If you run a hotel or manage a vacation rental, having a video along side your advertisements can attract new customers and make bookings easier, but if done poorly it can also scare customers away. What things attract hotel customers and what things cause them to shy away? We asked 128 people to share their opinion.

30% of the people we talked to said they would not watch a video before choosing a hotel. They gave 3 primary reasons. First, they expect hotel footage to be an overproduced exaggeration or misrepresentation. Second, videos are usually too slow, time-consuming or long-winded. Finally, many said they preferred pictures. On the flip side, 70% of consumers say they would watch a video if unfamiliar and curious of the hotel.

When it comes to video length, people are less likely to click on a hotel video that is too long for their preference. Longer time lengths are a sign that the video may not be concise. When we asked "What length of time should a hotel video be limited to?", here are the results:

  1. 1 minute: 30%
  2. 30 seconds: 24%
  3. 2 minutes: 16%
  4. 90 seconds: 12%
  5. 15 seconds: 8%
  6. No limit: 6%
  7. Other: 4%

Length of video does vary on type of hotel. Typically, the more expensive a product or service, the longer customers are willing to watch. In my own observation, customers in browsing mode, incuding myself, seem to lose interest around 40 seconds. Once out of browsing mode, and into a more serious purchase mode, customers are more interested in longer watch times.

When asked "What things in a video would improve your interest in choosing the hotel?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind are:

  1. Nice rooms (large, spacious nice layout, up to date, 3D view, multiple rooms shown, large windows, full size showers) 33
  2. Desirable location (seeing safe, accessible, nice nearby attractions & restaurants, scenery) 27
  3. Appealing amenities (pool, hot tub, gym, continental breakfast, wifi, large TV, blowdrier, balconies) 24
  4. Overall appearance of hotel is nice, well kept (clean, nice decor, tranquil, spacious, luxury) 22
  5. Good pricing/deals 22
  6. High quality food service/dining and bar area (happy hour) 6
  7. Realistic views/honest picture/footage felt authentic/no surprises upon arrival 5
  8. Professional, friendly staff 5
  9. Concise/sticks to facts/gets to point/quick 4
  10. Well lit/good lighting 3
  11. Shows all areas (parking, building, surroundings, lobby, dining area, room, bathroom) 2
  12. Nice grounds/landscaping 2
  13. Appealing atmosphere (inviting, warmth) 2
  14. Nice views 1
  15. Free parking 1
  16. Shuttle options 1
  17. Something distinctive that makes the hotel stand out 1
  18. Kid friendly 1
  19. Good video production (clear, authentic footage) 1
  20. Good music 1
  21. Close proximity to trip purpose 1
  22. It depends on the type of trip 1

When asked "What things in a video would cause you to shy away from choosing the hotel?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind were:

  1. Undesirable rooms (Small, cramped, dated, bad beds or lack of seating, bad TV) 29
  2. Unclean or unkempt 29
  3. Undesirable location (impractical proximity or bad part of town, not secure) 21
  4. Undesirable decor (run-down, dated, cheap-looking, does not like theme) 21
  5. Exaggeration/staged/unrealistic/misleading/cherry-picked shots, cheesy or pushy sales pitch 10
  6. Video gets off track/too long/not concise 8
  7. Lack of amenities (no pool, gym, free breakfast, wifi, fridge, microwave, coffee machine, balcony or large closet) 7
  8. Overpriced 7
  9. Low quality production, vague or unclear shots, poor audio 6
  10. Parking (not free, none available, potholes) 4
  11. Poor lighting 3
  12. Signs of unprofessional staff 3
  13. Bad/loud background music 2
  14. Party atmosphere/Too many bars near by 2
  15. Crowded environment 2
  16. Manager speaking in video 2
  17. Simply having a video 2
  18. Building or grounds look run-down 2
  19. Fails to show a variety of shots 1
  20. Fails to show bathroom 1
  21. Poor views 1
  22. Bad reviews 1
  23. Low availability 1
  24. Shady-looking guests 1
  25. Sexist images 1
  26. Presence of pets 1
  27. Being unable to get info other than video 1
  28. Fails to excite 1

One of the most common themes that surfaced is that customers fear that a hotel might not look like it's footage. Customers say that an overproduced, cinematic video doesn't come across as believable or authentic and turns them off to the hotel. This is good news because it confirms that a lower-cost video could actually be better for customers.

We asked consumers if a hotel video should include these 7 features:

  • 89% want the rooms (8% indifferent, 3% do not want)
  • 85% want pricing/deals (9% indifferent, 6% do not want)
  • 81% want the amenities (15% indifferent, 4% do not want)
  • 79% want the building, grounds and surroundings (13% indifferent, 8% do not want)
  • 60% want the lobby (32% indifferent, 8% do not want)
  • 14% want the manager narrating in the background (49% indifferent; 37% do not want)
  • 8% want the story of how the hotel came to be (36% indifferent; 46% do not want)

For more survey results, check back here: https://biveo.com/learning.

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