Video is a powerful medium. Done right, video is more engaging and drives more conversions than any other content online. When text and video are presented on the same page, 72 percent of consumers will choose video to learn about a product or service. Fifty-three percent of consumers engage with a brand after watching a video on social media, and marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than marketers who don’t.

Video immerses viewers in an experience, making it the best way to tell a story—and an ideal medium for lodging operators to promote their property.

But that doesn’t mean anything goes. Poorly produced videos will send guests packing for another property. A compelling hotel video is thoughtfully composed, nicely shot and well edited.

Here are some guidelines for creating effective hotel videos that will help sell your rooms.


Convey the Stay Experience

The focus of hotel marketing has undergone a shift from the transactional to the experiential. While customers still like to know exactly what they’ll get for their money (room, amenities, etc.), they are excited and inspired by the experience a property offers. It’s how customers perceive a property will make them feel that ultimately converts lookers into bookers.

So take care not to create something that comes across like a traditional ad (leave the bullet-pointed amenity lists and room rates for your website). Instead, use video to tell your property’s story and convey the stay experience.

For a property overview, you’ll want to show what your guest rooms are like as well as common areas like the lounge, pool, fitness room, restaurant and gardens. But the main point of your video should be to portray what sets you apart from the rest. Think about why your guests choose your property. Is it your unbeatable location and stunning views? Your award-winning spa facilities? Family-friendly appeal?

Try to transport your viewers’ minds so that they can almost feel the sun and taste the food by focusing in on the details, like the clink of wine glasses, a gentle breeze catching the palm fronds by the pool, a hand gliding over a soft pillow. Show real guests (get their permission first) enjoying your property (or ask friends and family to pose as guests!) to help viewers imagine themselves as those guests.

You’re trying to sell an experience so consider taking a more holistic approach by showing your property as part of the destination. What activities do your guests enjoy during their stay? Whether it be canoeing on the lake at your doorstep, or perusing the night markets down the street, give your customers a taste of the wider experience that awaits them if they stay with you.

Before we get into the more technical elements of making a great hotel video, let’s take a look at some inspiring examples…

The Mill House Inn’s video effectively conveys the property’s story by highlighting what sets them apart—their passionate staff and exceptional guest service.

Dunton is a destination in itself. Beautifully produced, this property’s video is an epic tale of the guest experience worthy of the big screen!

Secret Bay’s video cleverly edits together beautifully shot scenes of the property, its stunning setting and glimpses of guest moments to portray a rejuvenating stay experience.


Production Quality Matters

You don’t need a big budget to make a great-looking hotel marketing video. Quality footage can even be shot with a smartphone these days! Foregoing the transactional angle for an experiential one, marketing videos tend to be much more casual and creative than in the past. But they still need to look professional to maintain credibility.

If your budget allows for contracting professional video production services, it will be money well spent. If you’d like to have a go at directing and producing your own video, bear in mind these best practices:

Cinematography – Put some time and thought into how your shots are composed. Change the shooting angle if it results in a more pleasing background or better lighting. Think about how the image is framed, and the movement of your subject and camera. Use a tripod to keep shots stable. Make sure your subject is in focus.

Lighting – Pay attention to both indoor and outdoor lighting when filming to avoid your footage looking under or over exposed. Set up lights to eliminate unwanted shadows.

Sound – For the best sound quality use an external microphone rather than the camera’s inbuilt mic. Microphones can be plugged into video cameras and even smartphones.

Editing – Think carefully about how to arrange your footage to best tell your property’s story. You want to grab and hold the viewer’s attention. Strive for smooth scene transitions and choose the soundtrack carefully to match the tone of your video and property (make sure to use a royalty-free stock soundtrack). There are a number of free, easy-to-use video editing tools online, so don’t let this part of the process daunt you.


Keep It Short and Sweet

People have access to unlimited content online, so if your video doesn’t grab and hold their attention, they’ll simply go and find another one to watch. Also consider our attention spans are not very long—60 percent of viewers will stop watching a video within two minutes. So while not a hard and fast rule, it’s a good idea to keep marketing videos under or around two minutes long.


Publishing Best Practices

When your video is ready to share with the world, don’t just upload it to YouTube and forget about it. You want to make the most of your investment.

>> First, ensure your video is optimized for the web so that it has minimal impact on page load speeds. Data compression tools like Freemake and HandBrake reduce the size of video files without reducing image quality.

>> In addition to YouTube, publish your video on the homepage of your property’s website and share it on your social media channels.

>> Be sure to use descriptive titles, video descriptions and tags to optimize for SEO.

>> Once published, check your video displays properly on the page and plays back without issues.

An ideal medium for telling a property’s story, hotel marketing videos have the power to maximize online engagement and convert lookers into bookers. You don’t need a big budget or fancy equipment, so what are you waiting for? Roll camera…and… Action!