Video for Travel and Tourism (Expedia Case Study)
Video is the big thing for travel and tourism.
The right video strategy helps to attract more visitors.
Videos are an attractive and fun medium in the eye-catching way used by millions potential travelers.
Video increases traffic to your website, appears in search results helps in developing more sales opportunities.
81% users social media looking for business travel options and 79% searching for personal travel opportunity.
63% watch videos for personal travel and 66% for business travel.
Also many consumers create reviews and upload their own travel videos.
Online tourism or online hotel videos can help acquire more visitors and growth revenue.
Consumers look for online videos to help them make decisions.
“Visibility is key for the travel industry”
Online Video is a new, emerging platform for travel and tourism that continues to evolve day after day.
How Expedia Tapped into the Emotional Power of the Travel Video [Case Study]
According to Wendy Olson Killion, the director of product management for Expedia Media Solutions, “Travel sites are highly functional and rational.
But travel is personal and emotional.” This misalignment between travel technology – which asks you where you’re flying from and to, when you’re departing and
returning, how many rooms you need, and how many adults and children will be travelling with you – and consumer expectations offered Expedia an opportunity.
That’s why Expedia, which is the world’s leading online travel site, launched a brand campaign three years ago called “Find Yours.” The campaign featured much
user-generated content – including videos from consumers explaining how travel had changed them.
Expedia: Using Video to Tell the Story of Travel
The ‘Find Yours’ campaign was a departure from the usual commoditized approach of online travel booking for Expedia.com. For example, as part of the campaign,
Expedia also became a platinum sponsor of Passports with Purpose, an organization dedicated to doing long-lasting good for people who live in the places travelers visit.
One of the first videos in the “Find Yours” campaign is entitled “Find Your Understanding.” It follows a father’s journey, both literal and figurative, as he deals
with conflicting emotions relative to his lesbian daughter’s same-sex marriage. The short video is composed of real footage taken of Artie Goldstein, a retired business owner, Jill Sloane Goldstein, a seasoned advertising executive turned writer/producer, and Nikki Weiss, an agent and producer in the feature film and advertising commercial industry.
Yes, the video incorporates real footage of Artie travelling from Georgia to Jill and Nikki’s wedding in Malibu. But there’s more to this story than can been seen in
the footage of a real traveler finding a unique, personal experience through his trip. For example, Expedia has been a long-standing supporter of gay travel and features an LGBT travel store offering 1,400 IGLTA certified hotels. And Expedia made a statement in support of the marriage equality legislation on the 2012 ballot in Washington State, where the company is headquartered.
Yes, travel can take you out of your comfort zone and change your perspective. But Expedia’s “You’re your Understanding,” which was viewed over 2 million times on YouTube, is a rare example of a brand walking the walk as well as talking the talk almost three years before the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
The Travelers Story: Find Your Strength
Another one of the early videos in the “Find Yours” campaign is entitled “Find Your Strength.” It demonstrates how travel helped one young woman fulfill her promise to her best friend who lost his battle with cancer. The film follows the journey of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patient Maggie as she prepares to share her message of strength after coming to terms with her own cancer and discovers a renewed purpose in life.
“Find Your Strength” tells a story that demonstrates every trip is unique and has the power to be transformative. And Killion says the video increased site traffic, bookings, and overall brand health. But, once again, Expedia did more than tell Maggie’s story. The brand also invited consumers to join the brand in donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Expedia’s Facebook Share Campaign: for every Facebook user who shared the Find Your Strength post from Expedia’s Facebook page,
Expedia donated $5, up to a total of $50,000.
Consumers could Retweet to Donate on Expedia’s Twitter page; for every retweet of the campaign hashtag #ExpediaStJude, Expedia donated $1, up to $10,000.
Via SMS Donation Matching, consumers could text GIVE to 50333 to donate $10 to the kids of St. Jude. Expedia matched those donations, up to a total of $25,000.
Find Yours Donation Matching: Expedia also matched every dollar consumers donated when they visited www.Expedia.com/FindYours,
up to a total of $165,000, bringing the total donation directly from Expedia to $250,000 in addition to donations from consumers.
Travel Videos: Find Your Spontaneity
Two years ago, Expedia commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a survey more than 2,000 adults based in the U.S, aged 18 and over. Respondents were asked about holiday activities, last-minute trips, and how they used their tablets and smartphones to plan travel. The survey found that 92% of U.S. adults consider themselves pretty spontaneous when it comes to travel planning and activities, including 30% of those who replied who confirmed they had planned last-minute trips out of their town. 26% stated that they a spontaneous trip to the beach.
To demonstrate how easy it was to use the Expedia app for local or international travel, Expedia hired Adam Shuty to approach people on the street and tell them that if they agreed to drop what they were doing to leave for their dream trip right away, Expedia would pay for the vacation. As the video entitled, “Expedia Trip A Day Giveaway – Find Your Spontaneity,” shows one lucky man took the offer and was given a free trip to see the Great Wall of China.
Once again, Expedia went beyond just telling a story about finding your spontaneity. Customers who downloaded the Expedia app on their compatible Android or iOS devices were entered into an Expedia Trip-A-Day Giveaway. A winner was selected each day and given a $1,200 coupon to put towards any trip booked through Expedia. According to Killion, the Trip-A-Day Giveaway generated thee following results:
870,000 total YouTube video views,
725,000 total mobile app downloads,
425,000 total entries, and
18 total trips booked.
Expedia Video Marketing Campaign: Find Your Alberta
The success of the “Find Yours” campaign prompted Travel Alberta, the tourism marketing organization for the province in Western Canada, to approach Expedia Media Solutions to launch a custom version of the campaign called Find Your Alberta. Travel Alberta asked Expedia Media Solutions to generate some innovative video content that would increase the visibility of Alberta to potential visitors, and push the destination via social media.
As the video entitled, “Expedia Road Trip with Travel Alberta: Captain and Clark in Edmonton,” illustrates, the team sent travel bloggers Captain & Clark to Alberta and produced video content around tourist destinations, which served as a Viewfinder vlog series and pre-roll within home page video units.
According to Killion, the two-month campaign generated the following results:
9 million Twitter impressions,
2 million Facebook impressions,
76,000 Google+ impressions, and
8,200 total YouTube video views.
That means a total of more than 4.1 million impressions were generated across Twitter, Facebook, G+, and YouTube. But, these are marketing metrics, not business outcomes.
From Travel Alberta’s perspective, the two-month campaign generated the following results:
More than 133,000 travelers visited Alberta from the U.S. and Canada,
They booked over 81,000 nights in hotel rooms, and
They booked 22,250 airline tickets.
Killian concludes, “Expedia set out to make travel personal again with the ‘Find Yours’ campaign. We leveraged the power of video – including a mix of user-generated and produced footage – along with storytelling to communicate the emotional journey that travel can unlock.”
All I can add is this: Expedia tapped into the emotional power of travel videos to maintain its leadership. But, taking risks and sharing the rewards with partners also turned out to be a smart strategy for generating traffic and growing revenue.
Have Something to Say? We’re listening!
Greg Jarboe is President and Co-Founder of SEO-PR, an award-winning content marketing agency. He is also the author of “YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day” as well as a contributor to four other books. He is an instructor in two Rutgers Business School Executive Education Mini-MBA programs as well as the Video and Content Marketing faculty chair at Simplilearn. In addition to ReelSEO, he also writes for The SEM Post and Momentology.
1. Embrace Video Storytelling
You are missing a huge opportunity to attract and convert more of your ideal customers into actual customers and visitors if you are not embracing video.
2. Optimise your video
Optimise the video length based on where you are sharing it.
The shorter the better for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Include a link of where/what you want your viewers to do next.
Adding voice-over captions if there are people talking.
Upload the video to YouTube, YouTube is still the 2nd largest search engine after Google.
3. Repurpose the video
Create short, different versions of the same video for the different social media channels (such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter).
Share a longer version on your website on relevant product pages
Reshare the video footage at other times of the year where relevant
4. Make it easy for others to share your story
Once you have taken some great video and shared it on your own social media channels.
Package your awesome video with high quality photos, a high-res version of the video and a press release as files.
Tourism Videos are fast becoming the best way to visually display your travel services and holidays’ ideas to the world.
Videos give internet users and your potential customer a way to see and “touch” the travel destinations or travel services you offer and give a more existing impression.
Travel Videos can be shared with friends and family, and any other person involved in the decision-making process.
Many sources prove that online video viewing influences buying behavior.
Those viewing video are 89% more likely to book then those who don’t.
Why is this? Because video tells a story that lets prospective guests ‘experience’ your travel services
as if they’re already there which gives them the confidence to book.
Having a strong social media presence will help you connect with potential customers and build brand loyalty.
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