Today’s marketers can — and do — quickly and easily capture and produce video content, thanks to tools such as smartphones and channels like Facebook and Instagram. But despite that, production values still matter, especially in B2C markets such as travel and hospitality. The ability to effectively convey the look and feel of a destination to consumers, convention planners, and travel managers can set a venue apart from the competition.
“Video marketing typically performs very well for several obvious reasons,” says Eric Johnson, a content and video specialist with FeedbackWrench, a digital marketing agency. “It’s engaging, stimulating, and fast-moving.” Less apparent, but equally important, he says, “is the fact that video marketing also sends clearer positive signals to social networks in regard to the engagement that they receive.”
An Effective Strategy
Last month, Choozle released its Key Findings & Best Practices report, analyzing performance metrics for more than 5,700 campaigns launched through its platform in 2018 and comparing findings against its 2018 Digital Ad Trends survey to draw conclusions about what worked, what didn’t, and how metrics could be best used to help plan campaigns.
Video, according to Choozle and other research, works. Especially as conversion rates and load speeds have improved through higher-speed networks, consumers have become more satisfied with the quality of video available to them, says Choozle Chief Product Officer Jeffrey Finch.
On average, according to the research, video ads drove higher click-through rates (CTR), with mobile video sized 620×360 averaging the highest at 0.396%. Faster phones and networks are helping to drive interest. However, Finch says, “72% prefer not to see video.” He ties that back to the user experience, which can still vary considerably.
When it comes to video consumption, though, quality counts. Grainy, shaky, poorly lit video footage simply won’t do the trick, despite arguments that consumers are “used to” do-it-yourself video.
“People buy with the eye,” Finch says. “I still believe that to be soundly true. Quality, quality, quality counts — even if selling a ‘humble’ product.” Even locally produced ads, he says, which often have less production value than big-brand ads, “still should be produced in a high-quality way.”
In the hospitality industry in particular, high-quality images are a must-have. It’s just a factor of a competitive environment that is populated by a large number of big-ticket players. Beyond the imagery, though, Choozle points to another critical factor in achieving success through videos: They have to load quickly. That may not be such an issue in large metro markets, but it still is in rural areas, Finch says.
Andrew Selepak, a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida and director of the graduate program in social media, says: “Since cave paintings, humans have been visual creatures. It is only natural that video advertising performs better than static visuals or text alone.
“Although video is more difficult and expensive to produce than a single image with text, it is more effective, at least when done properly,” Selepak adds. “Simply creating video advertising won’t bring a company a boost in sales, but quality video advertising that tells an interesting story can boost the bottom line.”
It’s a crowded media environment these days, and marketers must take steps to boost the odds that their messages will stand out. “We are overwhelmed with advertising messages, and our brains have blocked them out, or we buy streaming services like Netflix to skip the ads,” Selepak says. “But whether it is scrolling through our timelines or fast-forwarding through the commercials, we will stop and watch something visually interesting or creative.”
Not only that, but we’re also likely to share the ad with friends and family. “This earned media is more effective when it is promoted by customers and not the company,” he says.
The bottom line: When using video, don’t skimp on production values and the user experience. In the world of marketing, not all videos are created equal.