Why travel needs to get into long-form video

Why travel needs to get into long-form video

We have talked for a long time now about how video is the future in the world of social media.

That was underlined again last week when Snap announced the launch of Snap Originals.

Originals takes its lead from the incredible success of Netflix and Amazon Prime as original content creators and adds it into the Snapchat mix.

The new content, filmed in portrait mode rather than the landscape format favoured by those previously mentioned streaming companies who have grown out of the TV/movie starting point, includes reality shows and scripted dramas and documentaries.

The first Originals content includes Co-Ed, a new comedy from the Duplass Brothers; Class of Lies, a mystery thriller from one of the minds behind Riverdale; and Endless Summer, a docu-series following rising stars in Laguna Beach – from Bunim/Murray, the creators of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

One miniseries currently in development is provisionally called #vanlife and is a “romantic comedy about a young couple that decides to opt out of the rat race and start a new life in a 2004 Dodge Sprinter”.

Snap Originals content will be available through both the Discover page and search.

You can see more about it in this video that Snap produced to announce the launch:

The move towards original, long-form video content on social is not new.

In June, Instagram launched IGTV, allowing content creators to post videos of up to an hour long, considerably more than the 60-second video limit that previously applied.

IGTV can be accessed from the Instagram app by clicking on the TV icon at top right of the home screen or by clicking on a user profile and then clicking on the IGTV icon. Here is how this appears on blogger Kerwin McKenzie’s @loyaltytravel profile on Instagram.

At the launch, Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder & CEO, called IGTV “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her newest project or King Bach sharing his latest comedy skit”.

He added, “Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love.”

A growing number of travel influencers and travel and tourism companies are becoming interested in long-form video.

Earlier this year, Finnair and Helsinki Airport produced a 13-minute short film – see below – called East and West Side Story, directed by Swedish director Johan Storm and Korean director Wookie and featuring Scandinavian actress Anne Bergstedt, best known for her work in Boardwalk Empire and in the Black Swan, and popular Korean actor Jae Hoon.

What this shows is that travel companies at the cutting edge of social realise that just creating adverts for those platforms is not enough – if you really want to engage people, you need to create the content that users are accustomed to seeing.

Social platforms are pumping huge sums into long-form video. It is time for the travel sector to invest too.

Instagram’s travel lead for the EMEA region, Neasa Bannon, will be speaking at World Travel Market on Monday 5 November at 10.45am about IGTV. Helsinki Airport’s Anna Tuomi will be talking about East and East Story on Wednesday 7 November at 3.40pm in our popular Best of social media session. Both sessions take place on the WTM Global Stage.

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Mark Frary is co-founder of Travel Perspective, a social and digital consultancy working with travel companies and tourism organisations to create successful marketing campaigns He is an author and writer specialising in travel, social media and technology. He writes regularly for The Times and has written for many other publications including the Evening Standard, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, Food & Travel, ABTA magazine, the easyJet magazine and Teletext.  Mark also gives expert advice to leisure and business travel companies on their social media and communications strategies and is the co-founder of Social Travel Market, an annual conference on the use of social media in travel at World Travel Market. He is the author of seven books including The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and is currently working on a biography of the ski pioneer Erna Low. Mark lives in Ampthill in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife and three children. www.travelperspective.co.uk

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