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Lodging Interactive Introduces HD Video Service: ‘HotelWebShows’

Video marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective ways to get attention and drive guests to make bookings. As a result, Lodging Interactive, an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, is launching a new program that will engage potential guests and visually communicate a property's unique benefits. "HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive" enables hotel marketers to add a personal touch to their websites by using crisp HD Video.

"Video is a very powerful, yet often underutilized marketing tool within the hospitality industry," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Including video on website landing pages makes them 53 percent more likely to show up on the first page of Google, and it's estimated that a potential guest who watches a video is 85 percent more likely to book with your hotel (BoT Video).

"For these reasons, Lodging Interactive has partnered with one of the industry’s leading video production companies to offer videos of all types to hotels: Hotel profiles, guest testimonials, scripted ads, video news releases, event coverage and even professional feature stories," he said. "Using an easy, online video portal, along with dedicated producers and 24/7 customer service, hoteliers will quickly be able to market to travelers and get results. From ordering and production to delivery and approval, Lodging Interactive is making video production simple, affordable, and hassle-free."

Did you know . . .

• Videos are 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages (Forrester Research)
• Approximately 340,000 years worth of online video are watched every day (BoT Video)
• 500 video links are tweeted out every minute (BoT Video)
• 68% of viewers share video links (Sharing means more promotion for your brand) (BoT Video)
• More than 50% of the videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community (A new way to engage with customers) (BoT Video)
• The average user’s visit to a text and image-based website lasts only 43 seconds; for a website with video, the average visit lasts 5 minutes and 50 seconds (BoT Video)

"Today’s Internet user has a limited attention span, therefore video marketing is a proven and effective way to grab a website visitor in the first few seconds," Vallauri said. "Adding videos to a webpage will not only help hotel marketers to engage their audience and deliver their messages more quickly and creatively, but more videos means more search results; more search results will result in more clicks; more clicks will result in more sales; and more sales delivers more bottom line revenue. Some recent studies have demonstrated that adding video to a website can increase purchasing rates by as much as 300%."

Putting on a Show
The benefits of video marketing, when tied to a social media campaign, are far reaching. YouTube, for example, is helping travelers visualize their stay before they make a reservation. Whether it's a video showcasing an exceptional convention facility, a hotel's "green" program that encourages guest participation, spa services, loyalty club member testimonials, and even in-room technology or mobile app demonstrations, each provides engaging content to the right social media audience. When these videos are embedded on the hotel's website and within social networks such as YouTube and Facebook, they will drive bookings and revenues. When tagged and optimized for search engines, videos dramatically increase a property's visibility and improve search rankings.

Through HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive, hoteliers will be assigned a personal video production portal where they will be guided through the video process. From there they will order the video, complete a simple online questionnaire, schedule the shoot and review the footage. The online interface makes the process simple and hassle free. Then, within 48 hours, a producer will be assigned to the project. This person becomes the hotel's single point of contact, responsible for handling every detail. The video will then be uploaded onto the video production portal for review and feedback. It's that easy!

All video produced through HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive are 1080i quality and delivered in TV, Web and Mobile formats. Videos are available in 30 second, 60 second and 90 second lengths, and will include music and graphics.

FREE Whitepaper
Hotels that act now can receive a White Paper titled: "Destination Visibility: How Hotels & Resorts Market Online" absolutely FREE.

Lodging Interactive’s Top 5 Budget Items for 2013

As the dreaded budget season draws near, hoteliers need to place a more strategic focus on digital marketing for 2013, especially when it comes to their social, local and mobile marketing efforts. Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle have identified five digital marketing must-haves to add to the budget in order to remain competitive in 2013, especially today's price-conscious mid-size and independent properties.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hospitality entities. Together, the companies have identified the following top five ways for hoteliers to interact with their guests and prospects and better grow and manage their use of online marketing and social media channels for 2013 and beyond:

1. Keep Your Hotel’s Website "Fresh":  Just because a hotel updates or makes corrections to its webpage doesn't automatically make it "fresh." Hotels need to continually add new photos to make the website more visually appealing. New content also needs to continually be added, such as press releases and blogs that also can be linked to the various social media channels to ensure more chatter and visibility. Finally, there needs to be accountability to ensure that the web page is meeting goals and reaching its attended audience.

All these things can be accomplished easily and affordably in 2013 via Lodging Interactive's Hotel Website Solutions program. By adopting Hotel Website Solutions, hoteliers can refresh their web site every two years, at no additional cost. Included in the package is:

• RFPLink group lead capture and reporting
• Online analytical reporting
• Homepage call-to-action tile images
• Website Hosting and Server Management
• Robust Content Management, and
• Guest Review System at no additional cost.

2. Take Control Of Your Hotel’s Guest Reviews: It's a known fact that hotels are dependent on reviews and that travelers will seek online reviews just prior to making their online reservations. Knowing if a review is legitimate is confusing for travelers, but knowing how to best manage guest reviews is even more perplexing for managers. Lodging Interactive has designed a way to simplify the guest review process. The company's Guest Review System offers a turn-key system that enables a hotel's proprietary website with the ability for travelers to post reviews and score their hotel experiences based on service attributes. Hotel managers receive real-time alerts advising when pending guest reviews pop up, eliminating delays in addressing concerns and turning potential problems into new opportunities.

In addition, Lodging Interactive's Guest Review System keeps guests on the hotel's website and turns lookers into bookers at higher hotel rates when compared to the OTA’s. Hotels risk losing website visitors if those potential bookers are forced to leave the website in search of guest reviews on third party websites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia or Hotels.com that sell rooms purchased from hotels on a net rate model. Once gone, they may never come back.

All that is required for a hotel to get up-and-running is a snippet of code inserted on the hotel's Website. Once initiated, managers can immediately begin collecting real-time reviews on their own websites and respond to customer concerns in real time. This empowers hoteliers to interact personally with their most valued direct customers. When guests take the time to post their experiences, their time, effort and patronage should be recognized and rewarded with an immediate reply. The Guest Review System alerts management in real time when reviews are posted. This ensures that there are no delays in communication, and the appropriate staff can immediately fix any pending problems before the customer leaves the property.

3. Mobile Marketing: Industry analysts predict that the mobile web will be more far reaching than desktop Internet use by 2015. Therefore there's no time like the present to jump on the mobile bandwagon and start reaching mobile savvy travelers via the channels and devices they depend on daily. With a mobile website, hotels can offer mobile users a dynamic and streamlined user experience regardless of mobile device.

Lodging Interactive provides FREE Mobile Website Development to all new customers contracting full agency services. Any hotel company partnering with Lodging Interactive for website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management will receive a complimentary mobile webiste. Mobile pages can detail the property, including description of rooms, amenities, premise, packages, restaurants, spas, recreation facilities, loyalty programs and online reservations. Additional features may include mapping and directions, click-to-call functionality, photo gallery, embedded video capability, convention and/or meeting listings, social media links, guest reviews and more. Mobile website management and hosting also is provided by Lodging Interactive.

4. Social Media Monitoring & Management: Today hoteliers are getting comfortable with social media giants Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube. But new sites are emerging, such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Wikipedia to name just a few that are making an equally big online marketing impact. It's critical that hotels are covered across all social media channels in order to be effective. The problem is finding the internal resources to manage social networks and establishing effective social media marketing campaigns. CoMMingle will assist hotels in engaging online with social media strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization.

Hotels that can't afford to have an internal, full-time social media watch dog can now cost-effectively budget the services of Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle in 2013 to become the eyes and ears of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting replies if desired. CoMMingle will work with hotels to initially establish, then manage on an ongoing basis, the following social networks & engagement channels:

• Google+ Business Page – CoMMingle will set up the page if needed and maintain weekly postings on the page. 
• Pinterest – CoMMingle will create a Pinterest hotel account, relevant pin boards, and then pin images weekly to the boards. CoMMingle will also monitor and engage with consumers as needed.
• Facebook – CoMMingle will create additional apps for the property, above and beyond what is presently being managed by the hotel.
• Ongoing Facebook & Twitter postings – CoMMingle will go a step further and assist hotels that don't have the time to post content consistently to Facebook and Twitter by posting content weekly on the hotel’s behalf.
• Wikipedia – CoMMingle will set up a Wikipedia listing if one does not exist and create social links. CoMMingle will also monitor the Wikipedia listing quarterly and check content for accuracy.

5. Reputation Management: Hotels of all sizes have begun to add social media technologies that monitor a hotel's or brand's online reputation, but unless those tools are being maximized, reputations and business practices can still suffer. Lodging Interactive believes that it takes people, in addition to technologies, to make reputation management effective. That's why Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle have teamed up with leading hospitality reputation-management companies to supplement their technology applications whereby CoMMingle provides the human resources necessary to answer guest reviews and manage guest responses on behalf of the hotel.

Hotels using solutions from companies such as Revinate can outsource the social media monitoring and guest review response portion to Lodging Interactive. Logging in as the hotel, the CoMMingle team will reply to guest reviews accordingly, always keeping the hotel apprised of comments and alerting it to concerns.

2013 Bonus Tips:
In addition to Lodging Interactive's top 5 budget recommendations, here are other items every hotelier should plan for in 2013:

1. Quarterly landing pages to promote seasonal activities through the website.  When properly keyword optimized landing pages provide fresh, relevant content for search engines and website visitors.
2. Facebook applications development to leverage a hotel’s website promotions on the largest social media engagement channel.
3. Create independent videos for the promotion of hotel meeting space and packages, weddings and other social events.  Once created, optimize them and host them on YouTube.
4. Consistent email marketing programs targeting travel agents and meeting planners.  Email marketing remains very effective and every hotel website should maintain it’s own email capture widget.