When guests do a search in Google or hit up your website, you obviously want to put your best foot forward. And video gives you the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Having an engaging video may just be the difference between a guest booking your hotel for a week, or just moving on to the next one.
Why? Video shows off your unique location. It conveys a sense of freedom. It tells a story. It communicates ideas and feelings that can’t be expressed in words. In short, it makes the viewer want to be at your hotel.
But does it really? If you already have a hotel marketing video, does it do what it should be doing? If you’ve let a video company put together a “slideshow video" and you’ve signed off on it, you’ve may have fallen into a terrible trap.
It’s not a trap that you can’t recover from. I put this article together in response to the ridiculous amount of these awful videos I’ve seen, and I don’t want any hotel manager or owner to fall into the same trap.
What is a slideshow video?
We all know what a slideshow is. Just a series of photos, maybe set to music. A slideshow video is basically the same thing, but with moving pictures instead. The best way to explain it is to simply show you.
Take a look at this video for Park Plaza Hotels (just one of thousands of examples of this that I’ve found).
Now. Let’s just be blatant. If that isn’t the most boring thing you’ve ever seen, I would love to know what is. No-one is going to watch it from start to finish.
If we forget the fact that the camera is moving throughout the video, this video may as well be still photos. The three points where we see action in the frame are so pedestrian it’s almost laughable. A maid folding a sheet, someone playing tennis, and a waiter putting down a glass in a completely empty restaurant.
That video is the epitome of the slideshow video. And slideshow video has run rampant in hotel marketing over the last few years, but it could be so much better.
What’s the story?
There are so many problems with that kind of video, not least of which is that it’s incohesive, unengaging and completely impersonal. It’s also a complete waste of the viewer’s time, as it doesn’t convey any real value. And it was a complete waste of money for the hotel who paid for it to be put together.
But the biggest problem is this: it won’t attract any new guests. No one would watch that video by itself and decide to book that hotel. It just won’t happen. Even as you were watching the video, you were probably thinking “I wonder when this will end?”
As I mentioned, video needs to tell a story with the guest being the hero. It needs to show off exactly why a guest would book your hotel. It needs to be personal. It needs to show them something that text and still pictures cannot convey.
Unsetting the trap
I’m not saying that a video can’t have a slow moving camera or a time-lapse or a beautiful aesthetic. But if you want anyone to watch it, it needs more! When you tell a guest's story with video and show why a guest would stay at your hotel, you are onto a good thing.
I know I’ve emphasised the word ‘why’ about 93 times in this article, but it’s the only question you need to ask. WHY would a guest watch this video? WHY would they find it interesting? WHY would they want to stay at my hotel?
I’ll put together a much more complete article on video for hotels so make sure you register for Free Raving Membership to get in the loop, but I’ll leave you with a fairly decent example of a story video I found for the Hotel De Nell in Paris...
It’s not perfect, but it’s engaging. It shows you some of the local sights. It shows you how the staff interact with the guests. It explains some unique personal touches. And best of all, it tells a story from the guest’s point of view. It’s personal.
After watching this short video, if I were looking for a quaint hotel in Paris, I would absolutely want to stay here.
That’s the power of story video.