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If I Were a Smaller Resort, I’d Stop Making Resort Videos…Seriously

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I typically focus on a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to many of my posts. This week, I’ll be focusing more on the smaller mountains and sharing some insights and ideas specific to them. It doesn’t mean you big guys can’t benefit, but I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the little guys.

Have you ever created a video? I mean 100%, start to finish: planning, shooting, downloading, editing, rendering, and uploading? It’s no easy task. During grad school, I jumped on the chance to take a video production class and was blown away by how long it actually took to make a quality (relative to my more hasty work), 30-second film.

I remember a one 3-minute video I put together that took nothing short of 8 hours to create. With practice you get faster, of course, but making even a short, scrappy video is typically a 1-2 hour commitment.

Three Strikes, Video is Out
For a large resorts with striking visuals, big-budget events, lavish accomodations, and the ski experience reaching the level of a “luxury”, a large volume of in-house video can be a critical piece of the pie because the revenue generated from videos justifies an allocation of marketing dollars for videos.

However, at a smaller resort, I see three reason why you should, for the most part, stop making marketing videos themselves.

Many of these videos are being created by well meaning, but underskilled, marketers. They may be great at branding, but only dabbled in lighting, framing, audio, and editing. The result is 4-5 hours of work for a video that detracts from the message, the brand, and the experience you’re trying to share. Like putting me in the kitchen for 3 hours to make quiche, I’m just not a good enough cook to make an end product worth the time spent to create it.

I’ve seen a large number of videos that are almost exclusively shared on social media. These are posted right along side photos that take 5-10% of the time a video takes to create and share, but actually get less engagement than photos. Plus, it’s 100x easier to get a near-professional photo than it is to get a near-profession video. Consider Instagram. In less than a minute you can capture, enhance, and share a photo on multiple social profiles.

The time you spend creating videos is time not spent on other responsibilities. When I browse your YouTube channel and don’t see video after video with just a couple hundred views, I can’t help but do some mental math. The conclusion is always the same: a half day of work simply can’t be worth 197 views. With so much on resort marketers’ plates these days, video should probably take a pretty low spot on the priority list at smaller mountains.

The Bottom Line
For most of you, the time you spend creating videos is simply not paying off – you simply don’t have the time, skills, resources, or audience for a positive ROI. Instead, consider photos for social content and evaluate other ways you could better use that time.

If you still want to create videos, turn to professional videographers or, even better, your guests. Chances are they are already shooting, editing, and uploading their own footage from their days on the mountain. Many of these “budding filmmakers” would be completely pumped to work for free if they could put your resort’s name on their resume.

That’s what I’d do.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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