Does It Make Sense To Do Your Own Creative?

It’s an age of DIY (do-it-yourself), where technologies and platforms emerge every day that help today’s Average Joe to things that yesterday’s Average Joe couldn’t even think about doing without hiring a professional.

In scenarios where expectations are minimal, stakes are low and budgets are tight, DIY can make a lot of sense. Let’s say your high school reunion is coming up, and you’re in charge of putting together a “back in the day” video or slide show. Unless you’ve got an unusually large budget or you went to a high school with 47 people who later become filmmakers, the choice to use your computer’s free movie-making and photo applications, instead of hiring a professional production company, is probably a sound one.

However, if you’re applying the same rationale to the creative assets you need for your tourism or entertainment business , you’re going to run into trouble. Or at the very least, you’ll find that the massive amount of time and mental energy you spent creating something yourself (or directing a less-than-qualified employee to do so) will rarely, if ever, be worth the dollars you saved by not hiring a pro.

For example:

Photography: No matter how much you need it, or how many times you try it, you’re never going to get that gorgeous nighttime aerial shot of your town’s historic district with your $100 point-and-shoot camera and no gear or lighting equipment.

Copywriting: Sure, you can put words on paper yourself. But do you know how to construct each ad, each website article, each Facebook post in a way that’s designed to speak to your best customer and increase your chance of conversions?

Video Production: The amount of time your marketing director will spend trying to figure out how to upload poor-quality DIY video to various platforms will probably result in nothing but frustration and low exposure for your efforts.

This notion that “DIY is not always a good idea” is especially true for tourism and entertainment brands. Even if you see businesses all around you who are doing their own photography, video, logo design, or social media, it’s important to remember two things:

One: Doing doesn’t equal success.
Just because other businesses are going DIY doesn’t mean that they are seeing any return on their DIY investment. Assuming you don’t run into a legal issue no one is going to stop you from posting photos taken on your marketing director’s smart phone to your website. (By the way, legal compliance issues are yet another reason it’s worth it to hire creative pros.)

But are you going to lose out on conversions – visitors who come to your site and then end up booking a reservation – because of the poor quality of your site’s images? In many cases, there’s a good chance the answer is yes.

Two: Tourism and entertainment brands have different considerations.
If your business is a restaurant, amusement park, or tourism bureau – and you’ve worked there for more than 5 minutes – you’re already keenly aware of the fact that you have to fight harder for your customer’s dollars than other types of businesses. That’s because your product offering falls into the “nice to have” rather than the “need to have” category.

Some businesses can get away with homegrown photography, video, and logo design because they are the “only game in town” or because people have to buy their products in order to complete essential tasks, like getting school supplies for their kids, putting tires on their cars, or feeding their family. Those customers are more focused on motivations like value and convenience – as opposed to your customers who have to decide if they want to spend money and time to buy your non-essential product.

But in the case of tourism and entertainment brands, you not only have to make the case for choosing your brand over a competitor, you have to make the case for rationalizing the purchase in the first place. If I’m a customer trying to make a decision about whether or not I want to spend the money to come to your steakhouse, do you think I’m going to be swayed in my decision if all of the images on your website or social media are completely unappetizing?

The fact is, tourism, entertainment and leisure brand often to have to work little bit harder than other kinds of brands to make a sale. Given all that – why would you ever want to settle for anything less than top notch, professional visuals and marketing content?

Need help making a case for professional creative? Try learning to talk like your CFO. Ready to invest in great creative? Contact us.