Video Marketing Software, Equipment & Strategies for Tour & Activity Operators
Developing an effective video marketing strategy is an incredibly impactful way to promote your business. Video is no longer just a component of marketing strategies, it has become part of the core. According to a report from HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands more than any other type of content. We have created this guide to put you on the right track for creating meaningful, engaging video content for your customers, from picking the best equipment and software to planning, shooting, and publishing your videos.
Is having top-notch equipment required to create high-quality content? No. Capturing meaningful content has become easier than ever with technological advances in camera chip and smartphone technology. You probably have a good quality camera in your pocket right now, built into your smartphone, that you can use to get started with your first videos. But if you’re ready to invest in some high-quality equipment, we have assembled some options that would be a great start when you’re ready to move beyond your smartphone camera.
GoPro Hero Series
Rugged & Ready for Adventure
Waterproof • Rugged • 4K Video • Video Editing App
GoPro has been making waterproof cameras for about 17 years. They pack a ton of useful features into a compact, lightweight camera that is great for outdoor use. GoPro has developed Quik, a desktop and mobile video editing software made specifically for GoPro footage (more on that shortly). If you have a water-based business, such as white water rafting tours, this could be a great option to capture footage of the adrenaline-filled experiences you offer.
DJI Mavic Mini
Get a Bird’s Eye View
Compact Drone • 2.7K Video • 30-Min. Flight • Dedicated Controller
Drone videos have become popular as of late, and that is a huge part of the advancements made in drone technology. DJI is the leading personal drone manufacturer in the video industry. Their products are trusted by industry-leading production companies around the world. If your business is located in a picturesque area — near the Grand Canyon, along the Caribbean coast, in the midst of NYC’s skyscrapers, in the lush Scottish Highlands… — drones are a great way to capture sweeping views that are sure to entice potential customers.
Panasonic Lumix GH5
Resolution Over Everything
Mirrorless DSLR • 4K Video & 60FPS • 20.3 MP • Full Frame
DSLR cameras come with a little more “baggage” than smartphones or compact cameras, but they can produce beautiful results with minimal training. Panasonic put video first with this mirrorless camera. With a variety of lenses, you could capture anything from employee headshots to social media content and tour videos, all with crystal clear resolution. If you’re looking for effortlessly high-quality shots, this could be a great option for you.
Okay, so you have your equipment ready to go and you captured some great shots, but now you need a tool to edit your videos and take them to the next level. There are a variety of free and paid video editing options available, so it’s easy to choose the one that best fits both your budget and experience. Editing video can seem daunting, but once you get started, you’ll see it’s quite intuitive, and there are plenty of online tutorials to help you learn the tips and tricks you need to make awesome videos that your followers will be excited to share on social media and beyond.
Free for Apple Users
Beginner-Friendly • Easily Add Text • Stabilize Footage • Built-In Effects & Templates
iMovie (made only for macOS) is a great editing tool for Apple users. Apple understands that not everyone who wants to make videos is necessarily an expert. They have simplified the user interface to reduce the time it takes to make adjustments like color, audio, trimming, and exporting for different platforms. If you’re new to video editing and are already a Mac user, you can easily get started with this tool!
Free for Mac & PC
500 Built-In Effects • Tutorial Library • Simplified Interface • Easy Exporting
Becoming a video editor doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor! Another free option (available for PC and Mac) is HitFilm Express, which gives users both video effects and a user-friendly timeline to assemble videos. Some say there is a slight learning curve with all of the features, but the support is great for free software. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cranking out engaging promotional videos in no time.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Pay for Power
Multiple Video Formats • Integrates With Adobe Suite • Updated Consistently • Responsive
If you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you are able to download Adobe Premiere Pro CC. This software is widely known and used in the video production space. It is catered toward both beginners and professionals. Premiere also comes with a variety of motion/text templates, so you can spend more time with customers and less time editing. If you’re already an Adobe user or you’re looking for a more robust paid editing tool, this is a great option to explore.
Apple iMovie Mobile App
Edit on Your Phone (iPhone Only)
Beginner-Friendly • Easily Add Text • Stabilize Footage • Built-In Effects & Templates
As a tour and activities operator, you’re probably on the go most of the time. The iMovie mobile app is a great tool to use for Apple iPhone users. This beginner-friendly editing app can be easily accessed wherever you are, and its simplified interface (like the desktop version) allows you to make adjustments like color, audio, trimming, and exporting for different platforms on the go.
Edit on Your Phone
Allows Third-Party Footage • Works Great with GoPro Cameras
Quik is made by GoPro, and although their desktop version only allows you to use GoPro footage, the mobile version allows you to use videos taken on your phone. With this option, you can cut together a variety of footage for an exciting video. This is a great option for active tours and activities operators looking to make fun videos on the go. You don’t even have to wait to get back to your office or desk to start editing!
Adobe Premiere Rush
Edit on Your Phone
Mini Mobile Brother of Adobe Premiere • Great Interface
Premiere Rush is mainly for YouTubers, social media creators, and video bloggers. This mobile app, the younger sibling of the desktop version of Premiere, is best for editing simple sequences right from your phone. This is great for quick social videos shot on location, spontaneous videos of your customers having an awesome time on a tour, or other productions with a simple format.
Getting your equipment and software ready to go is an important first step, but now you need a strategy for your video marketing campaigns. There are a variety of factors that go into creating a successful video, and these quick and easy tips will help you create a plan to put together awesome videos that will effectively showcase your brand and engage your customers.
Be the Viewer
All great video content aims to evoke some sort of emotion from the viewer. It is important to grab their attention and keep it throughout the video. It is easy to get distracted and lose interest in boring, meaningless content. Use a combination of text and engaging footage to captivate your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Keep It Short & Sweet
A major perk of video marketing is being able to convey a lot of information in a short period. Keep in mind, there is really no point in planning/creating a 10-minute video when a 2-minute video can do the job just as well. Instead, focus on how you can boil down your message to its simplest version in a way that makes an impression on the viewer.
Sound or No Sound?
Sound is a great way to get the attention of your viewers; however, it should not be the main selling point of your video. You’ve probably noticed when scrolling through your social feeds that videos do not automatically play with sound on. Various marketing campaigns have overcome this by adding animated text or captions to the video, thus eliminating the need for the viewer to turn up their sound. The key is to get the point across with minimal effort on the viewers’ end, so you should aim to make the information easy to consume.
One of the best things about the travel and tourism industry is that it’s extremely visual, offering beautiful views of your area, interesting wildlife, or fun footage of your customers having a great time. This makes it easy to make videos that don’t rely on sound to get viewers excited about what you have to offer.
The ideal length for your video really depends on the final use and platform where you plan to share it. For example, videos included in various forms of paid ads should be shorter, around 5 to 20 seconds, whereas an informational video post about your company should be somewhere around the 30-second to the 3-minute mark. In general, you should aim for short videos that convey your message in a quick and engaging way. Especially when it comes to social media videos, your potential audience is scrolling quickly, so you usually have a few seconds to capture their attention.
Here is a list of common formats and platforms where you might be posting your videos and recommended lengths for each.
- Facebook Ads: Facebook recommends a length of 5 to 15 seconds
- Facebook Video Post: 60 to 90 seconds
- YouTube Ads: The most effective YouTube pre-roll ad length is between 15 and 30 seconds.
- YouTube Video: 2 to 5 minutes (the average is 4 minutes and 20 seconds)
- Instagram Story Ads: Up to 15 seconds
- Instagram Feed Ads: 5 to 20 seconds
- Instagram Post: 20 to 30 seconds
Much like the length, the optimal dimensions will depend on the platform where you will be posting your video. When you create ads for mobile, images and videos should cover as much of the screen as possible to grab the viewer’s attention. Here are the ideal dimensions for the most popular platforms:
- Instagram & Facebook Feed: Facebook recommends a square 1:1 aspect ratio for images and vertical 4:5 for videos.
- Instagram & Facebook Stories: Most people hold their phones vertically, so Facebook recommends full-screen vertical 9:16 to capture the whole screen (1920 x 1080).
- YouTube Video: The standard aspect ratio for YouTube on a computer is 16:9.
Include a Call To Action (CTA)
Tell your viewers what you want them to do after or while watching your video. You could even create a button that looks clickable, something that is customary in the web space. When done well, people find video the most engaging content format, so don’t miss out on the new leads that can come from a carefully produced video! You can keep your CTA as simple as “Book a Tour Today!”
What Format Should I Use?
Typically, your video editing software should have an option to export videos for popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. If not, don’t panic; the formats are largely the same for most social platforms. MP4 is currently the most widely used format and is recommended by YouTube. All video exporting tools should be able to export in this format. You may see it as H.264 (compression algorithm), but the file will be .mp4 when complete.
Don’t Forget the Thumbnail!
When your video appears in the search results/feed or is shared through another channel, it will show an image preview or thumbnail. This is your initial engagement with viewers, and it should scream “CLICK ME” — not literally, but think carefully about what your thumbnail is representing. This might be the only chance you get to make an impression. You have the option on various platforms to upload a custom thumbnail, so take advantage of that opportunity with text, a freeze-frame of the best scene, or people’s faces conveying the emotion of your video.
If you’ve never produced a video before, you may think it takes a long time to learn how to use video as part of your marketing campaigns. But the reality is that today it’s easier than ever to capture great footage and put together a video your viewers will find exciting. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned expert, there are a lot of opportunities to create brand awareness and generate interest in your tours using video. Using these recommendations, get started on a new video today! For more marketing tips, head over to our digital marketing guides.