HSMAI, in collaboration with Libris, has released a report on how hospitality and travel professionals are sourcing, distributing, and measuring ROI for their visual assets. In September of 2016, a total of 210 HSMAI members from a broad range of companies and marketing positions completed a detailed survey. Over one third of the respondents represented hotels.
Here are some of the key findings:
Sourcing Images and Video
Respondents reported using a mix of sources for visual assets, including freelancers, dedicated staff, user-generated content, and social media influencers.
69.5% of respondents hired freelance photographers or videographers, and 58.1% employ staff photographers or videographers.
88.56% of hospitality and travel organizations use either staff or freelance professional content creators (or both), indicating that high quality content is a top priority in the industry.
User-generated content (46.67%) and social media influencers (38.1%) are a growing source of visual assets in the hospitality and travel industry.
Combining high quality professional content with influencer and user-generated content can help hotels create a visual identity that is perceived as both authentic and highly appealing.
Most hospitality and travel brands use images and video for a variety of purposes. In fact, more than 66% of respondents reported using images and video across eight channels or more.
Website ranks as the top use case (96%), with social media as a close second (92.7%).
Facebook ranks as the top social media platform for sharing visual assets. Instagram comes in at second with Twitter following closely behind, but these rankings are expected to change as newer platforms like Snapchat gain popularity.
Two thirds of respondents (67.7%) acknowledged the growing importance of video, especially as native video across platforms provides multiple opportunities to engage with audiences.
Most hospitality and travel brands measure engagement through views and likes (61.9%), indicating that measuring conversions from images and video can be difficult without a direct path to the booking engine.
Return on Investment
Respondents were asked how much they invested annually in visual assets, including staff salary, freelance fees, software, equipment, etc.
41.8% of respondents invested less than $50,000 annually.
32.2% invested more than $50,000 annually.
26% did not know how much they had invested.
Half of all respondents considered their current investment insufficient. When asked where they would allocate additional funds, 37.3% said they would invest in creating higher quality content, and 27.9% would invest in a higher quantity of images and video. The remaining respondents would choose to invest in a mix of software (13,9%), distribution (10.8%), and staff (5.7%).
Tracking ROI for images and video has proven difficult for many hospitality and travel marketers. Respondents were asked the open ended question, “How do you measure the return on visual assets?” Their answers varied widely, with 37.34% reporting that they struggle to track, don’t track or don’t know know how they track ROI.
ROI tracking at the highest levels involved a mix of social media indicators (clicks, likes, views, comments, and shares), guest satisfaction, peer recognition and awards, as well as tracking visual asset use in successful campaigns. As software becomes more sophisticated, ROI tracking tools will undoubtedly improve. In the meantime, it seems that today’s best practice is still to invest in the highest quality imagery and distribute it across as many channels as possible.
You can download the full report from the HSMAI Knowledge Center by clicking here.
About Accommovision Video Tours
Accommovision helps hotels engage with online bookers through rich media content and marketing strategy. To see samples of our work, visit www.accommovision.com/products.