Written By: Cris De Souza, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Nexion LLC
In the first part of this two-part series, we reviewed some best practices for you as a travel professional to leverage when incorporating video into your marketing mix. We explained the different types of videos along with debunking some common myths that you may have thought were true about using video to grow your travel business.
Part two focuses on practical tools and tips you can use today to get off the ground with video marketing in your travel business, and get started with one or two clicks and only a couple of “swipes” on your smart phone!
Five Ways to EMBRACE Video in Your Social Media and Digital Travel Marketing
With Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, the social media giant is now ranking video significantly higher in terms of reach and frequency on your social feed today for both your personal and business pages. With that said, you can expand your organic reach on social media exponentially by leveraging some of these apps, which are growing in popularity, in social media marketing. Here are five ways you can embrace video in your travel marketing mix and some practical tools to get you started using video today:
Create video of your still photos (this is great if you are camera shy):
Using FlipAGram, Movie Maker, iMovie, Animoto, Ripl or similar tools will turn your still photos into amazing video. I personally like to use Ripl, and with RiplPro, you can customize your animations with your photos, music and fonts. Plus, there are hundreds of animation themes to choose from with the RiplPro version. You can download Ripl and try the free version. If you like it, you can upgrade to the Pro version; it’s worth the investment.
Pro Tip: Create a four- to six-part series while you are on a FAM, and post your animated video to your personal and business pages at the end of each day. Be sure to comment on all the likes and comments you receive from your posting.
Go live with your digital travel marketing: On your next land or all-inclusive FAM, travel industry conference, ship tour and lunch, or inaugural cruise, find out who’s going to be on-site or onboard (look for some of the VIPs), and work with your BDM to see if those VIPS would be willing to do a video interview with you.
Using Facebook Live, BeLive (via Facebook), Periscope (via Twitter) or LiveStream (you can have your own show or channel with LiveStream), let your clients know in advance what time and date you’ll be live streaming, who you will be interviewing and most importantly WHY they should tune in. They can then chime in with questions and comments, and tune in at the right time!
Pro Tip: If your Internet connection is slow, simply record a video on your phone and post it to your social channels when you have acceptable bandwidth to upload.
A Nexion success story using this technology: One of Nexion’s Circle of Excellence winners, Richard Walke, leveraged video at Nexion’s annual member conference this past year to have an executive of a leading river cruise line promote a group cruise Richard is escorting this spring. When Richard posted this video, it gave him instant credibility with his clients, and his river cruise sales took off immediately following the broadcast!
Use video in your outbound email marketing and also in your follow-up sales calls. There are new, FREE apps you can play with that are fun and easy to use (web-based).
Wistia has a new app called Soapbox, which is a plug-in to your web-browser (Chrome) and interfaces with your video camera on your laptop.
Vidyard just came out with a similar and very slick, free tool called GoVideo. I invite you to try both of these in your outbound email marketing and also in your follow-up email marketing.
Pro Tip: Click-through rates with video in email marketing increase by 200 to 300 percent! Remember to personalize your videos by writing your client’s name on a small whiteboard and featuring the client’s name in the video, or simply creating a generic “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” video with balloons and wear a festive hat in the video. This will make you memorable and stand out from the “sea of sameness” in your client’s inbox.
Animate your photos and social posts instantly with a cool, new app, GiphySAYS: GIPHY Says is a FREE app from GIPHY that turns your photo and speech into a personalized GIF. With GIPHY Says, travel pros can spice up replies to their community. For instance, create a GIF that says, “Thanks a lot!” or “That’s awesome!” or “I’ll see you there!” Create customized GIFs or you’re your comments into a GIF with GIPHY Says. Here’s how it works:
- When you hit record in the GIPHY Says app,
- It doesn’t record the audio. Instead, it takes dictation and turns what you say into GIF text.
- Place the text in different places on your image and format the text in various styles, such as comic book character bubble-style speak or big bold letters.
- Swipe left to right to browse the themes.
- After you create your GIF in GIPHY Says, download the image and post it anywhere you like, such as a reply to someone on social media.
“The riches are in the niches” with video direct mail and video business cards. If your agency specializes in groups, luxury, experiential or themed travel experiences, try the “bleeding edge” of video direct mail and video business cards. Yes, you heard that right! Companies such as VPak and UviaUS specialize in this hot and brand new marketing trend.
Pro Tip: Video business cards are not cheap; they can cost $18 each. A tip is to give these only to your highest-value opportunity, potential clients. Group leaders, heads of investment groups and meeting planners are great candidates for your video business cards if you choose to invest in this medium.
Pro Tip: Video direct mail is extremely targeted and can be very expensive. If you specialize in luxury group travel, high-end philanthropic travel or high-end, themed travel (culinary, wine), this may be a viable medium for you. High-end special events are using this medium with increasing frequency and seeing outstanding results.
Finally, if you’re afraid to step in front of the camera and letting FEAR keep you from breaking into video marketing, I invite you take a peek at a great read, “Failing Forward” by John Maxwell. I recently read it, and it helped me overcome my fears of getting in front of the camera here at Nexion and also helped break down the fear that was keeping me from trying new things in our business at Nexion to benefit our agents and their clients. It’s a great read; I highly recommend it!