Hotel video content has been around a few years in an attempt to sate the seemingly ceaseless craving for information by online shoppers before booking a hotel room. As a medium it arguably offers considerably more than static web pages and even virtual tours by providing a truly authentic peek into a hotel's facilities with a nice scale of depth unmatched by photos or most virtual tours and is best integrated into the homepage of a hospitality facility.
However, the number of hotel websites incorporating video remain relatively small and hoteliers would do well to take note of a recent survey by emarketer which found that by 2014 "77% of US
Internet users will be watching online video content at least monthly". And demographics show that it is Gen Y, a key market for hotels beginning in the near term, that is a big follower of online video viewing, most of whom have gone beyond snack-size clips to adopt full-length TV and
movie viewing on the Web.
Marketers in other industries such as retail are taking note. In the recently concluded Internet Retailer 2010 Conference and Exhibition in Chicago noted that retailers have begun adding "videos to their sites" and they have found "that videos boost sales conversion
rates and reduce abandoned shopping cart and product return rates." Small hotels and hotel companies daunted by the cost of producing high quality video content can take heart from an interesting case study highlighted at the Internet Retailer conference where an industry minnow, BeautyChoice found that "there were people on YouTube
doing makeup videos that already had large followings. The company chose to use those clips and and formed relationships with those
YouTube "celebrities". Of the top 50 retailers in the US who are offering some form of video on their websites
skyrocketed the ratio moved up from 18% in 2008 to 68% in 2009 according to a Forrester Research
study, “Online Retailers’ Adoption of Online Video Content Is Ahead of
Video SEO is also on the rise and ranking techniques include the incorporation of a "video site map" which enables Google to grab descriptive
information of a video such as title and duration, Along those lines a company called Truveo has launched a video search app on Facebook that
will allow users to browse the company's database of more than 500 million videos
and share clips with friends. A search of "New York Hotels" for example reveals an interesting list of hotels but few, if any, are actively marketing their hotels. The industry would do well to ramp up the pace of video content to keep up with consumer demand for that medium.