It’s no secret that vivid, fresh content is an instant boost to any website or business, and hostels are no exception. At a minimum, most people usually get some decent photos up, but video is also crucial to taking your visual marketing to the next level. It’s fun, easy to digest, and incredibly engaging. It’s also overwhelming and time consuming to create. Rather, I should say video content often feels this way. But it doesn’t have to!
I understand that with technology changing every day, it’s hard to keep up. Especially living in San Francisco, I find myself staring at words missing vowels and wondering “Is that a typo or a new app?” on a daily basis.
Some of the many companies with... unique... spellings
Luckily I’m hear to tell you that technology has made it easier by the day to create solid video content. Which is good news, considering that video statistics company Invodo stated that 51.9 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. They also said shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers.* Which means for your hostel that videos = bookings. But how do you do this easily?
One secret: Snapchat Videos
I know you may be thinking, Snapchat? Like what my 15 year old cousin uses? Yes, that Snapchat. The app that was originally made popular by everything disappearing right away, prompting women everywhere to receive pics they don’t actually want, is quite possibly your best marketing tool for video. Especially if you are new to video, and lacking confidence in editing skills.
For starters, not everything on Snapchat has to go away. Secondly, it’s incredibly simple to use. And finally, it’s all in 10 second increments so your ADD riddled generation of travelers can actually digest it.
I caught up with Chris Luecke of Hostel Apostles to find out more about using Snapchat for video. He explained that Snapchat can be a great platform of choice for video content because of its simplicity and lower expectation of quality. Between the often used emojis, creative text, and the general branding of being “real”, the feel for viewers is fun and easy going rather than high-quality and professional.
A clip of a Hostel Apostles Snapchat video, complete with emojis and text.
That doesn’t mean it can’t also be worthwhile. With a little bit of a game plan, you can create a simple and engaging video. So how do you do this? With the My Story functionality, which puts together everything you capture back to back, in a slideshow video of sorts. It then stays on Snapchat for 24 hours for all of your viewers, but you also have the option to save it.
As mentioned earlier, everything in Snapchat is in 10 second increments. So your story turned into a one minute video would be made up of six different 10 second clips, back to back. Often these would be about six completely different things. For example:
Clip 1: “Today I’m going to show you some of our favorite activities around our hostel.”
Clip 2: “Check out City Center Square behind me for the bustling downtown.”
Clip 3: “If you want nature, go to this beach just a 20 minute walk away.”
You would film one clip at one location, then move on to another location before filming the next clip.
However, your story could also be about only one or two things, with multiple clips. For example, if you wanted to talk about all the features of your hostel, and it would take more than 10 seconds, you could film like this:
Clip 1: “Our hostel has x, y, and z.”
Clip 2: “Our hostel also has a, b, and c.”
Put back to back there is continuity, and it’s fairly seamless.
You can see a fun example of Snapchat video, shot by Chris for hostels, right here.
Once you’ve made a story, you can then download it to save it, and re-upload it to YouTube. I’d recommend doing this overnight, as it can take awhile to get to YouTube. From there you can post it on your website, your Facebook, or share it anywhere you’d like to engage with potential guests.
Looking for other video options? If you have a lot of followers, consider Facebook Live for a fun and interactive way to engage with your guests. You can even download them to keep for later. Facebook is trying to promote this tool, so the Live broadcasts are often promoted more often than other organic content.
Want videos more typical than Snapchat, but lack the skill to make them? Check out apps like dubdub. They just teamed up with Travel Massive, and the app allows you to create videos easily from your phone. It’s currently only offered on iPhone, but I hear Android is coming next.
So there you have it. A few minimal effort, minimal skill required ways of getting video content for your hostel. Will it be utterly amazing? Probably not. But take a lesson from Voltaire and “Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” It’s far better to have some fun, mid level video than nothing at all.
Have you used Snapchat to create videos for your hostel? What about other video options? Sign in and comment below!
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*The Invodo statistics source can be found here
Startup picture credit: http://3406erie.com/ghost-vowels-the-scary-risk-behind-trendy-startup-na...