Early last year (date to the best of my knowledge) Youtube rolled out the ability to upload photos and turn them into a video/slideshow.
I think video is incredibly important for innkeepers, but may be cost prohibitive for many and the slideshow option, if you have some great pictures to showcase, is an easy and affordable alternative.
To elaborate on video a bit. Professional video for an inn tour is extremely important, I’ve seem too many home made videos done by B&Bs that unfortunately are somewhat cringeworthy, and from a guest perspective is not very enticing, so I would recommend if your going to do a inn tour, have it done right by a professional. On the flip side of that, videos including vine video, used for the capture of area things to do and see, are very appealing when done “in house” so to speak. With the availability of flipcams and smart phones, taking two minutes to do a short video of the sailboats on the nearby lake makes great Youtube fodder.
The photo slideshow offers everything (and a bit more) then the video feature. The ability to add a description, up to 5000 characters in length, keywords, music (that they provide) and some nice effects you can apply to the video/slideshow similar to a Powerpoint presentation. I haven’t found the limit on how many photos you can add, but you would of course want to be cognizant of how long the video would run.
To get to the option, go to your Youtube dashboard and then “Upload”. Still photos can be uploaded or they can be drawn from your Google+ profiles. They can then be rearranged into the order you want them in. Once the photos have been “processed” though you can’t rearrange them again, so think ahead on what you want to appear in what order.
A note when getting to the change effects page. If you go the change slide effects or transitions, wait for about 5 seconds before changing each option, it tends to glitch and then you have to start from scratch. Music can be added at this point as well as text overlays, both of which can be added after the fact as well once the slideshow has “processed”.
If you want to delete or add photos that appear as options, you need to be logged into your Google account and then visit https://picasaweb.google.com/home/.
The video can be public, private or viewed only by having the link/unique url.
I would recommend innkeepers explore this option, it’s extremely easy to use and Youtube videos can be used as content in a variety of places. Posted to Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Twitter, embedded into your website and blog and Pinned to Pinterest. Facebook also has the option of having a Youtube tab (my favorite application for this is http://woobox.com) which brings in all your Youtube videos and a featured one (that you can change). Plus Youtube is awesome for search engine optimization, so make sure you put a detailed description on your videos and add tags.