Hello September!

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September and October are the perfect months to produce a marketing video for your accommodation business.

The leaves are still on the trees – or turning a beautiful shade, peak season is drawing to an end and plans for next year are beginning to hatch.

Unlike the trees however, the right video content is evergreen.

Did you know 57% of holidaymakers make their plans online these days and 62% of travellers want to see a video tour of hotel rooms and properties?  (Google)

65% of tourists book hotels reservations for the same day on a mobile device (Statistic Brain, 2015), so if you haven’t got a mobile friendly website or a marketing video, you are missing out on many potential bookings.

Video gets your message across quicker and easier for customers with most people retaining 95% of the message in a video compared to only 10% of what they read in text (Insivia).

Lakes Creative are professional video producers with a track record in hospitality video marketing and know how to get your message across and found on the web with the minimum of effort from yourselves.

We have a number of packages and payment options to suit your business with prices starting from £500 + VAT. Book before September 1st with a 25% deposit and we will reduce each package by £100.

It could be the best online marketing decision you’ll make in years.

For more details info@lakescreative.tv

Sex, Tries and Video Tape

Okay so there is no sex and I moved over to hard disk recording some time ago but we are going to talk about tries.

Some of you will know that as well as producing video marketing materials and video strategies for businesses, I also continue to work in broadcast TV.

And as you are reading this, I am probably either on my way down or have already arrived at Twickenham ahead of the opening match of the Rugby World Cup.

For a change, I will be behind the presenters camera instead of filming the match, so hopefully I will get the chance to watch the England v Fiji game and soak up what is sure to be an incredible atmosphere.

For those that don’t know rugby, when you touch the ball down over your opponents line that is known as a try, which then gives you the opportunity to kick for two more points over the posts, also known as a conversion.

And that’s what where all trying to do with our contacts – convert them into paying customers – and using video in your marketing makes that job a whole lot easier.

As well as boosting your SEO, having video on your website creates an emotional bond between your company and your potential clients. Video alongside a product on your website increases the chances of conversion by a massive 64%.

So every time you see a ball being kicked through the posts at the Rugby World Cup finals, just think, that could be your company kicking for World Cup glory!



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Sweet Inspiration for Video Marketing

How are things?

Are you getting back into your stride after the end of year celebrations?

After a number of enquiries in the past week, it certainly feels like people are waking up to the New Year and some new ideas.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you a means of getting your foot on the Video Marketing ladder without breaking the bank and yet still creating a big impact.

Below is a Photo Slideshow that uses Motion Graphics and upbeat music to create an introduction to Sweet Inspiration in Dumfries.

They sell cake decoration supplies and services and Lauren from Sweet Inspiration knew that video was very good for her new website’s SEO. But having spent money on that sparkling new website, realised she couldn’t manage to have the video produced that she wanted.

That’s where we could help.

The beauty of this style of video is it is short, sweet and effective. The client didn’t have to lose half a day to having a film crew turn up, move everything out of place and eat all their biscuits and we didn’t have to travel.

In fact, we’ve never actually met!

We spoke to the lovely Lauren on the phone and sent each other emails explaining the process and deciding how the video should turn out.

Sweet Inspiration followed our advice by placing the video at the top of her new website and used the lovely Wistia for professional Video Hosting and full Video SEO benefits. Now they’re shooting up that Video Marketing ladder and web rankings too.

A video of this style running thirty to sixty seconds costs £350 + VAT. You provide the high quality still images and we provide the music and sprinkle the fairy dust.

Got a project you want to discuss? Give us a call.

Tesco reality check














Tesco announced this week that their profits aren’t going to be quite as gargantuan as first thought. This continues what has been a bad year for the Supermarket. But why are they struggling?

Well the answer is easy – buyers habits have changed – and the reason they’ve changed is they have less money in their pocket. So instead of buying in bulk on a regular basis, shoppers now buy little and often in smaller stores.

The same is true for marketing. Instead of taking out expensive adverts in magazines and newspapers or on television, companies are producing smaller, bite-sized and even homegrown marketing campaigns.

Just as there was a time when producing a video for your business or website meant creating a £10k+ epic that sat on your website or on a DVD in your office draw, the focus now is on creating smaller pieces of content and more often.

A five minute showcase video is no longer desirable by the viewers. What they want is information that helps them make an informed decision on whether to do business with you or not.

What problems can you solve for them? Why is your product better than your competitors?

These are the answers that customers and clients are looking for.

Of course if you do think that you need a glossy video to demonstrate what your company does that’s fine but what you should also be doing is repurposing that content, to produce more manageable pieces of content that can easily be shared via your social networks and email campaigns.

Tesco just became too big and the balance is being redressed.

How are you adjusting your marketing campaigns to match your customer needs?

Xmas Ad Battle Goes Over The Top

Sainsburys Chocolate







Just when I thought #MontyThePenguin had conquered the Christmas Ad War, Sainsbury’s belatedly went over the top into battle.

First impressions were that the re-enactment of the First World War Christmas Day truce in the trenches, had trumped the John Lewis CGI Penguin with a slice of humanity over the rampant commercialism of their rivals ads – but just as happened in the Great War, the good will ended the very next day.

Sainsbury’s produced the the ad in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, who stood to raise funds through sales of the chocolate bar that was so generously donated by the English soldier to his German counterpart in the ad but this created a backlash against Sainsburys who were accused of cashing in on the centenary of the First World War.

In the first few days they were selling 5,000 chocolate bars per hour.

On paper this must have seemed like a perfect alliance. The Royal British Legion raise funds for ex-servicemen and Sainsbury’s look like they’re doing their bit whilst making money too.

News that Sainsbury’s are about to demolish a rugby ground that was built as a memorial to 300 rugby players that lost their lives in the war to make way for a new superstore, must be adding to the criticism they are receiving from the partnership.

Who knows how this will affect the reputation of both parties?

This got me wondering. What alliances could you make in your business?

Do you provide services that would compliment those of an existing company? Do you produce goods that would fit perfectly with another’s?

We are off to The Business Show at Olympia next week with a Photographer friend. Video and photography are different enough to be considered separately but are so closely related that it makes sense to package the services up.

Our photography and video material will be shown on a range of beautiful display screens – the providers of which have formed an alliance with the photographer. The screens sell the images and vice versa. Marvellous.

Who could you team up with?

Speak soon.

Is the Xmas Ad War over already?

The last piece of smoke has been extinguished from the last November Bonfire celebration and the battle to win the Christmas Ad War seems over already.

I recently heard the John Lewis Christmas Ads described as a Christmas institution. Since when? I can only remember a couple of them. Have they really been going long enough to be described in such a way? Well in a world where trends and technologies change quicker than managers at your favourite Premier League football club, anything that hangs around more than a year seemingly fits the bill.

Monty the Penguin – if the posts on my Facebook feed are to be believed – is melting hearts all over the country. John Lewis have done it again. It’s a brilliant campaign with it’s own page on the John Lewis website and of course you can buy your own Monty and Mabel. Who naturally both have a Twitter account. Brilliant, brilliant campaign!

I’ve just watched it again and it’s a beautifully crafted advert and an incredible piece of branding. They’re not selling you the latest hi-tech must-have, they’re selling the simple, lovely idea that Christmas is the time when you want to do something for someone else – in this case, find a mate for your toy penguin.

With 10.5 million views on YouTube at time of writing though, it’s not a TV Ad any more – it’s simply content. Content to deliver through the company’s distribution network but most importantly from my perspective, it’s video content and more accurately, Video Marketing.

Does a newspaper Ad got snapped on your iPhone and shared 10.5 million times on the internet. Not likely.

The visual medium – photography included – will always win in the online content war. Image is everything and with images as compellingly beautiful as those created for the #MontyThePenguin Ad, John Lewis will continue to be the brand we most associate with Christmas – the biggest spend of the year. People expect John Lewis to produce the goods, so to speak, with their annual emotional offering and with so much at stake in the battle for profits, they can’t afford to disappoint.

How would you brand your business in a video?

Take a look at the Christmas Ads that are trying to catch up with the competition.

The daftest thing happened…

After a brief meeting with a local Country House Hotel here in the beautiful South Lakes, I was fresh in their mind when they needed to provide visual proof to back up their claims that they had produced The Most Expensive Dessert In The World.

This was a first for me – shooting a video to send to the Guinness Book of World Records.

They needed this video for the next day, so I thought I can do better than that, I’ll go up there this afternoon, take my laptop and burn them the DVD they needed right there and then. Being a quick worker, within a few hours I’d shot and edited it and burnt it to DVD to send of to the boys from the black stuff.

It’s not my favourite piece of work by any stretch and I didn’t feel like shouting about it too much but I added it to our YouTube channel regardless. What happened next was incredible but not extraordinary.

Crucially, I allowed the video to be embeddable on other websites and after some hurried viewing activity on an external site, YouTube made it a suggested video. It has now had 60,000 views!

It’s good to share!

If only I’d embedded this video on my site. The Video SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits would have been fantastic. Why? Well Google rewards sites that go to the effort of producing content that communicates with its audience and if you’ve made a video, you have gone that extra mile and they will rank you accordingly.

There are many ways that video can be used to boost your SEO so maybe it’s time to think twice about putting all your SEO eggs into one basket. Boil up a couple of videos.

Oh… here’s the video. It was delicious by the way 🙂


Testimonials, Testimonials, Testimonials

If you take an interest in marketing yourself, you’ll have been bashed over the head by the proliferation of online posts lately, telling you about the importance of customer testimonials.

But there’s a reason for that. Testimonials are powerful tools to take to potential new clients. They beat any glossy advert in a magazine where you can tell the world how fantastic you and your new products are – it’s much better and quite often free to get someone to do that for you.

Think how effective then a video testimonial can be. It’s there right in front of you. You’re getting it from the horse’s mouth – “We used this company and they are GREAT!”


They’ve taken the time to give the business owner the testimonial and they’ve got over their fear of appearing in front of the camera – all because they think so highly of the service they’ve been given. As a potential new client, you can look them right in the whites of their eyes and judge their credibility. Try and think of a medium that lets you do this as well. You can’t.

I’ve put together here short snippets from three video testimonials. The first one and the last one I did after the event as I wanted to make sure they really were happy with the service I provided. The second one however, I got the clients to record that on the day of filming and it reflected fairly the experience they had on that day, despite not yet seeing the finished results.

When should you ask someone to give you a testimonial? Well that depends. If it’s a client that you see in person grab them and do them on the spot so to speak. Done carefully and in the right situation, this could even be done on your iPhone – just keep it short.

If it’s a remote client, you could always ask them to send you the video testimonial perhaps by using their WebCam but best of all (well I would say this wouldn’t I), is to get a professional video testimonial produced – whether you use a crew that’s local to them or a trusted local video marketer, it needn’t cost the earth.

It’s up to you to decide how valuable the video testimonial from that client will be and how much it will damage your brand if you publish a poorly produced video. Compare the cost of production against other forms of marketing you do and make your decision.


Living the dream

So the World Cup’s well under way now and the England result aside, what a great tournament it’s been so far.

World Cup

World Cup

I’ve taken a break from video production and marketing to come out to Brazil to work as a camera operator for the host broadcasters of the world’s biggest sporting event in terms of TV audience.

I’ll be covering games in Recife, Natal and Rio.

It’s an honour to be asked to be involved in such a high profile event and I’m enjoying it all as you might imagine. There’s a lot of travelling to be done but we try to compliment working hard with playing pretty hard too.

The Ghana v USA match we did on Monday epitomised what a World Cup game should be like and I’m not talking about the action on the pitch. Without getting Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder about it, it was the integration of the crowd that made it a spectacular night for me.

Both sets of fans were outstanding. I had a shot of a guy in an Argentina shirt in with the Ghanaians who looked like he’d won the lottery. He couldn’t believe his luck, dancing along with the Africans and this is what makes this event something uniquely special.

Being involved in something like the World Cup means I am used to working at the highest level and this is something that benefits my video production business – and if your a client of ours or would like to be, you too.

I’m going to enjoy every minute of my time in Brazil, though I’ll be looking forward to getting back and helping companies of all sizes improve their marketing with the driving force of the internet – video.

Video: How It Increased Sales For Our Hospitality Business

Increasingly businesses need a wider marketing mix to get their message heard and Fraser Richardson from R Hotels Group explains in the video below, how he successfully tied in video marketing with his social marketing strategy to increase revenues at his five star luxury accommodation in the Lake District.

“We chose video principally because of two reasons. Mainly our website was able to embed videos and we had a need with our cottage in the Lake District, High Biggin, that everything we’d done to market it to that point always seemed not to do it justice.

Photographs, yes but it wasn’t anything like when you actually went to the cottage, so we needed something to jump off the website or the page to show what it was like to stay at High Biggin. And we came across Lakes Creative Video who held our hand through the whole process of video and how you start producing a video and what cam out was great.

You know, we had this fantastic video showing off our beautiful cottage which gave people a real flavour of the house, the hot tub, the size of the bedrooms, the location. It was fabulous and it was presented to us as a file to review and make changes but we didn’t need to make changes because it was pretty much perfect right from the outset. A lot of the credit for that is with Lakes Creative Video.

The experience we have of how that video is being used through YouTube, on our website, sharing through Twitter, has been fantastic and without a shadow of doubt people have booked the house from that video, seeing that video.

From my experience if you’re going to adopt a marketing strategy that includes an element of social marketing – social media, one of the key requirements is engagement with your followers and to do that you need content. OK you can write some text, you can put some photographs in, but one of the next best things – and I would highly recommend it, is video. You can get your message across in a nice short way that people engage with and will share and it’s great for search engine optimisation as well. You know, if you get a video on your website Google love that. It will improve your rankings with Google. So to me it’s a no-brainer.

Whatever business you are in, if you can video it you should and if it moves video it. If it doesn’t move video it. Video it!”

Fraser Richardson, R Hotels Group.

For further examples of how video marketing can work for your business, click here.