14 Stats that Show Why Video Marketing is Important for Hotels. – 4Hoteliers

Source: 14 Stats that Show Why Video Marketing is Important for Hotels. –  4Hoteliers

By Nigel J. Rodgers

If hoteliers are looking to increase engagement and traffic to their websites, then video must be a part of the marketing plan as it is now the most sought-after form of content on the internet;

Most of the people on the internet are viewing videos and in a few years, the majority of content online will be video. There is countless marketing research revealing the popularity and impact of video.

Here are a few stats that show why video marketing is important for hotels.

  • 20% of users read text while 80% will watch a video with the same content. This shows that video is more appealing and easier to consume than text.
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. Google, of course, is #1 and Google owns YouTube. So by having a hotel video on YouTube, your content will appear on the two largest search engines on the internet.
  • Every month, more than one billion people visit YouTube to watch more than six billion hours of video. YouTube is the promised land for marketing your hotel through video. On YouTube, your video content is exposed to a population of internet users that almost matches the populations of China or India.
  • 100 million internet users watch online video each day. Though not all of them are watching travel videos, this is still a large number of people who can possibly see your video. Even if only 1% sees you video, that’s still 100,000 users that have become aware of your property.
  • The average user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month. That’s about 3,864 videos a year. With users encountering so many videos throughout the year, your hotel marketing videos have a big chance of being viewed.
  • 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. In two years, most of the people will be online to watch videos. Creating strong video content will help your hotel keep up with the times.
  • 33% of tablet owners watch one hour of video per day on their device.  89.7 million smartphone video viewers in the US in 2014. Viewing video on mobile devices is becoming increasingly popular. Be sure that your marketing videos are optimized for small screens.
  • Views of travel-related content up 118% year over year (YoY). The number of people viewing content specific to travel is increasing exponentially. Why not be a part of the travel video revolution?
  • 88% of YouTube Travel Searches Focus on Destinations. This is where the hotel becomes extremely important. When people know their destination, the next step is to find a great hotel.
  • Bookings are 67% more likely to happen when a video tour is available. As mentioned in my article about impactful types of video, digital tours of your hotel property are a powerful form of video content.
  • 65% of business executives visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. A good video can generate more business traveller traffic to your hotel website which can improve direct booking numbers.
  • 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Hoteliers want to gain from their digital marketing investments. Video is one of the more efficient ways to achieve those gains.

Interesting Quote About the Impact of Video

“One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” – Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research

Though some have quoted this statement as fact, it is indeed just a hyperbolic twist to the “A picture is worth a thousand words” quote that is often used in content marketing. A picture is worth 1000 words, there are 30 frames (pictures) per second in a standard video, and there are 60 seconds in a minutes. So 1000 x 30 x 60 = 1.8 million.

Even though this statement isn’t scientifically accurate, it’s still a testament to how powerful video marketing content can be for your hotel.

E-Marketing Associates helps independent hotels increase direct bookings and reduce reliance on OTAs. We build innovative online marketing products that deliver the best ROI for independent hotels. Our products aim to ultimately drive top-line revenue.

Think with Google debuts a travel dashboard to help US marketers – Tnooz

Google logo.jpegIn August Google’s marketing research arm, Think with Google, unveiled its Travel Dashboard — a free online tool that highlights recent and year-over-year trends based on Google data across the car rental, air, and hotel verticals in the United States.

The data has been designed to help marketers in planning their campaigns. It will be updated quarterly. For instance, the travel dashboard shows that between January and June 2015, airline direct brand queries rose 19% year-over-year for Delta and 52% year-over-year for Allegiant Air. That’s a sign that those airlines’ search marketing, AdWords, and branding campaigns may be working.

For hotels, search volume on mobile devices increased 49% during the first half of the year, relative to same period a year earlier. The gain for tours-and-activities was 47%, relative to the first half of 2014. More air queries were coming from mobile, too — up 32% year-over-year, as of March 2015, across all Google Data.

Drilling down for context One of the travel dashboard tools lets any user select from 25 major US markets to find out where people were traveling between July and September 2014, according to Google’s data. For instance, people in San Antonio were visiting Las Vegas 21% more during that quarter than they were in the same period a year prior — making Sin City the biggest gainer among destinations measured. The site reveals where travelers were coming from. Columbus, Ohio, (“Go Buckeyes!”) saw a 90% year-over-year increase in Chicagoans visiting.

The travel dashboard is looking at Google search data that shows where people in one location are searching for travel to another city. It’s not data from Google Flights or Google Hotels metasearch tools, says a company spokesperson.

GO DEEP: The Travel Dashboard by Think with Google

MORE: This Air France ad is the top travel brand video of 2015, so far, says Google – See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/think-with-google-debuts-a-travel-dashboard-to-help-us-marketers/#sthash.Y66ofknL.dpuf

Travel News – Internet Moguls launches ‘m-Powered Hotels’ to offer III-Tier digital marketing service to hotels | TravelBiz Monitor

Internet Moguls, a digital marketing solutions company for the hospitality industry, has launched a dedicated sub-brand, m-Powered Hotels, to offer complete III-Tier digital marketing services to hotels. m-Powered Hotels will take over complete software, revenue management, and digital marketing related activities of member hotels which join the brand network.

The company has already enlisted 24 hotels from India under m-Powered Hotels network. Revealing this new business vertical, Avijit Arya, Founder & CEO, Internet Moguls, said that the sub-brand, m-Powered Hotels, is targeted at hotels and hotel owners who do not have the bandwidth to handle digital marketing , revenue management and technology themselves. “This is a natural progression for us from a digital marketing agency to a complete software, revenue management and digital marketing solution provider,” he said. Today, 15 to 30 per cent of the total revenue are generated digitally. The share will be reaching up to 50 per cent very soon. Therefore, hotels that fail to leverage the technology in all aspects of operational and service delivery will be wiped out from the business, Arya observed.

The vision of the company is to equip m-Powered Hotels to manage revenue of USD 100 million in the next two years, he stated.  While the services being offered is comprehensive for any type of hotel, m-Powered Hotels will be targeting more standalone, unbranded hotels. “We want to position ourselves as a one-stop-shop for all sorts of technology and digital marketing services.”

As regards their capabilities, Arya said that they have a talent pool of more than 150 people from diverse backgrounds such as social media marketing, hospitality, advertising, consulting , etc. to support the process. “Moreover, we are powered by best in class technology that can get a hotel up and running in 21 days,” Arya said.

The company has plans to expand m-Powered Hotels memberships to regional countries like Sri Lanka, UAE, etc. “We see a lot of scope for this brand globally. However, our focus would be on India market initially before going to markets like Sri Lanka, UAE, etc.,” he informed. Internet Moguls provide digital marketing solutions to 500 hotels across 19 countries currently. Besides India, the company has offices in Dubai and Vancouver.

via Travel News – Internet Moguls launches ‘m-Powered Hotels’ to offer III-Tier digital marketing service to hotels | TravelBiz Monitor.

Are luxury specialists missing out on the Mena family market? | News | Travel Trade Gazette

Wealthy families in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region could be a lucrative market for the travel trade to tap into.

10 YouGov with Brand Line (Vertical)Research carried out by polling firm YouGov for Arabian Travel Market found that more than one-third of the region’s residents stayed in five-star hotels when going on holiday.

But currently more than half of these residents book all elements of luxury family trips themselves, although 72% said they would be willing to book an all-inclusive package if they were available.

Bahrain had the highest number of residents, 34%, who usually stay in luxury hotels.

This compares with an overall average of 27% for those living across the Gulf states, while only 17% of North Africa residents stayed at the most upmarket properties.

The most popular destinations for the Mena region’s residents are the United Arab Emirates (14%), Italy (10%) and Turkey (5%).

Nadege Noblet, exhibition manager for ATM, said: “This trend for luxury family travel offers opportunities for tour operators to create tailor-made packages that take into account not only family needs, but also the cultural considerations unique to the Mena region, and this opens up tremendous marketing opportunities.”

Luxury family travel will be discussed at two ILTM@ATM in two seminars: Biting into Gourmet Travel and Luxury Family Travel.

via Are luxury specialists missing out on the Mena family market? | News | Travel Trade Gazette.

Why the Chinese are choosing Dubai over London, Paris – Emirates 24|7

Why the Chinese are choosing Dubai over London, Paris.  Tourist arrivals to Dubai set to double to 540,000 By Waheed Abbas

An average stay of Chinese tourists in Dubai will be approximately 3.2 nights during the 2013-23 period (File)

Dubai will be a hot destination for Chinese tourists in the coming decade, preferring the emirate over London, Paris and Sydney, according to a new study by a global hotel chain.

Favourable economic and demographic trends shaping the Chinese travel market are set to fuel huge increases in the number of Chinese travellers visiting the UAE over the next decade, said ‘The Future of Chinese Travel’ report published by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in partnership with Oxford Economics.

The emirate will remain the most popular choice for Chinese travellers in the Middle East and Africa region (Mena) as tourist arrivals are set to almost double (up by 97 per cent) to more than 540,000 travellers by 2023 as compared to 276,000 in 2013, it said.

The travel, retail and entertainment centres of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have led the region, attracting an increasing number of Chinese tourists on leisure trips and cruises.

“Over the next decade, growth in arrivals to and nights spent in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is expected to top that of other major city destinations throughout the world, such as London and Paris in Europe and Sydney in the Asia Pacific region,” the report noted.

Total spending by Chinese tourists is estimated to jump by 60 per cent in 10 years, from $488 million (Dh1.8 billion) in 2013 to $781 million (Dh2.86 billion) in 2023. An average stay will be approximately 3.2 nights during the 2013-23 period.

“Dubai is among the top destinations in [the number of nights spent per visit], despite the average number of Chinese arrivals to Middle Eastern cities falling behind that of destinations in the other regions,” said the report.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) earlier this month said Dubai’s hotel establishments received 11.63 million guests in 2014, registering a 5.6 per cent increase over guest arrivals in 2013.

According to DTCM, China moved from tenth position to seventh, experiencing 24.9 per cent growth in the last 12 months with 344,329 hotel guests compared to 275,675 in 2013.

Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Office, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, said the UAE is a key growth market in the Middle East.

“As the volume of Chinese travellers grow in key cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the country, we must also ensure we are ready to cater to their and we are pleased to share that today nearly 40 per cent of our hotels in the UAE are now China Ready accredited. In the years ahead we will work towards growing this number alongside the growth that we can expect from Chinese guests.”

Globally, 90 million Chinese households will be travelling overseas by 2023.

Abu Dhabi is expected to receive more than 177,000 Chinese travellers by 2023, a huge increase of more than 300 per cent from just over 44,000 in 2013.

The report also reveals the opportunities this forecast growth will present, as Chinese traveller preferences evolve towards long-haul, leisure-driven travel. The study reports that increases in leisure and retail spend will contribute to significant increases in the value of Chinese travellers to local economies.

via Why the Chinese are choosing Dubai over London, Paris – Emirates 24|7.

The role of price transparency in converting hotel guests online | By Fig Cakar

The role of price transparency in converting hotel guests online

By Fig Cakar, Managing Director – the Americas, SiteMinder

Hotel brands, online travel intermediaries and technology solution providers are all too aware that online conversion is a huge issue. Depending on who you talk to, online conversion rates for most travel websites sit in the low single digits and all stakeholders are challenged with what to do about it.

So, which way is the industry moving and how does price transparency fit in?

While more hotels are today educated about the ‘billboard effect’ and its role in increasing direct sales, research released by SalesCycle earlier this year will have been welcomed by anyone involved in selling travel online for the insight it provided into the reasons travellers abandon a booking.

As a refresher, most travellers (39 percent) say they are just looking and want to do further research, while high prices/desire to compare and the need to involve others in the process were cited as the next two biggest reasons.

Finally, stumbling blocks – such as an over-complex booking process, technical issues and payment problems – were also reasons cited for abandoning a booking.

Empowering travellers to make the choice

A deeper dive into the SalesCycle research also reveals where in the booking path travellers drop off and more than half admit to abandoning a booking when they are shown the total price.

It’s no wonder, then, that brands and intermediaries employ various techniques to keep people on their sites and ensure they have everything they need to complete the booking.

One good example, recently reported by Tnooz, was a move by UK-based chain Shire Inns which recently introduced a price comparison feature on its website.

It seems like a risky move because the hotel group could lose the booking altogether by enabling potential guests to compare its rates against those of four large online travel agencies (OTAs). It could also risk the ire of those same OTAs but Shire argues that it recognises travellers want to shop around.

Getting the distribution mix right

Early results are positive for Shire, with the chain experiencing significantly-improved, double-digit conversion rates. Not a bad result when considering the industry average is around four percent.

What the story highlights is the need for hoteliers to track where their guests are coming from and ensure they are getting their distribution mix right, both direct and indirect.

On the one hand, hoteliers should not be paying twice for guests they believe they would have attracted anyway. However, most hoteliers recognise the value they get from the OTAs, in terms of the extended reach they offer via the sales marketing clout that sits behind the online giants and helps smooth out the peaks and troughs in the hotel business.

So, moves from hoteliers to push the direct channel are only a part of the equation.

SiteMinder recently produced its own findings on the power of direct bookings, showing that while Booking.com continues to hold the top spot when it comes to revenue generation, TheBookingButton Internet booking engine came third in terms of business to hotels.

So where does hotel distribution go from here?

2014 was certainly a year of upheaval with further consolidation in the online travel market and new entrants to consider in the mix. 2015 has not been that different so far with Expedia’s planned acquisition of Orbitz and rumours around Priceline acquiring RocketMiles.

No one can say where it will all end up.

Hoteliers will continue to consider initiatives like Shire Inns’ price comparison tool because, ultimately, it’s about attracting, reaching and converting all travellers, and giving them the choice to book what they want in the way they want.

But as part of the increasingly-complex distribution strategy that today’s Internet economy demands, hoteliers will – and should – also continue to sell rooms via a mix of channels, direct and indirect, to ensure their businesses reap the benefit of reaching both global and local travel markets to generate the most value and in the most effective way.

via The role of price transparency in converting hotel guests online | By Fig Cakar.

Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices | TravelPulse

Engagement Labs, the technology and data company, has recently released the social media rankings of the top performing hotel chains, airlines, online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch sites.

The rankings are based on Engagement Labs’ eValue scores, which take into account three factors: Engagement, Impact and Responsiveness.

Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices

The top three hospitality companies on Twitter are (in order) Hyatt Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Trump Hotel Collection. Hyatt was highlighted for using highly visual vacation-related content and the use of creative hashtags.

The top three Facebook marketers in the hotel industry are The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. Ritz-Carlton stood out based on its regular engagement with travelers and its posting of images and facts of its resorts.

“As social media is increasingly becoming an all-purpose communication tool, the hotel industry excels by providing real-time information to their customers on their social media channels,” said Bryan Segal, chief executive officer of Engagement Labs, via a release. “Companies like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Hyatt Hotels utilize their social media channels to provide up-to-date resort news and industry information as a one stop shop for their audiences.”

American Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines led carriers in Twitter marketing. American Airlines also was No. 1 in Facebook marketing, followed by Island Air and Delta Air Lines.

On Twitter, American Airlines was adept at responding to consumer postings and weaving in topical news and events to drive interest, according to Engagement Labs.

On Facebook, American Airlines received a high eValue score for updating travelers on company information and relating major news and events back to the airline industry (to celebrate Women’s History Month, the major carrier asked Facebook followers to share stories about female American Airlines members who exemplified premier customer service).

In terms of the travel aggregators (OTAs and metasearch sites), Hotels.com, OneTravel and CheapOair were the top Twitter marketers (parent company Fareportal owns both OneTravel and CheapOair). Hotels.com was highlighted for using Twitter to dish out the latest deals and promotions, as well as posting travel tips and trivia to boost engagement.

BookIt.com, Orbitz Worldwide and Travelocity were the top three Facebook marketers. BookIt.com scored highly in large part because the site posted articles that included travel ideas, tips for things to do in particular destinations, and contests for their followers to win trips to different destinations.

Travelers on social media “want convenience, trusted brands and good deals,” Segal said. “Social media is a key resource to help consumers navigate the complexity of travel today. We see marketers optimizing social channels to enhance user experience, customer satisfaction and develop trust and loyalty with their audiences.”

Engagement Labs’ eValue Analytics leverages more than 300 conventional social media metrics to produce a single benchmarked score, analyzing more than 75,000 handpicked, verified brands that include marketers, advertisers, publishers and broadcasters around the world.

via Travel Companies Ranked on Best Social Media Practices | TravelPulse.

Tourism Marketing: E-travel giants get more individual – fvw

Leading travel e-retailers are using technology to speed up and individualise their offers, according to top executives at a recent fvw event.

Expedia-Europa-Chef Andreas Nau

Online travel giant Expedia cannot afford to carefully plan a medium-term strategy, Andreas Nau, head of Expedia Europe, told the fvw Online Marketing Day in Frankfurt. “We have to be fast, test and be allowed to make mistakes,” he declared.

For example, Expedia is currently testing a new form of hotel evaluation in 60,000 properties via a new app. “Customers can quickly give their views on the reception, service and overall impressions via smileys,” he explained to some 270 participants. Hoteliers “are already addicted to it” and respond quickly, he said.

Outlining some new products, Nau said that Expedia has developed a tool enabling hoteliers to change their prices via a mobile device, and is working on a method of presenting room prices like on a stock exchange.

Tom Breckwoldt, TripAdvisor’s Germany chief

Meanwhile, TripAdvisor is rapidly embarking on a new ‘customer journey’ and adapting itself to changing user habits, and the rapid advance of mobile devices, above all. “More than 50% of all content is consumed by mobile today,” said Tom Breckwoldt, Germany chief of the evaluation portal.

TripAdvisor no longer just wants to display hotel rankings ahead of a trip but also offer additional services at the destination, such as restaurant visits or excursions. The company has already bought content providers such as restaurant finder La Fourchette and activity finder Viator. Such activities will then be bookable on the company’s mobile portal.

Breckwoldt stressed: “Our core business remains the rankings, the evaluation of hotels and other services.” But he also predicted rapid growth of destination-based mobile bookings due to the spread of mobile devices and free wi-fi.

Facebook is also a good source of information for online tourism marketing, especially because companies can form clusters of users to target, Benjamin Schroeter, managing director of Facelift Brand Building Technologies, told the event. Tour operators, for example, could target specific groups for last-minute sales, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, this year’s fvw Online Marketing Award was won by the Hamburg tourist board for their mobile app, which acts as a city guide with detailed additional information as well as user evaluation options. The app has been downloaded more than 65,000 times since its launch in mid-2014.

via Tourism Marketing: E-travel giants get more individual.

How Google Now is Improving Travel. – 4Hoteliers

google nowIt seems that with every new release, smartphones are changing everything, they have had a significant impact on the travel industry over the last few years, and this trend doesn’t  seem to be stopping.

A lot of the larger hotel chains have developed stand alone apps to try and gain better control over the guest experience.

These apps are typically targeted to members of their loyalty programs or frequent travelers, but Google has a new product that might make them obsolete and level the playing field for independent hotels.

Google Now

Available with the latest versions of Google’s Android OS and through the Google Search app for the iPhone, Google Now is changing the way users are interacting with their smartphones. Using what they call Google Cards, Google Now displays a custom feed of information tailored specifically to the user. Day to day use provides local weather reports, traffic conditions, where you parked your car and new stories relevant to your interests. It pulls this data from the usage of your phone, GPS data and emails.

Specifically when traveling, Google Now can be incredibly useful. By scanning your emails, Google Now will automate a travel itinerary and update it on the fly. It knows what time your flights leave and will alert you when it’s time to check in, leave for the airport and even if there are any delays.

Google Now even generates your Boarding Passes as a scannable QR code. Once you arrive and check in, Google Now can display local attractions, nearby restaurants and other areas of interest. Now has become not only your itinerary, but your travel guide as well.

So how can hoteliers use these services to their advantage? Every hotel should make sure their emails are coded to trigger Google Now Cards. Contact your booking engine provider to see if their coding is compatible. If you’re doing your own coding, Google has provided a basic tutorial to help get started.

Encoding your outgoing emails to be captured by Google Now will only impact those currently using the service, others will see your emails normally. Once set up the Card can display a photo of your hotel, a Click to Call button, Reservation number, and Check In/Out times.

As mobile Check In features become more robust they will be integrated into Now as well. Most of the larger OTAs are already coding their emails to work with Now, so it’s important for hoteliers to match and exceed that experience as services grow.

Joshua Meehan is a Marketing Specialist at E-Marketing Associates, where he assists independent hotels with marketing strategies, social media, and contributes regularly to the E-Marketing Associates Blog. E-Marketing Associates works exclusively with independent hotels and builds innovative online marketing products that increase direct bookings and drive top-line revenue.

E-Marketing Associates helps independent hotels increase direct bookings and reduce reliance on OTAs. We build innovative online marketing products that deliver the best ROI for independent hotels. Our products aim to ultimately drive top-line revenue.

via How Google Now is Improving Travel. – Friday, 16th January 2015 at 4Hoteliers.

17 European Countries Band Together to Create Meetings-Themed Marketing Organization – Skift

This fall, 17 European convention bureaus across the continent announced the formation of a new alliance, designed to pool resources and share best practices to protect market share in the global meetings and convention arena.

This initiative—presently positioned as the European National Convention Bureaux—parallels the leisure consumer-facing Visit Europe consortia of 33 tourism bureaus, operated by the European Travel Commission. The launch date for an official website has not yet been announced.

U.S. bookings for meetings, conventions and incentive travel are coming back strong throughout Europe, as they are in many other long-haul destinations that were also deemed prohibitively expensive during the recession.

“We’re increasing our group sales staff 20% in Europe for 2015,” says Christopher Koleros, area director of sales/marketing, Europe, InterContinental Hotels. “There’s a lot of pent up demand for Europe right now, including secondary markets like Prague and Budapest, because so many groups curtailed their European programs after 2009.”

Therefore, the motivation behind the launch of the new European meetings destination marketing organization (DMO) is two-fold. One is to maintain top-of-mind positioning for Europe as a primary meetings location. With so many emerging destinations from Brazil to New Zealand rising on planners’ radars, it’s paramount for European countries to proactively ensure they remain competitive.

via 17 European Countries Band Together to Create Meetings-Themed Marketing Organization – Skift.