Creating Online Content that Converts Travel Shoppers


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Learn what types of hotel media content are best for converting travel shoppers from lookers into bookers.

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  • In addition to being the host, I will also be a speaker for today’s webinar!
    As I said before, I am Vice President, Best Practices for Leonardo’s Online Merchandising Group. My role is to educate hoteliers and work with industry associations to heighten awareness of new online visual storytelling techniques that motivate consumers throughout their online travel shopping journey.
    I have more than 25 years of marketing & sales leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies. Over the last 2 decades, my client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Hilton Hotels, Southwest Airlines, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and USA Today.
  • Now, I’d like to introduce our special guest, Christine Hopkins, Director of Communications for Hotel Galvez & Spa and The Tremont House, which are both Wyndham Grand Hotels, and Harbor House Hotel & Marina
    She is responsible for media relations, advertising content, all social media outlets, websites, as well as marketing tools such as Leonardo’s VBrochure.
    She is accredited in public relations and loves and lives in Galveston which she has promoted in various professional roles for more than 20 years. She has received numerous awards throughout her career.
    Christine is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University and has bachelor’s degrees in Journalism, specializing in Public Relations, and Speech Communications as well as a minor in Marketing.
    Welcome Christine!
  • Before we kick off our discussion, let me share some stats with you, which highlight the importance of having compelling multi-media to attract and convert travel shoppers:
    Videos are extremely important in the hotel industry - studies have shown that videos on landing pages increase conversions by a whopping 86%! (Source)
    Virtual tours are very important to travel shoppers – in fact, websites with virtual tours are viewed 5-10 times longer by travel shoppers than those without! (Source)
    Also, according to TripAdvisor Business Insights, travelers spend more time on listings with 30 or more photos, and many won’t book a property without images! (Source)
    Adding on to that…doubling a hotel’s online pictures can result in a 4.5% take-up and $3.50 higher ADR (Source)
  • The Matrix
    Ocean’s 11
  • One of the ways we set our hotel apart from the competition is by trying to tell a story and we do that through compelling rich media – photos and videos – and accompanying text descriptions. A picture is worth a 1,000 words but the accompanying text description helps frame your hotel story and allows travel shoppers to figure out what you’re about and what you can offer them.
    Travel shoppers will view, on average, about 10 images per visit and double that for guest room images, so we include lots of visuals on our site, and specifically of the things travel shoppers want to see
    In our Vbrochure player, which gets syndicated to thousands of travel channels, we features photos of the things guest most want to see
    We’ve also made it a lot easier for our travel shoppers by customizing our player so that they don’t have to scroll through tons of images – they can easily click on the category they’re interested in (“Features & Amenities,” “Sleep” or “Meet & Celebrate”). This also adds another layer to our story – our top features are clearly visible for travel shoppers.
    We all know how great visuals can appeal to travel shoppers and really set your hotel apart. That’s why we use really high quality images on our site, to ensure guests can know exactly what they’re signing up for.
  • Another example of how we tell our story is through video – we had a high-quality video produced, and it’s snackble – just 45 seconds, so enough time to show off our amenities but not too long that travel shoppers click and move on somewhere else. Videos are extremely important for us as a hotel, because we know travel shoppers really want to be able to envision what they can expect at your hotel, what nearby attractions they can visit, and what type of experience they’re going to have.
    We found that creating a professional video allowed us to really showcase our hotel and all the features in a positive light that appeals to travel shoppers. It features our top amenities like meeting rooms and event spaces to the ballroom, restaurants and dining options (with great close ups of our brunch)
    We also wanted to make it fun – so we have really lively, upbeat music
    Finally, we kept in mind that although we want to show off everything about our hotel, today’s shoppers don’t have a long attention span, so our video is short and sweet.
    I think this really adds a personal touch to our hotel story and shows travel shoppers what type of experience they can expect to have at our hotel

  • You’ll note the big bold headings next to the images which really entice the readers to click – for our “sleep” heading, we’ve written “Reveal the beauty of the gulf from within your deluxe guest room.” So this really resonates with travel shoppers and immediately gives them an image of paradise, relaxation, etc.

    We’re also followed Leonardo’s best practices for hotel storytelling:
    Including a maximum of eight images in each tab, so that travel shoppers don’t have to scroll through images, which reduces the chance that travel shoppers are going to find what they’re looking for.
    We’ve accompanied our images with compelling text descriptions, and we’ve customized our VBrochure player, and provided rich media – images and videos.
    You’ll notice also we made sure our text descriptions fit into the box so there’s no scroll bar needed.
  • Results – we’ve seen lots of great engagement on Facebook, and I think this is because we’re active, we’re posting compelling photos and we’re responding to our followers when they like, comment, or share our posts.
    Almost 9,000 likes but perhaps more importantly: 39,000 visits, and we’re rated as four and a half stars on Facebook.
    Twitter – almost 1,000 followers
  • Millions of people are active on social media and one of the main topics people discuss, share and talk about on social media is travel.
    Our hotel story really wouldn’t be complete without engaging with travelers on social media – and we remember it’s a two way conversation. We respond to comments, we shout out guests who are getting married at the hotel.
    We also make sure we have all the important information travelers are looking for – where we’re located, our hours, website, and specific Facebook apps so they can take a tour of the property, and book directly from Facebook
  • - We also make sure we have all the important information travelers are looking for – where we’re located, our hours, website, and specific Facebook apps so they can take a tour of the property, and book directly from Facebook
    - Screenshot of apps – we have installed all 5 of Leonardo’s apps, but we’ve also customized them for our brand and made them unique to our hotel story
  • - Example of a great way we engage on Facebook – we let our followers know that we have a special theatre menu on show nights.
    We’re not afraid to have fun on Facebook – an episode of TLC’s The Little Couple was filmed at our hotel so we wrote a short Facebook post about it – and we got tons of great feedback (336 likes, 12 shares, 41 comments)
    Social media is
  • Just last year we had over 2,000 views of our VBrochure from Facebook (so lots of interest and traction from Facebook, because of the great story we’re telling on social media)
    We’re also seeing lots of traffic from specific travel channels like Trip Advisor, Priceline, Concur – a business travel channels. Getting a lot of exposure on thousands of travel channels.
    Other results to mention:
    Increase bookings? Increase website views?
    Increased engagement on social media? Maybe can talk about how you got so many likes and good reviews
    Increased efficiency, saves us precious time, which is really important for hoteliers – we upload our media in VBrochure and it gets syndicated to thousands of channels, so eliminating the need for us to do the work twice
  • Creating Online Content that Converts Travel Shoppers

    1. 1. Copyright © 2014 Leonardo Worldwide Corporation Technical Difficulties? Contact Citrix GoToWebinar 1-800-263-6317 Creating Online Content that Converts Travel Shoppers July 17, 2014 Darlene Rondeau, VP, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo Christine Hopkins, Director of Communications, Hotel Galvez, The Tremont House and Harbor House Hotel and Marina Technical Difficulties? Contact Citrix GoToWebinar 1-800-263-6317
    2. 2. Darlene Rondeau Vice-President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising Leonardo @darlenerondeau
    3. 3. Follow: @vfmleonardo Tweets & Questions: #LeoWebinar
    4. 4. Christine Hopkins Director of Communications Hotel Galvez & Spa, The Tremont House and Harbor House Hotel & Marina
    5. 5. ► Snackable ► How consumers interact with your website matters ► Your hotel exterior is not your “hero shot” ► Optimize the experience The Future of Digital Visual Storytelling
    6. 6. Role • Quick evaluation • Why would I stay here? • Put on short list of options Images
    7. 7. ► Highest res available ► Greater than 2048 pixels on longest side ► Lower than 1024 may not be accepted ► Expedia only; prefers 2800 pixels on longest side and < 2048 is considered poor ► 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal; landscape occupies entire screen ► JPEG or JPG + TIF, BMP, GIF, PNG and PSD ► Never older than 3 years ► Brand identity ► 15 – 21+ limited service ► 18 – 28+ for full service ► 21 – 35+ for luxury ► Categories in order of interest 1. Guest rooms 2. Restaurants 3. Recreations/attractions 4. Lobby 5. Maps 6. Business Center 7. Pool 8. Amenities(meetings, fitness, etc.) 9. Exterior 10. Bar/Lounge QuantityQuality
    8. 8. Viewed Images on Travel Websites 1. Guest Rooms 2. Restaurant 3. Recreation 4. Lobby 5. Map 6. Business Center 7. Pool 8. Amenity 9. Exterior 10. Bar/ Lounge Top 10
    9. 9. Role • Increase confidence • Provide greater detail • Is it what it claims to be? Virtual Tours
    10. 10. ► Cylindrical JPG files ► 7000 x 1750 is ideal ► VT images should be produced in panoramic (360° x 90°) in highest resolution ► 4:1 aspect ratio is ideal without cropping; anything = or > 2:1 will work also ► 2:1 aspect ratio is minimum ► Raw JPEGs are preferred; can be converted as needed ► Post photography process ensures image is balanced and properly lit ► 3 – 10 high definition Virtual Tours ► Different aspects of your property ● Guest rooms ● Breakfast areas ● Lobby ● Fitness center QuantityQuality
    11. 11. ► Images ● Easily scanned during research phase ● Images on Facebook generate 104% more comments than the average post ● Properties with > 20 photos get 150% more engagement ● Doubling images can result in 4.5% conversion and a $3.50 higher ADR ● Does double duty supporting Virtual Tour production ► Virtual Tours ● Suited to all types of properties ● High definition, full screen maximizes experience ● Enables interactivity with the feeling of being onsite ● Accurate and flexible ● Websites with VTs are viewed 5-10 x longer Benefits
    12. 12. @vfmleonardo Your video doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production… but it can be!
    13. 13. Video – 4 Types (Content)
    14. 14. Role • Achieves balance of function and budget Video Slideshow (Production Format)
    15. 15. ► High definition digital photos as per image quality recommendations ► Production should include: ● Property & market research ● Script development ● Creative direction ● Editing ● Voice-over recording ● Music & supers ► Digitally manipulated to give illusion of movement ► Showcase key property features ► Encoded to video format for streaming ► Up to 10 digital images per slideshow ► Approximately 45 sec in length ► 1 hotel overview video ► Additional vignettes ● Shuttle service ● Complimentary Breakfast ● Manager’s Cocktail Party ● Meeting facilities ● Recreation area QuantityQuality
    16. 16. Full Motion Video (Standard & Premium) Role • Visualize & WOW • Why is this place different? • Why would I pay more?
    17. 17. ► Uncompressed is best ► Frame size: 720 x 480 pixels is ideal ► Largest resolution possible ● HD or 1080p ● 1920 x 1080 preferred or larger ► 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal; widescreen is HD standard ► MOV, AVI, MP4 ● MP4 preferred as encoding produces best results ► One 1-2 minute full motion ● Overview ► Two to three 12-45 second video ● Categories in order of interest • Guest rooms & suites • Popular restaurant & lounge • Well equipped fitness areas • Onsite/nearby recreation & attractions • Wedding/meeting facilities QuantityQuality
    18. 18. ► Slideshow • Economical • Existing selection of digital photos • Themed vignettes • Perception of moving video • Suits all property types ► Full Motion (Standard) • Exceptional value • Can lead to a 40% increase in buying • 89% and 93% of leisure and business travelers (respectively) watch video • Provides final “nudge” ► Full Motion (Premium) • Higher end production captures uniqueness • Additional production time & special equipment catches distinctive shots with touches like motion, after effects, voice and music Benefits of Video
    19. 19. Captions • The job of the caption is to quickly grab attention • Named through the eyes of the consumer • No codes, numbers or industry centric language • 3 words or 30 characters • Good captions include: Free Internet, World Class Golf, Lakefront Cottages Complimentary Breakfast • Ineffective captions are: EXT 123, Picture, Other, Room Short Descriptions • Think of it as a headline in an ad or newspaper • Maximum 90 characters Long Descriptions • Directly below short descriptions • Contains principal details of the media item viewed • Opportunity to describe value • Short paragraphs, bullets, bold, italics Complete the Story
    20. 20. Which Tells a Better Story?
    21. 21. ► Prepared ► Equipment ► Lighting/editing ► High quality ► Structured with shoot list, storyboarded ► Brand standards ► Copyright and distribution ► Requires budget In-HouseProfessional ► Fresh ► Authentic ► Engages guests ► Outside brand ► Messy & unfocused ► Quality ► Quick ► Ownership ► You know your property best ► No time or expertise ► Quality UGC Sourcing Visuals
    22. 22. At a Glance (Multi-Media eBook)
    23. 23. Christine Hopkins Director of Communications Hotel Galvez & Spa, The Tremont House and Harbor House Hotel & Marina
    24. 24. Tell a Story  Use rich media to reflect your brand; tell your story o What makes your hotel unique? What sets your hotel apart?  Show the photos travel shoppers want to see  Importance of quality photos
    25. 25. Engage with Travel Shoppers  Big, impactful headings next to our images  Bullets & bolding  Snackable text
    26. 26. A Smart Way to Highlight Specials
    27. 27. increases engagement Photos and special offers drive more engagement than simple text Engagement on Facebook higher than other types of communication Hotels should interact with their fans
    28. 28. Visual Storytelling on Social Media  Social media is a two-way conversation  Be timely, relevant, and fun  Show off what makes your hotel unique
    29. 29.  Lots of traffic from Facebook  Exposure on thousands of travel channels  Connecting with travel shoppers at multiple stages in the shopping journey and telling our consistent hotel story throughout it
    30. 30.  Stories told via multi-media are more interesting and insightful  Appeal to our short attention spans with snackable content  Use vivid captions and descriptions to gain attention  Keep your guests close to you  Be yourself; show what you’re all about  Extend your reach and get the most of others’ efforts Key Takeaways
    31. 31. The Ultimate Visual Storytelling Solution for Hotels VBrochure VScape Media Publishing VNetwork Analytics Customer Success BestSTART ++ ++ Online Players Mobile Web Gallery Facebook +++
    32. 32. ► About Leonardo ► Invitations to upcoming webinars ● August’s topic is all about targeting ‘bleisures’ – the blurring lines between business and leisure travelers ► Recording of this webinar ● Share it with your colleagues It’s a Wrap
    33. 33. Copyright © 2014 Leonardo Worldwide Corporation