Written by: Cristina García
Experiences. That’s what most travelers demand nowadays. All generations, but especially the younger ones, passed on consumer trends, are motivated to travel by the expectations of living experiences that have not lived before. And in general, for the hotel industry, the trickiest part is to generate content that truly inspires.
Let’s continue with data. If we remember Google’s The 2014 Traveler’s Road to Decision report, back then: 65% of potential travelers were searching the Internet for travel-related video content to get inspiration; 61% consumed these videos when choosing a destination; 54% when deciding which accommodation to stay at, and 63% when looking for the activities they will like to participate in when getting to their destination. And these are figures that have surely increased in two years.
But the kind of video these consumers like to watch is not what it used to be. Travel video content has evolved. Google likes to call these videos according to the user’s micro-moment needs. But in general they have a few things in common: they are creative, they are entertaining and they are inspiring. Definitely they have a storytelling.
Thus, video is undoubtedly a powerful marketing tool. Not only is the easiest format to consume for potential travelers, but also it is an essential part in the decision-making process, also known as the traveler’s journey.
During the dreaming stage people need to decide if they will be able to travel according the time and money they can spend. And by following the Inbound Marketing methodology the best way to approach those users is by generating content to Attract. While original images and blog post definitely have their place in hospitality marketing, video certainly has unique benefits. Video can capture people’s attention and evoke strong emotional response.
During the planning stage they need to decide where they would like to travel and what kind of trip they would like to take. Again the inbound content the users love during this stage is the kind of content, which is both practical and informative. They are know sure where they will spend their holidays, although the details of their trip are yet to be confirmed. They will be looking for the right dates, flight, place to stay and what to do and see. And if you can provide them with this content you will be in their minds when they are ready to follow and Convert to the next stage.
During the booking stage these users finally decide where they will stay and how they will get to their destination. This is a decisive stage, where you want to Close the deal. Here easy pieces of short and informative videos can win their hearts. Here, creativity when it comes to show your products (without actually showing your amenities) and solve your potential guests doubts is vital. There are many ways to say the same things, so make sure your way, through video marketing, meets your prospects needs.
During the experiencing stage, whether is before o during their stay your guests will keep looking for content that provide them with information of activities they can enjoy and share in destination. Here your mission is to Delight your guests with videos related to the different experiences they would be able to enjoy while they’re there.
Think that now people will get bored if you show them the usual close ups of hotel rooms and your property’s best amenities. They want to know why you are different, what you can offer someone else can’t, what new experiences and emotions they will be able to enjoy. The want memories to remember. And if they finally meet their expectations and your hotel can make this process easier for them, they will associate a great experience with your brand.
Bear in mind emotions play a huge part in this decision-making process. Your hotel’s brand has to be able to deeply connect with your prospects. And for that, you need to make them feel they are already there. Then video marketing is key to engage your potential guests. How? As Google said you have to be there by creating content for each stage, and be useful when it comes to create relevant videos that meet your prospects needs.
Talking Inbound, creating your piece of video content is as important as the right distribution. You have worked on it, you also want to be watched.
Now according to Google over 40% of travelers go back and forth during the dreaming and planning stages. This is due to the lack of time for searching and getting the information they need for their trip. And what device use people on the go? You got the answer. Mobile devices, where the majority of video content is consumed. Again, remember video is easy to consume. For these users it’s faster this way.
Furthermore, as we said before, in order to deliver the right message you need to have in mind your user within the traveler’s journey but also, where is that user spending his time? Well, in this case the answer is social media. So by combining mobile devices and social media you have where and how to distribute your video.
To be really effective and highly shareable, your video needs to be optimized for each platform.
And when you think of online videos, YouTube is the first platform that comes to your mind. Isn’t it? This is because this one allows anyone to easily creating an account where to upload your videos. Is that simple that just 3 years ago users watch over a billion YouTube videos on their mobile devices. Can you imagine now?
On the other hand, Facebook will also offer you a huge exposure. In fact, videos posted on Facebook went up 75% last year. People get stuck in videos while scrolling through their newsfeeds.
Again work your storytelling. And have in mind that in platforms like Facebook or Instagram (where you can upload videos up to 1 minute) your users won’t be able to listen at first your video, so make sure they are understandable anyway. And of course, that they can see your brand.