Note: This is a full transcript of our podcast. For a summary of the main points in the interview, please check out the article “Video Marketing ROI with Naike Romain from Wistia.”
Nancy: Hello everyone. Today we’re going to delve deep into the world of video marketing. This is Travel Tripper’s Hotel Marketing Podcast. I’m Nancy Huang, marketing manager here at Travel Tripper, and I’m here today with Naike Romain, product marketing specialist at Wistia. So if you’re not familiar, Wistia is a professional video hosting and marketing platform for businesses. In short, they are the video marketing experts, which is why we are especially excited to talk to Naike today. Naike welcome. Glad to have you here.
Naike: Thanks Nancy. I’m really excited to be here.
Nancy: Great. The first thing I actually want to talk to you about is how video marketing has become quite a hot topic lately. In fact, Skift, which is a travel industry publication, recently published a trend report detailing the rise of video marketing, especially among travel brands. Why do you think this medium has become so popular?
Naike: I really feel that video is a more compelling motivator than other mediums. I think that the way that we consume media these days is driven more towards video, given that we have the smartphones, we’re always with the device, and we’re always in front of a screen, and people are more often than not being asked to be shown something rather than reading the text or following through on a landing page. So videos are a really compelling motivator, and I think people are looking for that more and more these days.
Nancy: So when it comes to video marketing, I would say creating a great video is really only half the story. So it’s actually what you do with the video that’s equally, if not more, important. And I think that’s the question that a lot of hotel marketers are looking to answer, how video becomes more than just a video. How does it become a marketing tool?
Naike: Well you’re definitely right. Taking action with your video and actually putting it to work in your marketing is really important. You can’t just film a video, put it on your website, and then be done with it. It’s more than just a piece of media. It really can and should be a conversion tool. So when you’re using video on your website, it should be to advance a specific goal. There should be clear call to action at the end of your video. You could be driving people to sign up for a mailing list or encouraging them to sign up for a special offer.
And really, I feel like in the journey of somebody who’s evaluating a hotel, by the time they land on the hotel’s website, they’ve probably done a fair amount of research. So using video there in a very thoughtful way is a great way to build trust and gives hotels the opportunity to differentiate themselves, and connect, and win over their website visitors. So including those things like a mailing list, or special offer, or just a quick call to action to a landing page can be really powerful.
Nancy: So what are some of the creative ways you’ve actually seen brands using video on their websites, particularly as a conversion tool as you had mentioned?
Naike: Sure, so one thing that I’ve been seeing on a lot of online retailers, like ModCloth for example, they have models trying on the clothes in short videos, so they give their buyers a better sense of what the outfit, the shirt, the dress, would look like on, and it’s also an opportunity to express more of their brand. So ModCloth is like a retro clothing retailer, and you see that vibe come through in their videos, and I think it’s a connecting moment and a humanizing moment as well.
Sticker Mule is a company that uses Wistia, and they use video is a very cool way to reduce friction in their buying process. They noticed that there was this one sticking point where people would have questions before they felt they could move forward. So they used video to answer frequently asked questions, and that drove the number of those types of questions down, and also decrease the amount of time it took somebody to purchase.
And finally, there’s a summer camp called Steve & Kate’s Camp, and they make really fun, awesome videos. It really differentiates the experience of their summer camp where kids get to make their own day. They serve lunch, and they have an awesome video where they have a chef preparing a really awesome meal for the kids. It’s filmed really nicely and it really provokes a response I think when I watch those videos. I thought, wow, I’d really love to spend the day there. It created an emotional connection and evoked those memories of being a kid and wanting to make some decisions, have some choice in your day.
Nancy: So these actually sound like great examples of how different types of brands are using video. Could you maybe give us some examples or ways that hotels could use video on their websites?
Naike: Yeah, I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity for hotels to be using video. For room tours or property tours, if there are upcoming hotel events, insider destination tips, you can highlight a specific booking package. There’s also ways to incorporate conversion events into your video. So you can use an email collector within the video to get people to sign up. You can also link from the video to a landing page for people to convert as well. And there are ways that you can create links inside of the video to drive people to specific pages of your site.
Another really popular and new technology is 360 video. This really allows hotels to create an immersive experience that allows viewers to explore the hotel property, the space around it, the local area, before visiting. And then also testimonials would be a great one if somebody’s had an awesome trip, they maybe hosted their wedding there. Having somebody share that experience in terms that your website visitors or potential customers can relate to is really powerful as well, and I think that hotels could be taking advantage of this medium.
Nancy: And what about using or sharing video on social media? All of those examples are great for the website, but how can you also make sure the video serves as a better marketing tool on, say, your Facebook page or Twitter?
Naike: Sure, one method that we’ve seen work really well is providing teaser content on social networks. So you definitely want to have a presence if your audience is on Facebook or Twitter and YouTube. Ideally what you need is to get your visitor back to your website. So providing teaser content maybe a couple seconds long that with a link back to the site where they can watch the whole video is a great method.
With Twitter, you have the ability to use like Twitter cards, which also allow you to collect an email address right within the Twitter app, so that’s another great way to make sure that your video is working for you as more than just a brand awareness tool, and more as a conversion method. And same with YouTube. I think it’s great for brand awareness if somebody is looking for a trip and you appear in the search result listing in YouTube. It’s awesome, but it’s not really going to drive traffic back to your site, so you want to make sure that you’re not giving everything away in one place, and don’t use YouTube as a repository for all of your videos. Use it as a way to drive interest and get people to follow back to your website.
Nancy: And now that we’ve actually talked about how to make your video into a better marketing tool, I’d actually like to delve a little bit into analytics. Well first, why are analytics important in video marketing?
Naike: I think that video analytics are important because it provides you a lot of insight into whether or not your video is performing well. And before you even get to that point, you need to start with defining a goal of your video. So once your goal has been defined, analytics help you to know whether or not your video is actually helping you do achieve it. It help you do inform the choices that you make about video in the future, so if there’s a particular topic or area that performs really well, you can continue to make videos in that format. Or maybe there’s a place on your site where they don’t perform as well, you use analytics to determine maybe this page doesn’t need a video, and it could be better used someplace else.
Nancy: And what would you say the key metrics in data are that you should be looking out for? I think the one that every marketer understands is the number of views. But is that the only one to consider?
Naike: Yeah, play count and the number of views is something that is one area that you can measure, but there are lot of other ways to determine the success of the video. And normally one metric isn’t going to complete that. So looking at the number of plays is a great way to measure the reach of your video, but it’s not the only meaningful metric. You can look at the engagement of your video, which is the percentage of the video the viewers are actually watching. This gives you some insight into whether or not your message is resonating, your people are finding what they need before jumping off to the next thing. The play rate, the play rate is where you can determine what percentage of people that land on your page that go on to play the video. So this is another way to determine if the video is placed in the right place, and if it’s the best way to get your message across.
You can also use supplemental tools, like Google Analytics. This can track the number of visits that actually include the video event, just if you want to measure how much visitors are engaging with video. It also increases the time on site. So if you’re using Google Analytics on your website and you have a video there, you should be checking to see if your bounce rate decreases and the time on site increases. That would show that you guys are taking advantage of video while people are staying for a while to watch the content. And then further, marketing automation integrations help you to incorporate the video into your email, and if you’re doing any lead nurturing campaigns, you can measure to see if the video call to action is increasing your click through and open rates.
Nancy: And can you get more into marketing automation integrations? What sort of tools are we talking about here?
Naike: So lots of people are using video to collect email addresses, and with marketing automation tools, you can sync with your video, pass along those email addresses, and then use email to nurture people with messages that include video, or other offers. So if you wanted to send a series of emails, maybe for your four, that drive people to being more ready to make a buying decision. So things like HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, Marketo, all of these marketing automation tools can be integrated with your video and the leads that you collect from videos should be pushed through the buying journey with information that supplements with their research.
Nancy: That is quite a bit of things that you can measure and look over. Actually, I think what’s most interesting is how far you can go with it that you can have a heat map to measure how much of a video people watch, or that you can accurately measure whether a video leads to a conversion. I think the important question is that once you have all of this data, what do you do with it?
Naike: Once you have all this data, you can use it to really optimize your video. By analyzing engagement graphs, you can figure out where people are dropping off and losing their interests. You can see how many people re-watch, and that can be a good indication that your viewers are interested in something specific, or it could be a good place to maybe create a new video about that one topic if there’s some confusion or people are really excited about one area of your video. Measuring the conversion rate as well in interactions with the clickable elements in your video are signs that you’re on the right track. If people are actually providing you with their email address or clicking on the links within the video, that means that you’ve got them. You’ve got their attention and they want to move forward, and are raising their hand because they’re interested in learning more about your hotel.
Nancy: So in essence, it’s about the process of reiteration. You’re taking the data and then using it to make your campaign better.
Naike: Absolutely. I don’t think that it’s a one and done process. Once you’ve hosted the video for some time, you definitely should look back at the analytics and say, okay, people seem to be dropping off here. Maybe we could edit this to be a little bit more clear. Maybe we could add in some text that’s helpful if people aren’t getting the message through the video, have some things passing by too quickly. And so by doing that, you can continue to optimize an experience for your site viewers and for people who are coming into your video.
Nancy: So as we wrap up here, what would you say the one takeaway for hotel marketers is? So if they want to invest in a video marketing strategy, what are the top things that they should be thinking about?
Naike: I think that if you’re just getting started, or you’ve yet to take advantage of video, it’s important to understand that video isn’t just an optional marketing asset anymore. Video conception is really overtaking other mediums. So having video content is a necessity to keep up with your competitors and really stand out to your customers. Another thing to note is that it doesn’t have to be these huge sweeping highly produced videos as well. You can start small. And if you’re already using video, but you haven’t incorporated it into your marketing strategy yet, it can probably be working harder for you. Video really just isn’t only for brand awareness anymore. It can be a really effective lead-gen tool if you add in the email collector, or you’re using it to drive traffic back to your landing pages. So I guess most importantly, video has the ability to connect you with your customers in a really personal and meaningful way. So hotel owners shouldn’t be missing out on the opportunity to share the qualities that make us stay at their hotel really unique, and really use that as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and show what it feels like to be there, rather than having someone read through lots of pages.
Nancy: Absolutely great tips for any hotels that want to get into video marketing. Thanks so much, Naike, for joining us today and sharing your expertise.
Naike: Thank you.
Nancy: Thank you. Again, Naike is a product marketing specialist at Wistia, a video hosting and marketing platform for businesses. You can visit them at wistia.com to learn more about their services. In fact, I believe you can sign up for free and try out the platform. Is that right?
Naike: Yeah, that’s right. You can sign up, get a free trial of all the features for the first two weeks. And if you just want to just hang out on the free point, absolutely enjoy that.
Nancy: Great, so as always, if you have any additional questions, please share them with us in the comments or Tweet at us @travel_tripper. Thanks for listening and subscribe to our blog here at pegs.com for more on hotel, marketing, and distribution.
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