Why it is a bad idea for hotels to skimp on film making


We’re all familiar with the Hollywood phrase ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ but before filmmakers ever get to that iconic instruction there is a considerable amount of thinking to be entered into.

A friend in a great agency in Las Vegas once told me that ‘anyone can make a video, but it takes real talent to make a film’!! Films tell stories. Authentic stories that make us laugh, cry, feel and react. The competition for viewing time is fierce. But it still amazes me that many films that are made are just information led, there is no authenticity nor humour or a genuine story being told.

Anyone can make a ‘lazy’ video, but it takes strategy and creativity to make a film that provokes a positive response. And right now, clients are looking to make a real connection with their audience. More than ever before.

In a similar way to the love, commitment and talent that goes into filmmaking, curating and delivering the best ‘guest experience’ in a hotel could be considered too as an art form.  It’s complex, arduous and extremely rewarding to achieve exceptional service and total guest satisfaction.

And it is almost impossible in our tech driven society to convey the true hotel guest experience without the art of film. A medium that is richly layered with emotive storytelling, beautifully shot inspiring scenes and a symphony of audio tones, conveying hospitable warmth with conviction and presenting immediately what makes a particular hotel or group of hotels special.

Combining the art forms of film and hotel provides one of the most compelling forms of hotel marketing. Visually communicating your hotel’s guest experience through film translates directly into ‘reasons to stay’ for bookers. In a competitive market ‘reasons to stay’ are critical to your proposition and therefore drive the effectiveness of any hotel’s digital marketing campaign – increasing conversion, ensuring your hotel gets more than its fair share of market volume (eg RGI & MPI).

As we roll through 2020, film continues to be one of the most effective mediums in a hotel’s digital marketing strategy and it’s easy to understand why. Not only is it easy to digest, but also an entertaining and engaging format. Potential guests want to be ‘immersed’ in the arrival, the welcome, the room, the bathroom and the restaurant (they want to feast their eyes), so importantly a film that portrays the experience (just a like the actor who portrays the hero character in a movie), gives potential bookers a real life view of your destination and experience. In today’s content-rich world, a stunning image library isn’t enough on its own to convey a hotel’s ‘guest experience’ which is one of the top reasons for choosing for instance a leisure hotel. Film is key for driving bookings in today’s world.

One of the many benefits of film is that it has a strong ROI, because it’s multi-channel and multi-purpose. A well-produced bank of film(s) shot strategically with ‘multichannel in mind’ can give you a number of ‘edits’ and uses across various channels over a sustained period. We call it ‘Smart Thinking’. For example; search engines love film as they see it as high quality content. So, using film across multiple channels as well as your website can work wonders for your SEO, as long as the films are optimised eg the right keywords, meta tag descriptions et cetera.

A professionally well-shot film not only strategically differentiates your property from a brand and experience perspective, but it can also can be used tactically pre and post stay in social, blogs, SEO and CRM as an upselling tool for spa, F&B, conferences, events and weddings and more if your hotel has leisure facilities such as golf, countryside or beaches. Film is also an effective loyalty mechanic, reminding previous guests via various channels of their ‘reasons to stay’ and every hotelier will tell you that experience drives preference, which drives advocacy.

In the world we live in currently, the hotel guest experience has never been more important, more relevant and more of a conversion tool – reinforcing ‘reasons to stay’.

So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a film worth? As more social networks follow Facebook’s lead and prioritise film content, the importance of film or video across all channels has increased:

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
  • 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision (Social Media Today)
  • YouTube is the second most popular website after Google. (Alexa)
  • 81% of brands use video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last year. (Hubspot)
  • 50% of all video is watched on mobile and mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. (Insivia)
  • 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others. (Wordstream)
  • Social media posts with video have 48% more views. (HubSpot)
  • Video campaigns on LinkedIn have 50% view rates. (LinkedIn)
  • Social video gets shared 1200% more than text and images combined. (Wordstream)
  • Email with video has a +13% click through rate (Impact)

Some useful hotel digital marketing tips. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined (Impact). The most engaging film content is up to two minutes long (DMI), but actually a little shorter by channel:

  • YouTube: two minutes
  • Facebook: one minute
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Instagram: 30 seconds

Law Creative is a multi-award-winning hotel marketing specialist, creating sharable moments that touch, inspire and connect with your audience…


From the initial strategic, conceptual and storyboarding stage, through filming, post-production and beyond, our all-round filmmaking experience and expertise is second to none. Our in-house team of award-winning writers create scripts and stories that will enthral and engage, whoever the audience, whatever the message.

For films that people will watch, like, share and that deliver strong ROI for your Hotels, talk to LAW Creative.


Please contact brett.sammels@lawcreative.co.uk or keith.sammels@lawcreative.co.uk