Travel marketers have a pretty great job. Not only do they get to market desirable locations all over the world, but their digital marketing data is incredibly rich. How has video played a role in their marketing efforts and what can we expect moving into the future?
Almost every industry out there is struggling to capture, process and utilize data that is captured offline. But hotels, airlines and resorts are lucky enough they need only navigate within a buyer’s journey, that happens predominately online.
This may make it seem like the life of a travel or tourism marketer is easy, but we can all agree there is a paralyzing factor that comes into play when we are presented with too much choice. In travel, targeting the right audience is crucial, and the endless personalization options are overwhelming.
When the product is the destination, nothing helps a viewer visualize themselves there, quite like video. The need to deliver highly personalized and emotional content has led the travel industry into a new frontier of video marketing.
VIDEO TYPES (FOR STAGES OF THE SALES FUNNEL):
So we know that video content will help us better connect with our audience, but what types of videos should you be making?
Well that would depend on which part of your sales funnel you are looking to engage them in. A video that is doing its job properly should attract, engage and convert your visitors, carrying them down the sales funnel.
At the top of the funnel, during the awareness stage, travel and tourism companies should be concerned with creating awareness and intrigue. Use fun and informative, free content to achieve this goal, which is where they typically thrive.
A great type of video within the awareness stage is a Brand Film, where you can acquaint your audience with your core values, using alluring visuals, sound and storytelling.
Animated Video can be used to provide a unique experience in ways that live-action video cannot. Perhaps you want to educate website visitors on your new booking system. A great way to achieve this is by breaking it down in a fun and engaging way using animation.
One of the most visual platforms, best suited for travel content is Instagram. Instagram Videos are great tool because the product you are offering is enticing and “out-of-reach” to your prospects. Giving them a small taste of what it would be like if they were to book with you.
Among newer technologies, 360° Video and Virtual Reality are both immersive and captivating ways for brands and content creators to share people, places and experiences. They simply allow you to ‘be there when you are not there.’ Along the same lines, virtual reality is still largely an untapped space for adding new levels of interactivity, but will play a larger role in the years to come.
At the middle of the funnel, during the consideration stage, you have your audience’s attention, but now you need to get them to choose your business! The idea is to remind your visitors why you are the best option without being to salesy about it.
Use these videos to showcase your middle-of-funnel content:
Product / Service Videos are a staple of B to C marketers. Nothing helps more than showing off products or services to convince your viewers of their benefits. You could be an airline, advertising new flight routes, a resort sporting new amenities, or a luggage company claiming you make the most rugged products.
One of my personal favorites, is the Company Culture video. Show the human side of your business by connecting on an emotional level with your viewers. Let the personality of your employees’ shine by including day-in-the-life footage, employee interviews, team-building days, retreats, or bloopers to name a few. Show that you are more than just a business, that you live and breathe what you sell.
The last one I will mention are Testimonials. These are huge for travel and tourism companies, because one of the largest factors in the buyer’ journey, are the reviews of other consumers. In building trust and credibility from satisfied customers, you let them do the work for you.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, in the decision stage, where your potential customers are on the verge of converting, you need to give that one last push.
Here are a few types of videos that will help you achieve this:
Now at this point, your leads are generally looking for answers to any remaining questions they may have. FAQ Videos are perfect to allay their fears and tackle any remaining concerns they may have.
Will you be assisting them even after they’ve purchased a product or service? Instructional Videos will allow you to beat them to the punch and tackle topics that you know will be coming up after they purchase.
Lastly, a Personalized Video or Thank You in an email from a business goes a long way, providing a personal touch and making a buyer feel special. These types of videos can be beneficial at any stage of the funnel, but they work well at the decision stage to give your potential customers the final push to purchase.
There are so many opportunities for you to offer your audience curated video content throughout their buyer’s journey. Videos that will help educate and inspire them, making it easy to trust your business, and move them to a purchase decision faster.
CAMPAIGN CASE STUDIES:
Here are just a few examples of successful video marketing campaigns that we can draw inspiration from.
In S7 Airline’s “Imagine,” a group of Russian children are told, “Let’s say you can go to any place you imagine. What would this world look like?” The creative twist is delivered as the children’s answers are replayed over scenery that corresponds with their fantastical answers.
It’s a simple and effective way to connect child-like wonder with the natural beauty that is all over the world.
The popular Hotel.com character “Captain Obvious,” is a great example of a simple and effective campaign offering classic comedy.
The central character, likely inspired by the internet meme of the same name, makes blindingly obvious statements such as “Watch more videos of me by clicking on another one of my videos”.
The connected underlying theme is that Hotels.com is the only choice for finding hotels.
Turkish Airlines “Selfie Shootout” was a massive success, using the age-old tactic, the celebrity cameo. What better way to highlight the fact you fly to more destinations than any other airline by employing two of the planet’s biggest sports figures to have a selfie contest at iconic locations around the world.
This spot is as much a declaration of airline superiority as it is a technical and strategic juggernaut. It isn’t enough in this day and age to simply have influential and recognizable celebrities on screen, there needs to be a chain of relatable elements that resonates with the viewer.
According to CNN, 20 years ago the US housed over 34,000 travel retail locations, and now the number has dwindled to only 13,000. Today, 60% of leisure and 41% of business travelers are making their travel arrangements online. The travel industry has shifted almost exclusively into a digital-first mindset.
Globally, we can expect the online travel industry to grow at an annual rate of 3.8% over the next 10 years to nearly $11.4 trillion. These global ‘Mega-Trends’ are driving this growth which shows no sign of stopping. This is great news for the travel industry and companies within the industry need to understand these trends in order to capitalize on them.
THE RISE OF THE ‘EXPERIENCE ECONOMY’
Consumer spending habits are changing at a rapid pace. Consumers are cutting back spending on material goods in favor of spending their money on ‘experiences’. This trend is quite noticeable among the Millennial Generation. The travel industry is uniquely well positioned to benefit from this.
According to TripAdvisor, surveys indicate that plans to spend more on travel goes up by at least 25% year after year. A survey by American Express found that 85% of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “spending money on travel is an investment worth making.”
CUSTOMERS WITHIN THE SOCIAL ECOSYSTEM
It’s no secret that social media influences our spending habits. 52% of travelers say that social media influenced a change in their travel plans, while 80% are more likely to book a trip from a company “liked” by a friend. This is largely due to the fact that 76% of social media users post vacation-related content, creating the illusion that every one of their friends is living a jet-setting lifestyle that they must keep up with.
RECOMMENDATIONS ARE KING
Social media houses most of the recommendations from our peers, and is increasingly important when considering booking a trip. Most leisure travelers will spend about of 30 minutes reading about a location and read 7 reviews before they book. Bad reviews can make or break a buyer’s decision. Going the extra mile for customers could really pay for itself if it means you get a good review that could end up driving more leads than an expensive advertising campaign.
PERSONALISATION OF BIG DATA
Big data allows brands to offer custom offerings and to track people’s preferences. Currently, 83% of millennials allow travel brands to track their habits in exchange for a better, more individual experience. 85% of participants across all age groups said that customized itineraries are far more appealing than one-size-fits-all solutions.
By combining big data with artificial intelligence, the possibility of a functioning ‘virtual travel assistant’ could be a thing of the near future. These could offer useful advice, such as suggesting nearby attractions, pulling data from our personal preferences online.
VR allows the possibility of giving travelers the chance to ‘try before they buy.’ You try on clothing to see how it looks before pulling out your credit card, but you have to take travel companies at their word, that a beach resort really does offer ‘the best view on the island’. In the future, you’ll be able to look around the resort, around your room and see if the view is that great for yourself.
This technology may seem a few years off, but early adopters are already finding ways to monetize it. VR-Advertised trips to New York City are showing revenues that are up 190% – proof that VR is on the rise.
So if you are a Travel or Tourism Marketer looking to bolster your content marketing efforts, video has proved itself time and time again to be one of the most effective tools to drive sales and create measurable ROI.
For more information visit our Travel & Tourism page.
– Brett Mogavero / Owner – Legacy Production Company
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