Harnessing the Power of Video as a Marketing Tool for Your Tour Business

Harnessing the Power of Video as a Marketing Tool for Your Tour Business

Harnessing the Power of Video as a Marketing Tool for Your Tour Business

For the first time, join Rezdy and TV and corporate video presenter and producer at Peppercorn Productions and Managing Editor of The Big Bus Tour and travel guide, Adam Ford, as we share real-world strategies on how to harness the power of video as a marketing tool for your tour and activity business.

In this free online workshop for tour and activity businesses, we’ll share effective strategies on how to engage potential customers in a real and emotional way. Learning how to create video will enhance your SEO, increase traffic to your website and result in more leads and bookings. It’s content with superb longevity, and is completely adaptable across all your social channels. Once you have a video there’s so much you can do with it!

You will learn:

  • DIY vs. professional production – what style is best for your product
  • The merits of ‘story’ – always the most important aspect of any video project
  • Some of the common myths about video production
  • The production process and what to expect on the day
  • How to get the most from your video once you have it
  • How you can go making your video work for you!

This is an exclusive webinar on harnessing the power of video as a marketing tool for any tour and activity business where anyone can learn how to use this exciting medium to sell more tours and more travel to your clients.

The webinar covers four aspects:

  • Firstly, “Why use video?” What makes this medium special and why should you consider using it when drawing upon the tourism marketing mix 7ps?
  • Secondly, we’ll take a close look into dispelling a few of the common myths about video production. This will include some cost-effective options for tour and activity operators who do not have high spending capabilities and conversely, for those may have a slightly larger budget (to be covered in Section Two).
  • Thirdly in Section Three, the production process will be briefly covered on how video is made.
  • Lastly and most importantly in Section Four, Adam will explain how to make the best use of your video.

Section #1: Why use Video?

For many tour and activity operators, one of the common questions is “Why use video?” What are they key reasons that you should look at when using video as a part of your marketing mix?

People love video

Firstly, consider these numbers: there are 1 billion people who are unique visitors to YouTube every month. That accounts to one-sixth of the global population. An extraordinary amount of people which points to the primary reason that people love video.

The global audience are consuming more video than ever before. YouTube attracts 1 billion visitors each month, the global platform also garners up to 4 billion searches per day. Now, admittedly, many will be searching miscellaneous content including cute kitten videos and puppies and so forth. However, many will be also looking for other meaningful content such as tutorials, how-to guides, sales guides, and the like. The reality is that people are highly engaged on this medium and that justifies the need to consider getting involved with it.

Video can build trust

Secondly, harnessing the power of video as a marketing tool can build trust. Video allows a visitor to your website to take your product, lift if off the page and engage with it in a very personal way, so much more than text on a page. A visitor who is engaged with your product can view your products via multiple angles through video and consequently, are able to establish a connection with you, the provider, thus building credibility where they will most likely move forward and book your product.

For example, the tour and activity provider Ethical Adventures located in Darwin was able to connect with the online audience as seen in the clip at 00:09:13. Rob, the proprietor at Ethical Adventures, was able to establish trust in his product effectively. Thus, it is encouraged that tour and activity operators who are making a video to consider being involved on screen, generally through an interview scenario.

Notably, not everyone can be as confident as Rob on the screen, but it is you, as tour and activity operators who has the passion for your product, are equipped with knowledge in order to sell the product in the best possible way, and hence, will enable you to build trust with your audience via video.

Video enhances SEO

All businesses, including tour and activity companies are continuously looking for the magic solution to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on how to rank their website pages as best they can. Video can significantly contribute to better SEO, especially on search engines like Google.  The platform has a tab devoted to video as well as having video coming up in the general search results. Favoring pages that have rich content, video as well as podcasts have industry rich content, anything that a search engine can see will add more value to the user experience. So, having rich content like video on your page will lift your ranking and enhance your SEO efforts.

Video can be mobile friendly

In today’s digital culture, we are always hearing the importance of having an optimized site. Video can be mobile friendly and this can be highly advantageous as it will be easy for users to consume your video on any device, including your desktop, iPads and smartphones.

Section #2: Common myths about Video

For any tour and activity operators, there are many factors in the decision making process when deciding to produce a video – whether it be in-house or outsourcing to a video specialist – but it does not need to break the bank. In this section, common myths about video production will be addressed and cost-effective options will be advised.

Myth 1: Video is expensive

The first common myth is that video is expensive. Indeed, video does cost money, however, it can be vastly cheaper than what it can be. Do-it-yourself (DIY) video can be a more affordable option than getting a professional production done, but it depends on the style of your product. Ask yourself: What is going to actually work best for your product?

As it commonly known, DIY video can be shot on a variety of devices, including via smartphones and can be edited using the raw footage which can work well with certain types of products including  youth products, Eco products and grassroots types of activities. However, it will not work well for a high-end safari for example. So, as part of your brainstorming, you need to work out what style of production is going to work best for your product and to transcend across your key brand message.

If you have limited monetary capacity, there are some more affordable options that can allow you to surface the experience on this particular medium:

  • For the first option, using a simple animation-style welcome video for your website home page. This can be done through online platforms such as Fiverr and to a lesser extent, Airtasker. Fiverr, for example, is a site that brings you a variety of creative producers who complete things at very cost-effective rates. So if you head onto the Fiverr website, you can easily type in the search box “Animation-style welcome video” and you will retrieve a list of producers who are willing to create an animation video for your website. Keep in mind, that the animation-style video will provide your visitors with the key points about the product. They can also look very professional. Generally, these video producers on these platforms create a “shell” so that it is not something that is unique to you and your brand. You are getting a shell that the producers are using for various clients where that is how they keep the costs down but what makes the video unique to your brand are your key selling points.
  • The second option would be using slide show videos. Often, this method can be a very affordable and are effective in getting the key message across to the audience, primarily because they can comprise of engaging still images rather than video. Slideshow videos provide you the liberty to add various elements such as quality graphics and logos from stock providers. Again, if you need a video producer, head onto Fiverr and for less than $100 AUD, you will be able to find producers who are happy to create them for your business. Thus, having these cost-effective options can keep you on your toes and once the video is ready, they will most likely to send you the final file via cloud-sharing platforms such as DropBox, where you can save it from there.
  • The third option would be producing a full video by yourself. If you choose to take this option, an advice would be to go onto YouTube and start researching what is needed such as any equipments or devices for shooting the video. In terms of the camera, a simple device such as a smartphone can be sufficient. To produce the video itself, using simple editing programs such as iMovie for Mac computers can be cost-effective. However it must be noted that this can be time-consuming especially for tour and activity operators, where time is a limited resource.
  • The fourth option would be to hire a videographer. This does not need to break the bank. It is quite often suggested to have a look at wedding photographers. There are various reasons to why they may be suitable for filming tours and activities. Firstly, they are familiar with working on location, secondly, they are able to work under pressure and lastly, they are able to work effectively in an environment with guests. So, a wedding videographer may be a good fit for your production project. On average, the cost of a wedding video in Australia is around $2,700 to $3,000. As a guide, for a 2-minute video and a shoot of approximately 3 to 4 hours comprising of a half-day tour during the week when they are less likely to be working, a negotiated price of $1,500 to $2,000 would be an ideal amount when producing a video for you. This is certainly not outside the realms of possibility.
  • Other options to consider: when looking at getting a video produced for your tour and activities business, corporate video houses is another viable option however keep in mind, they are going to be significantly more expensive than other previously mentioned options. However, if interested, do search online for local production houses and if you are able to retrieve quotes where they may be open to negotiating prices. Additionally, another effective method to locate a videographer is to use referrals from trusted sources such as your friends and business contacts. Otherwise, heading onto social platforms such as LinkedIn can allow you to garner contacts of recommended videographers within your vicinity.

Myth 2: Branded videos are just TV commercials.

The second common myth about video is that branded videos, ones with the brand message to deliver, are just TV commercials. Wrong!

A branded video, like ones that are being described in this webinar, will give the audience the feel it has a message to sell however it is produced in a way that would engage the viewers.

Now, videos that are mentioned here is not a ‘hard sell’, so it is not about you getting on the screen and hammering the viewers with your key selling points. Rather, video is about engaging your viewers by showcasing your key messages and your brand values in a creative way. Thus, every tour and operator must ask oneself, “What is the story that you want to get across to the viewer through your video?”

Using the case example of Rob and Ethical Adventure, there were two stories that were present. One angle was to come and experience the most beautiful parks in Australia, that is, Litchfield National Park, where the key message to the viewer is that the tour would allow viewers to immerse themselves into the amazing landscape, with readily available tools to guide through this adventure. The second part to the story was also taking Rob’s branded messages about sustainable tourism and bringing that notion into the mix. As a result, multiple stories that are well incorporated can effectively engage the viewers in that perspective.

Myth 3: The number of views on video reflect success.

The third myth about video is that the number of views reflect success reflects success. Incorrect! In the case where your video goes viral – that can be great news. If your video has garnered views, that is only one part of the equation. What is far more important is when you are assessing the success of your video through, once again, engagement.

Some questions to consider are: What are people actually doing when they are watching your video? Are they watching the video all the way? When they are encounter a call-to-action, how are they reacting? Are they picking up the phone or sending you an email enquiry? So, how your viewers are interacting with your video is more highly regarded than how many people have viewed your video.

Section #3: The Video production process

This section will cover how the production process of a video works. Overall, there are three phases:

  • First phase is pre-production. This is all about the organisation of the video.
  • Second phase is production. This stage encompasses the actual filming of the video.
  • Third phase is post-production. The final stage is about editing and compiling the video together.

Notably, there are five main points on these three phases:

#1: Organize your client briefing.

One can say it may be the most important stage when starting a video for your tour or activity business. Whether you are producing the video yourself or alternatively, outsourcing the job to someone else, give some thought to your brief, that is, spend some time writing a thorough brief of what you want your video to achieve.


CHECKBOX – Questions to ask yourself when creating your client brief:

  1. What do you want to gain from this video? More simply, what is your story? What do you want this video to do and how do you want it to look? If you have a solid understanding of what is you want to achieve, that will make the entire process more efficient and cost-effective, which will in turn, provide you a better result.
  2. What are the unique selling points about your product? Think about what it is you bring to the table as a tour operator?
  3. What do you want your call-to-action to be? What is the end result of the video? What do you want your viewers to do?


#2: Bring your guests along for the ride.

If you are proposing to film a live tour, which is to be encouraged wherever possible, it is wise to keep in mind that filming a tour in action will allow your viewers to get the essence of what your product is about, rather than staging the video with a group of friends.


CHECKBOX – Tips to consider when bringing your guests on your video:

  1. Keep your guests informed.Let your guests know that on the day of the tour, there will be a small crew filming. There is no obligation if they do not want to get involved too.
  2. Have release forms ready on the day. Essentially, a release form is an informal contract where the participant gives you, the tour operator, permission to use their image without paying them. Usually, participants are happy to sign them and that you have them on file.
  3. Give a souvenir copy of the video to your guests. A simple yet effective gesture of saying thank you for coming along. This can be easy as emailing them a YouTube link where they can share with their friends and family.


#3: Prepare your involvement on the day.

Whether you have a videographer involved or perhaps a friend shooting some video on the iPhone, ask yourself, what is your role going to be? Surely, your role on the dat will be running the tour as well as driving, commentary and ensuring that all guests are having a great time. Adding to that, you will be going to have some involvement in the production of the video. So, if you are going to be doing an interview, for example, you will need to prepare and organize some time to work out when the interview can take place during the day.

Thus, with a range of roles you will be fulfilling on the day, you must prepare what kind of key messages you want to get across or need to communicate in the video. Many tour operators have turned up on the day and improvise however, this may be ineffective as there has been no preparation.


CHECKBOX – Tips to consider when preparing your involvement on the day.

  1. Plan ahead and draw out the key messages. If you are planning for an interview, know what you need to communicate in the video.
  2. Practise makes perfect. The pressure is on – if you are not very confident in front of the camera, have a go at practising with family, friends or colleagues to get your message across effectively.
  3. Prioritising is key. As you will be juggling all different things on the day, preparing ahead and knowing what to expect in time and communicating to your guests will keep your tours running more smoothly.


#4: Check the final costings with the videographer.

So you have completed all the steps: compiled the briefing, you have become well prepared and the chances are the videographer is going to deliver something that is close to your desired rate (in the case if you are going to outsource the video production). Subsequent changes beyond will most likely incur extra costs so keep in mind to double check with your videographer. That is the most cost-effective way to handle any changes.

#5: The provision of the final file.

So, the editing is done and the video is ready. How is the videographer or your friend who is editing the file going to deliver the video to you? Today, most producers will use a cloud-based platform called DropBox, where they can drop the file and send you a link via email to access the video. Click on the Dropbox link and it will take you to the video. You can download it on your desktop and your new video is ready to go!

Section #4: How to make your new video work best for you

The final and most crucial part is how you can make your video work best for you. It has been apparent that many tour operators have paid large sums of money to produce a video, yet are not making the best use of promoting and optimising their video online. There are a number of ways to help optimise your video for the best results:

Find your video somewhere to live.

So, your video is sitting on your desktop. It may be an .mov or a QuickTime file or whatever the recognized formats may be. There is no good for the video to be sitting on the desktop, rather you need to find a platform for your video. There has been a misconception whether or not you should embed your video on your website yourself so that the only place people can watch is via your website. Another, is one where if you embed onto platforms like YouTube, you will be sending viewers off to that particular platform. However, it may not be quite true because if you embed your video correctly onto your website, people can still watch your video on your website without leaving the site.

It is widely suggested to host your video on platforms such as YouTube as you can make it available across multiple mediums, including  your own website. It is a lightweight solution that will not slow your website down. In order to upload a video to YouTube, there are instructions from Google (as Google does own YouTube). Before you start, you will need a Gmail web address. Click “Upload” at the top of the page and before uploading your video, you can modify your Privacy settings as seen in the image below.


YouTube Video Rezdy


Note well, there are three settings. So the first one is “Public,” the second one is “Unlisted” and the third one is Private. “Public” means that your video will be available for everybody on YouTube to look at and it will be available in search results. “Unlisted” means that your video is available for you to use on your website, for example, but it will not appear in YouTube search results. And “Private” means that your video is only available to those people to watch on YouTube, you have a password.

You then click on the video on your desktop. Click Upload and away you go. The video starts uploading to YouTube. At the end of that process, it is really important that you click Publish Now, if you don’t click “Publish“, people will actually not be able to see your video and you will not be able to use it on your website. So don’t just click Upload and then, you know, turn it off or minimize the screen and go off and do something else and forget to actually publish the video at the end of the process. It actually does not take very long to upload the average video, so just keep it open on your desktop. As soon as you see that it has been completed, click “Publish”. Your video will be available for the world to see.

Annotate your video correctly on YouTube.

It has been highlighted that over time, people are unable to correctly annotate their videos on YouTube. As a tour operator, this will be an significant advantage – as it is a way to gain a competitive advantage and add an extra layer of detail onto your video.

There are a number of ways to effectively annotate your video to gain higher visibility on the medium:

  • Select your keyword search terms. Using the example of Grampians, as seen below in the image, we have decided to use the term ‘Grampians Travel Guide’ to form the basis of our heading for the video and it is the first three words of the video. The key term is what is believed that people will search for. Quite often, this set of keywords, also known as long tail keywords can reflect exactly on what is on your website. Whatever it may be, your keywords can be inputted on your YouTube video as well.
  • Add extra details in the description box. Do not leave the description box blank. Give the viewer some credit and provide meaningful information that will help aid the viewer and also provide information about you, your tours and your products. This can include a link to your website, blog, contact number or email. Whatever you like to make it easy for the viewer to digest.
  • Choose key phrases for tagging. Down in the bottom box, add key word phrases that can be related to your video and to which you think your viewers would type in to search for. These long tail keywords can significantly enhance the visibility of your video. Just keep in mind, do not overload the box or conversely, do not leave them blank!
  • Upload your own thumbnail. On YouTube, there will be three pre-selected images for your thumbnail (still image of your video). You can upload and select your own image that can better reflect your video. The idea is to catch the viewers’ attention, they will click on the video if the thumbnail image is eye-catching and this will enhance your visibility on YouTube.
  • Click “Save Changes”. Ensure that you have selected “Public” setting and once you have annotated your video, click on “Save Changes” and your video is ready to be discovered.


YouTube Video Rezdy


Embed the video onto your website.

Using the example of Rob and Ethical Adventures, below is the home page where Rob has embedded the video for his site visitors to watch. Visitors will not be leaving his website as they will still be sitting and watching the YouTube clip on his site. Incorporating texts to the embedded video can allow visitors to engage with the video and available products from different perspectives, as mentioned earlier.

Not only these practices will engage viewers, they also significantly contribute to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), where the rich content on your website can enhance the overall experience on your tour and activity website.


YouTube Video Rezdy


Promote your new video on multiple platforms.

With your new live video on YouTube, you can certainly share your new video on other channels to increase the visibility. There are a plethora of ways to achieve this – here are some of the option you can do:

  • Consider emailing the YouTube link to your email database. Why not include a link to your brand new stunning video in an email blast and send it out to your database so that they can click on the link and they can watch the video. Perhaps, it is a tour that they have not experienced and they might be encouraged to make another booking that way.
  • Email the link to recent prospects. You may have collected prospects to which they have not booked recently. Consider sending them a follow-up email, “Thank you for your recent enquiry. We just thought you might like to have a look at our new video of this particular tour and we’d love to see you on the tour at some stage,” and include the link to your YouTube video.
  • Include a link to the video in your email signature. You might want to include a link to your video in your email signature, “Watch our brand new video on XXX Tour,” and this can build credibility and allow people to click and watch your video.
  • Share the link with followers across your social platforms. Videos are great for content on social platforms. Consider pasting your YouTube link to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Instagram (in the bio description box).
  • Upload the video to your Facebook page. As mentioned above, you can actually upload your video in its entirety to Facebook and you can have it available on your Facebook page for visitors to check out when they arrive at your page.
  • Email the link to regional tourism bodies and ask them to consider sharing on their social platforms. Consider asking your regional tourism contact if they would be happy to share the video on their social platforms. Keep in mind, it will not always work but if your video has rich content, they may be more than happy to share as it will be great content for them as well.


CHECKBOX – Tips on how to make your video work best for you.

  1. Find your video somewhere to live. Host your video on YouTube and across other social mediums.
  2. Annotate your video on YouTube correctly. Select the keyword search terms, key phrases and fill in the description box. Select the thumbnail image and press “Publish Now” to make your video live!
  3. Embed the video onto your website. Incorporate your video by embedding it on your website. Again, to provide a compelling narrative to engage your viewers when they visit your site. These practices contribute to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which will enhance your customers’ digital experience.
  4. Promote your new video on other platforms. Think about sending the YouTube link via emails to your database, include the link to your email signature, upload on your Facebook page and even ask your regional tourism bodies to share on their platforms.