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Internet, Marketing, Travel & Tourism

More about Tourism BC’s Online Video Strategy: Field Reporters

By William Bakker | 10.26.08 | 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I posted about our call for video field reporters. I also promised more details. Here we go.

Our video strategy is multi-faceted based on the opportunities that are currently available. Some are traditional and some are new. But they’ll all work together in a framework.
Let’s first examine the types of tourism related videos out there.

First, there’s the destination video. Emotional music, breathtaking scenery, friendly people, incredible experiences. The intent is to create a strong emotional connection with somebody. The content include all the core brand attributes and the target audience enjoying them. These videos are often used at consumer and/or tradeshows and most destinations have put these videos on their websites and video networks such as YouTube.

Destination Marketing Organization’s TV commercials are often a mini version of the destination video. Sometimes, they include a touch of humour or clever creative, like this video from Utah. But they always include all the core brand tributes again. Watch the Utah commercial and you know what they market and who they market to. Often there’s a call to action to visit a website, a fulfillment piece (guide) or a price point (often through a trade partner).

Then there are the travel host videos, as you will find on travel shows on TV. A host visits a destination and documents some of his or her experience in an informal documentary style. Usually all the “must sees” are covered. Sometimes, if it’s a special interest show, a specific experience is covered.

New on the scene are DMO created documentaries. These highlight a specific iconic experience of a destination. Often, there’s also a host involved and it’s informative and specific to an iconic experience.

And there are the user generated videos of course. Nothing is more credible than real experiences from real people. The amazing video above was the winner of the best user generated video at the eTourism awards last year.

Each type of video has a specific purpose. From creating awareness through creating an emotional connection, to real and authentic experiences that makes somebody think “I can be part of this story”. We’re currently in the process of creating a new destination video, TV commercials and documentaries. We’re also encouraging consumers to share their videos with us on our blog section.

But what’s interesting is that we believe there’s room for an additional category, a variation of the travel host, with a user generated content feel. We call these “field reporter” videos. Last year we experimented with this concept.

The video above is one of our ski host video. The intent of the video was to create an authentic video but still hit on the core brand message. The result was positive. Chris did a great job and consumers responded positvice, but our key learning was that we created something that felt a bit off. It didn’t feel authentic, and it wasn’t a slick documentary either.

Together for our agency (Cossette Communication Group) we re-defined the video host concept and renamed it to “field reporters”. The idea was to hire 6 people who with good personalities who can handle a video camera. We would send them out into all corners of BC and document their experiences. In order to make it authentic, they have to find somebody and ask for a recommendation. After the recommendation, they need to follow through and document their experience. Nothing planned, nothing staged. They had to be host, camera person and editor. We did add our logo at the beginning of each video to be transparent that we asked these people to create these videos.

And that’s what we’ve done over the last month. We found 7 very talented individuals and send each one to each of our 6 tourism regions, and one on a circle tour on his motorbike. We did give each a list of “iconic” tourism products so they had an idea what was going on in the area. They all made 5-7 videos each. We will use these videos on HelloBC to complement our existing content.

Below is a sample.

Here’s Chris climbing the Squamish Chief.

Ivan visited Bella Coola, and found a first nation person to take him to old Petroglyphs.

Kelli visited the Thompson Okanagan and hiked the Kettle Valley trail.

Mike visited the Kootenay Rockies and was told to visit Fort Steele and the Bull River Guest Ranch near Cranbrook.

Ami was told to take a train ride from Prince Rupert to Prince George through Northern British Columbia.

And Gary rode the Coast Cariboo Circle Tour his motor bike.
We’re also encouraging our staff, communities and industry to create their own videos. It’s easy enough to do. All you need is a video camera and some video editing software.

Some have already taken us up on the challenge. Clint from our Norther BC region create the video above.

And here’s our online team member Mikala’s visit to a farmers market

By posting these videos on our blog, hopefully we’ll even inspire some BC residents and our travelers to give our their tips and insider information. The intent is to get many video’s capturing the diverse range of tourism experiences throughout the province. We will still use the destination video and professionally produced documentaries to get people excited, and the videos created by field reporters, industry, communities, staff and user will capture the details.
To watch all field reporter videos, keep an eye on Tourism BC’s YouTube channel and our Field Reporter playlist. Our field reporters are still editing some of their videos, so more will be added soon.

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