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The potential of web video to promote tourism in the West Country

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Saunton's stunning beach


The word “video” was mentioned a fair few times during the day, mentioned in passing anyway. But amongst the fantastic line-up of speakers at yesterday’s Westcountry Tourism Conference in Exeter, no one took the podium to ask the obvious question: “In a challenging time for domestic tourism, why are so few businesses making use of high-quality video content to SHOW potential visitors what they’re missing out on?”

Respected newspaper columnist and hotel critic, Sally Shalam, left tourism businesses in no doubt about the importance of a well-designed website with good quality photos taken by a professional, and rightly so.

Other speakers talked about the value of using social media, content marketing, SEO, and the benefits of using professionals to write copy. For businesses and organisations working hard to attract tourists, all of these can represent a good return on your investment – in time or money.

So, I’d like to make the case for using video as part of the marketing mix!

Video is one of the most cost-effective means of communication which allows business owners to talk directly to their customers. It’s the next best thing to a face to face chat. What’s more, if you employ professional film makers they’ll know how to show your hotel/B&B/holiday cottage/attraction in the best possible way, conveying not just how it looks but a sense of how it feels.

There’s a lot of evidence that people stay longer on websites featuring video and that video content can significantly improve your Google rankings. But, of course, a decent video needn’t just be for your website. It can be uploaded to YouTube, Twitter, shown on a screen at an exhibition or trade show, used as part of a presentation - you name it!

Yesterday’s conference was all about the need for those in the tourism sector to be proactive in the year ahead and stay ahead of the game . As Clockwork Marketing’s Clare Bushby said, “If you do something, something will happen. If you do nothing, nothing will happen”.

Can I throw down the gauntlet to those who haven’t explored the possibilities of video yet and say, "Come on, why not give it a go?" Really, what have you got to lose? And potentially, an awful lot to gain....

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