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Short-form videos and the art of travel storytelling

Short-form videos significantly influence travel decisions, showcasing destinations through concise, engaging content, and driving viewer engagement.

I went traveling abroad for Songkran — and I suppose that either based on my search history or maybe because of my changing geo-location, social media algorithms started offering me short videos in formats like “10 Things to Do” and “3-Day Itinerary”. In fact, I quite liked these videos—they condensed valuable travel insights into bite-sized, visually engaging snippets.

Such short-form videos offer a dynamic way to showcase the essence of a place, providing viewers with a quick yet comprehensive glimpse into the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and unique experiences a place has to offer. These videos not only capture attention but also ignite wanderlust and prompt viewers to envision themselves on exciting journeys. The ability of the short video format to convey a wealth of information in a short amount of time makes it an ideal tool for travel storytelling — to the point that I quickly found myself saving and bookmarking some of these videos for my travel planning.

It is pretty obvious that the power of short-form video in destination storytelling can be attributed to several key factors. Short-form videos are inherently visual, allowing influencers to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of a destination in a captivating way. By combining stunning visuals with compelling narratives, these videos create an immersive experience, and their concise nature makes them very suitable for today’s fast-paced digital world. With limited time and attention spans, viewers appreciate the ability to consume valuable travel insights in a quick way.

Besides, short-form videos also have the power to spark curiosity in viewers. By focusing on the highlights of a destination, these videos inspire travelers to explore recommended places. These videos help us plan their our and make decisions about where to go and what to do.  In fact, the impact of short-form videos extends beyond inspiration, often influencing travel decisions and driving bookings.

The last point naturally implies that by tapping into the potential of this format, destinations, local businesses and travel brands can effectively engage with their audience and influence travel decisions. Short-form videos provide a dynamic way to showcase the unique features and attractions of a place, allowing to effectively promote to a global audience.

By presenting viewers with an overview of a destination’s selected offerings (from historical places to shopping malls, bars and restaurants), short-form videos can drive bookings and sales for travel-related businesses. This is particularly true for the “10 Things to Do” and “3-Day Itinerary” formats, which offer practical and actionable recommendations that viewers can incorporate into their travel plans.

To benefit from the potential of short-form video a business needs to leverage the format’s ability to create authentic and engaging content that resonates with viewers. A great deal here depends on the selection of a blogger or influencer for potential partnership — a brand that wants to collaborate with a travel influencer must prioritize creators that can reflect the true essence of a place, showcasing local experiences and highlighting the unique features that set it apart from other destinations.

When selecting a travel blogger for a collaboration, check if their videos are captivating, if they use high-quality visuals and dynamic editing techniques to create an immersive experience. And while short-form videos are concise by nature, they should still incorporate engaging narratives. This can be achieved through the use of voiceovers, captions, and other storytelling techniques.

If the blogger seems to be competent (and a high number of followers would usually confirm this), then there is some potential for a fruitful collaboration. But what can a local business or a brand offer? First of all, one should provide some practical information for the influencer to share—such as travel tips, recommendations etc. The contact details for your local business will only work as part of this.

To maximize the reach and impact of short-form videos, it is important not only to offer something that would fit the format of the influencer but also to make sure that the content is optimized for social media algorithms. Usually, successful travel bloggers know how to use relevant hashtags and engage with users via comments and direct messages. But if a brand collaborates with a travel influencer, having a relevant business hashtag already would definitely help. Also, monitoring comments and even participating in discussions (for example, answering questions from engaged followers) can maximize the effectiveness of the collaboration.

But above all, the end result should be authentic and reflect the true essence of a destination, and not turn into shameless promotion. By prioritizing storytelling and showcasing local experiences, rather than focusing on the brand or business that is being promoted, content creators in partnership with brands can create content that resonates with viewers and really inspires travel plans. Think of all those “Best places to eat ice cream in Tokyo” or “Where to shop for vintage vinyl in Rome” videos that you may have seen.

Such videos and their high reach and engagement rates prove that the role of short-form content in destination storytelling is growing. By embracing this format and following best practices for creating fruitful collaborations, destinations and travel brands can promote themselves and inspire new generations of travelers and transforming the way of discovering and experiencing the world.

Master Connector - Midas PR | + Articles

Karine is the Managing Director of Midas PR and serves the company as its “Master Connector”.

She has over 20 years of experience driving PR strategy for leading organisations in various sectors, launching Midas PR in 2007 after gathering ideas, honing her skills in Luxembourg, and refining her PR approach by working in Thailand. Over the last 16 years, Midas PR has achieved strong and consistent growth and today is recognised as one of Thailand’s leading multi-award-winning PR and communications firms. Alongside heading up the Midas team, Karine is Chair for the PRCA Thailand and a member of PROI Worldwide.

Karine is also a renowned thought leader and in-demand speaker on industry topics such as reputation management, corporate communications, and diversity and inclusion. She has shared her insights at several leadership, business and PR conferences, such as the Women in Business Series and the Thailand Startup Summit.

A passionate advocate for female leadership, Karin aims to serve as a role model for other women and inspire them to pursue their aspirations. She co-founded The Lionesses of Siam, a distinctive social and business networking group exclusively for women in Thailand. She has been honoured with several awards, including the Prime Award for International Business Woman Of The Year 2023.

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