Winter Baycation – A New Approach to Tourism Videos

We had a proven concept. Our “Newfoundland in 10 days” video has been viewed over half a million times and continues to perform (whenever people start planning their trips to Newfoundland) with extremely positive engagement.

That video has increased our Facebook page likes by about 330% but that is a very broad audience and where do you think most of those new likes are coming from? Newfoundland of course!

My primary goal with Winter Baycation was to recreate that same success closer to home, engaging an audience in the Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, and broader South Georgian Bay area.

The secondary goal was to try and monetize that model. The first video was just for fun, and once it’s online, noone has to buy it. Anyone can freely share it and use it to engage their own audiences which is what the official tourism board of Newfoundland and Labrador did among others. And that’s completely fine because all those views are counted at the source - the BFresh.Media facebook page.

So to monetize this we decided on a sponsorship model. The main reason was so that BFresh.Media would retain copyright ownership and therefore have full creative control. We wanted to execute our own vision and not let client influence pull us too far away from that. The second reason was to keep the cost more affordable for those involved.

The Georgian Triangle Tourism Association (AKA Visit South Georgian Bay) saw this as a great opportunity to promote their brand, our region, and provide value to their amazing Members by taking on the Title Sponsorship. We worked out a deal for exclusivity to feature members only which worked out fine because all of the destinations and experiences that were on our checklist were already members.

The result was another fun, fast paced adventure featuring real people and real experiences. For your viewing pleasure here is the video:

Winter Baycation Presented by Visit South Georgian Bay

The video launched on February 13th and was viewed over 10,000 times in 10 days. As of March 15th it has been shared 193 times and received 983 post engagements, all of which have been extremely positive.

Each participating member also received a short teaser clip to post on their own Instagram or Facebook accounts.

The video saw huge success but the only issue was that winter was effectively ending, something that was obviously out of our control. As of February 26th there was no longer any snow on the ground and we had been seeing temperatures as high as +15 for a few days.

While there was little we could do to get this video out earlier, it’s now ready for next season and that’s the good news. As we see all the time with our Newfoundland Video, when it’s relevant, it has just as much potential to take off as the first time. It might need just a push to get the ball rolling but all we need to do is share this video again next season and it’s sure to perform even better at the beginning of the season.

To learn more about South Georgian Bay and some of the amazing experiences that await, check out http://www.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca

Thanks again to our amazing partners, we couldn't have done it without them.

Travel Video Open Casting Call

We are creating a travel video that will document the adventures of 2 people and you could be those people. All expenses paid! Seriously, hotel, transportation, meals, along with skiing, beer & wine tours and more is what we have planned.  

We are very excited to announce that The Georgian Triangle Tourism Association, has sponsored Bfresh.Media's Collingwood and The Blue Mountains travel video that will be filming in January 2018. We are partnering with Association Members like Cranberry Resort to create one amazing travel experience. That means that the search is on for our tourists that want to be featured in this all inclusive getaway film project.

This is a documentary style video which does not require acting. So if you love to travel and love the outdoors, YOU could be a great fit. What we really want is to show off real people, enjoying real experiences. Here are more details and how you can enter.

ARE YOU EXCITED YET?

Who we’re looking for:

  1. A duo (2 friends/couple/siblings) - must be 19 years of age or older.
  2. You must be free to film January 14th - 17th
  3. You live outside of the Georgian Triangle but no more than 200km from Collingwood Ontario. (so Barrie, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener or anywhere in-between) For anyone really eager, note that Pearson International Airport is in that radius... just sayin'.
  4. You’re fun, outdoorsy, and adventurous.
  5. You love winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing, and skating.

Here’s how to audition:

  1. Shoot a video of yourselves 1 min long or less. We want to see personality! Tell us why you should be featured in our travel video. Perhaps you’ve not been to Collingwood for years or you’ve never been here before. We’d love to hear your story.
  2. Upload said video to Facebook,  Instagram, or both. In your post, make sure to tag @SGeorgianBay, @bfresh.media, and use the hashtag #SouthGeorgianBaycation so that we can find it.
  3. Feel good knowing you could be a part of something awesome. 🙂

The Deadline for submissions is Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 at 12:00am so get your audition up before then, otherwise you will miss out on this incredible opportunity. The chosen pair will be contacted by Friday January 5th. Transportation to and from Collingwood will be provided, picking up on January 14th and returning you home on the 17th.  

To learn more about South Georgian Bay and some of the amazing experiences that await, check out http://www.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca

My first Short Doc Attempt from 2015

2015 was my first time visiting the Collingwood Elvis Festival. As an aspiring documentary filmmaker, I wanted to go out and film the madness and just see what came out of it.

At the time I was shooting on a Nikon DSLR without any stabilization or ND filters which are really good at cutting down the amount of light so really bright things like the sky don’t get completely washed out. I had borrowed a really cheap shoulder rig from a friend and it really didn’t seem to help much. I did have a decent microphone but it is meant to pick up pretty much everything and it certainly did.

The result was a 5min short that I cut together shortly after but never posted or showed to anyone. I wasn’t thrilled with the shaky footage, the blown out exposure, nor the audio challenges that I had faced as well.

In the 2 years since filming this I’ve learned a whole lot more, and spent a lot of money on equipment that could do a much better job today.

However, the most important thing I’ve learned is this: If you can’t tell a good story with cheap equipment, all the money in the world cannot fix your film. And that is something I really believe. Clean beautiful shots are important, don’t get me wrong, but the absolute best quality footage will only take you so far. What will keep viewers engaged is the story that you tell.

I’ve seen a lot of great documentary films and every now and again I see that shot that’s just out of focus, or a little shaky or hard to hear and it solidifies my belief. Knowing that this film maker chose to use a bad shot because it was integral to the story they were trying to tell, is something I find very honest and comforting.

So watching my first attempt at a short doc again as the 2017 Elvis Festival kicks off, I figured what the hell, it was fun to make and the story is not half bad, but I will let you be the judge.

Newfoundland (in ten days): A Viral Success

Had I known the video I cut of our vacation across Newfoundland would be seen by so many people, I may have left out the part about making Mr. Noodles, using the hotel coffee maker, without a shirt on…

Aside from that slightly revealing scene, I think many fellow travelers and Newfoundland natives connected with the ground level, first hand perspective of our travel video. To me, it was a pretty typical excursion, getting “screeched in”, visiting popular destinations like Signal Hill, Cape Spear, and Gross Morne Park among many others. Basically we hit as many sights as we could in 10 days, but I believe it was that typical experience, with a bit of our funny antics, that struck a chord with people, propelling the video into viral success.

Within one week the facebook post had reached over half a million people. It had been shared over 5,000 times, viewed approximately 240,000 times and received over 500 comments, all of which were positive. Most notably, it was shared and tweeted by the official Newfoundland & Labrador tourism page and we were featured on the MUCH travel blog Far and Wide.

The video is just over 3min and contains 214 shots. That is an average of less than 2 seconds per clip. It is fast moving but the only way to fit as much as I could without the video being a full 1hr feature. And trust me, we had more than enough footage for a feature.

In case you haven’t seen it, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

So what was it that made this video more shareable than others? Up to this point, the most my work had been viewed to any viral extent was 13,000 times. I didn’t even obey the first rule of digital marketing which is keep it short. So what was it about this one that made it so popular?

Here are my thoughts and take away from the success of this video:

    1. I gave other businesses and people a reason to share. Don’t blink because you might miss them but featured in the video are several local businesses from breweries to cafes as well as international brands like ford and adidas. This was a bit of a strategic move on my part in the beginning, just to get the ball rolling. When I posted the video I made sure to tag those businesses in the hopes that they would share it to their followers and indeed most of them did. Some of them also tagged other pages involved in Newfoundland Tourism which helped even more.
    2. Travel is a big part of it. There are 3 kinds of people in canada, Those who live in Newfoundland, those who have been to Newfoundland, and those who want to visit Newfoundland. Well maybe not exactly, but I found those were the 3 largest groups that were leaving comments on the post. The largest response was from Newfoundlanders and I think a lot of it was recognizing places, and experiences… and that leads us to reason #3.
    3. It was relatable. One comment in particular I believe summed it up completely. Someone said: “This is the most realistic tourism video I’ve ever seen”. Unlike most tourism videos, I was focused on our experience right down to the very senses. As much as the scenery was breathtaking almost everywhere we went, I also captured the small things like touching surfaces, drinking beer and wine, to the point where you could almost feel, taste and smell the same things we were. And to me I think these are the more relatable experiences because as beautiful as drone footage is, I the tourist will never see a destination from that perspective.
    4. It left you wanting more. “The clips move too fast” was a fairly common comment. Not to be too harsh but I feel it is important to note that that feedback seemed to come only from an older demographic. Despite the comment, it didn’t stop people from watching it and I think it’s because they really wanted to see more. In other words, the one negative actually worked in its favour because you didn’t want to miss anything.
    5. It worked without sound. Now this is a facebook marketing tactic that I did adhere to. How often do you watch videos on facebook without sound? Probably more often than you realize. 82% of viewers watched my video without sound. That’s why when it comes to facebook video, It is imperative to try and catch someone’s attention in the first 3 seconds and be able to hold their attention without sound on. So subtitles and visual storytelling are huge. That would also explain my main demographic as the video started with the title “Newfoundland (in ten days)” and shot straight into recognizable locations and landmarks, and you didn’t need sound to follow along.

 
So what is my takeaway? Basically this video that I created for fun, more than anything else, serves as a great case study. The learning I have gained from this experience will go into every other client project moving forward in the hopes that we can recreate that viral effect. Before this, my bar was set at 13,000 views, now my sights are set on clearing that achievement of 240,000 views. And wouldn’t you want that to be your brand? I mean who doesn’t want, a huge increase in Page likes, engagment on a national or even global scale, plus a huge spike in website traffic?