Lots of readers emailed us yesterday to say they thought the video I sent was pretty cool. If you missed it (or want to replay it), you can watch it here.
It’s a great example of where the travel-photo market is heading. No one is getting rid of still pictures. In fact, quite the opposite – most of our pros tell us that their sales are up.
But restaurants, tour operators, hotels and resorts are all adding video to their websites now as a way to let customers “try it before they buy it.” And this means big opportunity for you…
If you’re up for learning how to use that little video button on the top of your camera (or even your iPhone or iPad), you can make quite a bit of money selling travel videos.
It works because unlike anything else you buy online – books, clothes, TVs, jewelry, travel is one of those things you can’t return if you don’t like it. So customers respond really well to video.
How well? The latest reports I saw online said a customer is 144% more likely to buy something after watching a video of it than they are simply reading about it or scrolling through pictures online. And…
It’s in these companies’ best interest to attract the right customers.
Years ago, companies could get away with posting misleading photos to sell their services – rooms that looked much bigger in the photo than they were in reality… pictures that made the hotel look closer to attractions than it really was… etc.
But those companies quickly fell out of favor as websites like TripAdvisor.com made customer ratings a priority. Today, a bad review can cost a hotel tens of thousands of dollars.
Videos help companies attract the right buyers. They show a place as it is (though, of course, in a flattering light).
Backpackers might be OK with modest rooms at budget prices but business travelers might not be… and honeymooners want something different than families with two young kids.
With video, potential customers can feel more confident that they’ll get what it is they’re looking for. It helps set a realistic expectation for the buyer. Assuming a company delivers, that leads to better reviews online (and, thus, more customers).
Now the idea of shooting video may seem a bit intimidating, I know. But hear me out. It’s easier to get started in the travel-video market than you may think.
You don’t need fancy camera equipment since most SLRs now have a video feature. Even some smartphones and iPads take saleable-quality videos these days.
And because it’s still a pretty untapped market, the barrier for entry is low, meaning your videos don’t have to be of perfect quality to sell.
Plus, it can be much more lucrative than just shooting simple still photos. Tom Reissmann, for example, one of the professional videographers I spoke to recently, told me he’s earned the following range of fees for short videos…
**A 30-second video clip of a hotel, sold for $500.
**A 2- minute video clip of the city of Barcelona following in the footsteps of Gaudi and his extravagant architecture, a look behind the scenes of the famous FC Barcelona soccer stadium, and shots of delicacies at the market hall La Boqueria sold for $2,000.
**A 4-minute video clip of an exclusive family resort in Spain, complete with paella dinner, underwater shots in the pool and shots of the children interacting with local animals sold for $4,000.
And these fees are on top of the complimentary meals, hotel upgrades, and experience packages he also received.
In other words: You can use travel videos (just like still photos or travel stories) to fund your travels.
We’ll continue to explore this opportunity more this week, so stay tuned.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]