The power of the moving image shouldn’t be underestimated, says Laura Penn. Indeed, the director of Really Amazing Media spoke about the importance of video at the second Global Network of Women event in March.
Penn has worked in television since 1989, with stints at ITV, working in Spain, and presenting for Sky channel, Holiday and Cruise TV.
“We advertised cruise deals, so I got to know a lot about cruise lines,” Penn explains. “It made me think, ‘There must be another way of doing this.’”
She says that while cruise lines are keen to attract a younger demographic, TV cruise channels struggle to help the cause and are popular with retirees instead.
“Younger people are busy when the shows are on, or else they’d prefer to watch a box set,” she says.
In fact, watching TV is becoming less popular with the younger population, and this trend is set to continue, according to Penn. “TV used to be king; now it’s the internet, with internet usage set to double by 2020.”
Appealing to a younger demographic spurred on Penn to work at Really Amazing Media, which creates travel videos for use on websites and social media.
“People consume media on their phones in bite-size chunks, so it made sense to appeal to people using the internet that way,” she says.
Penn believes video has the ability to connect with consumers in a way that still images can’t.
“Newspaper adverts are costly, and they don’t tell you much about the experience, while videos showcase experiences and appeal to customers on an emotional level – plus, 68% of people are more likely to buy a product after watching a video,” she explains.
Penn advises that videos should be between 30 seconds and a minute long. “We’re used to 30-second adverts on TV – any longer and we switch off,” she notes.
The first 10 seconds of the video are crucial for drawing people in. “I call them my grabber shots,” she says.
Penn is now in the process of creating generic videos, which agents can buy to put on their websites and on social media, with the option to add their contact details, logos and information in branded colours.
“The agent feedback has been great,” she says. “We’ve worked with the likes of Bordessa Holidays and Explore Aboard. Bordessa wanted a video that demonstrated to clients that they can fly around the world from Cardiff airport, and they were really pleased with the results.”
Agents have made innovative use of the videos, too. “Honeymoon Fixers uses it at wedding fairs to draw customers to its stand,” she says. “Other agents have been running the videos on screens in their window.”
Penn has created more than 20 videos for Global member and Liverpool agency Niche Cruises & Getaways.
Director Jayne Drury says: “Video just brings the hotels, destinations and experiences to life. The return has been much better for us with video than it has with static adverts.”
Drury has used the videos on Facebook, on the agency’s site and on Instagram.
“We’ve done weekly offers in the past, which Laura would present as a video. We’ve also used it for more general information about Niche Cruises and what we do,” she says.
Drury tells me the videos have been excellent at delivering sales for the agency. “One gained 3,900 likes, and we’ve had six bookings from a recent deal we posted,” she points out.
She says video cruise deals and cruise-and-stay packages have worked particularly well for the agency, while a video about hen and stag dos in Marbella has helped to attract a younger demographic.
When I ask whether she would recommend video to other agents, Drury is enthusiastic. “It’s the way forward now,” she says. “It works for us and I’d recommend it. It’s good value for money, too, as once you have the video, you can use it again and again.”