Hotel: Video. Video: hotels?  We’ve come a long way from dreary panning shots of bedrooms with flat voice overs. Forward thinking businesses in the leisure industry are engaging with their customers on a creative level and holding their interest by using arresting visual content to deliver authentic stories.

There is a move afoot…a move to intensively draw your customer in to your business, to involve them, to let them inside it, to make them feel as if they are a part of it. And of course they are, a very important part of it. But this is business done like we’ve never known it and for some companies out there it will seem like quite a daunting task indeed.

Harnessing the Audience

Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest to name but a few) have opened many doors for both consumers and businesses but all of this potential connectivity with customers doesn’t just happen by magic.

To capture that buzz, to further extend your fan base and to keep your business in the forefront of people’s minds you need to include the following components:

  • Great visual content that reflects your brand.
  • Customer engagement to help spread the word.
  • Creative thinking to separate you from your competitors.
  • Authenticity to break down be existing corporate barriers.

Directed and engaging video content challenges traditional marketing methods by showing what you do and what your philosophy is, rather than telling your potential customers. In an era of increasing noise and information it’s one of the strongest ways to talk to your audience.

Here are a few examples of our favourites from 2014:

The Behind the Scenes


 The Ritz-Carlton has created a series of behind the scenes films entitled “the art of the craft”. These short films are told from the perspective of the chef, the housekeeper, florist, shoe shine valet and wine sommelier and they give the customer a glimpse into how perfection really does take precedence at this hotel, the attainment of which relies on a hard working & dedicated staff team.

Why does it work?

Often the work that goes on behind the scenes in any business goes unseen by the customer. This video cleverly exposes some of the attention to detail that makes the hotel special. It allows the viewer to connect with the human side of the business and conveys the passion and philosophy that it strives for.

The Interactive

Air BnB have taken advertising to the next level with their participation film project called Hollywood and Vines, where they have invited customers to film the story of a piece of paper in a short sequence using Twitters eight second Vine video format.

Why does it work?

Its ultimate aim is to show the varied and beautiful locations of properties available, and this collaborative innovation leans on the most powerful amplifier of a message – the audience. With every contributor guaranteed to share the video on their network this ‘base audience’ is a great starting point for any viral video. The project also reflects the brand philosophy that Air BnB is a service that connects people with people, identifying it as a social and community based company.


The Community Spirit

This quirky, boutique campsite and B&B called Graig Wen in Wales has decided to make a series of short films introducing people to the local area. It pulls together other local businesses, nature trails and activities and turns the focus to its stunning location rather than on itself.

Why does it work?

The aim of this video is to offer value to the viewer. Its magnanimous approach puts the hard sell in the background and takes a softer approach to raising its profile. Ultimately it has produced something that people will want to share and like all good content marketing aims to harness the audience to spread its message.

Social Networking at play

Disney have made a good play on the 140 characters of a tweet, using 140 of their own cartoon characters to illustrate it. It’s full of familiar faces and a sprinkle of Disney magic but at it’s core this is strategic social media based content marketing.

Why does it work?

Interestingly what appears to be a Twitter campaign has been delivered on and maximised by video across multiple social channels. The original 30 second film was what we would traditionally consider to be an advert but where Disney have extended their reach is by following it up with a ‘making of’ film which has 2 million views at the time of writing. Almost double what the 30 second advert has.

It’s an easily shareable piece of video that makes people feel happy, keeping the Disney brand right up there in our positive front thinking.

Forward Thinking

In the current market we need to think beyond sharing a Facebook post for a free nights accommodation. If your customer feels that they are connected to you, they will share your message regardless of freebies. Video is the fastest growing medium for sharing information on the planet, with YouTube as the second largest search engine in the world.

Traditional advertising is becoming a thing of the past and knowing how to get the right content in front of the right people is what is going to set the leaders apart from the crowd.


Article written by
Blue Kilkelly

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