The power of video when making travel decisions

The travel industry has been called the most sophisticated sector for moment marketing. In fact, the sector is being hailed as a prime example for other industries – finance, consumer goods and tech, for example – to follow when it comes to marketing best practices.

With consumers growing increasingly attached to their smartphones (it is estimated the average user looks at their smartphone more than 200 times a day), being able to connect and engage with these individuals is becoming very important for marketers. The use of clever marketing tactics such as moment marketing is one sure-fire way of achieving just this.

But there's another type of marketing that is emerging, particularly in the travel sector, further aiding the cause of marketers – that of video. YouTube data has shown that travellers are spending more time watching online videos than ever before. In fact, views of travel-related content has increased by 118% year-on-year, with consumers using their mobile devices to watch such videos anytime, anywhere.

Considering the popularity of travel videos and the use of mobile devices, travel brands are now having to consider expanding into this area of marketing in order to attract more consumers and provide them with the content they crave.

Google and Ipsos MediaCT have also released further details pertaining to consumer's consumption of travel video. It was found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of people use video when thinking about going on holiday, and 48% use the medium as inspiration when thinking about what kind of trip or holiday to take. More than two-thirds (67%) use video when choosing a specific destination and the types of activities to book when there.

A similar percentage (63%) use video to help them make a decision when it comes to accommodation. It was also revealed that one of the reasons behind video's popularity with travellers is that the majority of consumers find it hard to distinguish between brands other than on price; video is therefore being used more to help differentiate brands and provide a memorable message that resonates with target customers.

Bernd Fauser, the Sales Director for Google UK is quoted as saying: "You don't need huge budgets, it's about the content people engage with." With this in mind, there really is no excuse for travel brands of all sizes and from every niche travel market not to invest in video content.

Looking at the specifics of travel video searches, YouTube found that 71% of queries on the site began with destination names – for example, Las Vegas or Hawaii. Next to this came searches for specific local attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower or Disneyland. The third most popular form of search term revolved around the types of holidays people take – family vacations or road trips.

Taking these insights into account marketers for travel brands will be able to create videos likely to garner the most traffic and interest. But it is also important to include a mix of brand or professionally released videos and to feature community-generated content, as 33% of travel video views are for those posted by non-professionals.

So, as video slowly takes over the travel sector, will you be seeking to expand into this area of marketing? How do you plan on best engaging with consumers using this marketing approach?