Harnessing Video for Destination Marketing

The Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency of Video Marketing for Destinations

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

35 percent of leisure travelers engaged in travel-related video activities within the past six months (1). Online video has become one of the most important elements to marketing destinations, hotels, and travel. Travel is an immersive experience and video has always been a great medium to sell it. Thanks to advances in technology, today's video options are more affordable and marketable than traditional video.

In the past, travel professionals could secure coverage on The Travel Channel or other similar/popular outlets, but this normally required a large budget to obtain and produce. Creating this type of video was a large investment and it wasn't right for all destinations, properties and resorts.

Traditionally, producing long form video requires a large production plus securing interest from producers, channels or brands associated with a big internal production for the DVD (or VHS for those that have been in travel long enough to remember). Another route would be to secure video coverage through a news angle and use public relations to garner broadcast news coverage.

Now, according to Skift, "Online video is rapidly eclipsing television as the most effective channel for travel marketing, especially for brands targeting younger demographics (2)."

This notion has completely changed the marketing tactics for promoting travel using video. 97 percent of travelers who watch online video did so within the last month (1). The digital space has opened up opportunities for all destinations and resorts of all sizes. Video content is much easier to create within the digital realm and for those travel brands that already have the video content, they can easily start the distribution process and customer engagement.

How Are Travelers Using Video?

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Coming up in February 2019...

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.