We know that every picture tells a story and that they’re worth more than a thousand words, and that’s why we have to make sure that all of the pictures we use in our ads are perfect. But if pictures are said to be much more effective than written text, what about videos?
Over one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day, it’s the second-largest search engine in the world and 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. In addition, according to a survey conducted by Hubspot, an overwhelming 94% of users prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service and 92% of mobile video viewers like to share them with their online communities.
You can’t deny the numbers; videos are a great way to attract new users and make your brand go viral. So when you’re ready: lights, camera, bookings!
Are videos helpful in vacation rentals?
What can videos do for your business that pictures can’t? Putting together a vacation rental video is no small task; while taking a photo can take a few simple clicks and you’re done, but a video can deliver a lot more than a picture could ever promise.
It gives potential guests an idea of what your property is really like and the kind of experience they’ll have if they stay with you. The benefits of a video will be clearly seen through your bookings and you might even have some creative fun in the process of making it!
Let the guest envision their stay
Why let your guests imagine what it would be like to stay at your property if you can show them? A video will give you the opportunity to show your business’s unique personality, something that can’t be transmitted with pictures of your living spaces.
Every corner, wall, and decor piece is brought to life in a video. Some guests want to soak in every detail to fully envision what their trip would be like. How does the light come into the living space? Is the walkway really as wide as the photos suggest? Amplify and accentuate your vacation rental by giving your guests the grand tour (virtually speaking) with video.
Be one step ahead of the competition
It’s always important to check out what your competitors are doing. If you want to win over the competition’s guests, you’ll need to outshine them with a vacation rental video. If your neighboring vacation rentals are posting professional photos, outdo them with a video! Try to think specifically about what could outcompete the other short-term rentals in the area.
For example, if the owners next door have rave reviews and you have very few ratings on your page, consider adding a video testimonial from guests that have stayed at your place. Videos are an excellent opportunity to prove yourself and beat the competition.
Alleviate any doubts
Video is going to be your golden opportunity to convince your guests. Ask yourself what guest needs further convincing or what are the areas of weakness for your property. Gauge the overall feel of your property by implementing a guest feedback survey. From there, you can cater your video to highlight the best and pacify any potential issues with the property.
Let’s say, for example, guests are concerned about the location. Potential guests love the property but are wary of the area. Ease their worries by creating an “around the neighborhood” video. By showing off the best places to eat, drink, and be merry, your video viewers will be more inclined to book a stay now that you’ve put their doubts to rest.
How to make an advertisement video for vacation rentals
All those killer ads you see on tv? They weren’t made in a day. Video production can take a lot of work which is why you’ll need to thoroughly research and plan out your film before you’re ready to take it to the big screen.
Planning is what is going to take your film project from amateur to professional. We’ve detailed the important steps to follow to properly market your vacation rental video.
Have a target audience
So you know that you want to engage with vacationers, but unfortunately, it’s far too broad of an audience to actually get any bookings out of. You’ll need to be a little more specific than “traveler.” Your millennial traveler isn’t going to appreciate the same kind of video as the couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway.
You’ll never be able to please everyone and you’ll certainly never be able to book every guest with one video either. By going too generic, you risk not engaging with any of your target audiences. Try to think of who would benefit the most from your videos and plan from there.
Do you target more than one type of traveler? Make different videos to attract different types of guests; Families with children, couples, groups of friends, etc.
Set your goals
Once you have your audience in mind, you’ll need to set realistic goals for what you hope to get out of your vacation rental videos. Is the purpose to help your reputation, increase visibility, or get more bookings? Once you have a general idea of your goals, you’ll need to put some numbers behind the objectives.
Setting realistic targets for your videos will help you to find success in your videos, stay within budget, and have a good idea of how to improve for the next one if need be. So, what markers for success should you consider for your videos? Here are some typical goals to consider:
- Number of views
- Number of impressions
- Viewer engagement
- Bookings from video
- Leads or contacts from video
- Social media sharing
If this is your first time advertising your vacation rental with a video, be realistic about the quantity of success you’ll achieve and keep on the conservative side for the number of goals you plan to track.
Decide the video type
Just like choosing the proper target audience, choosing the right video type will help to structure your success. Having different videos will bring you different results. Feel free to experiment with themes and messages to see what works best for your business. Below we’ll dive into the most common videos for vacation rentals.
Tour of the home video
If your interior design is your greatest selling point, then a video is a great way to communicate your best features. At the end of the day, you’re selling an experience to guests. Visitors need to be able to see themselves staying there. Assist their imagination by creating a stellar video that animates the beauty of your home.
Around the neighborhood video
If your accommodation is a destination location, you might not need to worry about selling the area. On the other hand, if you’re in a city that’s rich with listings or a somewhat unknown area, this is the perfect opportunity to sell your space and city!
New York City is a perfect example of this. There are many neighborhoods, nooks, and corners to choose from, but for the outsider, it can be overwhelming. If you’re competing with a whole city of guests, you’ll want to convince them that your neighborhood is the neighborhood. Give a tour of the area and your favorite places to dine, explore, and relax. Keep the guest in mind and show off some attractions that they might like. You might even consider partnering with local businesses to cut down the advertising costs.
Airbnb host video
For some guests, good rapport is a must in order to make a reservation. It can be quite difficult if you’re more of a hands-off host. There are still plenty of ways to build trust with guests when you haven’t actually met them yet.
By putting a face to the space, you’ll instantly make potential guests feel more comfortable booking a stay with your property. This is especially true for Airbnb guests who might be looking for something a little more personal. Having a video that introduces you, the host, to your potential guests is a great way to increase bookings and brand awareness.
This is a perfect way to directly answer any questions or concerns your guests may have. Guests sometimes come to the property with many needs and requests, so an FAQ video gives you the opportunity to answer common questions without having to individually respond to guests. Some things that guests frequently want to know:
- Is the property pet-friendly?
- Do you collect a security deposit?
- What time is check-in and check-out?
These are just a couple of examples of questions that your guests may ask. Having an FAQ video to accompany an FAQ page on your vacation rental website will not only answer your potential guests pressing questions but also field these concerns in a fun, creative way.
Write a script
Viewers can tell when you’re going off the cuff. To avoid looking unprofessional, you’re going to need a script. Scripts not only ensure that you’re communicating exactly what you want your guests to know, it also makes you or the people in your video more confident to participate.
Having a script also cuts down the production time. When you know exactly what you want to say, you can quickly and efficiently move through production.
Outsource the video project
If you’ve gotten to this point, you might feel a little intimidated by the amount of work it will take to produce a vacation rental video. If you feel like the project is out of your skillset, it might be advisable to hire an expert to take care of your video.
To cut down on the overall cost of production, try to manage as much of the video as you can on your own. Writing your own script, preparing props, and hiring family and friends as actors helps to keep the budget reasonable.
If you feel confident in your filmmaking skills, consider software that will help you to professionally execute your video. Editing software, movie-making applications, and freelancers for final touch-ups are ways to help you with your video without the cost of a whole video project done externally.
Edit to perfection
Even if you have the world’s best footage, your video won’t be complete without edits. Adjusting light, colors, clarity, and noise all contribute to the overall quality of your video. A lot of software and editing systems have an “auto” feature to take the footage you have and edit where it’s lacking. It’s a good option for those who have limited editing skills, but it doesn’t normally provide the best possible result.
To get editing inspiration, consider watching similar videos and see what they do well. Are the transitions smooth? Is the lighting consistent throughout the video? Is background noise, like wind, echoes, or talking, silenced? Be consistent and thorough in the way you edit your video to keep it looking professional.
Tips for creating the perfect promotional video for your vacation rental
Don’t you worry! Videos don’t have to be “too complicated” or “too expensive” to make; a good video doesn’t have to be recorded by a video crew or done with a drone. Anyone can make a good video without it being necessarily expensive or complicated. Here are some tips to get you started.
The shorter, the better
We know how hard it is to cram everything into one simple video, but no matter how beautiful your property is, no one is going to watch a five-minute video about it. In fact, the ideal length would be a maximum of two and four minutes.
Show your rooms in the same order your guests will see them when they enter your property, but try not to spend too much time in each space. We would recommend spending a maximum of five seconds in each room.
Think of it this way: you can always give more information about your property in the Youtube, Instagram or Facebook description.
As for the services and amenities; You may not have time to show them all, so choose the ones that add more value to your property (around four or five max).
If you have more than one property, you’re welcome to show all of them in the video, but remember: keep the video short and simple.
Tell a story
The story can start by showing some guests entering your vacation rental and spending the best vacation of their life. Sure, it may sound corny but you have to put yourself in their shoes, anticipate their needs and show them what they will experience if they decide to stay at your property.
You can also show a more personal side of your business and tell your guests the story behind it. What made you fall in love with your vacation rental? What do guests like the most about it? Think about all those things, and use them in your video.
For example, this Lodgify customer uses video to creatively portray their beautiful pool area, Turquoise House Scottsdale:
Mix stills with films
A video with too many stills seems like a slideshow rather than a video and can bore your viewers. On the other hand, if your video only consists of films, it might be too busy or distracting for potential guests.
Striking a balance between the two is important in keeping viewers interested while focusing on the important points of the video: booking! Make sure your stills are filled with important information only. How to contact you, a call to action or your logo are great examples of stills to include in your video.
Diversify the films you include as well. Guide guests through the home or take them up in the sky with drone footage. Having different types of footage will make the video interesting and help your home look exciting.
Videos are a great way to show off your glowing reviews. Some vacation rental owners opt for testimonials where they interview guests to get the insider’s opinion on what it’s like to stay at your property.
You can also incorporate written reviews and star ratings from your website into your video. Any proof that your property is exactly what it claims to be will help to increase your bookings and affirm a good reputation.
Honesty is the best policy
Don’t forget to show what you’re not so proud of. After all, if a guest books with you, they’ll end up seeing both the good and the bad. Focus on the good, but don’t avoid showing the bad stuff if you don’t want it to affect your reviews.
On the other hand, have a look at how real estate companies or hotels do it. You may have to invest in a good camera and learn how to edit videos (your smartphone may not always be enough).
Use royalty-free content
When looking for music for your video, make sure you watch out for copyrighted music. There are many websites with royalty-free music.
Also, don’t include logos that are not yours or talk about celebrities or companies and brands without permission. Although it may not seem like it, you’re creating a promotional video that’s used for commercial purposes, so you need to make sure you don’t use copyrighted content.
Don’t use elevator music
There’s nothing worse than elevator music; bland background music that’s usually played in elevators, supermarkets, and other public places.
Instead of using elevator music, take advantage of the sounds around your location, such as the silence, birds chirping, people having fun in the main street, and you could even include local music, etc.
With the advancement of technology, it’s now easier than ever to make a vacation rental video, even if you choose to go it alone. The use of video footage for your vacation rental helps with brand awareness, bookings, and convincing those on-the-fence guests.
After reading all the tips we’ve included you’re ready to make a good promotional video for your vacation rental, get down to business, record your first promotional video, and start receiving tons of bookings!
Manage all your fabulous new reservations on one, easy-to-use platform. Lodgify’s vacation rental software is here to help you and your business. Try it out for free today with a 7 day trial.