A top 10 Google result from October of 2016 returned one headline that bluntly stated: Facebook is predicting the end of the written word. And Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said around the same time that “video is expected to account for 70% of Facebook’s mobile traffic by 2021”.
We feel that destination marketing professionals should actually welcome this trend as we have yet to encounter a destination that could be summed up with even a few pictures (p.s. if you do use photos, make sure to follow these tips). With video, summing up a destination has more potential than ever.
So, if we consider the opportunity to transform destination marketing with video, a host of additional questions open up including:
Is the content designed for social media?
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will auto-play a video without sound. This means that a lot of people might just scroll past your content without ever listening to it. So if you have a message that you need to convey, you might want to consider adding subtitles or graphics that they can read or make sure to invite them to turn the sound on so that they know they are missing something.
What is the ideal length of a destination’s video?
Not only are consumers less likely to read if they can consume the information in video, but their attention spans for video are also shrinking. Be sure that your message is clear and concise, and that any content you put in your video is essential to your message.
Should the video be professionally produced?
There is a time and a place for every level of production among today’s video offerings. If your destination provides incredible sights and experiences, you might do well to have a professionally shot video complete with aerial and first-person view footage. But sometimes an authentic local perspective shot on a smartphone might be a little more effective. This approach is particularly well suited to a venue such as a restaurant where there might not be a lot to look at, but having someone talking about a favorite meal or a menu item that you just shouldn’t miss.
Should the video have voiceover or just be edited to music?
There is certainly much to be said for music setting the tone of video and while the further addition of voiceover may sap some energy and the coolness factor from videos, it can add to how informative videos can be. It helps to decide if your video is purely for entertainment purposes or to educate people.
What content should be covered in the video and in what priority order should that content be presented?
This is one area where the results of your destination’s Marketing Action Plan or MAP can really come into play: having the answers to The Who, The What, and The Why can be extremely valuable as you plan your video content production efforts – often one of The Hows identified during the mapping process.
- The Who: the targets you need to influence in order to succeed
- The What: what each target needs to do related to your destination in order for you to succeed (with them)
- The Why: what each target needs to believe about your destination in order for you to succeed (with them)
- The Hows: what processes need to be employed to succeed with each target audience (the marketing plan)
What media channels would be best for the video’s distribution?
This is another area that can be informed greatly by the results of your destination’s MAP (see above) and can be absolutely critical to the video’s short- and long-term ability to create value for your destination. Before having a video produced professionally, it helps to figure out if you should make one video to fit every platform (perhaps a :30 spot that can run on TV and social media platforms), or can the footage be worked into multiple videos to reach different demographics from a variety of online and offline media platforms or maybe even to create a long-form video that will run in the local hotels. And if you want to take video to the next level for your CVB, check out how our thoughts on integrating virtual reality.
While these are certainly not all of the questions that should be considered if you do decide to develop video content for your destination, they are a good start. The key is to get your destination out there on video the best way you can, otherwise you’re missing 70% of web traffic.