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Using Professional/Amateur Videos in Innovation Marketing Strategies

Jesse Mikkola, 2016/20 student at Tampere University


Mikkola, J. (2020). Using Professional/Amateur Videos in Innovation Marketing Strategies. In AIRTH Encyclopedia of Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality. Retrieved: <insert-date>, from http://www.airth.global


Destination management organizations have to adapt to the changing power dynamics of information flow, or otherwise they are in risk not being in control of their brand image. In the past, online and offline marketing communication has been direct from companies to consumers. With social media, destination managers need to address their brand image as user generated content has created an information overload that is harder and harder to control by DMOs and is evermore increasingly important for the tourist's decision-making process[1].

Information flow and user generated content is near impossible to control, but it can be steered to ones favour with content marketing. In related to travel, content is being consumed more than six billion hours in YouTube by one billion people every month. Nearly 40% of all the travel video views are about the destinations and attractions, and in 2014 the growth of travel related content rose 118% per year[2]. In terms of  content creating source, corporations and businesses are seen less trustworthy than fellow people. [1] [2] [3]

Stories from tourists, blogs or videos, are seen more sincere which makes the destination selection more favourable towards products that include user generated content (UGC)[3]. In promotion, UGC has more credibility than professionally promoted content. However, content viewers can’t differ whether the content is from a user or a company, but if the video is clearly from a user, the attitude is deemed favourable to the brand itself. User content helps the consumer to validate their decision making, potential buyers want reviews from their peers as they are looking for a neutral and unbiased opinion[4].

Relevance for innovation 

People who watch videos want clarity. To have their expectations met when consuming video content, essential points made in titles and intros need to be delivered - otherwise audience confusion can lead to low interest level of the brand appearances[4] [5] [6] [5]. When presenting new innovations the creators need to understand that the audience needs to be educated about its use, otherwise consumers may not understand its relevance or how it will solve their problems. Video promotion is a great way to offer new information with credible sources that people desire to see[6]. However, if the content isn’t clear on its message and doesn’t deliver a satisfying content after promised interests, it will lose audience easily.

A commercial video is a risk for its viewer, because not all people have easy relationships towards marketers and companies. Taking the moment to watch marketed content has to appeal to the viewer instantly as they otherwise would feel that their time is wasted by another ad. If companies get passed this threshold of consumer expectations, the video can be a success and can create a beneficial trust between creator and viewer[7]. Videos stimulate our memories better than written content and help with brand remembrance and make logos or businesses more recognizable. Nearly 80% of customers remember a video they have watched in the last month, which is especially great for marketing[8]. Consumers tend to focus on sources of information that they trust, like and know. Building trust base with customers and users is what brings customers back for more[9].

Relevance for tourism

Successful content marketing is tailored for each business, brand and product specifically. It can make the brand more relevant to the provided content. Good content has a defined audience and a good strategic plan to make the content appeal to the desired target segment[10]  Most popular type of content viewed in YouTube are travel vlogs. The charm in vlogs is that they take the viewer straight to the destination without the corporate filter which appeals to people.

Travel vlogs receive four times more social interactions in form of likes, comments, shares, subscriptions, and favorites than other types of travel videos in YouTube, for example 48% of all subscriptions related to travel go to vlogs[11]. From all social media sites, YouTube is the most preferred platform for video consuming, which should be addressed when making video content. Entertainment is the most valued factor for viewers. Even though smartphones are used a lot in viewing content, business related videos are still watched mostly on computer web-browsers[12]. It is important to understand the audience and not trying to offer too much for everyone but keep the focus on the target segment and deliver them a specific message.

On average, people spend 40 minutes a day to browse travel related content, which should be addressed when deciding on the length of the video. This means that produced videos need to be designed for each social platform separately, shorter videos in social media and longer ones in YouTube  [13]. Video marketing needs to be unique, addressing potential tourists on personal level. People want authenticity and good stories with facts. Fictional stories about the destinations have to be based on reality and have credible sources, and they have to offer contrast to the consumers daily lives[14]. Even in times of pandemic when travelling has reduced to almost fraction of what it once was, people still consume travel videos and do not stop dreaming about their next destination[15][7]

Research sample

For this AIRTH Encyclopedia chapter, I am adding my study of videos related to Slovenian tourism products. The purpose was to separate the factors that are trending in the videos and to see what affects to popularities of tourism videos and what tools are mostly used in creating content. The study used mainly qualitative methods on roughly 40 videos divided into professionally made content and amateur content.

The study found out that technical skills and performances are not necessary, but help a lot, in creating successful content. Visual gimmicks help the video material to stand out from the mass of all content available. However, video content needs to offer entertainment, information and hooks to keep the audience captivated. Creating videos today isn’t expensive, but the amount of small and medium sized enterprises in Slovenia using video content in promotion is still an anomaly than a norm, even when the risks involved are small. Using UGC would also lower the cost of making videos. Many tourists create videos that include businesses, such as restaurants, activities and lodgings, which is in the end, free publicity. Using them in social media for your advantage makes businesses relate more friendly and less corporate.

Smaller businesses or starting businesses have to start from zero awareness and content creators can be a huge boost in marketing. After the initial honeymoon/novelty/innovation phase runs out, destinations need to fight for the visitors to make sure that they come back. Videos and UGC are excellent way of keeping sure that there are people interested and showing that destinations still matter after the initial boom (or after the crisis, similar to Covid-19). However, innovative and authentic tourism products are the most important factors, but videos about them can help create awareness and interest to see them personally. The full research can be found here[16].


[1] Akehurst, G. 2009. User generated content: the use of blogs for tourism organisations and tourism consumers. Service Business. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11628-008-0054-2

[3] Akehurst, G. 2009. User generated content: the use of blogs for tourism organisations and tourism consumers. Service Business. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11628-008-0054-2

[4] Diwanji V. & Cortese J. 2020. Contrasting user generated videos versus brand generated videos in ecommerce, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Volume 54. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096969891930863X

[5] Reinikainen, H., Ainasoja, M., Rytövuori, S., Uusitalo, N., Vulli, E., Lievonen, M., Luoma-Aho, V., Aldea-Löppönen, A. & Cederberg, S. 2018. Ten Facts About Content Marketing. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulu.

[6] Wesley D., Barczak G. 2012. Innovation and Marketing in the Video Game Industry. Gower Publishing.

[7] Reinikainen, H., Ainasoja, M., Rytövuori, S., Uusitalo, N., Vulli, E., Lievonen, M., Luoma-Aho, V., Aldea-Löppönen, A. & Cederberg, S. 2018. Ten Facts About Content Marketing. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulu.

[8] Lage, M.V.G. 2017 What is the Real Value of Video Content in Digital Marketing? Accessed in 14.4.2020 https://go.yumyumvideos.com/blog/what-is-the- real-value-of-video-content-in-digital-marketing

[9] Barry, J. M. 2015. Social content marketing for entrepreneurs (1st ed.). New York, New York: Business Expert Press: p 21

[10] Linn, M. 2017. How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone. Accessed 11.1.2020 https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2018/09/explain-content-marketing-anyone/

[11] Crowel, H., Gribben, H, & Loo, J. 2014. Travel content takes off on YouTube. Accessed in 25.3.2020. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-in-sights/travel-content-takes-off-on- youtube/?fbclid=IwAR2Lj2_u1kSFMqJJV_qeJ77SR3pzj6bxWyaVS5- yIH9CbHuIz8b66ZFhlnE

[12] Kolowich, L. 2020. 16 Video Marketing Statistics to Inform Your 2020 Strategy. Accesed 27.1.2020 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics

[13] Mowat, J. 2017. Why travel brands win with a video first marketing strategy. Accessed in 11.2.2020. https://www.hurricanemedia.co.uk/blog/news/travel- brands-lead-video-first-marketing-strategy/

[14] Tarssanen, S. 2009. Elämystuottajan käsikirja. Rovaniemi: Oy Sevenprint Ltd: p 10 – 14.

[15] Schaal D. Facebook Users Still Dream of Getaways: Here's the List ... - Skift. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from https://skift.com/2020/07/10/facebook-users-still-dream-of-getaways-heres-the-list-of-travels-most-popular-videos-in-june/

[16] Mikkola, J. (2020). Video promotion and content in tourism: content analysis of videos in Slovenian tourism. https://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/339495


Photo by Jesse Mikkola




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