I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a friend who was going on holiday and they didn’t mention that "that hotel has received great reviews” or “a friend of mine went there last year and told me it was amazing”. I myself scour the Internet for months reading reviews about destinations, activities and hotels before booking my precious two weeks of escape.

With all the investment travellers put into researching their perfect holiday, travel companies need to make sure they are pushing out the very best social, user generated content (UGC) to their audiences.

How can they make their reviews stand out above the rest and keep consumers coming back year after year to research holidays on their own websites?

Video reviews are one way that may help one brand stand out above the rest. It’s very common to see a professional video about a resort, destination or hotel - however it’s not as common to see a real travellers' video showcasing their experience in that particular destination.

As we have so far found that 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them feel more confident about going ahead and making a purchase and sales can increase by between 6% and 30% on products with product videos, it seems that user generated video reviews could be the holy grail of travel advertising.

It’s all very well talking about how amazing video reviews could be for the travel industry – especially when one notes that videos get ten times more views than brand-owned content - but it is of limited value if travellers cannot be encouraged to take/upload this content for us to use.

Here are the key factors to think about when trying to leverage this social content for your brand:

Tell your customers

It’s one thing to ask your customer to add a video in with their review after their holiday but if they had no idea that they would be asked to do this they will be totally unprepared. Let customers know at the start of the journey how important video reviews are and how they can help be part of a community helping travellers make the best decisions

Timing is key

Prompt your customer at key points when they are on holiday. Half way through the holiday ask them how they are getting on and ask them if they have had a chance to take a video. Let them know what type of content you want e.g: 'make a video of your favourite location' or ' going on an adventure? Take a video and take other travellers along for the rides' etc.

Reward

Although it need not take masses of time, video can take up quite a lot of thought and some time for a traveller to take part. Reward engagement of this type of content by publishing the 'top' videos and running social competitions.

There is huge potential for video reviews to take hold of the travel industry in 2016, it’s just a case of who take hold of the reigns first and sets the bar for all others to follow!

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