A major North American hotel chain recently tracked the behavior of over 1 million online visitors and discovered the following:
- Online visitors viewing virtual tours are 67% more likely to book.
- Online visitors viewing videos are 89% more likely to book.
- Websites with video have higher search engine rankings and generate an average of 30% more bookings per year.
Video is the most effective way to communicate with today’s online consumer. With the recent advent of high-speed mobile devices and video sharing sites like YouTube, video is fast becoming the new standard in online marketing. To understand how this worldwide trend has come to affect the travel and hospitality industries, we need to answer a few simple questions.
82% of potential customers use the internet to research their accommodation. Half of them use the internet exclusively.
As a result, nearly 2/3 of hotel bookings are now being made online.
Primary information sources used by travel shoppers:
- Search Engines (Google, Yahoo!, etc)
- Hotel Websites (Marriott, Hilton, Westin, etc)
- Online Travel Agencies (Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, etc)
- Consumer Review Sites (TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, Oyster, etc)
What factors influence the booking decision?
- Price (85%)
- Hotel Website (56%)
- Promotions (53%)
- Accommodation Options Available (49%)
- Online Reviews (44%)
46% of leisure travelers and 68% of business travelers view travel-related online video during the course of their search. 76% of customers view the hotel website before making a final booking decision.
What does the online accommodation purchase funnel look like?
According to Google’s ThinkTravel 2012 report, online consumers are using video throughout the purchase funnel.
55% of Google users report viewing online video when choosing their accommodation.
Online video is a powerful tool for influencing online consumers, prompting them to book your hotel.
What are today’s online consumers looking for before they choose their accommodation?
Online shoppers are looking for transparency. They know both their lodging needs and their budget before they make a booking, so they are searching for a hotel that will provide them with the best possible value for their money. With the widespread use of Photoshop and clever photography tricks, savvy customers know that hotel marketing photos can be very misleading and deceptive. Websites like Oyster.com have even dedicated themselves to thwarting hotels’ photo marketing attempts by providing an abundance of candid, undoctored photos of hotels worldwide.
High-definition video not only provides customers with the detailed visual information they are looking for, but it is also impossible to fake and, therefore, highly trusted by online shoppers.
Let’s face it. If your hotel doesn’t look great on video, then you’ve got bigger problems than a fancy video can solve.
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