Tag Archives: contest

The Power of Visual Storytelling: Responses

visual storytelling responses

Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, authors of the book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand remind us that anything can happen at a moment’s notice online. Companies need to identify common occurrences, both positive and negative.  It means looking for opportunities to create visual storytelling responses all around us.  Some strategies include:


  • Understand the most important factors that can influence sales and customer leads
  • Weather may be an important theme to craft content around
  • At key times of the year, companies can announce awards, rankings, events, speeches, partnerships, and make other announcements
  • Understand the most frequently asked service inquiries and comments, both positive and negative
  • Develop a robust content library to allow time for real-time opportunities
  • The best storytellers play off their audience responses to hit the message home
  • Extend the life of conversations and engagement as long as it is relevant
  • Look at the content fans are sharing each day

While on the topic of user generated content, there is a higher barrier to engagement if it is not natural for fans to share visual content.  Reward sharing behavior with a campaign, contest, and/or rewards.  Look for themes in the most common types of photos, videos, hashtags, and sentiment.

Choose a clear call to action such as a unique hashtag available across all social media channels.  Make full disclosure to customers how and where their photos and videos will be shared.  Highlight examples to show a range of creativity.  Give rewards and recognition by having an “image of the week” or randomly sending a thank you.

Customers can share their own content through videos shared on social networks like YouTube, Instagram, and the Vine.  Look at your content calendar to determine which video(s) will help tell your visual story in a way that other media cannot.  Think about your target audience, desired end goals, and what resources are available.  Evaluate the needs of your audience and show off your personality.  Mix up the content to a variety of different types and lengths of videos. Common videos include:

  • Announcements
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Case studies
  • Celebrity partnerships
  • Community involvement
  • Company overview
  • Demos
  • Event highlights
  • FAQs
  • Goals
  • How-to
  • Live streams
  • Office tours
  • Parodies
  • Testimonials
  • Video blogs
  • Visual portfolios

Fan shared content as well as company made videos can show another side to a business. The key is to make the most of what customers are saying about you.


Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Contests Create Customers

contests create customers

Did you realize that your holding a contest could actually bring you more business? Contests create customers. People love winning things and it will bring more visitors to your website.  If they do win, they tell all their friends about your bed and breakfast.  Even if they do not win, they may decide to become your guests anyway after reading all about your B&B on your website and blog.


First, I will mention two actual contests. Then I will share my ideas for other types of contests to promote your bed and breakfast.

Go to the contests page at BBOnline.com.  In January of 2014, the Parish Patch Farm and Inn in Normandy, Tennessee is offering a contest where the winner will receive 2 free nights after answering seven questions about the inn and an additional tie-breaker question asking you to guess on how many light bulbs are in the Inn Library.

Lifetime movies has a contest to win a stay at the Borden Bed and Breakfast because Lifetime has a television movie about the life of Lizzie Borden that is premiering on January 25.  The contest runs from January 6 to January 15, 2014.


15 entries per person/email address per day
Prize: (1 winner) 3-day/2-night trip for winner and one (1) guest to Fall River, Massachusetts to visit and stay at the Borden Bed and Breakfast, the childhood home of Lizzie Borden. The guest traveler should be at least eighteen (18) years of age and if the winner is under twenty-one (21), the guest must be his/her parent or legal guardian. Trip includes round trip coach airfare to and from a major gateway airport nearest winner’s home city (as determined in Sponsor’s sole discretion), double occupancy standard hotel accommodations for 2-nights at the Borden Bed and Breakfast and a cash gift card of $1,500 or the same amount in cash to cover meals and ground transportation.

You could decide to do any number of type of merit-based contests such as:

  • the best essay on why someone wants to visit your bed and breakfast
  • the best pet photo
  • the best drawing/painting of the outside of your bed and breakfast
  • the best video commercial of your inn or a video about why someone should prefer to stay at a bed and breakfast over a hotel.

If you decide to do a merit-based contest, it is a good idea to require that the winner must be willing to share their entry on your website.  That way you can post their essay, photo, drawing, painting, or commercial on your website.  Be sure to state if you will not be able to return their entries if that is the case. Good luck and have fun with it.  Contests create customers so they are a great way to promote your bed and breakfast.


Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography