Live video is a powerful tool for the modern destination marketer. Appealing to audiences with authenticity, transparency and unscripted interaction, it works because it allows them to experience a destination from new and unfiltered angles.

So powerful is this medium that, in 2018, Facebook reported

  • Live broadcasts doubled year over year since the feature debuted in 2016
  • Live broadcasts won six times the interactions of regular videos
  • There were 3.5 billion total Facebook Live broadcasts and more than 150 billion reactions to Live video

Not only that, 80% of brand audiences said they’d rather watch live video rather than reading a blog, according to Livestream, and 50% of marketing professionals said they have seen the best ROI from live video than any other social media platform, according to Mediative.


How Destination Marketers Are Using Live Video


There are many ways destination marketers are using live video to their advantage. These include

  • Q&A sessions with local residents or retailers
  • Conversations with locals
  • ‘Behind the scenes’ features
  • Live Events

Two great examples of how live video can surprise, delight and entertain in tourism are with the ‘Yodel Ay Hee Hoo’ campaign from Graubünden Tourism in Switzerland, and ‘A Day in the Life at Lincoln Center’ in New York.

‘Yodel Ay Hee Hoo’ from Graubünden Tourism


Graubünden’s use of live video is ingenious. Live videos with locals often have moments of surprise and delight with unexpected comments and conversations. Graubünden took the surprise element one step further by popping the live video feed into a nearby train station with unsuspecting commuters as the audience. Of course, the actual interactions were recorded and later used for advertising purposes, but the live video itself is what spurred the most engaging material.

The local man from Graubünden shared information about his town, his yodelling skills and could even print off free train tickets to the commuters, so they could meet him at his home. The ad featuring the live video has amassed almost 1 million views on YouTube, and praise from travel industry experts the world over.


A Day in the Life at Lincoln Centre


In a more practical example of live video usage, Lincoln Centre got three camera crews to live stream the many different activities and events that occur at Lincoln Centre in a day. Using Facebook live, these crews walked around the 16-acre campus and live streamed classes, events and activities that took place at the famed performing arts centre. This content was streamed from 12 different locations on site, and included footage from Juilliard School’s morning drama warm up, the New York City Ballet’s principal dancer Megan Fairchild as she prepared for her evening performance, a tour of the Metropolitan Opera House’s costume shop with Ryan Speedo Green and Susanna Phillips among many other videos.

The live streams were a monumental success. While hundreds of viewers watched the streams live, millions watched the recordings of the streams in the weeks following. In particular, in just two weeks after the live event, the videos received more than 3 million views, with a total reach of more than 10 million impressions. The campaign itself also garnered press coverage from the New York Times, Playbill and The Wall Street Journal in addition to a Shorty Award for “Best Facebook Live” usage.