It seems that everyone, from corporate marketers, to non-profit campaigners are talking about how important storytelling is nowadays. In the travel and tourism context, it’s not hard to imagine the positive impact of good storytelling: after all, memorable travel experiences are all about stories – stories of local communities and their cultural traditions, stories told by the expert local guides, and stories about the travelers themselves that become part of their travel experiences.
In fact, if there is an industry practically made for video marketing, it would be travel. There is no better way to let people know what your destination has to offer than to show them. Video gives you the ability to bring your destination to life. Before taking off, people want to be able to see where they’ll be staying, how they’ll be transported, and what experiences they can look forward to.
Given this deep demand, it’s not surprising that travel organizations are at the forefront of video marketing. Until recently the travel industry relied mostly on printed words and pictures to sell their holidays. But in 2019, Innovative Storytelling, and ‘behind the scenes’ anecdotes have become powerful marketing tools, allowing us to get closer to your customers.
What is Storytelling in Travel Marketing
Storytelling is simply conveying and interpreting experiences in a way that engages those you’re sharing the story with. The sharing of experiences is most effectively done through characters – people with unique individual perspectives. And memorable stories will also have a plot that enriches the experience of the story by illustrating such story components as challenges, conflict, and change.
In the travel industry, when promoting your company or brand through storytelling and video marketing, your audience will need to discover your history, and the reasons why your company exists in the first place. Why do you do what you do? What’s so special about your tourism destinations? These elements, or building blocks of your story are relevant because when a tourist can emotionally connect with the ‘why’ of your company, your brand becomes much more relevant and memorable. It is with the involvement of your viewers that the story of your company will gain more strength. Use your website and social media to share anecdotes and an insight into the journey of your brand. Showing a bit of emotion will make it more likely that your visitors will pass on your story to others. Let your storytelling continue to grow without limits.
So the first important point to recognize about the role of storytelling in tourism marketing, is that your destinations already have great stories, or elements of great stories. In fact, the things that make your destination attractive – the people, communities, food, nature – are the sources of your story ideas, and you just need to add a few key ingredients to turn those ideas into engaging, memorable stories.
The Importance of Authenticity
Authenticity is another important element often talked about in the context of travel storytelling and destination marketing. A picture is worth a thousand words – so goes the famous saying. When it comes to travel storytelling, a picture is a powerful tool that can convey so much more than simply words can. Well-captured visuals add meaning to the viewer’s experience, and can portray intriguing stories with impact.
Increasingly, travelers are looking for authentic local experiences in the destinations and communities they visit, and this naturally translates to the type of stories that will resonate with those travelers. Good stories can help people feel as though they’re sharing your experience in person, and this offers your destination an exciting opportunity to differentiate your stories from other destinations’. Make your stories about much more than just a list of must-do highlights; through visual storytelling share emotions and feelings to help travelers build deeper connections with the people and places in your destinations.
Visual Content Marketing Landscape
The days of traditional advertising where commercials, print ads, and online banner ads interrupt the content people are actually watching are over. These outdated forms of advertising are frequently ignored, especially on the Internet, and are proving to be less effective for the bottom line. Today’s consumer does not want to be sold to.
Digital content greatly influences consumers in their travel planning, starting with the first stages of the consumer journey. A majority of leisure travellers research online before they decide where to go, and online videos from travel brands (airlines, hotels, tour operators, etc.) are viewed by most of these travellers. In today’s digital marketing landscape, a number of mediums exist to share content, but for the travel industry there’s nothing greater than the power of video. Video is the future of content marketing, and it is the most impactful form of storytelling in the travel industry.
Ultimately, social media is all about trust. We trust our friends, family, peers and the influencers who we’ve been following and developed relationships with. So, if we see people have genuine experiences and genuine opinions, we’re much more likely to listen and appreciate what they have to show us, than a travel brand which can sometimes appear faceless. This is why Visual Content Marketing has proven to be gold for the travel industry.
Future of Visual Storytelling in Travel Marketing
Over 27 million pieces of content are shared every single day, making it increasingly difficult to break through all the noise. However, content marketing paired with an integrated storytelling strategy provides the opportunity for brands to authentically connect with their audience. Travel brands need to move away from the old ways of commercial advertising and embrace the story-focused mentality.
Over the last number of years the travel industry has seen Visual Storytelling play an increasingly important role in content marketing. From industry trend reports such as, the Adventure Travel Trade Association to the multitude of travel content producers flooding digital platforms with inspiring content, video have become a dominant force in content marketing for the travel industry.
But stunning visuals and traditional advertisements are no longer enough. While beautiful scenery and epic drone shots often seen in travel videos are certainly awe-inspiring, Content Marketing that authentically connects to an audience and drives results is so much more than that. It is about the people, the cultures, and the stories that differentiate your destination and help make it uniquely its own. Travel brands and content producers must think creatively and strategically about how to develop the best content that will actually connect with their intended audiences. It is not just about the medium of video; it is about how that medium is used to connect with audiences in a meaningful and authentic way.
In 2019, the travel industry continues to grow and evolve as brands keep trying to stand out and engage increasingly inattentive audiences who have only more products, services, and platforms to choose from. Which is precisely why content marketing is so vital to the field. With the right combination of innovative technology and powerful storytelling, a travel brand has the potential to rise to the top and get seen, heard, and booked.
If you’re thinking about bringing your unique travel destination story to consumers across the continent and around the globe, call us and let’s get’s started with some powerful video marketing strategies and video production options.