Collaborating with tourism boards to create free music videos

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The hot sun beaming down on Miami Beach, USA, reflected in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Just a few feet away, the hotels along South Beach provide ample accommodation for everybody attracted to the sunshine state by various tourism campaigns. Welcome to Florida.

With social media taking regular prominence in today’s modern society, tourism boards across the world such as “Visit Florida” are using musicians & social media influencers to attract more people to the destination. Whether you’re watching a video about the northern lights in Norway, kicking back with the Kangaroos in Australia, or chilling on South Beach, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen various tourism campaigns targeted at people considering traveling to a destination. Here’s a video Pitbull (Mr Worldwide) created as an advert for visiting Miami:

With over 500 million active users sharing an average of 80 million photos a day, Instagram has certainly become a visual platform for sharing content depicting beautiful destinations. Clearly, social media users have a strong appetite for escapism, which therefore influences important decisions about our future vacation destinations. But how can music producers and brands within the music industry take advantage of this wonderful opportunity? The answer is simple: music videos.

These days, the majority of touring artists bring a videographer with them to create content for social media. Therefore, they have the production capabilities and (hopefully) talent to film videos in collaboration with tourism boards. Here’s a step-by-step formula of how to work with a tourism board. Please note, some boards may decline working with you simply because they don’t need any content right now – so keep that in mind.

  1. Hire a videographer and establish a portfolio of social content. If you have the financial resources, buy a drone. This is because many tourism boards will want to publish beautiful drone shots of their destination. Plus, it gives you a massive advantage against potential competitors if you have more than just a simple camera.
  2. Establish a list of tourism boards that you wish to work with. Generally, it’s best to start locally, and expand internationally once you have a portfolio of work for multiple tourism boards.
  3. Find the contact information for each board. This is often located on their social media profiles or website.
  4. Create an engaging pitch towards them. Include a short bio about your success, your portfolio of videography, and any additional resources (such as drones) that you would be able to use. Offer use of your music in the video – so that they have a good soundtrack which would fit the style of the destination perfectly, e.g. tropical house would be great for sunny destinations such as Miami.

Of course, perfecting the pitch can be an extremely difficult task when pitching for the first time. Therefore, here is a quick example of a pitch for Visit Florida for you to check out:

“Hey Visit Florida,
How are you? I’m (insert alias) – a producer with (x) amount of views. Here’s a link to our most successful song:
(Insert track link).
Florida is such a beautiful place in the USA! Therefore, we would absolutely love to create some content for you that can be used as part of a tourism campaign! I’ve attached a link to our videography portfolio. We also have a drone that would be perfect for shots of Miami Beach and Key West etc. As we are musicians by nature, we would be more than happy to provide the music for the campaign so that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on licensing.
Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you soon to discuss further details.
All the best,
(insert name)
(Insert portfolio link)

Let’s take a run-through of why this example pitch would be effective when communicating with a tourism board:

  1. You have social credibility. By having a lot of views on your music, you essentially act as an influencer for the board. Plus, the stats on the video/song would make it easy to see the attention that your music can bring towards the state of Florida.
  2. Value exchange. By saying that “we would love to create content for you that can be used as part of a tourism campaign”, you are essentially positioning the pitch as them getting a lot of value from this deal. Additionally, the use of premium production tools such as drones are always a bonus during the content creation process.
  3. Understanding the client. Very often, large companies and tourism boards have to shell out thousands of dollars on music licensing for a project. But by understanding that they don’t want to spend loads of financial resources on a song, you are deploying empathy towards the potential client.
  4. Leaving the door open to discuss further. 99.9% of times, tourism boards will happily pay for expenses incurred during the production of a tourism campaign. However, that is something which is obviously discussed in the financial negotiations.

By offering video content and your music to a tourism board, artists are able to expand their portfolio, and practically eliminate the typical expenses incurred in the filming of a music video – due to a tourism board paying for it. Plus, the distribution that they would deploy across their social platforms would enable your song to have a lot of promotion within the local area. It’s a win-win situation.