Business travel spending is expected to rise 4.6% in 2013 to $266.7 billion (Traveldailynews.com). This growth also represents a shift in how business travelers research, shop, and book hotels.
To help hoteliers improve their visibility to the lucrative business travel audience, I hosted a webinar entitled, Marketing Your Hotel to Business Travelers: Art & Science of Visual Storytelling. I was joined by two industry experts who shared their knowledge and insights:
Joff Romoff, Director of Supplier Relations, Global Supplier Management, Concur – David Attardi, Vice President, Interactive Marketing, B.F. Saul Company
The webinar focused on providing hoteliers with best practices for attracting business travelers and answered two main questions that hoteliers have:
- How do I reach business travelers?
- How do I get them to choose my hotel?
Joff focused on how to reach the business traveler through visual stories and shared these three takeaways:
- Your hotel information needs to be accurate
- Find ways to make your hotel stand out through visual stories
- Travelers do their research, so ensure visibility and consistency across all channels and devices
David did a wonderful job sharing examples of what B.F. Saul is doing to attract and manage business travelers. One major point that David discussed was that the days of “hotel overview” videos are over. Consider short, easily digestible, specific videos that are perfect for targeted market segments (i.e. business traveler) and are no longer than 30 to 60 seconds in length. Other takeaways David left us with were:
- Focus on what’s important to the business traveler
- Show the whole experience through visual storytelling
- Pay attention to what business travelers are sharing and writing on review sites
- Remember that business travelers are often connected on multiple devices, so ensure your web presence is optimized
Our audience was very active with many excellent questions. Here are the highlights:
Q) How does VFM Leonardo contribute to hotel bookings via Concur?
A) Concur uses VFM Leonardo as its sole source for images and richer media like videos and virtual tours. As a VBrochure client, a hotelier will have all of their media (photos, videos and virtual tours) along with descriptive text presented to the corporate traveler in a way that sets them apart from their competition and compels the traveler to choose their property for their business travel needs. For more information on the corporate channels like Concur in our VNetwork, visit http://vfmleonardo.com/distribution-channels.
Q) Do you have a sample or recommendation of a good video for business hotels?
A) When producing a video targeted to business travelers, it’s important that the video be short and to the point, highlighting the key amenities required by this type of traveler. Things like free Wi-Fi, business centers, fitness facilities and on-site dining should be featured. Orlando Airport Marriott does a great job of this with their “Day in the Life of a Business Traveler” video that showcases their amenities and rooms.
Q) How easy is it to optimize for mobile?
A) Optimizing your hotel website for mobile devices is easy. Our VPowered mobile website solution is ideal for hoteliers looking for overall optimization on smartphones and tablets. It lets visitors explore your hotel through visuals and ensures a seamless experience. Plus, it’s easy to make real-time updates and promote your special offers. Please contact us for specific details on how to get your hotel website optimized for all the devices the consumer is using to explore your hotel. To read more about our VPowered mobile solution, go to http://vfmleonardo.com/vpowered-mobile
Q) Is it mandatory to use full video equipment to catch the audience’s eye?
A) Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune producing a video that captures people’s attention. There are options for all budgets out there due to the competitiveness of the market and current technology available for production. Ultimately, it’s the story you tell through video that matters most.
For more information on business travelers and how to attract them, check out our guide: “Corporate Travel Storytelling Guide: Getting the Business Traveler to Choose You”