It’s 2017 and technology is pretty much defining the journey of a traveler. Thanks to real time data availability, one can plan their travel from anywhere at any time. You may be a regular backpacker, or a workaholic who rarely go on holidays, travel planning is always on the cards.
Travelers rely heavily on digital mediums to explore their travel plans. In fact a study found out that 2 out of 3 Americans are checking out online videos when they think of traveling. Through these videos, they are considering new destinations, dreaming about the hotel stay, local cuisines and sights they would like to explore. In fact, this stage is crucial since the traveller hasn’t decided where to stay and what to do yet. The same study also says that, at this stage, 78% of travelers are yet to decide what airline they will fly with, and 82% are yet to select a hotel they like.
It is at this stage, hoteliers can create an impression by pushing for brand momentum through video marketing.
Video is hot
Videos make up for a significant amount of overall internet traffic. Nearly 80% of overall internet traffic is expected to be driven by vidoes by 2020. Travel industry gets a lion’s share of video traffic. Google found Search Engines and Youtube are the top sources of inspiration when travelers research their next trip.
Youtube data shows that travelers are spending more time than ever, looking up travel related video. Thanks to broader internet penetration, mobile phones and tablets, this trend is on the rise, with a steady growth of 118% YoY.
An interesting study on primary categories of travel videos on Youtube threw this up,
Note that hotels have experienced the maximum YoY growth, pointing to the immense opportunity that this sector presents.
Video helps you decide better
If you look at it closely, the usual travel process involves three basic questions-
-Do you have the budget?
-Do you know where to go?
-Do you know where to stay?
Travelers dedicate significant time watching videos in order to satisfy all these queries. Videos play a major role in converting an interest to a final booking.
Videos create that emotional connect that cannot be generated through written or audio content. Traveling as a whole is an emotional exercise – the willingness to look at the new things, new places, meet new people, travel through new modes of transport. So, it comes as no surprise that videos inspire a better emotional connect and comes with better convincing capabilities.
How to help your independent hotel win with great videos
Search and device optimization –
Optimizing the video for the right keywords is essential. Common items that travelers search for can be based on geography (US, Europe, Asia), holiday type (honeymoon, family trip, anniversary). Get inspired by more such keywords and incorporate them in your video optimization plan.
Of course, all video content must be device responsive. An average US traveller will go through 7000 digital travel touch points during their research, so compatibility with all kind of devices goes without saying. With most video experiences happening on smartphones, 65% more videos hours are being consumed this year compared to last. This is a key point to keep in mind when devising your hotel’s marketing strategy. With smart PMS’s like Hotelogix, your guests can book from their mobile phones easily. Your guests can also check out videos of your hotel, activities at the property, guests who stayed with you and more from the device of their choice.
Talk about experiences –
Go beyond just hotel rooms, talk about the stay and travel experience. Videos must focus on local points of interest, what to pack based on season, how to travel without burning a hole in your pocket, the spa within the hotel that’s not to be missed and so on.
Vlogs are popular concepts among travelers and you don’t need to be a big brand or have a lot of resources at your disposal to create them. Infact, 86% of most popular vlogs are non-branded. Invest some time and effort into generating engaging videos that will help your hotel connect with travellers and speak to them directly about their requirements.
Choose where to promote –
The top channels are of course Youtube and Facebook.
Youtube is a winner when it comes to video content marketing. Users can experiment with type and duration based on their expertise. The simple embedding function allow users to display the same videos on external sites as well. To top it, the easy user interface, makes it an instant hit amongst everyone.
Facebook is a recent entrant in the video content marketing space. The advantage is that it is already a popular social media platform, providing a ready set of audience who can consume this video content. Some studies suggest that Facebook videos have better organic reach than Youtube videos. Following the rising popularity of Facebook videos (video play automatically when you scroll past them), users have started creating videos that come only with subtitles, giving you the freedom to consume it while you travel, at busy stations, when taking a break at work, and so on.
Videos have always been popular since they are fun and easy to consume, as compared to written or audio content. At a time, when average attention span has reduced to lesser than that of a goldfish, video is a brilliant platform to get your message across and strike a chord with your guests.