Everything You Need to Know About Travel Video

Everything You Need to Know About Travel Video

This special report is penned by guest columnist Lauren Quaintance, head of content at Story(ation) and guest speaker at the upcoming Travel DAZE forum.

We’ve all heard the astonishing statistic – 80 per cent of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. For content marketers that means video is no longer simply a nice-to-have – it is essential and marketers are heeding the call. A study by PWC and the Interactive Advertising Bureau last December found there was more than a 100% increase in video spend year-on-year in Australia.

Since the human mind processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text – and video is the preferred currency of mega social media platforms like Facebook – branded video presents a huge opportunity. But in the rush to feed the beast, many brands are showing that they don’t understand the difference between moving images and visual storytelling that connects with and ultimately converts audiences.

Take a category close to my heart – travel. (I was GM of Travel for Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and the agency I co-founded Storyation has a dozen major travel clients.) With access to hours and hours of stock footage of dramatic mountains and empty beaches, too many travel and destination marketers think it’s as simple as editing that footage together, setting it to “uplifting” library music and posting it to You Tube. Or they’ll get a lesser-known celebrity to lead a Getaway-style video tour of a destination. So far, so forgettable.

Given that so much consumer decision making is emotional and not rational, this strategy is strangely devoid of feeling. One of my favourite pieces of video content marketing, on the other hand, is British Airways’ “A Ticket to Visit Mum”. As the least-considered airline for ex-pat Indians living in the US, British Airways needed to find a way to connect to that audience. The touching five minute video story about a Mum and her son living in America reunited after 15 years, was viewed 1 million times and shared 125,000 times on Facebook. BA’s share of the North America-India route increased by 65%.

Air New Zealand used humour with its four-part series about ordinary Australians who were “Kiwi Sceptics”. After promising them a trip to their favourite destination they diverted them to New Zealand and documented their trip as they turned from sceptics to advocates.

Airbnb took a different tack with its four-minute film “Love is Welcome Here” which looks at the difficulty gay and transgender people have travelling. By making the mini documentary Airbnb aligned itself with a topical human rights issue and reinforced its strategy of building a welcoming community across the globe.

Google analysis of travel videos that have 500,000+ views on You Tube reveals that almost all were created by airline companies. According to Google, they are all “engaging, fun and sometimes touching”.  None of them are pretty images of destinations set to music, or influencers touring a destination without a bigger idea.

So if you’re a travel marketer, here’s the question to ask: if 80% of internet traffic will be video in less than three years how will you stand out? Will you settle for video that risks being nothing more than visual wallpaper, or will you strive for an idea that makes people laugh, cry or think ­– that sticks in their subconscious – and give yourself a better chance of getting on their bucket list?

Want to hear more from Lauren on the future of travel?

Be sure to book a ticket to Travel DAZE and learn the secrets from those in the know! More info and other speakers can be found here.

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