Travel Video content is NOT the future, like it was five years ago. It’s here and now!
For the past year I have been speaking on the subject of video content at travel conferences like TBEX, the largest travel blogger conference in the world. I’ve had so many people asking to share the presentation, so I thought I would outline it in this blog post. Travel video bloggers, as well as travel brands and destination marketers will find this presentation useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.
This presentation is by no means a blueprint for success or a silver bullet solution as none exists, but rather I hope to impart some nuggets of information that will help illustrate the enormous potential that lay in front of travel video content producers and marketers.
VIDEO is taking content marketing by storm! As popular as video is with viewers, from a marketing perspective, I believe video is just now passing the infancy stage. It’s like being a web developer in the late 90s, websites had been around a while, but business owners were just figuring out that if they wanted to run a successful company, they needed to have an online presence. In other words, everyone was accessing the web in the late 90s, but not every business had a website. That’s sort of what it is like today, EVERYONE is watching video, but not ever business has developed video content. …Yet!
Video viewership has skyrocketed over the past five years. Let me put this into some context. Nearly 70% of all traffic on the web is for video content. By 2020, it will be 83%!
Have a listen to what Casey Neistat has to say on video content.
To further underscore what Casey had to say, Nielsen claims that marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. YouTube has been the second most popular search engine for over four years now, which supports the following stats. It also provides an opportunity for those not ranking in particular search terms on Google and other search engines, to do so with video content.
TRAVEL VIDEO STATS
- 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future (6/15).
- Nearly 70% of all internet traffic is for video content. By 2020, it will be 83%.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions up to 80% (lodging 40-200%).
- Companies using video content see 41% more traffic than those who don’t. Average conversion rates with video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% without video content.
- Videos uploaded directly to Facebook have a 10x higher reach than when using a YouTube link.
- YouTube reports that mobile video views are increasing 100% per year.
- 1 minute of video is worth 1.8m words. A photo is only worth 1000 words.
- 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.
- Growth in travel video uploads overall outpace those of other major categories on YouTube.
- YouTube has over 1 billion unique users per month.
Sources: Forester Research, ComSore, Google Trends and Forbes
TRAVEL VIDEO TRENDS
- YouTube searches for “travel hack” videos grew 115% in 2016. Travel video viewership in general was up 118% (YoY)
- 85% of leisure travelers decide on activities after arriving at their destination.
- 66% of consumers watch travel videos when thinking of taking a trip.
- 71% of YouTube travel searches are for the destinations, i.e. Paris, Hawaii, Las Vegas, etc.
- Travelers want to do more than just watch videos, they want to connect with creators. Channel subscribers watch 86% longer than non-subscribers.
- Nearly half of all YouTube travel subscribers are for Vlogs/experiential content. 19% for Brands, 16% for Tours, 11% for reviews.
- Vlogs receive 4x more social engagement than other types of travel content.
Source: ThinkwithGoogle Travel Trends
MOST POPULAR TRAVEL VIDEO CONTENT CONSUMED ON YOUTUBE
TRAVEL VIDEO STYLE FORMATS
- Promotional – Typically highly polished commercial-level video. Most expensive to produce. Bands are able to manage the message.
- Experiential / Vlog – Produced by 3rd party, often with an audience to distribute content. Most watched, most engaged, most trusted content.
- Testimonial – Interview style where an audience touts an experience/destination/property.
- How To – Travel hacks, getting the best deal, tips, etc.
- Best Of/Top-10 – Very popular in written blog format, but gaining traction in video format.
- Interview – First-person on-camera storytelling.
- Review – Testing, comparison, etc.
- Product Overview – Unboxing, features/benefits, likes/dislikes, pricing, etc.
YOUR VIDEO BRAND IDENTITY
Establish consistency. Consider the following across the video spectrum…
- How often will you publish – If daily, you’ll want to do it at the same time each day. If weekly, of course the same day each week.
- Additionally, you’ll want to establish some similar look/feel across all of your videos, i.e. the way you design your YouTube thumbnail image, your intro, outro, colors, fonts, transition elements, etc.
- Keeping all of this in mind and practicing being consistent across the entire video production process will help you to develop rapport with your audience.
EXAMPLES OF VIDEO BRAND IDENTITY[Things to notice in the video above: Title page, fonts, colors, on-camera scene, logo animation at the end with musical jingle and other Mike’s Road Trip brand identifiers.]
OPTIMIZING TRAVEL VIDEO
- Research keywords
- Label/tag footage
- Use keywords in description, link to relevant content.
- Transcribe for CC (Closed-captioning)
DRIVING TRAFFIC FOR TRAVEL VIDEO
- Search/reach out to stakeholders related to your video.
- Post/upload your video to travel related and aggregation websites, i.e. TravelDudes.org, Matador, OneLoad
- Share on social platforms like Pinterest and Google+
- Get a distributor (Frequency.com for DirecTV/Cable, FutureTodayInc.com for ROKU, Amazon, many others)
- Upload video directly to Facebook
PRICING, PACKAGES AND PRESS KITS
- Create three promotional packages. Example at: MikesRoadTrip.com/press-trips
- Develop a pricing structure.
- Create and make sure to update your press kit. Example: MikesRoadTrip.com/press-kit
KEEP THE SALES FUNNEL FULL
WHO TO CONTACT
- P/R person if you just want a free trip. (My prognostication is that PR people will begin getting a budget from marketing for content creation)
- Marketing person if you want to get paid.
- If you can’t find the right person to speak with, try direct message on social media.
- Meet people at events and travel conferences.
- Follow up with an email.
- Keep top-of-mind with newsletter, social media mentions/shares.
- Send personal snail mail notes/cards on special occasions.
- Email newsworthy information. Maybe you saw a social media mention or a video on their destination/hotel, etc. This gives you an excuse to touch base.
- Be genuine and interested in solving their needs.
- People do business with people they like and will often overlook things, i.e. quality, metrics, etc.
EQUIPMENT I USE
First and foremost…it’s NOT about the gear! It’s about the story. Whatever gear helps you tell the story, is the BEST gear to use! That said, people ask me all the time what gear I use, so here is a list.
- Canon 70D with 16×35 L series lens (I have several other lenses, but this is my go-to lens) [looking to move to Sony A7 and/or 6500]
- DJI Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro with PolarPro ND Filters
- GoPro(s) 3+ Black and 5 Black
- iPhone 6s
- Sennheiser wireless mic
- Rode shotgun mic
- Feiyu Tech G4 handheld gimbal for GoPro
- Feiyu Tech G4 handheld gimbal for Smartphones
- Compact and fairly lightweight Manfrotto
- Gorilla Pod by Joby (have 3 different sizes)
- 48″ don’t recall the brand
- 27″ iMac
- 13″ MacBook Pro
- Final Cut Pro X
- GoPro Studios
- drobo 5C RAID 24TB
- Don’t sell for today, build relationships for tomorrow.
- Think long term, not short term.
- Be persistent! Follow up.
- Never stop learning. Watch other travel video producers http://www.MikesRoadTrip.com/best-travel-video-bloggers. Subscribe to Lynda.com to learn just about anything.
- Create quality content.
- Figure out your value proposition and be able to clearly articulate it.
- Finally, always under promise and over deliver.
- You don’t have to be fantastic videographer or editor to make a living as a travel video blogger. There are many avenues right in front of you. If you have the desire and will to succeed, you can make it happen.
- We live in an era of boundless opportunities that mankind has never seen before, and this has never been more true in the travel sector.
- Never stop learning. Never stop trying. And always be grateful.
- Success is yours for the taking!
If you have any questions about travel video content, please leave a comment below and I will try and respond.