Why Travel Industry thrives on videos?

According to TIA conducted research – Video attracts more than 30% more viewers; These visitors stay almost 40% longer on your website and the conversion potential is almost 30% greater as compared to a text-based website. A visual experience is always a superior persuasion tool as compared to a text based pitch, and when it comes to the hospitality segment, nothing comes closer to the first-hand visual experience. The urge to explore lies at the core of a traveler’s mindset and very few things motivate a traveler more than a compelling video. Your prospective guests are hooked on to your resort even before they have arrived, and this fact is bolstered by the statistics – almost 60% of customers prefer Web Sites that feature video and customers are up to 70% more likely to book activities, hotels, packages and attractions shown in a video experience.

Some of the pioneers of the travel industry were also the early adopters of travel videos. Thomas Cook, Kuoni and Thomson were convinced of the persuasive powers of the online videos and made this marketing tool an integral part of their customer relationship strategy, and the results have been trailblazing to say the least.

Market reception & reaction

Market is an intelligent creature and seldom gives an ear unless there is lucre at the end of the tunnel. Videos have captured the imagination of not only the viewers, but also the search engines, and that is not fortuitous. Google controls the traffic flow and business sentiments of online shoppers for almost 90% of the global transactions, and if there is not enough reason for videos to have gained dramatic prominence in the online searches, then we can stop the argument by just mentioning that the video mogul ‘YouTube’ is owned by Google – So, the second most popular search engine in the world is now coupled with the most popular search engine – That’s a heady combination for any marketer who thinks on his feet.

Let’s get to some influential numbers…

  • A recent eMarketer survey of the US online video landscape predicts that the volume of US video audience will climb up to 190 million by 2012 – That is approximately 88% of the entire online audience
  • A much older poll by Prospectiv (2006) estimated that almost 85% of US travelers utilized internet for research
  • Online Video Ads are now consumed and trusted in almost equal measure as the TV Ads
  • Even Wall Street Journal is backing up its words that online Video is fast becoming the most effective online format for marketing
  • A number of other reliable polls and surveys are in consensus that “Streaming video delivers nearly three times higher brand awareness and message association, and more than 100% higher purchase intent and online ad awareness than non-rich media ads.”

Reasons for success

Democracy is the doorway to freedom, but unregulated democracy is chaos –and that sums up the ‘freedom of expression’ on the web. Content repurposing, unlimited duplication, mechanical content simulation – In one word ‘Spam’ is still the second nature of the web and text based content is the most abused of all the formats. While realizing the challenge of ‘authenticating the authentic content’, Google had pushed the paddle on the ‘universal search’ mechanism somewhere in 2008. This was aimed at serving the needs of the right content in the right way. The most promising part of the universal search pattern is that all the content formats have the level playing field – So, if you have an optimized video for your resort in Bermuda, then it has the same statistical probability to rank up in the search engine results as does a well researched article on the same report.

That speaks volumes about the new found confidence in travel videos and online videos in general – both from a search engine’s angle as well as a customer’s view.

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