News for the Hospitality Executive
Videos are extremely popular on the internet and hotels can greatly benefit from this exciting medium. Potential guests are tired of hearing about how great a hotel is – they want to see it for themselves. Videos can strengthen your online presence, drive more traffic to your website, and help you achieve a higher ranking position in the search engine results pages.
The emergence of social media has shaken up the traditional ways of marketing and has created new channels that allow you to interact with your guests instead of just selling to them. Guests now have access to user-generated content, including review sites such as TripAdvisor, and they want a human voice and information that tells them the real deal about your hotel including the positives and negatives.
So how should videos be used today? Well the answer is in many ways. We still recommend that you have professionally shot promotional videos about your hotel and city. You should not attempt to create this type of video yourself because it could be of a lower quality and have the appearance of a low-budget commercial.
However, you are no longer limited to the use of just one genre of video. With practice, you can learn to create your own videos and post them on your hotel blog. These videos should be short clips and can be about special events at your hotel, interesting shops and restaurants in your city, or interviews with people. You can post these videos on your hotel blog as well as on sites such as YouTube.
Keep in mind that your guests may already be posting videos taken at your hotel, such as wedding videos. Often they place the name of the hotel in the ‘tags’ which means that when someone searches on your hotel that video can appear.
As with any new medium, practice makes perfect! Videos may seem intimidating in the beginning but it is not as difficult as you may think. Below are some technical tips to help you start producing your own quality videos.
Buy a Camera
There are many inexpensive cameras that you can buy. The Flip Mino is only $179 and takes great videos. You can also research other cameras and look for features you may want such as microphones, weight, or high definition. Browse through sites such as C-Net, Camcorderinfo.com, B&H or Amazon to see the cameras and price ranges available.
Shoot Your Video
Try to keep your video short. It is often recommended that it be no more than 2 minutes. Use a tripod to keep the camera steady. If you are filming people remind your subjects to be relaxed, speak up, and smile. Bright clothing and an attractive background will help as well.
Use Correct Resolution
Use a minimum resolution of 640 x 480 (4:3 SD) or 1280 x 720 (16 x 9 HD) for a wider video. Most cameras will allow you to set the resolution you would like or you may have to modify the video yourself.
Edit Your Video
There are many programs you can use to edit your videos. We have outlined a few below.
• iMovie is a basic program that allows you to crop, color correct, add music and create transition such as fade-outs. iMovie is installed in the Mac computer and is part of the Mac products, but you could you buy parallel software for a PC.
• QuickTime Pro is another basic program that allows you crop your video and add audio. You can also export your video to a format optimized for the internet, iPhone or iPod. QuickTime Pro is available for the Mac or PC.
• Final Cut Express, a less expensive version of Final Cut, is designed for the Mac and allows you to create more sophisticated effects.
• Adobe Premier Elements is a less expensive version of Adobe Premiere Pro, and is designed for a PC. This software also allows for sophisticated editing.
• For more information, see article on Top 10 Video Editing Software. Most of these are for PCs.
Brand Your Video
Many of the editing programs allow you to create banners with your name or logo on the video. Maintain your hotel brand voice and customize your banners with your logo and colors.
Export Video File
It is recommended that you export your video as .mp4 H264. This will give you high quality with a smaller file size than the equivalent Quicktime.mov format.
When you export a video to be uploaded to you tube, it is recommended that you use either MP3 or AAC sound encoding, with a sample rate of 44.1kHz. Also, use stereo sound, not mono.
If possible use an external microphone which will reduce the ambient noise. If you are shooting outdoors enable a low cut or wind cut filter on the microphone.
Try to shoot with one light source. Mixed lighting such as Tungsten lights, florescent lights, and daylight together can affect your colors.
If you are shooting outdoors try to shoot early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the direct sunlight which can be glaring and cause harsh shadows.
Use supplemental lighting if you need to. These can be handheld objects such as white poster boards, or film by stationary objects such as light colored buildings. With practice, you can learn to control the reflected light to reduce shadows.
Upload Your Video
Now you need to post and promote your video. You need to ‘seed’ it in many different places for the most views. Of course you should put it on your website. If you have a Facebook page put it there. If you use Twitter, send tweets about it. Post it on you tube. You can also submit it to tubemogul and they can distribute it to over 20 different sites for you. Post it on stumbleupon and delicious. Place your video on travel related sites and discussion groups.
Have fun with your videos!
O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing can help your hotel create great videos. For more information on videos call us at 978-465-5955 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
O’Rourke Hospitality Marketing
Hotels Can Build Links by Leveraging their USP, PR, and Organic Growth;
an O’Rourke Video Interview / September 2009
Google Caffeine Affect my Hotel SEO? / August 2009
Hide From Trip Advisor Reviews! / August 2009
Ways Hotels can Improve and Track Return on Investment from Twitter –
Oh wait, there is no investment! / August 2009
Blended Search and Boost your Hotel’s Search Ranking Position /
to Optimize Your Hotel Website for Natural Search / August 2009