Overcoming cultural prejudices and painting an authentic picture of a far away land can be tricky. Did you promise too much, or, maybe, not enough? Destination marketing is beautiful, fascinating, and exciting: everything but easy. After working together with Trafalgar Travel for many years, we learned some tricks about how to use storytelling to reach marketing objectives in the tourism industry.
You don’t tell the story – your destination does
Just like in a promotional video, you are not the narrator – you are just a messenger. Let your destination tell the story. Breathe. What do you smell? Listen. What do you hear? The impressions you get are most likely to become the impressions of your visitors, so capture these sensations and share with your audiences. Especially when it comes to communication with locals – it is not only about what they say, but the way they say it that is equally important. Capturing their manner of speaking will contribute to the feel of the local culture. We conducted an interview with Alberto, the tour guide at Castel Del Trebbio in Italy, who takes us on his tour.
Planning ahead is good, flexibility is better
Having an idea of when and what you are going to film is important in order to use your resources in the most efficient way. However, it is also necessary to stay open and flexible to the experiences that you have at the location because you need to capture the atmosphere of the destination in the most authentic way. Often, this is not something that can be planned. Be quick and spontaneous: make use of the time of the year and special occasions. We went to Munich, in order to film German famous Christmas Markets.
The Devil is in the Details
For our USA brand video, we went on an epic adventure through the United States, visiting Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Even though we did not have much time, we were careful to not only capture the breathtaking panorama views but also close-ups, because, in the end, it is the little things that people fall in love with. We additionally worked with time-lapses to ensure, that we show the beauty of the place during different times of the day.
Less is more does not apply here
Have – and show – more footage. Viewers are thirsty for different shots, angles and perspectives. They want to see, feel, taste, breathe your destination, and that is something you can only communicate in a video. No matter how much you show, you will not take away their experiences, rather the opposite: you will motivate them to pack their bags and explore these places for themselves. That is the reason why we are always shooing more footage. We know that the viewer always needs more.
The additional footage is especially useful when it comes to cross-media storytelling. The destination story can be distributed through different channels. The Instagram video could show the same impressions, but from a different angle, and in your Facebook feed you could put a time lapse of just one spot – because let’s face it, it is worth it – while on your Twitter you just post some video stills, and on Pinterest… – you get the idea. Consequently, more is more.
In destination marketing it all comes down to transparent communication. Audiovisual storytelling techniques enable marketers to give the audience a preview of what they are going to experience in the most authentic way possible.