If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth at least a million. Videos show your social media followers and potential guests what experiences they are missing out on by not staying at your hotel in ways that still images cannot.
Besides inducing FOMO (fear of missing out) for your followers, sharing videos through your hotel’s social media accounts gives your posts preferential treatment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These social media platforms reward users for uploading engaging videos by increasing the video post’s organic reach. With organic reach diminished due to the implementation of algorithms to determine what posts to show in followers’ feeds, hotels need to create and share videos to make sure their posts are seen by their followers.
If your hotel isn’t incorporating videos in its social media marketing strategy, it’s missing out on an important tool for attracting new followers and converting followers into guests.
Not sure what to make videos about? In this article you’ll learn how to implement the following five video content ideas into your hotel’s social media marketing mix:
- Word-of-mouth video marketing with influencers
- Videos that establish your hotel’s local expertise
- Videos that show off the best of what your hotel has to offer
- Live streaming
- Videos highlighting your concierge’s expertise
1. Word-of-Mouth Video Marketing: Partner with influencers on your hotel’s social media videos to reach new audiences
What to do: Invite an influencer or blogger to create one or several videos on behalf of your hotel for a social media takeover. Influencers are powerful marketing partners because today’s travellers are more likely to make decisions based on peer recommendations than through traditional advertising or endorsements by celebrities. Travelers want to discover hotels and destinations from bloggers and influencers they follow.
How to do it: Invite an influencer to stay at your hotel for a few nights. Give the influencer the royal treatment by offering her meals at your restaurants and setting her up with local experiences that your hotel provides.
Ask the influencer to capture her stay on video. Ask her share the video with you so that you can cross promote it through your hotel’s social media at the same time as she shares it with her audience. By having an influencer share her perspective of your hotel through video, you’ll reach new audiences who will be perceptive to taking advice from an influencer they trust.
Hotel Influencer Video Marketing Example:
Pro tip: Familiarize yourself with your country’s endorsement laws to make sure that you execute your influencer marketing partnerships legally.
Best for distributing through: Facebook, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Twitter’s Periscope
Further reading on influencer marketing:
2. Video Guidebook: Establish your hotel’s local expertise through videos on social media
What to do: Today’s travelers are expect hotels to provide them with more than just a comfortable, clean, safe place to sleep. Travelers expect hotels to provide them with the best local experiences. Establish your hotel as the leading local expert by creating valuable videos for your social media followers that show off the best of what to do in your area.
How to do it: Does your hotel have a tour guide that it recommends to guests? Tag along on his tour and film the highlights. Don’t forget to include shots of the tour guide sharing interesting facts about the places you’re filming.
Is your area known for a particular cultural tradition or craft? Capture a local vintner making wine, an artisan making the lace your region is known for, a dancer leading a flamenco class – whatever makes your hotel’s hometown unique. Giving your social media followers a taste of what they could experience if they stay at your hotel will make them feel like they are missing out by choosing a competitor.
Showing off local experiences through video example:
Renaissance Hotels, created this video and distributed it throughout their social media platforms to show followers the kinds of exclusive experiences their hotels can provide their guests. From an excursion to a hidden island in Thailand, to partying atop the Eiffel Tower after its been closed off to tourists, Renaissance uses this video to position itself as a local expert that can give its guests exclusive access to extraordinary experiences.
Pro tip: When sharing videos about local activities, geotag your city or town instead of your hotel so that others who looking for inspiration in the area can easily discover your hotel through the useful videos you share.
Best for distributing through: Facebook, Facebook Live, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, Twitter, Twitter’s Periscope
3. Hotel Highlight Reel: Tell your hotel’s story using videos on social media
What to do: Don’t overlook the most obvious subject for your hotel’s video content: your hotel! Create videos that show off your hotel’s features and amenities on social media. Maximize this dynamic medium by telling stories in ways that can only be expressed in moving pictures.
How to do it: Instead of telling potential guests that your beds are the most comfortable in your area, show them. Film a guest, actor, or staff member caressing a fluffy blanket or crinkling a plush comforter.
Instead of sharing a photo of a dish from room service, show the behind-the-scenes of what happens after a guest makes the request. Film your chefs lovingly preparing your guest’s meal; capture a cheerful staff member making the delivery; film the guest receiving the delivery and taking the lid off of the tray to reveal a beautifully plated dish.
Create videos for social media that show what makes your hotel unique in ways that photos cannot express.
Example of how to use video to show off your hotel:
Best for distributing through: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
4. Live Video Broadcasting: Show off what’s happening right now at your hotel with live streaming on social media
What to do: Do you want to maximize the number of people who see your hotel’s social media content even further than you can by just uploading videos? Social networks are encouraging their users to live stream content by highlighting live broadcasts in followers’ feeds and sending users notifications that accounts that they follow are live streaming. Live streaming videos through Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Twitter’s Periscope can help you beat stifling algorithms and reach more of your followers.
How to do it: Is your hotel’s conference center hosting a star-studded event? Are your guests having a blast with the poolside DJ? Show off these moments by live streaming them on social media.
Beyond sharing fleeting moments via live stream, you can also use this medium to let followers in on behind-the-scenes glimpses at what’s happening at your hotel (show how you prepare for a wedding) or interview knowledgeable staff members on their areas of expertise (ask a member of your housekeeping team to demonstrate how you make your beds so comfortable).
Hotel livestream example:
Your hotel can be a pioneer in live streaming through social media. Most hotels that currently live stream online, like the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, are only using live webcams on their websites. Show off what’s going on at your hotel with people who may not currently be on your website through social media.
Pro tip: Authenticity trumps high production value when live streaming. Using your smartphone to capture live streams instead of expensive video equipment is totally acceptable. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They show your followers (and potential guests) that your hotel is a place where they can enjoy themselves.
Best for distributing through: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter’s Periscope
5. Interview Your Experts: Create videos of your concierge answering FAQs for social media
What to do: Your concierge is your hotel’s trusted source for local recommendations. Give your social media followers (a.k.a. potential guests) a sneak peek at your concierge’s expertise to entice them to stay at your hotel the next time they travel to your area.
If your hotel doesn’t have a concierge, ask a knowledgeable staff member to be the face of your hotel on video. Pick someone who is in the know about local attractions and events, and who would is comfortable speaking on camera.
How to do it: Create videos based on frequently asked questions your concierge receives. For example, if your hotel is in Hawaii, make a video about the best beaches in your area. If you work for a hostel in Prague, share your staff’s recommendations for top nightlife spots for solo travellers.
Beyond FAQs, you could share recommendations around different themes (best restaurants for date night in Paris, top historic sites for families in Philadelphia, etc), or even ask your social media followers to submit questions.
Concierge FAQ video example:
In this Facebook video, Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora’s concierge Max shares his recommendations for the best gelato shops in Rome. At the end of this video, he promises guests that as soon as they arrive, he’ll tell them the fastest way to get to these gelato shops from the hotel. This line is a nice touch as it explains how Max will add even more value to his guests’ experience with the gelato shops by providing them with even more local expertise when they stay at his hotel.
Pro tip: By sharing local recommendations with your followers via video, you can provide value for not just travellers, but also locals who are looking for recommendations for what to do in their backyards. While locals may not stay at your hotel, your videos can lead them to patronize your hotel’s restaurants, bar, spa, etc. or recommend your hotel to visitors from out of town.
Best for distributing through: Facebook, Facebook Live, Instagram Live
Are you feeling inspired to convert your followers into guests and reach new potential guests online through video marketing on social media? We hope that after reading this guide you have a handful of ideas about what kinds of videos to create to boost your hotel’s social media marketing efforts.
Whether you make the videos internally or hire a creative marketing agency specializing in hospitality to get the job done, avoid sounding like a commercial and tell your hotel’s story authentically.
Ana Cvetkovic is the CEO of BLOOM Digital Marketing, a Boston-based creative marketing agency that helps the hospitality and tourism industries reach millennials online. Ana has worked with clients like the Smithsonian, AAA, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, as well as restaurants and boutique hotels throughout the United States.