Several years ago, I stood on stage next to a tourism marketing expert, a gentleman over 50 who said Tiktok was the next big thing for tourism. At the time, TikTok was 99% dance, and I couldn’t fathom how this would apply to travel. Did that mean the next big thing would be dancing in locations worldwide?
I can’t dance. This was going to be my downfall. However, I knew that if this expert who had forecasted trends for decades said this, then he was probably right. It’s crazy how fast new things come and go, and if we remember anything about Blockbuster, it’s clear that technology can leave us behind if we don’t keep up with the rise and fall of technology.
The Start of A Video Trend
I wouldn’t say I liked videos. I’m more of a read-a-blog-post type of person, and one image seemed much more straightforward than multiple clips that made up a video. The few times a brand had asked me to make videos in the past, I outsourced it because it felt so out of my scope. I didn’t want to age out of content creation because I didn’t want to keep up with the times.
But Tiktok was here to stay, or maybe it was like a vine. However, there was no doubt that Tiktok was gaining enough traction to necessitate attention. I tested my first…quite horrible… video. With 0 followers, my first video got 600 views. Never before could I get 600 views with 0 followers. I was pretty excited.
I know. It isn’t good… We all gotta start somewhere.
I didn’t get it, but I slowly started posting and watching videos. I learned trends and decided to put my little spin on them. Few people were doing travel videos, and I can only think of one other person talking about Texas (hey, @WhatATexan). Most videos failed until I found one video trend I decided to put a Texas take on, which took about 20 minutes to make.
That video hit 20,000 views, and suddenly I was pumped. I gained followers and was pumped at learning how to do this more. It’s from there that I learned low-effort videos are where it’s at. Especially in the beginning, when you’re new to video editing, it’s not worth spending a significant amount of time and effort to create a video that may or may not do well.
The Importance of the 80/20 Rule
In general, the 80/20 rule worked best. If it did well, all the better. 80% of videos that were trending and low effort. 20% of videos were fun/a passion project that I found fulfillment in making instead of making for the views.
Over time video editing got better. We analyzed which ones did well, how ours were the same and different from the top performing videos, and tried to figure out what could be improved. The fancy transitions were excellent, but we wanted our platform to be informational and inspiring and decided to learn those technical details was too much effort.
We started growing and would post videos on Tiktok and images on Instagram. Until one day, I felt like a photo of one of the places we visited didn’t truly show off the place. I posted a video on Instagram before Instagram started doing reels. I learned to sync music and tell a story because of Tiktok.
This video was the spark for posting more videos before Instagram launched reels. While the views were the same (and sometimes lower), the overall engagement was up to 3X, including saves/shares and comments.
Video is a Trend That’s Here to Stay
Video is king, and statistics will tell. So many marketers and social media platforms are getting into a video not because Tiktok is succeeding but because the video creates a higher overall engagement. While the algorithm determines whether photo or video does well, videos still outperformed even before Instagram prioritized photos.
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