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Online Video Marketing Tips for Tour and Activity Businesses

Online video has become an extremely popular source of travel inspiration and a powerful tool for sharing experiences. As a businesses offering experiences, it important to understand how to leverage the power of video as a marketing tool.

Why bother with video?

Video is Tangible

Through image and video sharing, the web has made it possible to provide travellers with a very real and inspiring idea of what your business has to offer. It provides a personal and dynamic taste of your tours or activities, right on your client’s computer of mobile device. With a better understanding and perceived value of your offering, travellers are more likely to book to your product.

Video is informative

Through watching an online video, viewers also gain important information about the experience. A video gives an indication of what guests need to pack or wear during a trip, the level of physical activity or strain involved and more.

Video speaks multiple languages

As multi-language marketing content becomes increasingly important to your business, video should not be overlooked as a way to communicate a single marketing message to a large audience, regardless of the languages they speak.

Bottom line: When a herd of buffalo rescue a calf from a lion and a croc, it’s mind-blowing in any language.

Amateur and honest: a new generation of online content

The fact that anyone can upload and share a video they have personally captured, has made viewers more open to authentic and entertaining content, and less fixated on the quality of production and editing.

Like everything else on the web, video is evolving. Take Vine for example, an app that allows users to capture and share 6 second video clips using nothing but their mobile phones. With high quality cameras being built into any and every device used by travellers, the amount of raw and honest videos are increasing daily (with 72 hours, with every minute that passes, to be exact)

It’s about telling stories (real ones)

With this massive amount of video being shared and watched online, the key behind online video marketing lies in capturing the right stories and sharing them with the right audiences. Your videos need to be inspiring, they need to add value and they need to encourage social sharing. Most importantly they need to be found by people searching for content relating to your business.

Getting started:

Option 1: User-generated content

Chances are that most of your guests will at some point capture videos while participating in your tours or activities. This is most likely to be at the highlight of their experience, capturing their own personal version of your product, ready to be shared with their friends and families.

An easy and very practical way of building a quality library of online video for your business is to simply encourage these guests to share their videos online and to let you know when they have done so. This type of video is honest, personal and best of all, it’s free.

Example: Andrew Melikov’s journey through Thailand. It was shot using nothing but an Apple iPhone…

Option 2: Creating your own content and using your guests as actors

Additional to the videos captured by your guests, there is also the option of capturing and sharing content yourself. This is powerful because you can brand and promote it as your own (which is not always an option with user-generated content). When filming guests, be sure to inform them that you are likely to upload the content online – giving them the option to oppose.

Example: Vic Falls Bungi and Sandboarding Cape Town use GoPro Cameras to capture the rush and adrenaline of their products

Option 3: Professional videos

If your budget allows, recruit an agency to film and produce a professional marketing video for your business. Travel video agencies like Travizeo specialise in effectively communicating your brand and story, while offering support in hosting, sharing and measuring your video.

Example: Quatermain’s Camp (Managed by Haggard and Brand) boasts with a gripping video, combining footage of their facilities and game drives. Video by Travizeo.

Putting your videos to work

Online video can easily be shared and ’embedded’, making it possible to promote your content through all your online marketing channels.

Use Youtube or Vimeo to host and categorise your videos, from there you can share them on your website, blog and social profiles.

Final thought: Look beyond hits

A very common way of measuring the success of an online video is to look at the number of views it has. While this is relevant, it can easily fall into the same obsession of chasing Facebook ‘Likes’. What’s more important is how you connect online videos to your business and building a relationship with the people who view them.

We’ll be releasing practical guidelines on how to use Youtube and Vimeo in the near future. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated.

Co-Founder of Springnest, writes about marketing advice, company news, new features, and future plans.

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