Spa Marketing: Utilizing YouTube

How to create, market and optimize a dynamic YouTube video.

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YouTube 101: Seven tips

If creating a video that may be seen by thousands of people seems daunting, it needn’t be. A smartphone and basic computer skills are all that’s required. And don’t fret if you’re not an expert cinematographer: if you can take a photo, you can take a video. If you can post on Facebook, you can post on YouTube.
That said, make sure you enter into the project with a clear idea of the type of content you want to capture. The most common day spa video concepts include: testimonials, tutorials, signature treatment segments, tours and staff-related videos. Whichever format you choose, it needs to capture your spa’s essence. Once you’ve decided on your video concept, how do you go about transforming your idea into visually stimulating content? Here are seven key tips and tricks.

1) Get back to basics. “Keep it simple,” says Internet marketing consultant Ryan Dohrn. “When picking a location in your spa to shoot, choose a visually attractive space. Make sure to frame the person speaking from the waist up and keep a steady hand, or place the camera on a counter.”

2) Staff it up. Some of the most “liked” YouTube spa videos feature treatment tutorials from staff members. Staff videos have become so popular for Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, that, according to CEO Michael Tompkins, employees actually compete to get their videos uploaded! Posted videos often result in increased demand for the featured therapist or treatment. “In addition to the boost in bookings, these videos are great for staff morale and employee retention,” he notes.

3) Teach, don’t sell. “Tutorial videos should be educational,” explains Tompkins. “Avoid any type of sales pitch. Even when we include makeup or skincare tips, we don’t typically name a specific product.” On the other hand, while you may not be promoting a vendor, you are promoting your spa, so feel free to say it loud and proud. “Mention the name of your spa often throughout the video,” he advises.

4) Keep it short and sweet. ”Never go more than one minute thirty,” warns Dohrn. The point of YouTube is to create visually stimulating content, and lengthy videos—yes, even 90 seconds is long these days—and lengthy videos can cause your audience to lose interest and go elsewhere.

5) Capture compelling client testimonials. Client testimonials are a great way to get potential guests interested in your spa’s offerings. That said, not everyone is a “natural” on camera. Choose clients who are comfortable being filmed and aren’t prone to freezing or clamming up. “Videos should look real and candid, not scripted,” says Dohrn. “They should emulate the ‘target client’ your spa is seeking. Keep videos diverse, not just in content, but also with the type of people featured. Include a variety of race, gender and age categories. And, don’t forget to have them sign a release allowing you to use the video on multiple media platforms.”

6) Maximize other media outlets. “We’re very fortunate in that most of our videos are actually media clips from TV outlets that have featured us,” says Ron Kustek, owner of Le Petite Retreat Day Spa in Los Angeles. “Don’t turn down any PR opportunities as they can be used very effectively and as long-lasting marketing tools.”

7) Embrace the slideshow. If you’re handier with a still camera than with video, you’re in luck. Slideshows can easily be created via iPhone and smartphone apps such as Animoto and Photodex, which allow instant sharing to YouTube. You can even add special effects such as music and text!