Web visuals are becoming more and more complex. Interactive Street View maps, 3D graphics and, of course, videos galore. But online videos aren’t just for cat aficionados and GoPro showoffs.
Video has also become a central eCommerce tool. Often, the online descriptions of everyday items such as shoes and tennis racquets are accompanied by short videos that highlight details of the product. People have come expect video as an integral part of their online shopping experience.
Hospitality properties, too, should use online video to market themselves. In one sense, this is a no-brainer. Potential guests want to see how a property looks—and what a property offers—before they book. Video conveys the nuances that make your property great. The medium provides a dynamic way to communicate your property’s je ne sais quoi, as the French say.
Before you can wow guests with your property, however, you have to get your website in front of the right audiences. Video helps give you that reach. According to the Moz Blog, Google recently restricted the video snippets the search engine displays. Now, only sites where video is the core offering, namely YouTube, appear on Google’s search engine results page.
While it might seem counterintuitive, restricting the number of videos that appear on Google is good for businesses serious about video marketing. The update means that relevant videos now rank better. In summary, your property’s YouTube video can be a powerful SEO tool.
Here’s a list of best practices (including examples!) for producing videos to use as part of your property’s digital marketing. Whether you plan on creating a video yourself, or hiring a professional videographer, this list will give you the basic know-how of the video production process.
Hospitality Video Best Practices
- Decide which format you’d like for your video. Options include a virtual property tour, guest testimonials, and special event features. It’s important to stick with one theme per video. For example, The Canon Villa Bed and Breakfast Inn in Sedona, Arizona, features a number of minute-long videos that highlight one room at a time. Check out the Inn’s room profile videos here.
- Keep it short. Whichever format you land on, keep the video length under four minutes. The Long Lake Bed & Breakfast in Nanaimo, BC, does a great job of telling their property’s story in just a few minutes. Check out their video here.
- Film on an HD camera. Camcorder technology is getting better and better. Nowadays, it’s possible to get a small, quality HD camera for a relatively small investment.
- Quality sound can make or break your video. If you’re filming a speaking subject, use an external microphone (not your camcorder’s built-in mic).
- Remember the rule of thirds when framing a shot. Divide your frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. This creates four points of interest. Align your subject along these points. This strategy makes your video more visually pleasing.
- Once you’ve captured your footage, use editing software to craft your video’s story. Popular programs include iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro.
- Host your completed video on YouTube.com or Vimeo.com. This way, you can easily embed the video on your website, improve SEO and give your video an easy, reputable URL link to share over email.
It takes time and effort to create a quality video for your property website. Be patient and the investment will pay off in more website views, clicks, and books.