Ask any marketer and they will tell you that content is paramount when selling travel products. In addition, video marketing is the most effective way to create content and generate more leads and sales. That’s because videos are more memorable than the written word. It sticks in the viewer’s mind with greater impact, so they’ll think of you, their trusted travel advisor, when it comes time to book their next trip.
While professional video used to cost thousands of dollars to produce, advances in technology (namely smartphones, search engines, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and other popular social media platforms) have reduced the cost of video production and distribution to virtually zero to address target groups.
Here are some key strategies travel consultants should 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 and sometimes even change their lives. Videos are the most compelling medium for showcasing adventures that move travelers’ souls — and capture their attention as they scroll through websites in search of their next travel inspiration.
Travel consultants can best use video to create an emotional connection with prospects and customers. For example, videos may show what it will be like to join your tours, stay at the hotels and resorts you recommend, enjoy the cruises you suggest, visit the destinations you offer and what it will be like to work with you.
Videos make your travel brand more tangible and authoritative in one fell swoop. It works whether you’re looking to find prospects and expand your audience, or nurture relationships with existing customers. And video is effective for both brand awareness and sales efforts, reaching travelers as they move through the entire marketing and sales cycle.
It follows that using video as an important part of a travel agency’s marketing repertoire can reliably lead to higher look-to-book ratios and more business for travel agents who take the time to shoot and upload videos on a regular basis.
What to include in the videos
Travelers today want to see the destination, hotel or cruise ship, and points of interest before they travel there. They research online from start to finish for their trips.
Travel consultants can create the following types of videos to help travelers find them when they search: travel guides (divided into bite-sized videos showing where to go, what to see, and where to eat), lodging and amenities at on-site resorts and hotels (and maybe even a face-to-face meeting with the manager or owner), cruise ship staterooms and excursions, travel tips, special offers and promotions, and Q&A videos.
As for the length of the videos, shorter is better. For Facebook, YouTube, and website videos, aim for a minute or two at most. After that, most viewers will lose interest and scroll to the next video – and remember, the first 10 seconds are crucial to capturing their attention. If the video is longer than two minutes, cut it into several shorter videos. Instagram reels should only be 15-60 seconds long. And TikToks have to do it in just 20 seconds.
Make sure to include some sort of CTA (call to action) in the video that prompts the viewer to take the next step (e.g. visit your website, subscribe to your YouTube channel, like you on Facebook or follow TikTok or share the video on their social media).
Where can video content be posted?
The first and most obvious place to post travel videos is on travel agency social media. While new social media platforms are constantly being launched and others are burning out fast and furious, these remain rock solid in today’s market: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Social media posts can also be expanded to reach larger audiences by running 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 homepage. Placing eye-catching travel videos prominently on your website is a surefire way to improve online engagement from leads and current customers.
The reason for this is that Google’s search engine algorithm puts a lot of emphasis on high-quality videos that are published together on both websites and social media accounts. 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 you will find online.
Another strategic place for these engaging and informative videos is in your agency’s email campaigns. Rest assured that email is not dead. In fact, the marketing industry still touts highly the effectiveness of email in reaching audiences.
Do you really need to measure engagement?
The short answer is yes. Focus on building your video library first, but eventually start measuring engagement. Track how many views the videos get and see completions, shares, comments and clicks on your agency’s website.
Over time, these metrics provide a snapshot of your progress toward success. They tell you if your video content (and therefore your travel offers) is resonating with the people you most want to reach. And every time someone shares or positively comments on your videos, it’s social proof that your travel business is on solid footing.
So, roll up your sleeves and put on your camera-ready face. Shoot and share all the wonderful travel adventures you have to offer. Ka-ching.
ALG vacation led the pack this year as they launched their annual Ask a Travel Advisor campaign. This campaign opened the doors for travel advisors in the US, gave them customer contacts, drove traffic to their businesses and demonstrated the true value a travel advisor brings to consumers everywhere. The strength of this campaign focused on social media, travel and celebrity influencers, as well as the launch of several trending social handles. So get social and find engaging posts to share, talk travel with potential customers and get inspired to create your own content by following ALG Vacations® @AskATravelAdvisorALGV on Facebook and TikTok. You can also tune in to our ALGV podcast, Travel Beat, which shares new travel tips weekly. Download from your favorite store today!