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How Video Can Turn a One-Man Show Into Major Social Revenue

Are you sick of seeing the same perfect looking, beach stock photo along with an ad about why you should be there?  Marc Babin, Social Media Manager of The Westin Grand Cayman was, so he decided to embark on a mission to let his audience, and the world, see what they were REALLY missing and why they needed to book a trip to visit his beloved island and hotel.  I sat down and chatted with Marc who shared how a little creativity (and fun!) with video can turn a one-man show into major social revenue.

A:  Marc, you’ve had some amazing results with your social media initiatives.  Can you tell me about some of campaigns you are most proud of?

Marc:  I’ve really enjoyed creating videos that make hotel marketing personable.  Usually hotels post fancy, stock photos, but I have found that using video has been a super engaging way to reach out to our audience.  One successful campaign example is of a video we produced and posted during a storm in the Northeast section of the U.S.  We heard about the bad weather and thought it would be an opportune time to reach out to people and show them a way to escape.  We received incredible feedback and engagement from posting this simple, straightforward video.   

Another campaign I enjoyed working on was a video that showcased “A Day at the Westin”. I shot this video myself and basically took the viewers through what a day would look like if they were here at our hotel.  It showed a real life (and not overly edited) view of the hotel and exactly what they could expect.  From sharing that video on our social channels, we received over $40k in room revenue.  It took only about three days to make the video and I spent less than $1000 in Facebook ads.

Results from the “A Day at the Westin” video:

A:  What are some tips you can share with others on how to make a successful video?

Marc:  It is incredibly important to show some personality and be authentic!  Don’t be quiet, let the audience see how much fun you are having.  Other tips I have learned along the way include:

  • Concentrate, don’t be distracted, think about how you are talking to an audience
  • Commit to it and practice, practice, practice! The only way to get used to talking to a camera is to talk to it…a lot!
  • Get used to talking to the camera before you go live which goes back to making sure you practice beforehand
  • Have a purpose and a rough plan of what you want to make a video of. This includes conducting research, draw on others for inspiration
  • Use real, live people, not actors – for example, I recently took a video of one of our baristas making his favorite drink from a paddleboard in the ocean.
  • Picking up on the last note, make that video stick in the audience’s memories. Do something “different”
  • Don’t be afraid to mess up, editing is possible and mistakes show personality

A:  Marc, do you have any other advice for marketers to think about as they embark on using video in their marketing strategies?

Marc:  I think one of the most important things that I always try and remember is to reach out and talk to our fans and guests.  They are the customers, so they will have the best, most pinpointed suggestions on what they want to see from us at The Westin.

Another important part of my job is to put myself in their shoes.  I often come to find that most want the feeling of exclusivity.  So I make sure to share with the audience local treasures, things that are not easy to find and are definitely NOT touristy.  I strive to make them feel special and give them access to things that not everyone has the chance to enjoy.

My final piece of advice is to truly enjoy what you are doing in your video because your enthusiasm, happiness and love for the experience will shine through, and people are will always be attracted to that.

The Westin Grand Cayman continues to use video as their primary advertising tool on social media. To date they have over $90K in room sales, exclusively from the videos, boosting ROI up over 3000% since using static photography in their ads.

 

 

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