What is hotel video marketing?

Hotel video marketing in the online world is a form of marketing businesses use to advertise their products, company, and brand. The beginning of a video marketing campaign begins with a business creating a video, and ends with that video being promoted throughout different social media sites, video sharing websites, and within the company’s own online presence, such as their blog and/or website. 

Video marketing for hotels is very similar to other forms of advertising, with the main exception being that it relies primarily on video with very little, if any, text. 


Does hotel video marketing work?

Yes! Every day, more videos are being uploaded to the web and more and more users are logging on to watch them. In fact, 1/3 of all online activity today includes watching video content; and 90% of those watching them say that the videos they watch greatly influence their purchasing decisions. 

And there’s more. Engagement on any given website increases 22% when full page ads include video content – meaning that more people click through and from those, many proceed to making a purchase with that website. 

With the amount of people that are not only online today, but watching video online, businesses that aren’t incorporating video marketing into their overall marketing strategy are going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.


Why is video marketing better than other forms of advertising for a hotel?

Better may be a relative term, but there’s no doubt that video marketing does have some benefits that other forms of advertising simply cannot offer. 

The main advantage is that videos can be shared online, and users do in fact share them and share them often. With other forms of advertising, such as television and radio ads, when you reach one person, you only reach that person. Even with large audiences, the reach does not extend beyond that audience. 

But with video marketing, when a hotel reaches one guest, that guest might share the video, and reach hundreds of more people with just one share. If those users then share the video again, that’s hundreds and thousands of potential people, and potential customers that could be reached. 

When hotel want to inform or educate their customers, video content allows them to do so in a much more interesting and entertaining way. Unlike any other form of advertising, video applies to the audio and visual senses, so it’s better able to hold the attention of users. Videos that include explanations, such as guides or hotel demonstrations, are also better than other forms of advertising because it allows users to actually see the information and better understand it. 


If video marketing is best for hotel, should I stop other forms of advertising?

Again, best is relative. Video marketing for hotels does work very well among all demographic and target audiences, but like any form of advertising, it cannot stand on its own. While video marketing should certainly act as a supplement to other forms of marketing, it should not be the only form of advertising hotel use.

How much video marketing cost?

Many hotel owners initially dismiss the thought of video marketing because they envision costly production studio times complete with a crew and scripts and possibly even actors. However, none of that is absolutely necessary for a hotel to have before embarking into video marketing. 

A video can be made with a simple smartphone and shared via social networks and possibly directly onto the hotel’s website or blog. These types of videos have a very low budget cost and are sometimes the most entertaining ones on the Web, whether they’re live videos of conferences the hotel teams is attending, or live shots from the hotel’s barbecue. 

For more formal, professional-looking videos, hotel might choose to use a production studio and professional scripts; maybe even a closed sound stage. These productions can cost thousands of dollars, although they will give a high-quality look and feel. 

Most hotel choose the middle ground when it comes to the cost of video marketing. These videos can still be made with a simple smartphone, but the use of video creation and video editing software might cost up to a hundred dollars. This small investment can really make videos pop and stand out in the crowd.   


Why is quality important in videos?

In a way, the quality of the video does relate to the cost of the video. And many hotels sometimes wonder why they would spend money on something that can be done practically for free.

While it’s true that marketing videos can be done very casually with nothing more than a smartphone, hotels shouldn’t rely on these types of videos alone. These videos typically don’t have a very formal setting, can leave those in the video floundering without a script, and may not showcase the business in the best light. Adding one or two at times to the hotel’s video repertoire is a good idea, but it should mainly consist of professional, high-quality videos.

This still doesn’t mean that hotels have to spend a fortune in order to get high-quality. It simply means having a plan and goal for the video, writing a script so the video flows well and gets the point across to the audience, and shooting the video in a professional setting. 

Quality in this case does not mean spending money, simply spending some time planning the video.


What tools are needed to produce a high-quality video for a hotel?

In order to make the high-quality, professional-looking video hotels are after, knowing which tools to use can make it much easier. These tools don’t necessarily cost a lot of money, but will really add a nice production quality to any video. 

A great script – this is what you’re actually telling your customers, so make it good!

Camera – a smartphone is fine, but make sure to check the settings on any camera you’re using to get the best shot.

Laptop – using the same smartphone to upload videos online is fine, if that’s all that’s available. However, laptops can make this much faster and get your message to your customers that much sooner.

Quality audio – don’t rely on the microphone on the phone; these can make people in the video sound “tinny”. Use a lapel pin instead. 

Video creation and editing software. This will open up a number of options for the video, in some cases adding music or different backgrounds. These are important, as they’ll really make videos stand out.

Lighting – no matter what type of lighting you’re using, make sure it’s flattering and that it clearly shows everything viewers need to see in the video. 


How long should my hotel video be?

There’s no really set rule as to how long marketing videos should be, but it is known that typically, shorter is better. There’s a lot of video content out there available, and users don’t want to spend a lot of time watching just one. Research has shown that 5% of viewers will stop watching a video after one minute and 60% of viewers will stop watching after 2 minutes. This means that not only do videos need to be dynamic, but they need to be short, too. 

Another startling fact is that ads that have a ‘Skip Ad’ function attached to them are likely to be skipped just five seconds into the commercial, giving businesses a very small amount of time to get their point across and grab a viewer’s interest. 

This isn’t to say that all videos need to be short. There are some cases where a longer video allows a product to be demonstrated in detail, or fully explains the solution customers have been having. However for the most part, hotels will fare best if the general length of their videos is between one and two minutes. 


How can I create a hotel viral video?

If there was any set answer to this, every single video made by any business would go viral. The truth is that viral videos cannot be made; only videos that have the potential for going viral. How many times a video is shared and how many views it gets will depend on two things – how engaging the video is, and how well it is promoted. 

In order for a video to go viral, it has to be exceptionally engaging, really hitting home with those who watch it. Videos that aren’t interesting or entertaining in any way have very little chance of going viral. 

And even the most creative and dynamic videos don’t have a chance to go viral if they’re not properly promoted. People can’t share it thousands of times over if the business that made it doesn’t know how to distribute it properly. The good news is that with all the many different locations to share videos, this part is pretty easy. 


I don’t have any ideas for a marketing video for a hotel. What can I do?

If it’s not the budget, it’s a lack of ideas that keeps business owners from embarking on video marketing. Truthfully, anything you would say to a customer would make a good video. Remember, videos don’t have to be long so they can simply be telling customers about the new line your store just got in; or a new promotion you’re running. There’s a world of ideas out there, and here’s a few more to get you brainstorming. 

  • How-to videos
  • Profiles of the hotel
  • Profiles of the staff, or staff events
  • Tours, virtual tours
  • Cause-based videos
  • Testimonials and reviews
  • Mini-documentaries
  • Case studies
  • Training videos
  • Industry news
  • Local news


What types of videos do best for hotel video marketing?

There is no one type of video that’s generally considered to be “best”. It will largely depend on you, your hotel, and the message you’re trying to get across. However, studies have shown that funny videos do best online, with 39% of users saying that they prefer to watch comedy while online. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you somehow have to incorporate a cat walking on a keyboard into your video. But it does mean that you should be entertaining and engaging in as many videos as possible. 

The good news for hotels is that, falling just a bit below comedy videos are news videos, which 33% of users say they prefer watching while online. This makes it easy to create videos that could include the latest area news, or news within the industry. 


How long does it take to produce a video?

This will depend on the type of video you’re creating. The simplest videos, taken with just you using your smartphone, might take just a couple of minutes to create. And if you want to edit it or add anything like graphics or music, it might take a couple of days before you have your final product. 

If you’re creating a larger production, of course it may take a little longer. And the more complicated the video and set become, and the more people you work with, the longer it will take. While professional studios and production companies can provide videos that might be of higher-quality, they’ll also need sign-offs on approval for different elements and this can make the process take much longer. 


Do I have to appear in my hotel videos?

This is a very common question because most hotel management would rather just run their hotels and not star in videos. And if you don’t want to, you certainly don’t have to. 

However, it is important to understand that users appreciate when the actual team of the hotel is in the video. This gives videos a more legitimate look and authentic feel, and no one really expects them to be actors anyway. If you’re truly against being in the video, find someone else within the company that can instead. 

While some companies may hire actors to appear in the video instead, this should be an absolute last resort. Actors can make the company and the video seem somewhat phony, and it can be a costly expense. 


How many videos should we make?

In the past, hotels would make a single corporate video and refresh it maybe once a year when they looked at their overall marketing campaigns. Today, this is just not enough. 

Just like content that appears in text on the blog and the website, video content needs to be refreshed regularly, with new stuff going up onto different platforms and websites all the time. Certainly just having the same video on these pages is better than not having any video content at all, but it’s not going to keep users interested. 

Uploading different and new videos all the time will keep your guests coming back, and it will even help build the audience, getting more people to come back to them. This is something one video alone cannot create. Even when videos go viral, people only talk about it and share it until a new one comes along. 

Ideally, video marketing campaigns should be continual and on-going; not a one-shot deal. 


What is the goal of the hotel video?

There’s no real point in doing any kind of marketing without having a goal in mind, and this is true for video marketing as well. No video should ever be made without a goal for it in mind. 

Is it a sales video meant to drive immediate cash flow and business into the company? Or is it an educational video about how a hotel works? Is it a bonus for past guests? Answering these questions will help business owners establish the goal of the video, and will make it easier to plan the rest of the video. 


What story are you telling?

Incorporating stories into videos help viewers connect with its message, and makes them more engaged and more interested in what the video is actually saying. And a story can be integrated into every single video a hotel produces. 

In some cases, the story might start with some issues users are experiencing when visiting a hotel. It can then continue with someone explaining and showing benefits of staying in your place, and finish with a call to action, such as how to check available dates on a website. 

Stories can also include actual news stories that are current, or the story of how the hotel came to be. Creating a story arch is an idea that stumps a lot of business owners at first, but when you really consider the ‘story’ is really just the point you’re trying to get across, it becomes much easier. Once you’ve created just a few videos, you’ll likely find that story ideas will just keep coming to you!


What is your plan for the video once it’s produced?

Just like you need to have a goal for the actual content of the video, you also need to have a goal or a plan for what you’re going to do with it afterwards. Of course, you’re going to upload it to different sites including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but what else are you going to do with it? Sometimes just putting it out there isn’t enough. 

Creating an email series for subscribers, an entire Facebook campaign based around the video, and a YouTube advertisement teasing bits of the video before it comes out in its entirety are all some of the many options hotels have. When it comes to the opportunities video provides, there are many. 


What’s the presentation of the video?

The presentation of the video is the overall look and feel of it. It’s the tone and the words you use, your facial expressions, the music, the graphics, and the setting. It’s all of the small details that go into it to create a video that’s either dynamic and professional, or one that’s amateur and uninteresting. 

The presentation of the video is really where hotels get to have the most fun, because this is where you get to be you. Scared to start off with that joke because you’re scared your guests won’t get it, or think it’s lame? Don’t be – that’s what makes it fun! Don’t want to show too much personality because your video is supposed to be professional? Again, go ahead and do it – it will keep the video from being boring! 

A great way to get the best presentation is to act as though you’re in front of a group of friends; this will help you relax into it and show your true personality. 


What type of setting should I use for my video?

Ideally, every video shot for any business would occur on a closed sound stage where the hotel would have full control over the entire environment. However, this just isn’t a reality for most hotels. Sound stages are expensive, and they’re not really all that necessary. 

What is necessary is that the environment is controlled in some form; simply closing a door can give the quiet, controlled environment they’re looking for. It’s more important that any setting that’s used is professional, clean, and doesn’t distract from the message. 

Are you using a script for a hotel video?

A lot of hotels go into the idea of making a video thinking that they can just ‘wing it’ and still produce a great video. This can be a bad idea. More often than not, once the cameras start rolling, people can start stammering, looking blankly into the camera while they think up something to say, or the video just comes across as very scattered and unfocused. 

The best way to prevent this from happening is using a simple script. It doesn’t need to be long and it doesn’t even need to be memorized. A short script can be jotted down in point form onto cue cards, providing business owners with the perfect balance of working off a script and including their own personality into it. 

Some hotels don’t want to work off a script because they think it will involve hiring a screenwriter or other expensive production company. This isn’t true. Again, scripts don’t have to be highly involved, or written by someone who even has a lot of writing experience. The point of a script is simply to keep the business owner on-point while speaking in the video, and to make the entire video more focused. 


Are you being authentic?

There are many things that go into making a great video, but perhaps none of them are more important than being authentic and staying true to yourself. 

When videos don’t come across as being authentic and sincere, those watching them don’t connect with them and they quickly lose interest. They most likely won’t be back to watch more videos, and they definitely won’t share them. 

So how do you be completely authentic while doing something that might be brand new to you and completely unauthentic? You bring energy to the video, you become expressive in the video, and you simply be yourself. This doesn’t mean that the hotel team should jump around or dance in their video, but that they should bring the same passion to their video that they bring every day to their hotel. 

Remember, being your authentic self is the one thing competitors can’t copy from you, so it’s really your best-selling feature. And don’t you want your best-selling feature included in every video you create?


Have you included a call to action or the next step in your video?

You are marketing to your customers for a reason. There’s something you want to tell them and, perhaps even more importantly, there’s something you want guests to do afterwards. Without this, you’re just blasting advertising out there, without getting anything in return. 

Because of this content created for video marketing needs to include a call to action, or a next step for customers to take – just like all other forms of marketing. 

Video marketing does provide one of the best ROIs when compared with all other types of marketing. But, those returns can only be enjoyed if customers know what they’re supposed to do after watching the video. So spell it out for them, make it very clear, and you’ll see just how effective video can be. 


Why is SEO important in video marketing? 

Search engine optimization. It’s the bane of some hotel’s existence. It’s the sometimes technical, always persistent online marketing strategy that incorporates things like keywords, meta tags and titles, and descriptions just about everywhere. When creating content for a blog or website, SEO is just about everywhere, but it’s also all in text. 

So how can SEO be incorporated into video marketing, and is it even important?

Yes, it’s important! SEO becomes no less important just because the marketing is focused on video and not text. There are millions of really great videos online right now, but they’ve only received a dozen or so views. This isn’t because they’re not engaging, interesting or authentic. It’s because the search engines can’t find them, and if the search engines can’t find them, customers and viewers can’t find them. 

SEO can still be, and needs to be, incorporated into the title of the video, and meta tags and descriptions can still be added. Plus, keywords should be used within the video itself, and a brief description or even an entire transcript of the video can be displayed underneath it. This gives the search engines something to grab onto, which in turn gives customers the same thing. 


How can I track sales from my video campaign?

This is probably the most important thing business owners should be asking about their video campaigns, and one that many fail to do. Creating any kind of marketing campaign can be a bit like spinning your wheels if you don’t track the results you see from those efforts. 

While you might still realize that it’s working, without actually tracking results of video marketing, you won’t be able to realize what videos are working vs. which aren’t. You won’t be able to tweak the videos that need tweaking and, you might even make a complete change to one of your videos that’s outperforming all the others. 

So how can you track how well your videos are doing online? It’s easiest if you use one of these tools: Brandwatch, Clicky, Wistia, and YouTube Analytics. 

You can also embed links that are specific to different marketing videos, and have those go to different landing or checkout pages. By tracking the number of sales and people going through that purchasing method, you can get a good idea on how well one video is performing.