Social networks keep introducing new ways to help brands connect with their audience through video. Live video in particular is a medium that’s steadily gaining popularity as brands use it to broadcast live streams to their social media audiences.
This new format helps brands connect with their audience, show off their personality, and share exclusive content in an informal way. Live video is really helpful for tourism brands looking to connect with their social followers and authentically show off their destination or attraction. The stats speak for themselves; 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live, and 82% of viewers prefer live video to social media posts.
Want to use live video to get more people interacting with your tourism brand online? We’re here to help you better understand the benefits, use cases, and best practices of this trendy medium.
…And we’re live!
The three platforms that live video is taking off on are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
On each platform, followers who are subscribed to receive notifications are alerted when you go live, and can click to join in at any time throughout the broadcast.
Facebook and YouTube Live videos also come up in general news feeds and home pages, so that even viewers who aren’t following you closely can discover them. Instagram Live is, of course, popular with brands that have a large following of mobile-first viewers. If their push notifications are turned on, viewers are only a swipe away from tuning in.
The benefits of live video
1 | It’s cost effective
You don’t need access to professional equipment or a studio to create fun, unique content and share it with your followers. In fact, the more unstaged the better! All you need is a smart phone, an internet connection, and an engaging host who will bring your destination or attraction to life.
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2 | It’s authentic and interactive
Because live video is streamed to viewers in real time, it feels more authentic than video content that is rehearsed, edited, and produced. This helps establish a stronger connection with your audience that feels more real to them. Addressing audience questions and responding to comments live in the broadcast also makes it more interactive.
3 | Visual influence is an important part of modern tourism marketing
Showing your visitors why your attraction or destination is special is more effective than telling them, and video brings that to the next level. No matter what you choose to show off in your live videos, make sure it’s interesting to look at, supporting your storytelling with beautiful scenery.
Live video ideas and inspiration
There are many inventive video topics that you could choose to broadcast to your social audience. Pick one that shows off something unique about your attraction or destination that your followers can’t see anywhere else. This will make them more inclined to tune in.
Here are some ideas for creative ways to work live video into your social media plan.
Q&A with a local resident
If you’re marketing a destination, consider inviting a local to host a live Q&A. Afterall, nobody can share well-kept secrets, or speak to the variety of attractions, food or activities, better than someone who experiences it everyday!
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Come prepared with a few questions of your own, but also encourage the audience to ask questions. Don’t forget to pick a scenic spot to shoot the video.
Promote a local business
Your local partners are a big part of what makes your destination great, so show them off in your live videos. Whether it’s restaurant week, a local landmark’s anniversary, or just an excuse to show off a local cafe’s killer latte art, feature the best of your local businesses as guest stars in your live videos to create a buzz.
Last December, Visit Hendricks County did a live video segment on gift ideas from locally owned stores. They broadcasted live from a local arts and crafts shop, and gave away a $25 gift card to one lucky viewer at the end of the broadcast. This successful campaign was hugely successful — the local merchants sold out of their gift items, meaning that the live stream inspired people to check out the shops.
Take viewers behind the scenes at a museum or attraction
Give viewers a sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes. You could show them what goes into the setup of an exhibit, what happens to art when it’s not on display, or introduce them to some of your curation staff. By giving your audience an exclusive insider’s’ view to something exciting they normally wouldn’t get to see, you’ll incentivize them to watch.
The Royal Ontario Museum hosts a live Fossil Fridays series on Facebook.
“We found that when we can connect people to our staff, our experts, and our educators, they are delighted and a little shocked that they have that access. We have also found that having conversation between our curatorial experts and our community through Facebook and Instagram Live has been extremely fruitful and much more authentic than Twitter Live/Periscope.” – Ryan Dodge, Digital Content Manager & Digital Engagement Coordinator
It’s an epic #FossilFriday: Today we welcomed the completely prepared body of #DinoZuul to @ROMtoronto. This is a top down view of Zuul’s back, w all of the armour in place & extensive preservation of the skin. On display until May 20. Come see! https://t.co/MeRmp4YF24 pic.twitter.com/JZ0w1Efy3j
— David Evans (@DavidEvans_ROM) January 25, 2019
“The reach and engagement is three times greater in this format and I would argue much more valuable when you can see and hear and engage in a live conversation with our experts.”
Cook a local recipe
For some destinations, local cuisine is an attraction in itself – Texas BBQ, Belgium waffles, and Neapolitan pizza are all iconic must-do’s in their native destinations.
To appeal to the foodies in your audience, show them how local cuisine is created to inspire their tastebuds to come for a visit. If cooking isn’t your forte, try teaming up with a local restaurant or chef to produce your live video.
Feature influencers or subject matter experts
If you are working with influencers, live video empowers them to engage with your social followers. Leveraging the influencer’s popularity can help increase the number of viewers that tune into your video.
Having an expert speak to a topic of interest is also a great way to engage your audience. #SafariLive is NatGeo’s Facebook Live series that brings viewers right into the wild with a safari guide.
The series gets thousands of views, comments and live questions, and shows the power of live video for tourism brands.
Broadcast a live festival or event
If your visitors aren’t attending your event in person, broadcast it live to let them see what they’re missing out on. Walk around the events ground and show viewers what attendees are loving in real time. Make sure they’ll be able to hear you if it’s noisy and you’re planning on narrating.
Announce contest winners
If you host a photo contest through your social channels, broadcast the results announcement in a live stream. Nelson & Kootenay Lake Tourism found great success with this approach, broadcasting a 45-minute live stream on Facebook that saw 20,000 engaged viewers.
“Over 10,000 photos and 1,500 videos were submitted through the year in all four seasons,” explained Dianna Ducs, Executive Director of Nelson & Kootenay Lake Tourism, adding that the content was too incredible to keep to themselves, but too plentiful to post on social media.
The original idea was to host a town hall style event where photos and images could be showcased to a live audience, where the winner for each season could be announced. Instead of doing it live, the team decided the best way to reach their target audience is through social channels.
Tips for a smooth, engaging broadcast
Once you’ve developed your idea, and are ready to go live, run through this checklist to make sure your broadcast goes smoothly, and produces the results you want.
1 | Give at least a day’s notice of the live broadcast
Make sure that you’re promoting your broadcast before it goes live. Yes, followers and subscribers receive notifications when you’re live, but giving notice will help ensure they make time to tune in and spread the word in their own networks.
2 | Test your internet connection in advance
The last thing you want is for your broadcast to cut out due to a poor network connection. The Facebook Live team suggests that wifi is the most reliable, but if you can’t find a network nearby, you’ll want a 4G connection.
3 | Include a description that entices people to tune in
When you go live on YouTube or Facebook, make use of the description field. That way your subscribers, and people who come across the broadcast organically, can judge if they’re interested in watching. Context is key!
4 | Respond to comments live
Don’t forget that one of the main benefits of live video is that it is an interactive medium. Respond to questions when you can, and thank viewers who are showing you love in the comments.
5 | Ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications.
Remind your audience that they can tap on the Follow button on live videos, and videos that were live, so that they receive a notification the next time you go live. This will help build your audience and reach over time as you do more live broadcasting.
6 | Save your video so people can see later, and you can repurpose the content
Increase the lifetime value of your live videos by repurposing them. Save your video so it can live on your social channels for everyone to watch. Instagram Live makes it easy to share a replay of the live video to your story afterwards, and later add it to your profile as a highlight. This increases the chances that more of your followers will see your content.
7 | Try committing to a regular broadcast schedule
If you create a live video series, or at least commit to a regular cadence, your guests will come to expect and anticipate your broadcasts. You’ll deepen their relationship with your brand week over week with every live video you share.
Give live video a try!
To not only keep up, but stay top of mind, tourism brands need to update their social media practices to meet their community where they are. Live video is an engaging, interactive medium that tourism brands are only scratching the surface of.
Looking to learn more about how other tourism brands are using visuals in their marketing and social media? Lucky for you, inspiration is just a few clicks away!
Our team regularly keeps tabs on the best visual marketing campaigns in travel and tourism, so we’ve rounded up some of the best from the last year. Checkout our latest eBook, and get inspired.