How to Market your own Tourism Business with Video.

As you can tell from the photo above, I’ve been involved in video for quite a while. The camera featured is the Canon XL-1, a three-CCD standard definition camcorder made from 1997 to 2001. It cost twice as much as my car at the time.

Most phones today produce video of better quality than the XL-1. One thing that hasn’t changed is the essence of good audio-visual storytelling.

For 300,000 years humans have told stories. First around a campfire and then, with the invention of the Gutenberg Press in the 1440’s, via the written word. With the advent of the internet, and improvements in bandwidth, video has become the main way we communicate stories now. Every day 500 billion videos are watched on youtube. Yet despite this huge technological wave, only 9% of small business produce videos.

I would like to help small business, particularly in my area of expertise; tourism, learn how they can produce their own video content.

Online Video – A technological breakthrough
In a podcast with Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson mentioned a line that has really stuck with me ‘The spoken word is now as powerful as the written word. It has never happened before in human history.’ Peterson has stated that Joe Rogan is, by the numbers, probably the most successful interviewer of people ever. If we are to look at Joe’s latest podcast with Elon Musk the view count is 13.5 million. To give you some idea of the scale – NBC Nightly News, the most-watched broadcast in the USA averages 1.4 million views per show for the last 92 weeks. This shows small business that tv no longer control the broadcast space. But how does one rise above the 300 hours of video uploaded to youtube every single minute?

Youtube vs Facebook
Personally I think getting a one off viral hit on youtube or facebook now is near impossible unless you pay these services or find some hack in their makeup. If anything, facebook may now be a better place to get a short term viral hit with a video than youtube. But I think youtube still wins the game with regard to longterm video visibility. Let me give you two concrete examples –

Facebook desperately want to move into the video space, they see it’s huge potential. The advantage of sharing a video to facebook is that you can organically target niche audiences via facebook groups. I recently made a fun little video featuring the ute camper I’ve built since returning to Australia. I wanted to do a bit of a parody on Australian car advertising from the 70’s and also tie in an iconic hair style from the 80s – the Mullet. As a video producer I enjoyed the process of scripting, storyboarding, shooting and editing the whole video in one day. After uploading it to facebook I then shared it to various groups related to Australia, comedy, van life and Aussie utes. The video seemed to hit a nostalgic nerve, going viral. Over the weekend it was released, it was viewed 100,638 times on facebook and only 918 times on youtube. That is 100 times the views!

But this doesn’t mean one should avoid youtube all together. I think with youtube it is important to think about what search terms viewers will use to find your video, and try and claim that space for your town, region or area of expertise. For example, I did some videos for Yealands Wines both 7 years and 4 years ago. When you search for Marlborough wine region on youtube (and thus google) these videos still maintain the 1st and 4th spots in search. After the success of the first video I made for Yealands, they saw the benefit of producing another video that gave viewers an overview of why the Marlborough Region produces such good wine. They didn’t push Yealands so much in this 2nd video, understanding that by just providing succinct information about their region, they would be viewed as the local brand experts.

What formats work for online video marketing

Online video statistics state that good video ads should – be authentic, entertain, evoke emotion, go personal/relatable, be useful, give viewers control… and work with sound off and in non-interruptive ad format.

With regard to tourism video marketing, Jean-Paul Toonen of T36 Media informed me of a study by the University of Leuven (Belgium) that found many marketeers traditionally make the mistake of only using video as a medium of evidence. They believe that if they show the local qualities of a region, it’s superior scenery and sunny beaches, then the viewers will be convinced. But this footage only proves the existence of these hotspots. And not the effect of relaxation, happiness and entertainment. The audience is only convinced by honest testimonials and authentic interviews, in combination with action in the picturesque local environment.

After learning of this study, I devised a video marketing formula called 2minprofile. I believe 2 minutes is all that is needed for a business to get their message across. In this two minutes, all a business needs to do is differentiate itself from it’s competitors 4 times. That works out to be roughly 30 secs per point. Each 30 secs works out to be 6-12 shots, depending on the pace of the video piece. So essentially a formula can be developed right down to the number of shots needed

As stated previously, a business then needs to claim the Keyword space when thinking of a title for your video on youtube. Here is an example still holding number one spot sevens years after I produced it!

Ride the wave of change – Podcasts

The growth of podcasts has interested me. I think it is a kick against the fakeness of a lot of social media. It is raw, unedited. You see the nuances of a genuine conversation.

I’ve attempted to ride this wave of interest in long form media by devising a concept that captures the raw honesty of conversation, bypassing ‘influencers’ and letting the most knowledgable person talk about their business – the owner!

Once again notice how this video claims the space as best in their category. Of course this only works if your business really is the best.

What not to forget when producing your own videos

In this article I will not be providing suggestions for what gear you need to purchase to make your own videos. But I will give you one very important piece of advice. Video is a audio-visual experience, don’t skimp of sound gear. Sound is tied in with emotion, just think of your favourite movie scene – break it down into it’s pieces. Do you think that haunting violin music had anything to do with you feeling the need to weep? Bad audio will turn people off quicker than you can say “20% of viewers will leave a video if it hasn’t hooked them in the first 10 seconds.”

Hacking the system – Gaps in the market

Finally I want to throw some statistics your way and give you some food for thought on where there are possible gaps in the online video market.

For a while now the top 10 youtube travel influencers have an audience made up mainly of 17-19 year olds. Yet statistics from the Australian census, show a local spike in Chinese and lifestyler (55yr+) travellers. It is also interesting to note that 35+ and 55+ age groups are the fastest growing YouTube demographics.

Could you use these stats to your advantage? Are you providing a specialist or luxury product or service. Could being a first adopter of video marketing allow you to claim the online video space for your town or region? If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below.

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8 thoughts on “How to Market your own Tourism Business with Video.

  1. Great stuff Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts. As well as working as a travel writer I also organise small group tours – India, Morocco – and I know how crucial and how tough marketing is, and also how effective video can be, esp in the travel space.

  2. podcasts are good but just as good or even better are google hangout livestreams where a number of guests get on and share their opinions. I do on average a 16 hour livestream every sunday on my Philippines/oz fun with jlb you tube channel and get around 4,000 views on average and a lot of interaction with the subs.

  3. Good article but I would add that a google hangout livestream is just as important or even better than a podcast because of the community it builds.

  4. Thanks Jeff. Haven’t tried livestream yet, sounds like a great set up for something like a Q and A

  5. HI mark,
    Great piece of writing, yep got lots of tips thank you. What I am finding successful on our maps are qr codes with the videos in them. youtube channel as the means but can be used for facebook if you are savvy. for the convict trail map we used clips with actors to tell the story and the users love it especially the kids. history made easy!!!! thanks for your note great piece of reading. lea

  6. yeah, i livestream every Sunday and bring guests in from all over the world who have had Philippines experience and give their perspective. Works perfectly for q & a and can revive dormant subs too, but its easy to fall in the trap of dropping usual videos because livestream is so much fun.
    If you want to come on and give your Philippines experiences and also promote your channel just rock up Sunday 12 pm your time mark.

  7. That sounds great Lea with regard to the qr codes

  8. Thanks Mark, Great info & tips. Inspiring.


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