Video is fast becoming the go-to format for brands, marketers, and individuals. More than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube alone each day, and 72% of consumers prefer learning about a product or service through a video than any other channel. Evidently, it’s a format that grows in popularity year after year.
Gone are the days when loading a video would take a year to load through your dial-up internet (remember that?) and appear grainy or pixelated. Video has become sophisticated and accessible, and as it develops, brings with it a whole host of benefits for hospitality businesses. Here's how:
1. It can speak louder than copy
A picture speaks a thousand words, as the old idiom goes. If that’s true, then video speaks ten thousand times over. Rather than telling your customers what your hospitality business can give them, show it to them.
When visitors arrive to your website, consider what will work better: a barrage of uninspiring copy, or a slick video that guides them through every aspect of your business?
Take a look at the copy on your website landing page and boil it down to its key points. Then turn those points into a video that illustrates and builds upon them, telling a story around your business. Check out the example from Sandos San Blas:
Sandos San Blas Nature Resort (english) from amara, marketing engineering on Vimeo.
It’s cinematic and compelling, weaving a yarn that talks around the resort rather than being an overt marketing spiel.
Get to know your video analytics so that you are not flying blind when it comes to judging whether your video campaigns are engaging or not. Road testing video concepts with focus groups on YouTube is a great way to get a feel for whether a campaign is going to fly.
2. It's an immersive experience
Once existing only in sci-fi films and fiction, virtual reality is now a very real and tangible possibility. Consumers already have access to affordable VR headsets, and retailers like Ikea are developing apps that lets their customers trial products from the comfort of their own home. The software is affordable and requires only a little technical knowledge, but is well worth the investment.
For the hospitality industry, VR lets their customers experience everything that businesses have to offer - without ever leaving their couch. Check out the VR video below from Qantas Airlines:
From the moment they touchdown to watching the sunset from a beachside terrace, customers can have a taste of what to expect in an immersive VR tour. It works better than any TV advert ever could, and will stay with the viewer long after they’ve finished watching.
3. Boosts your email game
The humble email isn’t dead and buried quite yet. Quite the opposite, in fact: the global number of email users is expected to reach 4.1 billion by 2021. Your email marketing provides you with a direct line to your customers’ attention, and is the perfect channel to distribute your video content. And one study showed that just by adding the word “video” into your subject line can increase email open rates by 19%!
Maybe you’ve created a virtual tour of a new hotel wing, or you’ve made a video of your top chef making a delicious herb-crusted halibut. Adding these videos into your email campaigns ups their value and engages your customers.
4. Performs well on social media
Video works everywhere, from your website to your email campaigns. But it works especially well on social media. There are 2.62 billion active social media users in 2018, a sizeable potential audience by any stretch. And 64% of consumers state that a video on social media helped convince them when making a purchase.
Social media takes your video content further, connecting with your audience where they’re active most. Consumers frequently use video as means of researching a product or service before buying.
Create a video exploring your hotel, restaurant, resort or destination and share it online. Your business could even turn it into a competition, where users who like and share your video will be entered into a draw for a free stay, meal, or similar.
5. Adds credibility to your testimonials
Every good hospitality business has ‘real reviews’ from ‘real satisfied customers 'on their website, rating their experience. These have become so ubiquitous that marketing-savvy customers often view them with suspicion, as there is no way to verify their authenticity.
With video though, hospitality businesses can show customer testimonials that are real and authentic. You’ll find that your satisfied customers are only too keen to share their positive experience in front of the camera, especially if they receive a freebie or discount offer in return.
These are just some of the ways that video can be used to boost your online reach and bring customers flocking to your business. It will continue to grow in popularity, so your business needs to make it part of your online marketing strategy. Get creative and take advantage of the huge potential that this channel has to offer.
|Patrick Foster is a writer and e-commerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading e-commerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Check out the latest news on Twitter.|
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