketing videos we created for the city of Rogers.

Rogers | Family Adventure from Visit Rogers on Vimeo.

Rogers | Couple’s Weekend from Visit Rogers on Vimeo.

Rogers | Outdoor Adventure from Visit Rogers on Vimeo.

Author Thoma Thoma

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