Advisory Board: Video Marketing for the Rest of Us

Chris Staples, Rod Harris | BCBusiness
Chris Staples and Rod Harris | BCBusiness Advisory Board

Plus: How to attract reluctant American tourists

Q: “I keep hearing that online videos—specifically YouTube—are great and inexpensive ways to convey a company’s message. Problem is, we are a small consultancy with five people on staff, none with video training. Any first steps you can recommend?” —Kevin, Terrace

A: Chris Staples, founder of advertising agency Rethink Communications Inc.

Two kinds of videos tend to do well on YouTube: ones that are funny and ones that are useful. Unless you’re a born comedian, stick to the latter. Resist the urge to sell too hard and instead think of ways you can provide useful, interesting content. If “how to” is in the title, you’re heading in the right direction. When it comes to producing your video, you don’t need to have much star quality to create something engaging—you don’t even need a camera. With screen-capture software like Camtasia, you can create a video that’s like a PowerPoint presentation on steroids, complete with animated graphics, a voiceover, music track and the ability to add quick photo and video segments. A final tip: Don’t forget to use Google’s keyword tool to help generate a long list of tags for your video. 

Q: “Like most hospitality and accommodation businesses, we are suffering from the dip in cross-border traffic from the U.S. Any tips on attracting the American visitor?” —Amy, Rossland

A: Rod Harris, professor, Royal Roads School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

Most U.S. visitors are aware that the Canadian dollar no longer provides a price incentive over alternative travel choices in the U.S. As a consequence, different marketing approaches to achieve awareness in the minds of prospective visitors need to be employed.

A solid strategy built upon market segmentation and product differentiation is critical; the unique product experience being offered has to appeal to those specific market segments that can be reached efficiently with various media vehicles. The particular market segments that a product most appeals to can generally be described by demographic, geographic or psychographic characteristics.

A positioning strategy then needs to distinguish the product characteristics from directly competitive ones. This is most often captured under a “branding strategy,” the purpose of which is to differentiate your travel experience.

Finally, an efficient allocation of marketing dollars needs to be directed to those tactics that will most effectively reach the target markets. Often these tactics are most efficiently employed in partnership with community, city or regional destination marketing organizations or by working directly with receptive and outbound tour operators.