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Survey: How Video Content Shapes Travel Intentions


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In a world where consumers are increasingly interested in consuming their information, the role of video has never been more important for the travel industry. New research from Travel Channel sheds light on what types of content travelers actually want.

“The play button is the most compelling call to action on the web. I see that button & I want to click it.” – Michale Litt, co-founder, Vidyard

If video already figures prominently in your communication arsenal, you’re definitely on to something. And if it’s not, well… you might want seriously to reconsider why. Today’s always-on world — multiple screens, ubiquitous connectivity, social media amplifiers — means travel brands not only have an unprecedented opportunity to tell their stories using the video medium, they face a near imperative to do so.

Fresh research by Travel Channel’s parent company, Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), speaks to the rising importance of travel video, while also offering insights as to some of the creative choices travel marketers should consider in producing their content.

In August 2015, using its Under One Roof consumer panel, SNI researchers asked 409 “travel enthusiasts” (individuals who identified themselves as passionate about travel and consumers of travel-related media), to what degree exposure to video content in particular shapes how they research, plan and execute on their travel intentions. The results speak for themselves.

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Next, the Under One Roof panel asked to what degree video content prompted travel enthusiasts to act on their initial interest, in terms of researching a destination further and, then, actually booking.

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The Under One Roof team also what to know whether video plays differently for travel enthusiasts who are also Millennials. The latter respond exceptionally to video content with a clear-cut point of view, and/or that they find simply funny.

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This is not to suggest that non-Millennial travel enthusiasts do not also appreciate either a definite point of view or an honest laugh. Travel enthusiasts as a whole (ages 18-64) scored nearly as high as Millennials in the first instance, and actually a shade higher in the second. Also, while both Millennial and non-Millennial travel enthusiasts see some value in travel video content hosted by a known celebrity, their attachment to marquee talent is not so pronounced that you need to worry unduly if you don’t happen to have such talent handy.

Lastly, SNI researchers asked respondents whether their likelihood to engage in an on-site activity – e.g., scuba diving, boating, hiking – is influenced by video content. For Millennial travel enthusiasts, the evidence is strong that it is.

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The corresponding percentages were 27% for Gen Xers and 24% for Boomers.

For Julie Link, SNI’s Director of Research, Consumer Insights, the results from this study are conclusive, yet not all that surprising. “We’ve become a population that takes in our information visually. Facebook posts with images perform much better than text-only posts, Instagram is the fastest growing platform of the moment, Pinterest changed out search expectations, and Snap Chat and Periscope put us digitally in the moment.”

“Video,” Link concludes, is definitely worth a thousand words when it comes to travel destinations.”

This content was created collaboratively with Travel Channel. 

Moving Images explores the new era of travel video, from new platforms and technology to best practices from forward-thinking brands and content creators. View the full dashboard.

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