Charter brokers and charter providers have a lot of competition. And video is a great way to demonstrate why your company is the best choice. There are many ways to set your company apart!
The surprising truth about charter marketing is that the vast majority of aircraft charter customers really don’t care about the plane.
They care about safety, sure. And they care about the pilots and the people running their flight, and whether the plane will suit their needs.
But mainly, they care about getting themselves and their team or family where they’re going.
With their stuff.
As smoothly and conveniently as possible.
John and I talk about what charter customers REALLY want, and discuss several ways you can use video to tell the story of why your company is the best choice.
Transcript – Video Promos for Charter Marketing
Paula Williams: Welcome to our aviation marketing Podcast, the best selling aviation marketing Podcast in podcast history. Actually the only aviation marketing podcast.
John Williams: Which makes it the best.
Paula Williams: In podcast history, which makes it the best. So today we, we’re talking about aviation promo videos, some ideas for charter companies. This is one that we’re doing by popular demand. Since we started talking about video a couple of weeks ago, we gave some general information about how to do video. We’ve also had some really good podcasts on how to tell a story and things like that, but we’ve never drilled down to the nitty gritty of specific ideas that charter companies can do to promote their, business and whether they’re charter brokers or charter providers. Some of these little work for you. Right?
John Williams: Of course.
Brought to you by, our Content Marketing Service
Paula Williams: All right. So this episode is being brought to you by our content marketing program. People avoid advertising, but they seek out information and a lot of the videos that you are seeing on social media and other kinds of things are wreaking of advertising.
John Williams: Oh boy.
Paula Williams: And I think people, especially sophisticated business to business type folks and people that charter aircraft are developing a filter where they overlook advertising a lot of the time or they see through a lot of the glossy stuff that’s going on and we want to deliver something that’s a little bit more meaningful, specific and useful for them to make good decisions.
John Williams: And full of information.
Video is more popular than ever in aviation marketing, including charter.
Paula Williams: And full of information. Absolutely. So, our content marketing five years ago, if you were a content marketing subscriber with us, then most of the work that we were doing for you was writing press releases and articles and other kinds of things.
Now most of our clients are using a mix of different media and they’re moving more toward more video. So, we might do one press release every six months, the rest will be video and we’ll do five short videos or four per month, one per week, really short videos like a word of the week or question of the week or something along those lines is less than a minute.
So, there’s lots of ways that you can use the subscription that are really, really helpful to your business.
So, first thing is you don’t need a full video crew. This does not have to be super polished in order to be effective, even in the charter industry.
John Williams: You don’t need four cameras for four different views of the people that are involved in the video.
Paula Williams: There is a time and a place for great advertising. And if you have a position on the super bowl, for an advertisement, then you do want to hire the full video crew and get the hairdressers and makeup artists and the gaffers and grips and lighting people in the fuzzy microphones.
If that’s not the case, then there are some things that you can do that are just as effective or maybe more so.
Studio quality video for one five or 10 minute promo that uses the full video crew is going to run you a baseline of about $10,000 and generally speaking, that is just producing the video.
That’s not doing anything to help you promote it after the fact. So, that video, that Superbowl slot is going to cost you extra.
John Williams: That pretty suppose you’ve got a room or an office or some kind of building where you can do it. If you have to rent one, then it’s going to cost even more.
Paula Williams: Renting a studio. Exactly. So, that’s another thing you want to factor in.
So, what works better for the small to medium sized aviation companies that we typically work with is what we call real life quality videos.
“Real Life” quality is fine for some charter marketing tasks
Everybody has a pretty good camera nowadays or can get access to a pretty good camera nowadays or can have a local video crew come in with just one camera, one microphone and do some fairly simple photo shoots that are going to be a lot less expensive for you and based on that footage or we also use stock footage, stock photography, your photography, animation, slides, talking head video, other kinds of things that we’re going to talk about.
There’s a lot of ways to bring that cost down to get the benefits of using video and to provide your customers with really great information without spending that amount of money, but still getting just as good of results or maybe even better because you’re using a lot more videos over time.
John Williams: With respect to marketing you’re doing better.
Paula Williams: Exactly. All right, so if your goal is to sell stuff, that’s what we’re talking about. If your goal is to look good, then by all means go out and hire a video crew with the makeup artists and the lighting and everything.
Charter is not just the VIP luxury celebrity crowd.
All right. So, a lot of people who are in charter say, “Our competition is super high end. The videos that we’ve seen about charter that charter companies are producing are fabulous. We have to look like that in order to attract high net worth and ultra high net worth people. The kind of folks that can afford a charter flight are the kinds of folks that expect super high end luxurious glitz and glamor.” Totally get that sentiment. But I also disagree with it.
More than half of air charter is more about the destination than the journey.
This is not like luxury yacht charter, where luxury is the point of the experience, right?
So, your marketing plan needs to take that into account.
Most of the high net worth and ultra high net worth people that we work with are a lot… Especially the ones that use charter are not necessarily in it for the luxurious experience. They’re in it to get where they’re going really quickly.
John Williams: And securely.
Paula Williams: And securely. They’re in it for a number of things.
The top three things charter clients want
The top three being convenience, time-savings and privacy and security. And there might be some other items that they’re interested in. Luxury is way down on the list. These are not the champagne clinking Instagram, take my picture on a private jet kind of folks. Right?
John Williams: No. Well, I’ve been asked to set up a charter a couple of times by different folks.
Paula Williams: As a consult.
John Williams: None of them wanted anything. They’re looking for convenience and pick them up at this point A, drop them at point B wait for a week, up to a week and be on call like three hours ready to go.
Paula Williams: So-
John Williams: Privacy, security, time-savings, convenience.
Paula Williams: Exactly. And those are the business and government type charters and those types of folks. There’s also industrial charters and stuff like that. They’re still looking for convenience, time saving, some privacy and security.
The luxury VIP
There is the luxury market and that is a different thing than what we’re talking about in this video. But more than half of the charter traffic in the world falls into one of the categories that we’re talking about. And I don’t think you’ve ever once been asked?
John Williams: No, not for a celebrity.
Paula Williams: To have them remove all of the Skittles of one particular color from the candy bowl or to have a chilled bottle of champagne onboard.
John Williams: No.
Hint – they’re not looking for gold lavatory fixtures.
Paula Williams: Or gold fixtures in the lavatory. None of that?
John Williams: No.
Paula Williams: Okay, cool. Just checking. All right. So, the reality of high net worth and ultra high net worth people is often different than the perception of high net worth and ultra high net worth people.
John Williams: Exactly.
Paula Williams: And the folks that we work with, like I say, they’re real folks and they really don’t care about a lot of the things that we would consider the luxuries of charter. They really just want the convenience, time savings and privacy and security.
So, if you know your list, and I’m going to recommend here that you drill down a lot more than most charter companies do. Most people are shooting for too big of a list for their marketing budget.
So, the bigger your marketing budget, the bigger your list can be.
The smaller your marketing budget, the more effective it is to specialize.
The smaller your marketing budget, the more you’re going to need to specialize in order to be effective to a specific market.
So, for example, some charter companies specialize in sportsman who want to carry their weapons to a particular shooting location or something like that, or scuba divers or oil and gas exploration or industrial or whatever that specialty is or scenes spotting for movies where they have a very specific set of requirements.
So, if you can specialize in something that a market wants and be the charter company for that
Paula Williams: Exactly. So, and that leads to what is your offer?
What do you provide that no one else can?
And the presentation is the video itself.
Most of the video production companies are going to spend most of the time on presentation and zero time on the list and the offer.
But that’s really where the money is, is in the list and the offer and how well do you present your offer to that list? All right. That being said, your video has to be good. The presentation side, we come down to this.
What story can you tell that really shows your offer in a good light? Can you do a customer story? Can you do a people’s story? Can you do a process story?
John Williams: What can you do to answer a question, ask a question at the beginning and answer it at the end. Have a beginning, a middle, and an end of your presentation so that your video makes some sense even if it is one minute or five minutes. You want to include branding so that this video looks like you and so that they remember not just the video, but who is behind it and what company to call. And the third thing is the call to action. What do you want them to do after having seen your video?
Paula Williams: Exactly.
Show your geographic specialty with an animated map.
John Williams: So, some things that you can do as a charter broker, charter provider, charter consultant, any of those things, maps.
So, you probably have a geographical area that you specialize in and you know it better than anybody else and you become the authority on that area and you know how long it takes to fly from here to there and what the best routes are and the best situation for your customers to save them time hassles, in terms of customs and whatever and money and convenience.
You would be surprised that how difficult it is to set up a charter because you can’t get the information from the website, you can’t get the information when you call them and they all want to sell you on something different and not what you want.
Paula Williams: And in my experience anyway, and probably yours as well, and you have more than I do, charter customers already know what they want and you’re not going to talk them out. They just want what they want. They want to go where they want to go.
John Williams: And how, when and where.
Paula Williams: So, the key becomes how do you provide that to them in that particular way.
So, if your specialty as an example is helicopter charter to oil and gas, rigs. Then you need to know the area, you need to know the models of the aircraft, you need to know what kind of equipment your customers are likely to want to take to and from, you need to know what the size of the crew is. You need to know all of those things about your industry and you need to become that specialist problem solver.
Specialize in a market or activity
John Williams: You certainly don’t want an executive layout on your helicopter if you’re going to be carrying boxes of tools and dirty guys out there.
And weirdly a lot of people are so afraid that if I limit my… I Want to make a really general website or I want to make a really general offer of charter services.
The problem with that is that everybody does that. So, if you can narrow your market, you actually get more business. So, it sounds counterintuitive to have a smaller market but get more business from it.
But what it means is that you’re saturating that small market better than you would by using a large market. So, the videos that you produce should be about your specialty and there’s a lot of stock footage that you can get about oil rigs and there, situation about the local geography, about the things that your customers care about.
There’s a lot that you can do to really indicate your specialty or your expertise in that area. All right. Scuba diving. This is really fun. This was from Honduras a few years ago. This was when I was getting certified and this is our instructor from Belize, he was actually a real Navy retired-
John Williams: Retired.
Paula Williams: Guy, super calm. He would sit there and we didn’t get any video of this, I wish we had. Sitting there in the Lotus position, like this blowing air rings out of his tank while he’s waiting for me to get my crap together and get my stuff on and do all the things that I’m supposed to do for the certification test.
John Williams: And he’d say, “Calm down.”
Paula Williams: Exactly. He’s just like, “It’s fine. Everything is fine. We’re not going to get excited about anything. We’re just going to go through our checklist and get things done.” So, he would have been a great flight instructor with that attitude if he knew anything about flying.
But anyway, people who scuba dive have very specific needs for flying to specific locations. They want to take their equipment with them. They have a party size of however many people including their dive buddies they have. If they’re industrial divers, they’ve got an even more specific set of equipment and things, some of which is really bizarre in terms of
Show that you understand your niche or industry
John Williams: Industrial divers are even another breed.
Paula Williams: So, the more you can know about that specialty and about that area and about those types of things, the better you can serve that market. Of course, there’s a lot of rules about you can only fly for so many hours after you have done a dive the things like that. If you know that you can talk to scuba divers in a lot more helpful way and help them plan their excursions in a way that helps them get more out of that time that they have.
Once again, time is their most important consideration. Another specialty is skiing and this is John and Michelle and me. You can’t tell who we are because it’s cold. This is at the top of… This is Park City? No, Snowbird.
John Williams: Snowbird.
Paula Williams: Right. It was really cold that day and this is at the top of the mountain where it’s super cold so we’re all covered up. But skiers want to go specific places. They want to carry specific equipment and they have specific scheduling situations because they want to be there when the weather is best for skiing. Powder days are gold to people. You only get so many of those in your lifetime and you want to make the most of them.
So, if you know the weather in your local area and you know how to get people where they want to be on those Bluebird powder days, then your gold as far as being a charter broker, a travel planner, which is really what those are these days is a really high end concierge for people who want to do these kinds of things.
Tell your origin story
Someone had a problem and they wanted to solve it. This is what they’re really good at.
And, so just like the Spider-Man is really good at swinging from buildings because he was bit by a radioactive spider. That wouldn’t make any sense to us if we didn’t know his origin story. It just wouldn’t be that interesting.
So, knowing your origin story is really cool.
Knowing about your people. So, maybe your people are scuba divers or skiers or golfers or bicycle racers or worked in a particular industry for some amount of time so that you’ve got that expertise.
Talk about your people
And he built these one five 25th scale Aircraft Models, which is fascinating.
Who does that, right?
John Williams: He does.
Paula Williams: He does. I mean there’s some people that do these train sets dioramas and things like that.
He does this with airplanes. There are people in your organization who are just as fascinating and telling people about those with a video is a really great way of doing that. The best form of advertising or the best form of video that perform absolute hands down over everything else is a happy customer story.
So, if you’ve got someone that you have solved a problem for, you’ve given them a great experience and they’re willing to go on video and either you interviewing them or we interviewing them or whatever happens to get them on video talking about what they did for you.
That is the gold standard of marketing these days. People don’t necessarily believe what we say about you or what you say about yourself, but they believe what your customers say about you.
John Williams: Every time.
Paula Williams: So, we’ve done some recent podcasts about customer testimonials and the written ones are good, but the video ones are just total gold, right?
John Williams: Absolutely.
Paula Williams: And this contradicts what we said earlier, privacy is a concern for some of these folks.
For some of these folks, it’s not, they may be car dealers or doctors or be in an industry where they need to get places really quickly. And if you can help them, especially if it’s a joint marketing situation, where you’ve got maybe a manufacturer of parts that got the part and a technician to a factory in time to save the day, that’s something they’re going to want to talk about and that you’re going to want to talk about.
Charter marketing with happy customer stories
So, those are the kinds of stories you want to look for, something that’s going to benefit you and your customer. So, there’s always opportunities for happy customer stories. It may not be every client every time, but they do happen.
John Williams: Yes they do.
Let us help you!
Paula Williams: So, this episode was brought to you by our content marketing product.
People avoid advertising, but they seek out information. And that holds true to video in particular I think. Glossy videos are great, but real videos are even more effective a lot of times.
Paula Williams: Absolutely. So, thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next week.
John Williams: See you next time.