Ask any marketing expert and they will tell you that content is king when selling travel products. What’s more, video marketing is the most effective way to build content and generate more leads and sales. That’s because video is more memorable than the written word. It stays in the viewer’s mind with greater impact so they will think of you, their trusted travel advisor, when it comes time to book their next trip.
Furthermore, while it used to cost thousands of dollars to produce professional videos, advancements in technology (namely smartphones, search engines, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and other popular social media platforms) have cut the costs to practically nothing to produce and distribute videos to target audiences.
Here are some key strategies for travel advisors to follow for a successful video marketing program.
Why is video so important?
Travel is all about immersion, deeply personal experiences that stay with travelers for years to come and sometimes even change their lives. Video is the most compelling medium to showcase adventures that move travelers’ souls - and that grabs their attention when scrolling through websites in search of their next travel inspiration.
Travel advisors can best use video to make an emotional connection with prospects and clients. For instance, videos can show what it is like to participate in your tours, stay in the hotels and resorts you recommend, enjoy the cruises you suggest, visit the destinations you offer up, and how it will be to work with you.
Video makes your travel brand more relatable and authoritative in one fell swoop. It works whether you are reaching out to find prospects and expand your audience or to nurture relationships with current customers. And, video is effective for both brand awareness and sales efforts, reaching travelers as they move through the entire marketing and sales cycle.
So it follows that using video as a key part of a travel agency’s marketing repertoire can reliably lead to a higher look-to-book ratio, and more business for travel advisors who take the time to shoot and upload videos regularly.
What to include in the videos
Travelers today want to see the destination, hotel or cruise ship, and attractions before traveling there. They do research online from start to finish for their trips.
Travel advisors can create the following types of videos so that travelers will find them while doing searches: destination guides (broken into bite-sized videos of where to go, what to see, and where to eat), accommodations and amenities at resorts and hotels while on site (and maybe even a personal chat with the manager or owner), cruise ships cabins and excursions, travel tips, special deals and promotions, and Q&A videos.
As for the length of the videos, shorter is better. For Facebook, YouTube and website videos, aim for one minute or two minutes tops. After that, most viewers lose interest and scroll onto the next video -- and remember that the first 10 seconds are critical to lock in their attention. If the video is longer than two minutes, edit it into several shorter videos. As for Instagram reels, they should be only 15-60 seconds. And TikToks need to come it at just 20 seconds.
Be sure to include some sort of CTA (call to action) in the video that urges the viewer to take the next step (such as visiting your website, subscribing to your YouTube channel, following you on Facebook or TikTok, or sharing the video on their social media).
Where to post video content
The first and most obvious place to post travel videos is on the travel agency’s social media. While new social media platforms are constantly being introduced, and others burn out fast and furious, these continue to be rock solid in today’s marketplace: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Social media posts can also be expanded to reach a greater audience by placing paid ads on Facebook and YouTube. A marketing agency or consultant can help with this.
Next, upload your best video content to your agency’s home page. Prominently placing eye-catching travel videos on your website is a sure way to improve online engagement of leads and current customers.
The reason is that Google’s search engine algorithm places a significant emphasis on quality videos posted on both websites and social media accounts combined. The potential impact on search rankings is worth the effort, as video is great for an agency’s SEO. The better your SEO, the more people with find you online.
Another strategic place for those exciting and informative videos is your agency’s email campaigns. Rest assured email is not dead. In fact, the marketing industry still highly touts the effectiveness of email to reach targeted audiences.
Do you really have to measure engagement?
The short answer is yes. Focus first on building your video library, but at some point, be sure to start measuring engagement. Track how many views the videos receive, as well as view completions, shares, comments, and clickthroughs to your agency’s website.
Over time, these metrics offer up a snapshot of how your success is trending. They tell you if your video content (and thus travel offerings) is resonating with the people you most want to reach. And every time someone shares or comments positively on your videos, it is social proof that your travel business is on solid footing.
So roll up your sleeves and get your camera-ready face on. Shoot and share about all the wonderful travel adventures you have to offer. Ka-ching.
FROM THE SPONSOR:
ALG Vacations led the pack this year as they launched their “ Ask a Travel Advisor” annual campaign. This campaign opened the doors for travel advisors across the U.S., giving them customer leads, driving traffic to their businesses, and showcasing the true value a Travel Advisor brings to consumers everywhere. The strength in this campaign centered on social media, travel and celebrity influencers, and the launch of multiple trending social handles. So, get social and find engaging shareable posts, talk travel with prospective customers, and be inspired to create your own content when you follow ALG Vacations® @AskATravelAdvisorALGV on Facebook and TikTok. You can also tune into our ALGV ‘Travel Beat’ Podcast with fresh travel tips shared weekly. Download from your favorite store today!