Matador CEO Ross Borden moderated a panel of DMOs at the 2016 DMAI conference that included Ali Daniels, vice president of marketing for Visit Seattle; Nick Mattera, senior director of digital engagement for Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; and Barbara Neilan, executive director of Destination Missoula. All three have worked with Matador and different video influencers to showcase their destination to a variety of markets, and saw tremendous results.
You’ve likely heard a thousand times by now that video is the future. What you may not have heard is that what we’re seeing in video right now is just the tip of the iceberg. As Borden put it, if you think of video as we thought of the mobile phone trend, we’re still in the flip phone era. In other words, there’s much, more to come, and the growth is just beginning.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, second only to Google. Over 60 percent of people are watching video when considering where to travel.
In the past, telling your destination’s story through video was a good idea. Today, it’s necessary. Here’s a brief overview of how three very different destinations told their story:
“We wanted to tell the story of Seattle through the senses,” Ali Daniels said. “People already know we have a space needle and you can get coffee.” That’s why Visit Seattle partnered with Matador and video influencers (engaging individuals who have a social media following and often an expertise in a specific field). “Visitors coming into our city tell our story better than we ever could because they see things differently and say things differently.”
Daniels explained that they wanted to go deeper than just segmenting their attractions into music, food, art, etc. They launched a video program and paired different professionals from other destinations with Seattle locals of same profession. An L.A.-based chef could experience the food scene with a Seattle chef, for example.
–2 videos for Visit Seattle in 2015 reached over 1.3 million people on Facebook.
–They were viewed 230,000 times across all platforms, with a total watch time of 7,618 hours.
Missoula is a perfect example of a smaller destination–especially for those who think the video trend isn’t as impactful for these destinations. With a population of 100,000, a video partnership was a substantial investment for Destination Missoula.
“We had huge results with this campaign,” Barbara Neilan said. “With nearly 1 million views of this video, reach of over 9,000 on Facebook and 58,000 total social engagements; it was hugely powerful for our town. Not only did we have national reach and international, even, it also really engaged our community and they owned it. They shared it and helped to get it out there. The video got the small town feel across to our audience.”
The text on the screen throughout this video is what Borden referred to as ‘super vids.’ Had the video only showcased the scenes paired with music, the story wouldn’t have been told as well, and the audience would have been much less engaged, he predicts.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas advertising has long dominated television, but LVCVA understands that much of it’s audience doesn’t consume media on TV anymore. They needed to find a new way to reach them.
Nick Mattera and his digital engagement team worked with Matador to produce a series of eight videos that catered to different demographics. Videos featuring international influencers began filming in their home country so that the full experience was captured, and even included the airline partner bringing them from home to Las Vegas. Here is one of their videos led by an influencer with a large Spanish following:
–8 videos garnered over 3.1 million views.
–87 posts to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook were also published.
–These posts have resulted in 747,892 engagements (likes, shares, comments) and 32,160,491 impressions.
Best Practices for Implementing a Destination Video with Influencers
1. Know How to Choose the Right Influencer(s)
The influencer marketplace includes everyone from celebrities to content creators who showcase destination from their own perspective. You need to consider the price of the influencer, their following (not just in terms of size but also demographic) and how they tell a story. A celebrity has the following, but they also have limited availability, big price tags, and often some other big baggage.
Find people who are going to be passionate about your destination; think about who the audience is that you want to reach. If it’s a niche demographic, do your research to find someone who can speak to that demographic.
Members of the panel from each destination agreed that some of the most successful influencers didn’t have a big following; but they knew how to be very personal, and that resulted in a larger reach.
2. Stretch Your Footage, Stretch Your Dollar
A single piece of video content can be edited to create a whole library of videos. Different lengths of video are optimal on different verticals. The longest content should be reserved for YouTube and similar players. Shorter videos are great for Facebook, and even shorter clips are valuable on Instagram.
Test different lengths of video and watch where the drop-off occurs on each platform to get a better understanding of what works. Visit Seattle used 15 second footage and 22 minute footage and everything in between. The longer footage can still be successful despite shrinking attention spans, so long as it’s engaging.
Distribution is a huge factor. It doesn’t matter how great your video content is if it isn’t getting in front of the right people. Be resourceful in sharing that content with your partners and look even further outside your common partnerships when greater visibility is needed.
3. Get Creative with Video Concepts Before Filming
Communicate with your influencers, your video team, and your agency about what you want your video to look and feel like. The panelists agreed that having an outside influencer helped highlight some of the experiences that they as locals would’t have considered, so that may mean handing over the reigns about how it will look.
“We wanted to stay true to the sensorial experience,” explained Daniels. “We didn’t want to story board so that it stayed organic.”
4. Stay Ahead of the Curve
There is a lot of talk around 360-degree video and VR experiences, as it fits in well with travel.
“You don’t need the headset to enjoy the fruits of 360 video but the novelty of spinning your phone is going to wear off very quickly,” warns Borden. “Active storytelling will be the future of VR, and there’s a level of acting that’s key to that.”
Borden went on to describe a scenario in which a storyteller would narrate when and where to look when guiding an audience through an interactive 360 video. (Now compare that to some of the video we see now of silent footage moving in circles to show off event spaces, for example.)
5. Define the Role of the Influencer
Borden and Mattera agreed that its necessary to have a detailed contract for any influencers that includes everything from the hashtag usage when promoting the video, the time of the posts to social media, the amount of posts the influencer is expected to publish to those platforms, etc.
“They become your advocates, so we want to keep that relationship up so that when you have a new product, its a better marriage,” explains Daniels, who said Visit Seattle sends them occasional gifts that are directly tied to their visit to Seattle.