Is video important for travel brands?

Video is taking the marketing world by storm with more and more brands jumping on the bandwagon in the hope of engaging their target audience. And the trend is showing no signs of slowing down; according to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. If we were to fast-forward five years, chances are instead of reading this blog post, you could be watching it...

People use online video to satisfy both their entertainment and information needs, so travel brands that fail to embrace it could face the very real risk of lagging behind. Video is, by its very nature, engaging – especially in a world of information-overload, it offers a digestible, bite-sized way of portraying a message. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so it makes sense that – according to Forrester Research – 60 seconds of video is the equivalent of reading 1.8 million of them.

An article on MediaPost agrees that travel brands can seriously benefit from showcasing the visual elements of the experiences they offer. It goes on to reveal three handy tips garnered from some top travel brands:

1. Tap into emotion

As an example, earlier this year, Singapore Airlines created a video that tapped into something everybody can relate to – New Year's resolutions. They filmed several groups of people talking about their travel-related pledges for the year ahead, and then paid for their trips (lucky them!) and documented their experiences – much of which was filmed using devices such as GoPros. Travel is often a key aspect of resolutions for many, so the airline used this to create user-generated content that resonated with thousands of people around the world.

2. Offer some 'behind the scenes' footage

Consumers love to be given the 'inside scoop', so KLM created a video that showed just how autopilot on aeroplanes works. It allowed viewers "into" the cockpit and showed what it was like to fly a plane from the pilot's point of view – from take-off to landing. The video was viewed over 2.2 million times and was so successful because it tapped into people's imaginations, giving them access to something that was previously inaccessible.

3. Quality not quantity

When it comes to video for travel brands, don't feel you need to create a feature-length film; overproduction isn't always necessary. Often, the most popular videos come out of filming real people and real experiences. For example, Virgin Atlantic surprised passengers by arranging for the cast of Motown the Musical to start singing and dancing in the aisles mid-flight, showing the passengers' reaction to their incredible performance.

Ultimately, it's down to being dynamic, and having a creative, outside-the-box approach to video. At first, there may be some trial and error involved, but with visual content tied so closely to our industry, it's essential to adopt a strong video strategy.