How Tour Operators Can Easily Harness the Power of Video

Jessica Malnik
Jessica Malnik
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How Tour Operators Can Easily Harness the Power of Video

Boost your marketing in one simple step

Many business owners still see the Internet as a text-based medium. Some will put huge amounts of time, energy, and money into developing the most SEO-tastic text possible in the hope of ramping up web traffic. And that’s fine… if what you’re selling is best described in words. But what about a business that offers excitement, adventure, travel, new friendships and experiences of a lifetime? Video is the answer.

Nothing connects with your customers quite like video. It doesn’t have to be shot on a Hollywood budget – if all you can afford is some footage shot on an iPhone, that’s fine. As long as they have plenty of energy, those clips will start to turn your landing page into a conversion machine.

Why videos sell

The Internet is increasingly an audio-visual medium. YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. This is not surprising when you realize that over 100 million people view videos online every day. If you are a tour operator who is not using video marketing, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to engage customers and increase sales.

Ultimately, all visitors want the same kind of information, regardless of whether your website has text or video. Is this fun? Will I enjoy it? Do I get a good bang for my buck? Who are these ‘world-class guides,’ anyway? These are the questions that need to be answered quickly and positively when someone hits your site.

What tour providers need to do

First, take a big step back and look at your site with fresh eyes. Do you even have compelling photographs supporting your text? If not, start there. Sweeping images of natural landscapes and dramatic adventure might delight the eye, but draw on people’s emotions with scenes of happy customers. Take more pictures when you are conducting your tours and activities, and encourage your customers to do the same.

Back to videos.

For many tour providers, it probably makes sense to consider hiring a professional video production company to shoot a full on promo video.  People will have more patience with professionally recorded and edited video footage, so these can be a bit longer than the home-movie version. (It still makes sense to keep these under 2 minutes.) The most successful videos tell a great story. Tour providers need videos that create emotions of excitement and a sense of fun or awe.

With that said, there is a place for your more “homegrown” video productions. I was recently blown away by this “Thank You” landing page after I registered for a free marketing webinar.

video-thank-you

Here’s what I love about this:

  1. It creates a personal touch. I got sucked into signing up for this webinar because the subject matter strongly appealed to me, not because I knew anything about the presenter. And here’s the thing about webinars, you actually never see the speaker.  But with this little thank you video, the presenter has established a far deeper level of rapport with me.
  2. It gets me excited and strengthens my engagement and loyalty. Have you ever signed up for a webinar and not showed up at the last minute? Because presenters record their webinars and will almost always email them after the session, there’s not a huge incentive to watch live. From my own experience though, if I don’t watch live I likely won’t watch that webinar at all… This is bad news for the people putting on the presentation. They’ve just taken 60 to 90 minutes out of their day and I still don’t know anything about their product or company. A video like this one, however, increases my commitment. Low and behold, I watched this guy’s 90 minute talk live, and didn’t (0k, hardly) multi-tasked the entire time!

How can you apply this example to your business?

Film a quick Thank You video to get your customers excited about their upcoming tour or activity. After they purchase a tour online, redirect them to a landing page like the example above.

Excitement is one of the most important emotions in business. Reeinforce your customers’ enthusiasm whenever you get the chance.

Where to place the video

After the video is created, it should generally be placed on the landing page above the fold. This means that the visitor should not have to scroll down to see your video.  The video should jump out at the customer right away and demand attention.

jacks-surf-lessons
Jack’s Surf Lessons & Board Rentals in Myrtle Beach, SC nails the top-of-fold video on its home page.

Follow these best practices when it comes to top-of-fold videos:

  • Make sure the video autoplays on a loop. It’s no good if the user has to elect to “play” the video. Most browsers support HTML5 video so it’s very easy to implement this nowadays.
  • Don’t include sound on these videos. Imagine how an unsuspecting user feels when she loads a webpage, perhaps while looking for vacations at work, and noises start blasting from her computer. Say bye-bye to that potential customer.

Lastly, if you’ve paid for a professionally crafted video, get your money’s worth and upload it to YouTube! You’ll get free exposure, and there’s always the chance that the video could become wildly popular.

Your video checklist

So, what are you going to do now?

  1. Find a professional videographer in your area
  2. Film a visually-alluring, sales-boosting video
  3. Get a web developer to add it above the fold on your home page
  4. Keep using video to your advantage to personalize your tour (informational videos, thank you pages, etc.)

Ready? And…action!

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Writer Jessica Malnik

Jessica Malnik

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