Video is the new star but remember to focus closely on the experience

Puerto Vallarta Riviera Nayarit Marketing Agency Tourism Hotel Strategy Video Production Consultant

Video is the new star of SEO, but remember to focus closely on the experience.

Marketing Agency Tourism Hotel Video Production Consultant

Consider the strength of YouTube today. Around 800 million unique users visit the site each month to watch over 4 billion hours of video. That makes it increasingly difficult for content to be found. So travel companies not only have to leverage the strength of video as a content format, they also have to ensure visibility across multiple search engines.

Search engine optimisation is still considered to be a relatively cheap source of traffic acquisition, and an efficient method of increasing brand visibility. Yet François Joly, SEO, SEM manager at online hotel video company says video search engine optimisation (VSEO) is still in its infancy and there are no marketing standards in place just yet. This leaves a good opportunity for brands to get good ranking on search engines. After all, studies, including ones by Google, and travel companies’ own multi-touch attribution model offer ample proof that both leisure and business travellers consistently refer to videos in their decision-making process.

EyeforTravel’s Ritesh Gupta talks about Joly about the role of videos in digital marketing and developing a sound VSEO strategy.

EFT: What sort of role do videos play in a digital marketing strategy today?

FJ: In the recent past, video consumption increased massively. According to ComScore, over 72% of Internet users watch online videos on a regular basis. On our partner websites, we found that more than 75% of online travel consumers watch the video if provided on the page and 65% watch it entirely. These results show that video consumption is going mainstream and is becoming a common practice among web users. Moreover, new device users, especially of tablets, have also shown an insatiable demand for video content.

EFT: What factors should one consider when producing videos for the numerous screens available?

FJ: So when thinking about video strategy, you have to think multi-device:
What video format (length, storyline, for what type of device
Shooting has to be in HD quality in order to be IPTV and iPad compliant,
The player technology shall support all devices.
Monitoring the stats per video and device is important to improve the content over time.

EFT: What are the challenges relating to a video SEO strategy? How does it vary from text-oriented SEO strategy?

FJ: The good news is that the travel industry has, for now, not invested much in video. So there is a high chance to be ranked, even on competitive keywords. We have seen impressive results on very competitive search terms as ‘Hotel + Destination’ on Google for some of our hotel partners and OTA’s. So the big difference with a text-oriented strategy is the amount of content spread out there – every website has text content whereas few (for now) have videos and even fewer, have videos optimised for SEO and conversion rate.

Video investment can be more expensive than text, but you have to take into consideration:

(a) the incremental traffic to your website,
(b) the user experience, and
(c) the increase of conversion rate – we found very interesting short-term ROI for travel companies investing in videos.

EFT: How can videos enable travel marketers to build brands?

FJ: In the past, videos were a ‘nice-to-have’ but today it is a ‘must-have’ in travel marketers acquisition strategy. Other online markets like shoes (Zapos), retail (Amazon) and clothes (ASOS) use videos as a key tool of their marketing strategies and see strong ROI. The travel industry is a bit late in investing in video, mainly because marketers think it is complicated and expensive to get good video content. It is indeed more difficult to shoot hotels or a destination around the world than shooting a product in a studio. Nevertheless, travel can raise inspiration and emotion better than any other product.

Watching where you go on holidays, your future room, and the surroundings… makes you already travel while booking your hotel. These are user experiences that benefit the brands. Video brings not only trust and emotion to the user, but also differentiation and stickiness to the brand.

We believe that content makes a real difference between brands; all the more that now price and availability are a convenience. Besides, it is interesting to see that Google invested in content with the acquisition of Zagat and Frommers.

EFT: How can videos influence shopping behaviour and what sort of conversion rates can be expected?

FJ: Video has a clear impact on conversion rates. A bad video can impact the conversion rate negatively and of course a good one positively. It is like reviews at the end of the day, some are positive to your business, some aren’t. We developed through A/B tests and focus groups for the last six years a very good understanding of what really impacts the travellers. Quality is clearly key. Travellers want nice, colourful videos, and in a short time they also want to see the right info and an unbiased look of what they get. The integration of the video in the page is also very important; it has to be a seamless experience to watch the video.

With a good format, good integration and the right technology you can expect conversions to rise by up to 15%.

EFT: What are the major considerations when working on a video SEO strategy?

FJ: We usually take the following steps:

On which SEO keywords are you strong? On which are you weak?

What are the main traffic hubs on your website?

Which pages of your website generate revenue?

What is your ROI target for the SEO initiative?

VSEO is a new and effective tool that uses the same KPI’s as any other SEO project. The good news is that every time a video is put online, the SEO impact is reflected seven to 10 days after launch. Efficiency is then easy and quick to test. That said, video is much more than a SEO tool. It is also a key driver to improve your conversion rate and customer experience.

EFT: Can you list few do’s and don’ts for video SEO initiatives?

Use video content as one of your acquisition channel with the same ROI KPIs.
Work on the integration of the video within your site for a seamless experience.
Get content that reflects your brand’s values and products. Don’t cheat.
Be precise in the Meta Data you submit to the search engine.

Don’t give priority to volume instead of quality: it will badly impact your conversion rate.
Don’t use a technology that competes with your website on search engines: third parties usually try to rank their own page on your keywords.
Be careful of the use of user-generated video: it sounds like a cost effective solution but often turns out to be inefficient (you just don’t get the coverage) and expensive.

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