As mobile video grows more prevalent, hoteliers should be mindful of how they incorporate it into their marketing strategies.
NEW YORK—Mobile video is an increasingly important tool in the digital marketing toolbox.
Speaking during the “Mobile video best practices” panel at the 2019 HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, Colleen Coulter, Facebook’s head of industry for travel, noted there are 2.7 billion users of smartphones and 400 million daily users for platforms like Instagram. That makes mobile video one of the most effective ways to reach consumers, she said.
Increasingly people are turning to mobile channels for travel inspiration, Coulter said.
“We see people again and again go to video platforms to be inspired,” she said.
Here are some things to keep in mind when crafting marketing campaigns built around mobile video:
Work in your larger campaign
Karin Salinas, SVP of marketing for Baha Mar Resorts, said one of the keys for the Bahamian resort was to incorporate mobile video with its larger marketing efforts. Short mobile videos tied back to similar messaging and content in traditional marketing channels.
“We built a campaign really thinking about all the channels we would use,” she said. “So in production, we had a clear underrating of what we wanted to serve in each platform.”
Find partners to drive ROI
Daniella Levy, senior manager of global brand marketing for Sheraton at Marriott International, said her company’s mobile video campaign to shift perceptions on the Sheraton brand was widely successful.
One marker of that success was cost-effectiveness, as the company utilized third-party content creators geared toward social media, and mobile video was significantly less expensive than traditional marketing, she said. The shoots also were quick and significantly less disruptive at Sheraton properties, she added.
“Because we had a network deploy six videographers, it was a light lift on the hotels, with just one producer and one videographer,” she said, noting the videos were “super cost effective.”
Aspect ratio matters
While the traditional thinking is that all video content should be horizontal, Coulter noted most mobile users are holding their phones vertically, which makes either vertical or squared-shaped videos more effective for the medium. She noted companies can contain costs by repurposing existing content.
“And you don’t need to do a reshoot,” she said. “You can pair horizontal assets to create a vertical video.”
Shorter is better
Coulter said the ideal video length for mobile marketing spots is roughly six seconds, and marketers need to think creatively about how to deliver their messaging and content in that amount of time.
“You need to be comfortable with challenging preconceived notions on how much time you need,” she said. “And incorporate quick cuts of different scenes.”
She said the shorter video trend is extending from mobile to more traditional channels such as television ads.
Know your goal
Levy and Salinas noted their two marketing campaigns had different goals—Baha Mar was trying to drive up consumer awareness for a new resort while Sheraton was trying to shift perception of an existing brand—and that was impactful on how they approached their campaigns.
Salinas said because Baha Mar is so new, the company had more limited marketing resources and had to make the most of them.
“Mobile is very targeted,” she said. “And it lets you serve different (audiences) with smaller videos.”