If you caught MyVR’s presentation at the HomeAway Summit earlier this year, you’ll know I’m a fan of video; we included it on our list of minimal-effort activities that can have a medium-to-high impact on your marketing efforts.

I believe video can be quick, engaging and memorable. While professional video can be well worth the investment, even brief “home videos” can inspire wistful desire in would-be guests.

More than half of Americans own smartphones and chances are good that you have a video camera nearby — if not on your phone, then a digital camera with video capability.

Devices and tablets make working with digital video much more accessible than it has been in the past, from complex tools to basic apps that all but walk you through the process from start to finish. Here are a few of the more popular options.

Instagram, Vine and Viddy

Instagram (free; available on Android and iOS) is an app that is best used for creating short ‘teasers’ that highlight your space. The app require you to use your smartphone to take the video. Instagram Stories allow for 15-second videos while videos in the Timeline (main feed) allow 60-second videos with filters and image stabilization.

This clips aren’t long, but can still be used to give people a taste of what to expect. You could

iMovie and Magisto

For videos that stretch longer than just a few seconds, apps like iMovie ($4.99; available for iOS) and Magisto (free with paid options available; available on Android and iOS) give you a broader range of editing options: soundtracks and special effects, titles and transitions. If you’re creating a longer video, you may find it helpful to review these video tips and best practices.


When it comes to creating video, animated slideshows generally aren’t your best option; it’s easy for them to be too long, static and unengaging. However, Prezi (free with paid options available; cloud based) *is a popular option that lets you add life to still photos and graphics through an interactive interface that’s part diagram and part slideshow.

You can also add video to your Prezi, like this example from Telluride Vacation Rentals, or music, as in this presentation highlighting travel options in Maine.

These are just a selection of the many different options and applications available. Do you have a favorite? Have a presentation you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.