Online Video vs. Television

Advertising in the Digital Age

By Frank Vertolli Co-Founder, Net Conversion | February 02, 2014

Co-authored by Ryan Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Net Conversion

Global advertising spend in 2013 will see steady growth of 3.5 percent, reaching $503 billion by the end of the year, with the largest share in television advertising, according to ZenithOptimedia.(1) The travel and hospitality industries are in the top five markets advertising on this medium, spending more than $152 million collectively.(2) Although television still leads the way, consumer expectations have shifted, and your marketing dollars should too.

Television Advertising

The idea of primetime is somewhat dead. People are still consuming content, but the desire to consume it and pay for it on their own terms based on individual wants and needs has caused a shift in behavior. People have gone from actually sitting in front of a television to watch shows when they air to making sure shows are recorded to watch at their convenience. Oh, and they also avoid commercials whenever possible.
This has led to the growth of Internet streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon, YouTube, all of which are easily accessible from a variety of devices, 24/7. According to Sandvine, the future will see real-time entertainment applications dominate fixed access networks, accounting for two-thirds of total data usage in 2018, driven largely by ubiquitous integration between devices (e.g. smart TVs set-tops, game consoles) and streaming services.)(3) These companies are already producing their own commercial-free content such as the critically acclaimed House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

Nielsen reports there was a 22 percent increase in users watching video on the Internet in Q4 2012, with an 80 percent increase in the time spent among users watching this medium. There was an even larger spike in users watching mobile video (206 percent).(4)

We're not saying television is dead – considering its reach and fact that everyone still uses it – it's not going anywhere anytime soon. However, there is a shift in advertising that hoteliers should be aware of when planning advertising budgets: moving some television advertising dollars into online advertising, specifically digital video ads.

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.