5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]

5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]

Do you take a good, hard look at your team’s marketing strategy every year?

You should. An annual marketing plan helps you set your marketing on the right course to make your company’s business goals a reality. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth.

Without one, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you’ll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan.

Keep in mind there are variations to the marketing plan you need, depending on your industry and the goals of your marketing team. To make your plan’s creation easier, we’ve put together a list of what to include in your plan and a few different planning templates where you can easily fill in the blanks.

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template

To start, let’s dive into how to create a marketing plan and then take a look at what a high-level marketing plan has inside.

In this article, we’re going to discuss: 

1. Conduct a situation analysis.

Before you can get started with your marketing plan, you have to know your current situation.

What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Conduct a basic SWOT analysis is the first step to creating a marketing plan.

Additionally, you should also have an understanding of the current market. How do you compare to your competitors? Doing a competitor analysis should help you with this step.

Think about how other products are better than yours. Plus, consider the gaps in a competitor’s approach. What are they missing? What can you offer that’ll give you a competitive advantage? Think about what sets you apart.

Answering questions like this should help you figure out what your customer wants, which brings us to step number two.

2. Define your target audience.

Once you have a better understanding of the market and your company’s situation, make sure you know who your target audience is.

If your company already has buyer personas, this step might just mean you have to refine your current personas.

If you don’t have a buyer persona, you should create one. To do this, you might have to conduct market research.

Your buyer persona should include demographic information such as age, gender, and income. However, it will also include psychographic information such as pain points and goals. What drives your audience? What problems do they have that your product or service can fix?

Once you have this information written out, it’ll help you define what your goals are, which brings us to step number three.

3. Write SMART goals.

My mother always used to tell me, “You can’t go somewhere unless you have a road map.” Now, for me, someone who’s geographically challenged, that was literal advice.

However, it can also be applied metaphorically to marketing. You can’t improve your ROI unless you know what your goals are.

After you’ve figured out your current situation and know your audience, you can begin to define your SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that all your goals should be specific and include a time frame for which you want to complete it.

For example, your goal could be to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months. Depending on your overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Additionally, this goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.

Before you start any tactic, you should write out your goals. Then, you can begin to analyze which tactics will help you achieve that goal. That brings us to step number four.

4. Analyze your tactics.

At this point, you’ve written down your goals based on your target audience and current situation.

Now, you have to figure out what tactics will help you achieve your goals. Plus, what are the right channels and action items to focus on.

For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your tactics might include hosting a giveaway, responding to every comment, and posting three times on Instagram per week.

Once you know your goals, brainstorming several tactics to achieve those goals should be easy.

However, while you’re writing your tactics, you have to keep your budget in mind, which brings us to step number five.

5. Set your budget.

Before you can begin implementing any of your ideas that you’ve come up with in the steps above, you have to know your budget.

For example, your tactics might include social media advertising. However, if you don’t have the budget for that, then you might not be able to achieve your goals.

While you’re writing out your tactics, be sure to note an estimated budget. You can include the time it’ll take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets you might need to purchase, such as ad space.

Now that you know how to create your marketing plan, let’s dive into the elements that a high-level marketing plan should include.

Marketing Plan Outline

Marketing plans can get quite granular to reflect the industry you’re in, whether you’re selling to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), and how big your digital presence is. Nonetheless, here are the elements every effective marketing plan includes:

1. Business Summary

In a marketing plan, your Business Summary is exactly what it sounds like: a summary of the organization. This includes:

  • The company name
  • Where it’s headquartered
  • Its mission statement

2. Business Initiatives

The Business Initiatives element of a marketing plan helps you segment the various goals of your department. Be careful not to include big-picture company initiatives, which you’d normally find in a business plan. This section of your marketing plan should outline the projects that are specific to marketing. You’ll also describe the goals of those projects and how those goals will be measured.

3. Customer Analysis

Here’s where you’ll conduct some basic market research. If your company has already done a thorough market research study, this section of your marketing plan might be easier to put together.

Ultimately, this element of your marketing plan will help you describe the industry you’re selling to and your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer, focusing on traits like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Title
  • Goals
  • Personal challenges
  • Pains
  • Triggering events

4. Competitor Analysis

Your buyer persona has choices when it comes to solving their problems, choices in both the types of solutions they consider and the providers that can administer those solutions. In your market research, you should consider your competition, what they do well, and where the gaps are that you can potentially fill. This can include:

  • Positioning
  • Market share
  • Offerings
  • Pricing

5. SWOT Analysis

Your marketing plan’s Business Summary also includes a SWOT analysis, which stands for the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Be patient with your business’s SWOT analysis; you’ll write most of it based on your market research from the sections above and your strategy below.

6. Market Strategy

Your Market Strategy uses the information included in the above sections to describe how your company should approach the market. What will your business offer your buyer personas that your competitors aren’t already offering them?

In a full-length marketing plan, this section can contain the “seven Ps of marketing”:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence

(You’ll learn more about these seven sub-components inside our free marketing plan template, which you can download below.)

7. Budget

Don’t mistake the Budget element of your marketing plan with your product’s price or other company financials. Your budget describes how much money the business has allotted the marketing team to pursue the initiatives and goals outlined in the elements above.

Depending on how many individual expenses you have, you should consider itemizing this budget by what specifically you’ll spend your budget on. Example marketing expenses include:

  • Outsourcing costs to a marketing agency and/or other providers
  • Marketing software
  • Paid promotions
  • Events (those you’ll host and/or attend)

8. Marketing Channels

Lastly, your marketing plan will include a list of your marketing channels. While your company might promote the product itself using certain ad space, your marketing channels are where you’ll publish the content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads awareness of your brand.

If you publish (or intend to publish) on social media, this is the place to talk about it. Use the Marketing Channels section of your marketing plan to lay out which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you’ll use this social network for, and how you’ll measure your success on this network. Part of this section’s purpose is to prove to your superiors, both inside and outside the marketing department, that these channels will serve to grow the business.

Businesses with extensive social media presences might even consider elaborating on their social strategy in a separate social media plan template.

9. Financial Projections

Knowing the budget and doing analysis on the marketing channels you want to invest in, you should be able to come up with a plan for how much budget to invest in which tactics based on expected ROI. From there, you’ll be able to come up with financial projections for the year. These won’t be 100% accurate but can help with executive planning.

Free Marketing Plan Template [Word]

Now that you know what to include in your marketing plan, it’s time to grab your marketing plan template and see how best to organize the six elements explained above. The following marketing plan template opens directly in Microsoft Word, so you can edit each section as you see fit:

Cover page of free marketing plan template

Download your marketing plan template here.

Social Media Marketing Plan Templates

As marketing departments grow, so will their presence on social media. And as as their social media presence grows, so will their need to measure, plan, and re-plan what types of content they want to publish across each network.

If you’re looking for a way to deepen your social media marketing strategy — even further than the marketing plan template above — the following collection of social media marketing plan templates is perfect for you:

Download 10 social media reporting templates here.

In the above collection of marketing plan templates, you’ll get to fill in the following contents (and more) to suit your company:

  • Annual social media budget tracking
  • Weekly social media themes
  • Required social media image dimension key
  • Pie chart on social media traffic sorted by platform
  • Social media post calendar and publish time

Below, let’s review the social media reporting templates, and what you’ll find in each one.

1. Social Media Questions

Social media publishing analysis and questions.

This template lists out questions to help you decide which social media management platform you should use.

Once you know what social media tactics you’re going to implement in your marketing plan, it’s time to figure out what channels are right for you. This template will help you do that.

2. Hashtag Holidays

Social media hashtag holidays.

If you’re going to lean in to social media in your marketing plan, you can use hashtag holidays to generate ideas.

These holidays are a great way to fill out your social media publishing schedule. With this template, you’ll get a list of all the hashtag holidays for the year.

3. Facebook Live Schedule

Facebook live schedule template.

If Facebook live is one of the marketing tactics in your plan, this template will help you design an editorial calendar. With this template, you can organize what Facebook live’s you want to do and when.

4. Instagram Post Log

Instagram post log for social media publishing management.

Are you going to begin using Instagram regularly? Do you want to increase your following? With this template, you can organize your Instagram posts, so everyone on your team knows what posts are going live and when.

Additionally, you can organize your assets and campaigns on this doc.

5. Paid Social Media Template

paid social media template for annual budgeting

With this template, you can organize your annual and monthly budget for your paid social media calendar.

6. Social Media Audit

Social media audit template.

Conducting a social media audit? You can use this template to help you gather the right analytics.

7. Social Media Editorial Calendar

Social media editorial calendar template.

With this template, you can organize your social media editorial calendar. For example, you can include social media posts for each platform, so your team knows what’s going live on any given day.

8. Social Media Image Sizes

Social media image size template.

With this template, your team can have the latest social media image sizes handy. This template includes image sizes for all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

9. Social Media Marketing Proposal

Social media marketing proposal template.

With this template, you can create an entire social media marketing proposal. This will outline the social media goals, scope of the work, and the tactics that you plan to implement.

10. Social Media Reporting Template

Social media report template.

With this template, you’ll gain access to a slidedeck that includes templates for social media reporting. If you plan to implement social media in your marketing plan, these reporting templates can help you track your progress.

Simple Marketing Plan Template

Of course, this type of planning takes a lot of time and effort. So if you’re strapped for time before the holidays, give our new Marketing Plan Generator a try. This tool simplifies yearly planning and lays your strategies, initiatives, and goals out in a simple template so you can identify what’s most important for the coming year.

Try our free Marketing Plan Generator here.

Once you’ve filled in your information, you’ll come away with a plan that helps you:

  • Outline your annual marketing strategy
  • Identify your most important annual initiatives
  • Nix the projects that won’t help you hit your goals
  • Track the right metrics throughout the year
  • Align your team through a common mission

Pro Tip: The best way to set up your marketing plan for the year is to start with quick wins first, that way you can ramp up fast and set yourself (and your team) up to hit more challenging goals and take on more sophisticated projects by Q4. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give it a spin?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Marketing Plan Template

12 Video Marketing Tips to Fetch Outstanding Success in the Tough Competition

12 Video Marketing Tips to Fetch Outstanding Success in the Tough Competition

If you ask someone which is the best content format for engagement and hype in the digital realm, without batting an eyelid the person would answer, “Video”! Yes, video content is the most favored and used content marketing format these days and there’s no stopping to it. And thus, marketers everywhere crave for robust Video Marketing tips. Anyone spending a significant amount of time on the Internet can swear and tell that videos have taken the lead position in the types of contents people enjoy.

Last year was entirely video’s. Video contents ruled 2017 and we got to see an overflow in the varieties of videos. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, these leading social media and online video streaming platforms were flooded with the number of videos uploaded. If you look at the stats, your jaw will drop. 500+ million people watch videos on Facebook every day! And globally, video traffic will reach 82% by 2021, this is an increase from 73% in 2016. To strengthen our stance, let’s check out these amazing stats, that prove video marketing is spreading like a wildfire.

  • 82% of Twitter users watch videos on Twitter
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
  • 73% of marketers say that video gets the best ROI
  • 87% of online marketers use marketing videos as they find videos to be effective for brand awareness

Not long back, videos were considered to be just ‘extra’ that was nice to have but not actually needed, and now it is imperative for business success. This had to happen of course. Given the change in the taste of people, graphics and texts alone cannot make it big.

Considering the colossal amount of attention and applause videos are receiving, we must gear ourselves with all the trends and tips for the rest of 2018 and beyond. Because it is a universal truth that, each day algorithms, trends and preferences change. All of these culminates into a question, how to succeed with video marketing in this time of Big Data and continuous production of millions of video contents?

Creating marketing videos do not come cheap, so we must shift all our focus on getting the most of it. You may post your videos on your company website and share it on social channels. But what can you do beyond that to smell the success in video marketing? As a business owner, you must be aware of the trends in the videos people see, like square videos are less liked by the audience than horizontal videos.

Another trend is the sudden popularity of live videos. By now we all know that producing videos for social media channels are not just for the sake of engagement, but have a far-reaching effect on any business. Having videos at your disposal sets the stage for you and puts you in an advanced position than your competitors yet lagging behind.


We have compiled a total of 12 tested and tried video marketing tips that can bring you success and will work for your business in 2018 and beyond. Try these out and see the difference in your video marketing campaign analytics.

1. Don’t ‘Share’, ‘Post’ your Videos Natively

So you are all set with your highly engaging video. Start posting it on every relevant social media channel owing to the growing usage of social media these days. Don’t stop yourself to one or two channels only, find all the platform you assume to be optimal and post your videos there. Keep in mind to ‘post’ them, and not just ‘share’. Posting your videos as native content will fetch  10X more shares than YouTube links.

Sharing YouTube links don’t work much as compared to posting your videos natively on Facebook or other platforms. A direct feature in your audience’s feed has almost 135% increase in organic reach than third party links. Also, you can create a video roll or a video gallery when you post your videos on a single platform, that’s much easier for your audience to navigate the contents.

You may also choose a featured content if you may, edit the videos, choose an apt thumbnail, enable autoplay, incorporate the subtitles in your preferred language and also put a call to action urging the viewers to act.

2. Put Captions or Subtitles for better Audience retention and SEO

Most of the videos we post on the social media channels play automatically without sound until the ‘unmute’ button is clicked. So isn’t it better to let your audience comprehend what’s going on in the video before they watch it with sound? Captioning your video and translating it into another language that your audience prefers, is a good way to charm your audience.

Captions or subtitles help a lot to understand the motive of a video or a film, and that’s the reason all the regional movies we get to see in the global Film Festivals, have subtitles. In fact, you might be surprised to know that 80% of viewers, who have no hearing loss, prefer videos with subtitles. Though one may argue how come people so prefer captions and subtitles in the times of visual contents. Well, we have got the answers for you.

Yes, it’s true that the human brain perceives visuals more than texts, but sometimes when the text is in sync with what’s going onscreen, texts do help. It is easier to understand the visuals, as well as the narration if we have the captions at our disposal. And not only this, having captions in your videos add to your SEO arsenal too. Because you are giving the search engines spiders something to crawl and rank you in the search results. Your videos would rank better with subtitles as you are helping Google (or any other search engine) in indexing and relevance.

3. You just have 3 seconds

Thanks to the evolving technology, we now have an attention span less than that of a goldfish! Sounds amusing right? But this fact could be detrimental for your video to perform adequately amongst your audience. You just have 3 to 5 seconds in your hand to grab their attention and make a mark in their mind. Your target audience expects that you kindle their interest, but fast enough. So, you need a good hook to keep them hooked.

Stunning visuals, a highly engaging content and a thrilling background score – Your ingredients for a short but sweet video that grabs the audience’s attention within seconds. Videos that tickle your funny bone get the more shares and likes because they have a charisma to grab people’s attention right from the beginning. No wonder why prank videos are such hits on Facebook!

And with Instagram joining the league with IGTV, your video marketing could go to the next level, but with videos under 60 seconds.

4. Place your Branding through Storytelling

Often aspirant marketers, who have just taken up video marketing, forget one thing. This mode of marketing is not always about bragging about one’s brand or driving sales. Video marketing is a way to generate awareness about your brand through a series of stories. Stories that are not purely focused on salesy topics, and which connects with the audience. Create the script in such a way that they resonate with your audience making them feel familiar with the situation shown in the video. This is one of the most vital video marketing tips that a marketer must keep in mind.

Know how to put your brand message and how your brand can help them through storytelling that they enjoy. Don’t always push your latest promotion on social media, rather reach out and engage. Play on their psyche while they relax and show something they find connecting with them. Thereby you can generate brand awareness, because Facebook or other social media platforms are all about raising brand awareness and not direct response.


5. Share more Live Videos along with the pre-recorded ones 

Talking about shining in video marketing in 2018 and beyond, go Live! Yes, live videos are all the rage nowadays and have a greater outreach than any other form of videos. Why are people going gaga over live videos? What secret sauce do they have in them? All because of the personal touch. The more there’s a personal touch, the higher is the connection. And the more a connection gets intimate; your videos tend to have a higher chance of carving a niche of them.

Live videos are the best form of creating a personal connection with your audience, because what they see is what they get. Live videos are excellent engagement tools because there are no hour-long editings involved. It’s more like an uncut or unpolished version of what you what to show to your audience. Be it a product launch, or promotion for a new release, or a behind the scene of your company. This touch of real-time factor works so well for this generation.

You may also opt for a live Q&A session that will gather some substantial momentum from your target audience. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories are all being used by individuals and companies like hot cakes, so why don’t you leverage these tools too! Find out the marketing influencers of your field and go for a live interview with them and webcast it. Your subscriber base will hit it big.

6. Bring your Videos to Full Circle… Err, Square!

Everything is changing. Even the pace of change is changing. The world has taken a drastic shift towards mobile from desktop. Hence your videos must cater to the available real estate on the screen of a smartphone. Square videos with an aspect ratio of 1:1 are now a vital part of video watching on smartphones. These videos are gradually outperforming landscape videos as the former cover more screen space at one time – 78%. Thus views, likes, shares, and lastly engagement are much higher pertaining to square videos.

So as your video marketing strategy for 2018 and the coming years, start optimizing your videos changing the aspect ratio to square, as people are 67% more likely to engage with a square video than a horizontal one.

7. Create Videos around the most Common Marketing Mistakes people make

To err is human. So it is quite reasonable for people to make mistakes. Similarly, several marketers make such blunders that cost them heavily. Find out the most common mistakes people do while they start using the Internet for marketing, or while they take up social media marketing. Talk about those mistakes in your videos, and offer solutions to them. This is a highly significant topic to be made into a video that will elevate your stature to a marketing expert.

Because when you talk about blunders and how to avoid them, you fix your position as an expert in that particular field. This increases your fan base who are in a desperate search for a solution. Thus driving them to come to you and watch your videos more and more. For 2018 and the years to come, start planning to create video contents that emphasize common blunders and how to avoid them. A small step from you can lead to a big leap for your business altogether.

8. Apply relevant Keywords in your script and optimize

Give something to the search engine spiders to crawl upon. This links back to point number 2 where I had suggested to include captions or subtitles so that the crawlers get relevant texts to crawl upon. As we all know, for a good page ranking we have to satisfy the algorithms of a search engine. To get this done you must optimize your videos in such a manner that they show up in the search results.

How would you do it? Stack your script with relevant keywords that both your users and search engines will find useful. Don’t use them too much or it will be superfluous. Find a perfect balance to put your keywords for indexing purpose. And since YouTube is the biggest online video streaming platform, ranking higher on the platform is the most coveted thing today. The more you rank high, the better is your chance of getting seen by your audience and your success in video marketing.


9. Find out the actual purpose you want to serve with the Videos

Ask yourself, why exactly you watch a video? What do you expect from a video to offer you? Be in the shoes of your audience and understand the ultimate purpose you want to serve with your contents. Whether you aware them about your brand, or generate trust through a video testimonial of a happy clients! Or do you want to promote an upcoming event? Find out the purpose you are investing in your videos. Get the sense of what exactly goes inside the audience’s head while they watch your contents.

Only then you would get a solid traction from your audience. The art of storytelling goes a long way and has been a proven factor to arouse interest. Use the storytelling art and keep your script informative but in a narrative manner. Once your videos start serving the actual purpose, relationships will build and engagements will happen.

10. How-To Videos or Process Videos bring more Visibility

Show a process or a strategy through your videos that help the users achieve a task or a goal. Often people find themselves at a loss as to how to proceed with something they want to. At that moment, if your video gives those answers and shows the process, definitely you will get more views. Standing in 2018, one can swear and tell that it’s way challenging to cope up with the trends. Trends that change with every passing day.

A process video or a “How-To” video guides a person and shows a linear way to accomplish a task. It may be showing a step by step process to create a YouTube account, or a handy guide to create some DIY stuff. Or maybe a process to drive your leads to your sales funnel. Or it can be a stepwise process video showing how to use After Effects properly. It can be anything. Gear up and start planning for your next process video to bring more visibility to your brand.

11. Create Videos with Emotion, not just Marketing Message

For a remarkable video marketing success, one must create videos that ooze with emotion, entertainment and information. Striking a perfect balance between the three is the key. A video content that plays on the emotional quotient of a viewer is certain to be liked and shared. More than a video that focuses only on sales pitching and a terse topic devoid of any emotion. Showing a heartwarming story through your video will hook the audience till the end because they will wait to find what happens in the end. So apart from marketing videos, also publish videos that touch the heart, not only the brain!

12. Don’t forget to include CTAs in your Videos

Do you want your audience to sign up your weekly newsletters? Or download a promo coupon? Or should they visit your website? For every action, your video must have a CTA button. A strong call to action acts as a launchpad for the viewers to take their action in a jiffy. Hold the CTA text on a still frame with a single color background highlighting the text. Include a CTA within the first 10 seconds of the video. The last few seconds can also be used.

Placement of an apt CTA, aka, Call -To -Action is of paramount importance these days. And as the competition tightens, the more you urge people to take action is better. Don’t let people forget you as soon as the video ends, instead keep a permanent mark in their mind. In any case, don’t ignore these actionable texts as those will help in conversion.

Wrapping Up!

There is no fixed formula or marketing tip to smell success in Video Marketing. It is a thing of persistence and patience. You must keep on trying till you reach the summit. But yes, you must ensure that your methods and techniques involved are correct and on the track. More and more people are shifting to video contents alike so your effort should entail engagement and connection. Build trust and relationship through contents that really matter to your target audience.

If you think video marketing is tough and yields no fruitful result, you would make a mistake. It is all about organizing and planning your steps before entering the battlefield. With a proper strategy you can make your pre-production and post-production smoother and cost-effective than ever. Keep your contents short, informative and entertaining, add a pinch of humor, find a purpose and share contents with emotion, optimize the videos for each social platform and include appropriate CTAs. That’s all. Follow at least one of the video content marketing tips mentioned above for a month and you will get to see a visible change in your traction, views and engagement rate.


11 Techniques of Shooting and Editing an Outstanding Travel Film

11 Techniques of Shooting and Editing an Outstanding Travel Film

Making memories is nice. Because they keep our life going. Given our hectic daily life, we all are victims of stress. Traveling is the ultimate liberator that rejuvenates and boosts us to be on our track. It opens one’s mind to new ways of living and looking at the world. The most rewarding aspect of traveling around is that it keeps one alive. And this is the reason why every year hundreds of wacky travelers take the road. All the adventures and misadventures, new people, new places, unique landscapes – documenting these can help others find the motivation of coming out of their comfort zone and travel through the world.

Shooting an informative travel film is a great way of telling the world of your adventures.Well, if you are one of them and want to inspire others by taking your experience to another level, this blog is meant for you then.We would help you as to how to make a travel film and understand the way you can effectively capture, record and document your treks. Your chronicles can possibly instill a wanderlust on the viewers.

A travelogue involves a number of things to be taken care of, be it you shoot with your crew members, or alone. Not only you have to keep your equipment handy, but also you have to think about the travel, food and lodging arrangements. So let’s start with the tips of creating top-notch adventure travel movies.

The Equipment:

Mirror-less cameras

Forget DSLRs. Undoubtedly they have magical battery life and renders really amazing photos, but what about that big burning hole in your pocket? While shooting a travel film, you must also maintain a strict budget. So opt for the mirror-less cameras that are equally effective. And for all the good reasons, the new Sony A7iii is a perfect option for adventure travel films.

Alternatively, you may try the slightly older version Sony A6300, but which sports similar features of its successor.


You can shoot excellent pictures from various angles by shooting with a gimbal. Take cinematic smooth shots with a gimbal that has its own stand. This will help you capture jungle shots or if you plan to take an interview of someone you come across in the midst of your sojourn.

But, consider the weight of the gimbal, the microphone and ND filter of the gimbal while buying one.

Lenses: a prime, a zoom, and a wide

While shooting, these three are the aces that would give you the ultimate photographic experience.

To capture all those low light moments, have an arty prime lens as handy. But only when you do have some time to spare on.

For zoom lenses, just ensure you get one that is image stabilized. The 24-105mm f4 zoom lens for a highly stable shot that will ease your editing works. For wildlife documentaries, try the 70-200mm lens but they come with heavy weight and length.

The wide lens of 16-35mm or wider will empower you to capture things even in the tightest of spaces. Shots that cover people and crowd, are perfect to be shot by a wide lens. You get a great landscape view!


Travel film companies have a high budget for drone shooting. But some countries are sensitive about drones and see them as unethical journalism. So whether you have a big crew with you or you are a solo traveler, be extra cautious about these flying gadgets. Anything like that can put someone behind bars for years as per the country’s law.

So do your homework beforehand if you plan to take a drone with you. If you get a ‘go ahead’, then get something like DJI spark that is lightweight and handy, and gives outstanding landscape shots.


Your video won’t create that desired impact if the sound quality is inadequate. So don’t ever think your mic is later option. People usually tend to overlook this vital element. But to pick up the ambiance of where you are, microphones are indispensable. Since they add a bit of weight to the gimbal, try choosing a lightweight mic.

Now the Rules:

Talking about the rules of shooting a travel film, your film must play by the rules. Whether you like it or not, travel shoots are tests of tenacity and are made of rules that must be taken good care of.

#1. First thing first, keep your camera kits to a minimum. The lesser is the weight, the more you can jump around and take incredible shots. Filming in extreme locations can already make your pace slow. If unnecessary weight is added on, your travel documentary will take months to shoot.

#2. Don’t move the camera if you want to take the shots like a pro. Don’t fidget with the zoom as that might cause some shakes and jerks. Jerks are repellent for people watching a video, so aim for a smooth experience for them.

#3. To be a bit closer to being a pro and create a stellar travel film, take transitional shots, moving from one place to the other. Transitional shots break the monotony and make you closer to being pro.

#4. Some R&D is also needed for the kind of clothes you should carry. Because when you are shooting the film, you must also keep yourself warm or cold. Carrying the right type of clothing for the respective locations solve this.

#5. Keep your camera cleaning kit handy if any cleaning is required while filming. You never know when would you need it, but keeping it clear from dust and water is the best thing you can think of.

#6. Variety as that spices up life. From a cinematic perspective also, this is applicable. So don’t stick to one kind of shot throughout. Nobody will like to make it to the end of your film and all your efforts would go waste. Mix your shots in both focal length and composition, use your wide lens to get an intimate shot or low tracking shots that covers through the grass.

Then zoom it away and take wide shots of the landscape. While editing, toss them and mix’em up! Make your movie come alive.

#7. Don’t get too carried away by the beauty of the sceneries and the location and stray from your actual story. Or from your characters! A remarkable location is ought to impress your audience, but it cannot create that desired impact without a compelling story and enthralling characters.

#8. Water, and light Refreshments – It is highly essential to keep yourself hydrated and full to keep you going. But unfortunately, while you are engaged in a shooting, rarely would you get a chance to refuel yourself. So in those times, light refreshment or snack keeps you positive.

#9. Finally the Editing – So you are back home now and ready with all your footage. It’s time for some storytelling.First, sort out the good and the not so good footages, this will help you to make your choice. Then gradually frame a linear flow as to which scenes you want to show first, and mainly what would be the intro.

Focus on a strong intro as that would entice your audience to wait for more to happen.Structure your story in a way that it draws the onlookers in gently. This requires constant control on the pacing. Once you get the pace correct, you are halfway done.

#10. Next comes the sound selection. This includes, the foley sound, the background score and the effects. Sound design is a vital element in creating an engaging travelogue. Irrelevant or lousy background score can turn incredible action-packed travelogues into comedy travel movies in no time. Hence give ample time to sound mixing and find a score that compliments your video.

But as you know, sometimes silence is golden, so let some shots pass by sans music.

#11. Another rule of thumb is the duration of your video. If it is your first time trying your hands on travel documentary, then stay happy within 5 to 60 minutes. Once you gauge the response of your audience, then you may think of escalating your duration.

So you are done. Now what?

Sharing is caring! One of the best things about travel filmmaking is, you can capture people, moments, and places that can be shared with the world.

So once you are done with the final phase of your video and is satisfied with the outcome, take a deep breath, and start uploading it on your YouTube or Vimeo channel.

Share it on your social media handles too. The more you share, the higher will be your number of audience. Subtly request them to share your video.You may also upload the video on websites that allow online streaming or download. Who knows it would be counted among one of the best travel movies and feature next on Netflix!🙂

If you have some more valuable tips to add, please share them in the comments section below. And in case you have footage of your travels that you want to give a shape of video, you may try us. We would give your video a professional look with excellent sound mixing and editing. Because in the end it all depends on how perfectly you edit your video.So, good luck to you. Start traveling!