How to Meet Consumer Demands for Online Video
By Paolo Boni President & Chief Executive Officer, VFM Leonardo, Inc. | September 18, 2011
With so much information at consumers' fingertips, the hotel selection process has become an involved journey, often spanning many days and many sites and devices. Online travel shoppers are looking for content that speaks to their needs and wants at every stage of this shopping journey. The stories they encounter for hotels along the way are undeniably powerful and often the last stand between the hotel shopper and the booking.
Consumer demand for a greater variety of content on a greater variety of channels and devices needs to be addressed by hoteliers. Travelers are more engaged with a hotel's listing when photos are present than when they aren't, but engagement increases even further when video is also available. Video is in demand.
In order to meet consumer demands for online video, the two most critical essentials are relevance and availability.
Hoteliers that find the most success with video are the ones that tell an experiential story, which involves a number of elements beyond the room type – location, transportation, weather, local attractions, dining, history, staff and so on. They go beyond hotel amenities and show what your hotel experience is really like and how it's different from others in its competitive set.
Before investing in video production, determining the story that will resonate with the target audience is important. The goal of the video should be to make the consumer say "this is the hotel I want to stay at." The best videos are meaningful and engaging to those who view them. Reading your online reviews is good way to learn what story guests are already saying about your hotel… and hence what will resonate with them.
At the brand level, Motel 6 has done a good job of both showing the individual hotel's unique story and wrapping it in the brand personality.