6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business with Video

If you’ve thought about marketing your small business with video, there are some important things to consider. Over the years we’ve created more than 100 videos for our in-room television channel. So we’ve learned a few things along the way. In this video, we share some of the secrets that have helped us create targeted marketing that works.

Why Should You Be Marketing Your Business with Video?

Video continues to strengthen its foothold as a powerful form of marketing for small businesses. If you aren’t marketing with video already, there are some pretty compelling statistics that indicate it’s time to get in the game.

  • 92% of marketers consider video an important part of their strategy (Wyzowl)
  • 88% experienced a positive ROI from their investment in video (Hubspot)
  • Video has risen to the #1 form of media used in content marketing strategies (Hubspot)

How to Use Video to Advertise Your Business

Video is not a one-size-fits-all solution to marketing. Each video should have a platform for distribution (social media, youtube, tv), an objective and an intended audience. At Traverse Traveler we create videos that play on our visitor channel to introduce local small businesses to travelers staying in area hotels. We build our content to speak to that audience. Whether you’re creating video content for social media, for your website, your YouTube subscribers or for broadcast television, your videos need to be created with a plan in mind. We’re here to help you get started on the right foot.

6 Tips for Marketing Your Small Business with Video

After analyzing the video content that has been most successful on our television channel we determined they all had certain elements in common. These video marketing tips are the result of our research. Watch the video above to see examples of these tips in action.

1. Know your target audience

For video advertising to work, you have to know your target audience. What works on Facebook with people that know you, won’t work on TV with people who don’t. Our target audience are travelers. Some are visiting the area for the first time. We know certain things about them. To start with they want answers to the big W questions:
Who are you?
What products or services do you provide?
Where are you located?
Why should they spend their time or money with you?

2. Don’t assume anything

When marketing to travelers it’s important to avoid any assumptions. Remember, they aren’t from here. They don’t know their Right Brain from their Left Foot without some details. So make it clear and easy to do business with you. For instance, provide location information. Add a lower third or a voiceover with location references that make sense to your audience. Don’t use local shorthand that visitors can’t relate to. Regional references like Slabtown and Warehouse District aren’t going to show up when they ask Siri for directions. Crossroads, recognizable landmarks, and your street address are a much better way to direct traffic to your business.

3. Words speak volumes

We love beautiful drone footage, up-tempo music and smiling happy people. But you can’t rely on pretty pictures to replace call to action. This is advertising. When hotel guests are getting ready with the TV on in the background if you don’t have a script on your video you miss out on the opportunity to speak to them. And frankly, if music is all they hear they’re likely to tune it out entirely. A scripted video helps hit the highlights, reinforcing the images that tell the story. This can be done with an on-camera personality or voiceover.

4. Get the big picture

Don’t get so caught up in the details that you forget about the big picture. Close-up shots of products available for sale, mouth-watering food and drinks, customers laughing and having fun – all great examples of what your business has to offer. But as a prospective customer, I’m left wondering…how big is this place? What’s it look like from the road so I know when I get there? Is the dining room big enough for my family of 10? When you assume you’re speaking to someone who has never heard of you it’s important to include wide-angle shots, maybe a walk-through to give them a sense of space and place. Your location is part of the story. So paint a vivid picture, with details big and small.

5. Just one thing

After you address the big picture, narrow down just one thing you want the viewer to remember. Maybe it’s a signature dish, maybe it’s a staff member with a recognizable talent or a feature at your location that sets you apart. It’s not just a unique selling proposition. If that one thing is specific and uncommon it will stick in their brain after watching. And that’s what makes people go out of their way to find you.

6. The face of the place

There is just something about a face. We remember faces and tie them to places. Over the years we’ve learned the value of putting an owner or regular staff member on camera. They don’t have to speak – although it’s great when they do. A smiling server bringing food to the table. An owner greeting guests at the door. A winemaker giving a behind the scenes tour or sharing a tip. It’s the people that make the place. We connect with people, not products. We buy from people. And when we see faces we recognize we often let them know.

We hope these tips will help you create targeted marketing that works. If you’d like to use video to reach the traveler market we’d love to help. For information on advertising with the Traverse Traveler visitor channel please contact us and let us know more about your business. To see more examples of our videos subscribe to our Traverse Traveler YouTube channel.

By |2020-03-09T19:55:44-04:00March 9th, 2020|How To Videos, Traverse Traveler, Videos|0 Comments

19 Moments to Remember from 2019

Before we roll up our sleeves and tackle 2020 we’re taking a look back at 19 moments that filled our year in 2019. Watch the video for 19 highlights in the adventures of Traverse Traveler.

  1. Expanded Traverse Traveler Distribution. In 2019 we began distributing the Dining Guide in the Benzie Chamber and CVB, and we added our Visitor Channel to the Cambria Suites, Best Western and Comfort Inn in Traverse City.
  2. Produced our We Speak Traveler Video. With a little help from our friends at Mike Kent Communications and Jacqueline Southby Photography, we finally put together a video about us. Thanks to George at Peegeo’s and Todd at The Filling Station for their testimonials.
  3. Attended the Derby Party at Iron Fish Distillery. All work and no play? No way. We love to get out and enjoy Northern Michigan together. Big hats, custom cocktails and a beautiful day for a horse race, made for a memorable moment with friends.
  4. Welcomed New Customers to Traverse Traveler. We are proud to be able to introduce travelers to Crepes & Co, the Mayfair Tavern, Goodboy Provisions, Mission Table, Blue Tractor, Jolly Pumpkin, North Peak Brewing Co., Cracker Barrel, State Street Market and Stormcloud Brewing Company.
  5. Shot the Cover of the Dining Guide. Many thanks to Jacqueline Southby for the beautiful photography, Apache Trout Grill for the amazing food and setting, and to our cover models Joe & Sara. Congratulations to the happy couple who got engaged over the Christmas holiday!
  6. Filmed Videos for the Omelette Shoppe & Flap Jack Shack. We put a lot of planning into our shoots to ensure a fun and productive day on set. Thanks to the management team at both restaurants, and the Habadank family for providing our on-camera talent at the Flap Jack Shack.
  7. Sponsored & Judged the Frankfort 48 Film Contest. Traverse Traveler is a presenting sponsor for this 48-hour film contest. Once again we joined the judging team to award the Traverse Traveler Choice Award to Miranda Felty for her short film, Love Letters to Summer. We can’t wait to work with the talented Miranda in 2020.
  8. Introduced the New Dining Guide. The long hours that go into design and production for the Dining Guide are rewarded when we get to see it on press, share it with our featured cover location, and deliver them to the hotels.
  9. Hunted for Rocks. Summer means beach days, and beach days mean hunting for Petoskey and Leland Blue stones. This summer we took to the boat to get to those off-the-beaten-path locations. Brandy loves the hunt, but Jay and his wife Julie turn them into beautiful jewelry. 
  10. Refreshed the Footage for Pirate’s Cove. It’s great to have happy customers who have been on the visitor channel with us for years. With many changes at Pirate’s Cove it was time to update their ad with some new footage to reflect the on-site updates. Look for their new ad in the spring.
  11. Went Fishin’. From salmon fishing out of Frankfort to Cobia catching in Florida, we fit in some fun times on the water this year. All this fishing meant some great meals too.
  12. Took a Ghost Tour with Haunted Traverse. It was high time we explored the haunted side of downtown Traverse City on a walking tour. The stories were great, our guide was knowledgeable and we definitely discovered some things you can’t explain on 6th street. A fun day for the team.
  13. Visited Boutique Hotels for Awesome Mitten. Brandy toured the rooms, explored the amenities and shared it all for the Awesome Mitten Instagram followers, all 89,000 of them. Thanks to the Hotel Indigo, Brio Beach, Baywatch Resort, Wellington Inn and the Cherry Tree Inn & Suites for the tours and insights.
  14. Enjoyed the Grand Opening for Apogee. It’s not every day that one of your clients opens a new business. Congratulations to Karen Hilt and her crew at My Secret Stash on the opening of their new downtown sister store, Apogee.
  15. Found Fall Fun on the Wine Trail. From fall photography and video clips for the Awesome Mitten to a birthday wine tour for Brandy, this fall we found ourselves in wineries we knew, and some that we’ve never visited. Be a Traveler is our motto, and we try to live up to it.
  16. Celebrated 18 Years of Little Cards. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? 18 years certainly flew by for this little card lady. We’re still going, still growing, and still filling those little card displays.
  17. Hosted a Village Tour and Hospitality Event. We love to be connectors. Each year we host private events to bring our hotel partners and clients together for a fun, learning experience. Thanks to The Village, Kirkbride Hall, Left Foot Charley and our History Tour guides for a memorable evening.
  18. Attended a Jewelry Show for Becky Thatcher. It was an honor to be invited to Becky Thatcher’s launch event for her new jewelry collection; Impressions of the Forest Floor. We can’t wait to see how this collection grows, and where she goes next.
  19. Savored the Moments. 2019 was full of moments to remember, with a great team of co-workers, clients, family and friends.

Thanks for looking back with us as we savor the sunset of another year, and prepare for the bright beginnings in 2020. 

By |2020-01-09T09:07:13-05:00January 7th, 2020|Traverse City, Traverse Traveler, Videos|0 Comments

Garth Trek Video Shares a Dog’s Perspective on Frankfort

The film Garth Trek | A Lost Dog’s Adventure in Frankfort is the story of what happens when a dog gets lost in Frankfort and spends the day searching for his owner. This is the revised rendition of the film that took home our Traverse Traveler Choice Award at the 2018 Frankfort48 Film Contest.

We thought you might enjoy the story of how a dog named Garth wandered his way onto the Traverse Traveler visitor channel.

The Frankfort48 Film Contest

Each year the Garden Theater hosts a contest for young filmmakers. They have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and submit a 3-5 minute film, with a few surprise elements chosen by organizers. Since we love working with young talent–and we love Frankfort–this seemed like the perfect project to support.

We were honored to join the judging committee and select a winner for the Traverse Traveler Choice Award. Along with a prize package, our winner was offered the opportunity to create and edit a commercial promoting the Frankfort48 Film Contest. The commercial will air on the Traverse Traveler Visitor Channel to promote the 2019 Frankfort48 Film Contest.

Garth Trek turned out to be a crowd favorite, judging by the applause. We loved the concept of the video, and who wouldn’t love Garth. So we gave T.J. the chance to direct a revised version, and put Garth in spotlight again. Check out the original film on YouTube.

Revising Garth Trek for the Traverse Traveler Audience

The Traverse Traveler visitor channel plays in over 3,000 hotel rooms throughout the Traverse City region. Our programming is designed to educate and entertain hotel guests, as well as provide guidance to area businesses and attractions. We recently added properties in Benzie County to our network, and thought this would be a great way to introduce viewers to Frankfort.

To tell this story for our network we had three challenges for the filmmaker:

  1. Retain the original storyline
  2. Showcase businesses and locations that would attract travelers to Frankfort
  3. Shorten the length to under 3 minutes

To retain the original storyline T.J. kept key shots from the original Garth Trek that we fell in love with. Then we added many new locations and adventures to local hotspots. Finally, we gave Garth a voice. The narration helps travelers watching on our in-room visitor channel follow along with his journey.

TJ and Garth meet Traverse Traveler

To showcase businesses and locations of interest to travelers we sent Garth to some of our favorite spots in Frankfort including:

  • The gateway arch
  • Frankfort lighthouse & pier
  • Lake Michigan beach
  • Downtown shopping
  • Garden Theater
  • Frankfort marina
  • Mineral Springs Park
  • A&W
  • Stormcloud Brewing Company
  • Highway M-22
  • Point Betsie lighthouse

We think our award-winning director T.J. Taylor, and his team, have earned another round of applause. And a special thanks to their canine star, Garth.

A Day at the Farmer’s Market

Spend a morning at the farmer’s market in northern Michigan and you’ll see how lucky we are to live in Michigan. But the farmer’s market certainly isn’t just for farmers anymore. It’s a gathering place. It’s where locals and visitors meet the growers and makers.

Did you know…

Michigan agriculture is leading the nation in many ways. Here are a few fun facts about how we rank:

  • Fourth in the country as a net exporter of hops
  • Third in the nation for the number of farmers markets (300+)
  • Second most agriculturally diverse state in the Country, next to California
  • First in the Country for the production of blueberries, tart cherries, dry black-beans, picking cucumbers and squash

Picked and Processed 

  • Upward of 1 billion pounds of sugar is produced annually in Michigan
  • Thanks to our local farmers, we are the nation’s leading producer of potatoes for potato chip processing

Buy Michigan Made

The best part about farmer’s markets is the opportunity to buy local. Whether we’re talking fruits or vegetables, beer or wine, soaps or lotions, salt or sugar, buying locally-produced goods supports the area economy.


Farmers Market All Natural Soap

Handmade soaps are one of many non-edible items available at the farmer’s market

Not only do farmer’s markets offer fresh food, local brews, and natural products, they also provide great entertainment! With vendors that are so good you can’t say no, we are used to watching our money turn to fruit, and occasionally, watch it DISAPPEAR like magic.

Farmers Market Magic Kid

This young entrepreneur will keep you on your toes as he makes the seemingly impossible, possible. Providing good fun for the whole family!

Visit a Farmer’s Market in Near You

Here are a few must-stop farmer’s markets in northern Michigan with a variety of vendors that meet weekly

Empire Farmers Market | Downtown Traverse City | Sat 9-1pm

Fife Lake Downtown Farmer’s Market | Fife Lake | Sun 9-1pm

Frankfort Farmers Market | Frankort | Sat 9-1pm

Glen Arbor Farmers Market | Glen Arbor | Tues 9-1pm

Interlochen Farmers Market | Traverse City | Sun 9-2pm

Leland Farmers Market | Downtown Leland | Thus 9-1pm

Northport Farmers Market | Downtown Northport | Fri 9-1pm

Sara Hardy Farmers Market | Downtown Traverse City | Weds & Sat 7:30-12pm

Suttons Bay Farmers Market | Suttons Bay | Sat 9-1pm

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons | Traverse City | Mon 2-6pm

Farm Stands & Markets

In this video we’ve featured two of Traverse City’s family-run farm markets Groleaus Farm Market just south of Traverse City, and Gallaghers Farm Market to the west. Click to get a tour of their markets and hear their stories. These are just two great examples of local farm markets to discover as you explore the highways and back roads of our region.

The list of farm stands, u-pick farms and independent markets in northern Michigan is long. Our friends at Taste the Local Difference have done a great job gathering that info together in one place. For details visit them online.

Be A Traveler

Farm markets aren’t the only way to eat fresh, and eat local. Many restaurants in the area support local farmers so stop in for a meal or a snack. Check out our Dining Guide, to browse menus from area eateries. Or for easy access on your iPhone or Android download our app and be a traveler in no time.

Thanks to our summer intern Carley, for the Day at the Market video featured above, which she filmed, edited and post produced. Watch it for a glimpse into her journey through the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market in downtown Traverse City.

9 Things to do with Kids on a Spring Staycation in Traverse City

Is a vacation or staycation in Traverse City on your mind this spring? The kids have been cooped up at home long enough. Spring Break is a popular time for the locals to get-away, which means it’s a little less crowded on the streets and in the hotels. So here’s my list of 9 things to do with kids on a Traverse City staycation. Watch the videos for more details on each destination!


Breakfast at Round’s

If you’re traveling for vacation odds are nobody has to cook. So, I think it’s fitting that a staycation includes going out for breakfast. If you’re an early-riser check out Round’s, a true local hang-out, where the raspberry french toast is out of this world. Look for their menu in our Dining Guide.


Free Movies at The State

The State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay have a once-annual free movie fest, which lines up with Traverse City’s spring break. That means free movie tickets, and lots of family-friendly films all week! If your break doesn’t match ours don’t despair! These arthouse volunteer-run theaters offer great kids programs including $.25 kids matinees EVERY Saturday. And you can’t beat the popcorn and candy prices either.


Bounce it Out at Busy Bodies

Sometimes you just need a place to let the kids run, skip and bounce out that energy they’ve been storing all winter. Busy Bodies Bounce Town is the solution. With wristband access you can spend an hour, go grab a bite to eat and come back later that day to wear them out before the car ride home.


Hike through the Art Park

The Michigan Legacy Art Park is a hidden gem, and worth a drive to Crystal Mountain in Benzie County. Discover larger than life sculptures tucked between the trees along a beautiful hiking trail. These permanent art installations are impressive any time of year. March and April can still be snowy in the woods, so wear your boots, or rent a pair of snowshoes.


Eat Lunch at Scalawags

Scalawags Fish & Chips in downtown Traverse City is the perfect lunch spot for the whole family. The restaurant is decorated tip to tail in fishing-themed memorabilia and artwork. The fish is incredibly fresh and prepared right after you order. Tell the kids to watch for Spongebob as he pops up every time the front door opens.


Bowling and Laser Tag at Lucky Jacks

If you’re entertaining teens or tweens and the weather isn’t cooperating, I’ve got just the place for you. Lucky Jacks has indoor fun for the whole family. From bowling and laser tag, to arcade games, bumper cars and did I mention they have a full restaurant and bar? Yep, this spot checks a lot of boxes for some good old fashioned family fun.


Explore History at The Village

One of the nation’s largest historical renovations is taking place just off the beaten path in Traverse City. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is a former state asylum with stunning 19th century architecture, and a fascinating history. Sign-up for a guided historic tour of the buildings, or spend your time hiking the trails all around Traverse City’s central park. Ask for the path to the hippy tree for an instagrammable discovery.


Play at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum

Traverse City is blessed to be surrounded by water. As Michiganders we want to ensure the importance of the Great Lakes is not lost on our youngest adventurers. Kids can explore our watery resources in hands-on exhibits, playscapes and activities at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum.


Discover Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is always on our list of things to do with kids. On a sunny day the views of Lake Michigan are blue and beautiful no matter the season. Hiking the dunes or riding a bike along the Heritage trail are great springtime adventures. Start at the Visitors Center in Empire and ask about the Jr Ranger program for some activities that will entertain and educate the youngest visitors.


So when it’s too warm for snowmen, but too cold for swimming, there are still plenty of things to do with kids of all ages in Traverse City. If you live here, it’s a good reminder to get out and enjoy the reasons why. If you’re traveling to Traverse City…welcome! The trees might be leafless, and the pot holes large, but activities abound for you and your traveling band.

By |2018-12-12T09:14:57-05:00March 21st, 2018|Adventure, Family Fun, Travel Tips, Videos|0 Comments