#2 Search Engine Can Increase Online Biz?

Sure, Google is the #1 search engine. But #2 might surprise you. Find out what it is (hint: not Yahoo!) and how that answer could directly influence your customers to book online.photo (5)

Watching a web video (even one on YouTube, the second-most popular search engine) could be the reason travelers stay at your hotel. According to a Google/Ipsos 2012 travel report, online video content is gaining momentum. The report states the use of online video content is particularly important during a traveler’s decision-making process.

In all, 21% of leisure travelers and 26% of business travelers rely on videos to book a trip. And almost all of them booked their trips as soon as they finished watching a video related to their search. The report found that travelers watch a mix of user-generated content and professionally-made videos, confirming the importance of tapping into social platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.

Here is what travelers are watching:

  1. 62% Videos from hotels, airlines, cruises, tours, etc.
  2. 58% Trip reviews from experts.
  3. 58% Videos from travel-related channels.
  4. 56% Trip reviews from regular people.
  5. 48% Videos made by regular people.

The same report detailed that 38% of leisure travelers and 57% of business travelers preferred a mobile device against a desktop to access travel information. Those numbers rose by 8% and 25%, respectively, since 2009, indicating a long-term growth trend.

“The biggest misconception marketers have is that mobile devices are only used by people who are already in market,” said Miles Media Vice President Nate Huff, who works with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s web team.

Huff emphasized that the latest State of the American Traveler study showed that, among those who use mobile devices for travel planning, 69% do before they visit a destination, compared to 73% who use a mobile device in the destination.

“That means marketers need to be approaching mobile marketing with both ‘inspire’ and ‘inform’ strategies,” Huff said.

But don’t think any presence is better than none. The research showed that an unfriendly user experience on a mobile site will drive customers away. Considering mobile devices are on track to capture nearly one in five travel dollars—a total of $25.8 billion in U.S. mobile travel bookings—establishing a productive mobile site is vital.

To return to this edition of CVBeat, click here.

About CVBeat

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the official destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.
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