Words can tell your story very effectively and we all know a picture tells a thousand words. And while strong imagery is extremely important when it comes to marketing your tour or activity online, it’s hard to think of a better way to really show your product online than video.
With video you can get the excitement across, the views, the atmosphere and most importantly… you. Tour guides are a pivotal part of a tour or activity so by introducing video into your marketing mix you’ll be able to show potential customers who they’ll be dealing with.
If you’re thinking of marketing your tour or activity with video, we’ve got 10 tips…
1. Know what the theme is
Before you start shooting you need to know what your video is going to be about. Is it for one tour in particular? Is it about the history of the company? Will it be a general overview of what you do? Think about these things before you do anything else.
2. Decide if it’s just footage or some presenting
Some people don’t like being in front of the camera while others do. If you’re the former you’re going to need a lot of footage to make a video. If you’re the latter then your chiselled cheekbones and dulcet tones will be taking up quite a bit of the video. Make sure you know what way the story will be told.
3. Write a storyboard, then shot list / script
Once you know what the video is going to be about and who is (or isn’t) going to be in it, you need to get a shotlist on paper. Write then all the footage you need and write down a list, categorising the shots between CU (close up), mid, wide and PTC if you’re going to be speaking to the camera. This will make the day(s) you shoot much smoother.
4. Use a tripod and have a very steady hand
If your footage is shaky then it’s going to look like a home video, not a professional video that’s promoting a top tour company. To avoid this, use a tripod when you’re getting a still shot and try to keep the camera as steady as possible when shooting handheld. A camera with a built-in stabiliser will help eliminate shaky handheld footage.
5. Shoot too much, not too little
A wise friend once told me ‘It’s better to be looking at it than to be looking for it’. This advice resonated with me in terms of many aspects of life – shooting video being just one of them. If you get a shot of a stunning vista on Monday and you think you won’t get a better one, but then along comes some killer sunset on Wednesday evening that trumps Monday’s footage, shoot it. Choice is only a good thing.
6. Make time for bad weather
I used to shoot video guides for cities that took anywhere between 3-5 days to shoot in total. I always gave myself extra time in case of bad weather as most of the footage I was shooting was outdoors. Since you’ll be in the same boat, always expect a thunderstorm or a shower to interrupt your schedule and allow time to let this happen.
7. Invest in good video editing software
If you’re a Mac user you’ll have iMovie, while if you’re a Windows user you’ll probably have Windows Movie Maker on your machine. Both of these are fine but you won’t be able to do everything you want to. There’s lots of video editing software out there. The two I recommend are Adobe Premiere for Windows and Final Cut Pro for Mac.
8. Get good music
If you’re talking your way through the movie, you’ll get away with not having music. If you’re not, you won’t – lots of video footage with no soundtrack just looks weird. Google ‘royalty free music’ and you’ll encounter lots of free music, while if you’re looking for something of an even higher quality, see if anybody in the locale produces music for an affordable fee.
9. Watch it and have somebody else watch it before you publish
Just like you shouldn’t publish anything written before it’s proofed by yourself and then again by somebody else, make sure you check the video for any inaccuracies, grammatical errors, anything particularly distracting in the footage or otherwise. Then once everybody’s happy, hit the publish button.
10. Promote, promote, promote
Once the videos out there tweet it, Facebook it, Google+ it, Pin it… you get the picture. Email the video to your friends, add the link to your signature – promote the video any way you think possible to get it as many views as it can get. More views = more customers.
Get more pro tips to up your mobile photography game in our free guide by our in-house designer:
Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.