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Travel content marketing: why video is essential to improving conversion

They say a picture speaks 1000 words, so what can a video say and what is its influence on potential customers?

Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research claims that a video is worth 1.8 million words. With the proliferation of online video, travellers are increasingly watching videos relating to the destinations they are thinking of visiting, rather than reading up on them or looking at pictures. Video should be an essential part of your travel content marketing strategy.

A recent study by Forbes found that one of the key reasons is that people react to emotions and this is contagious. This increases the likelihood that the person watching the video will share the information or the video itself.

We have all seen an idyllic photo of the stunning villa we are supposed to be staying in on our holiday. What happens when we arrive? The reality doesn’t quite match the photo we fell in love with. This manipulation of reality is making users more aware when researching their holiday destination and they expect more to aid their decisions making process.

Here we explore why video is now an essential part of any content marketing mix:

Customer Engagement:

Keeping customers engaged is a constant battle. Video provides brands with a platform to tell more stories, more quickly and with more engagement. According to Video Brewery , 90% of online shoppers found product video helpful when making buying decisions on a major retailer’s website.

For a travel brand promoting an experience (tour, transport, accommodation), video offers the opportunity to bring their product to life and fulfil consumer informational needs. If a competitor has a like for like product, but they present their product more effectively, who’s product is the consumer likely to buy?

Interestingly the best time for engagement with video is on a Tuesday, between 11a.m. and 1p.m. (Sysomos)

What platforms can you use?

YouTube dominates the online video market with 81.9% of total embedded and linked videos,followed by Vimeo (8.8%), Daily Motion (4%) and MySpace (1.1%). (Sysomos)

Short video marketing: Instagram and Vine. Short video clips can be easily shot, edited, and shared, all from your smartphone. This makes it a very cheap and easy process to build your brands story with your customers.

Case Study:

A great example of travel content marketing came from Hampton hotels. They used user generated content to drive engagement with their customers.

Their aim was to educate guests about their hotels and brand identity, so Hampton Hotels created a YouTube video series known as “Hamptonality Moments.”

The campaign included real life guest stories, and generated 5 million YouTube views, a 133% increase in Facebook fans, and over 500 million social impressions.


User Generated Content

Romain Ouzeau from Statigram, found that 80% of online content is user-generated. Users love to share videos, pictures and stories about their holiday. By creating a competition, or rewards for submitting user generated video, your travel brand can get rich video content from a real customer’s holiday experience. Potential customers want to see what their holiday would be like through the eyes of a real person.

User generated content is a very cost effective strategy as you don’t have to spend money creating it or promoting it.

It is seen as a trustworthy source of research as it resonates more to other users than brand created content. Also the more users that create videos about your holidays, the more reach your brand, hotel or destination will receive. A great way of encouraging this is a reward system: the best video gets a free holiday etc. Giving incentives to your user audience provides great customer engagement. A great example of user generated content is Tripadvisor. A study by Fresh Minds found that one in four consumers use Tripadvisor before booking their holiday.

Users love video

It sounds simple because it is. Online users spend 3.5 hours per week watching online video, and this is continually on the rise. When it comes to booking holidays, 53% of respondents say they research and buy their holidays online, while 30% research online and buy offline. This cannot be ignored.

Video engages customers and enables them to understand the experience that they will have. Michelle Cox from APT Travel Group says, “Video footage helps our customers to really picture themselves on a cruise or tour far more effectively than any still picture will ever do.”

With users actively searching for travel videos, it is imperative to ensure that you have quality video content in some form. The amount of hours and research that we do online is constantly on the rise, so video marketing is here to stay. If you don’t want your travel company to get left behind, you should start looking at a video marketing strategy that will suit your brand today.