Guest post from Video and Beyond blog.
This article title was actually one found on TechCrunch today, written by investor and visionary Mike Jones. Jones said in the article "Content and commerce have always had a symbiotic relationship that many traditional content providers tried to separate."
While not written about the travel industry, this comment couldn't be more pertinent.
Top travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz are decidedly focused on commerce and the art of the transaction. While traditional content (narrative articles and images) are core to what they do, it is actually all about conversion via the booking engine.
Those of us that consult with the investment community on the current state and future direction of the travel industry, know that investors mentally separate the Online Travel Agencies from sites like TripAdvisor (recently separated from Expedia), CondeNast and other content rich sites that are after all, focused primarily on helping consumers with the planning and engagement phase of travel. These sites include lots of user generated reviews and narrative (both positive and negative) and a lot of images.
Neither type of site has embraced video as a core component of content to further their goals.
To Jones' comment about uncertainty, Expedia's spin out of TripAdvisor may be the single biggest corroboration of the uncertainty of the intersection of content and commerce in travel.
However, we at Video and Beyond would challenge that the expansion of the very definition of content to include and in fact integrate video and article pairing or video and booking engine pairing may take the uncertainty out of the content and commerce equation altogether.
Video is interesting in that it is emotive and engaging in a way that a photograph just cannot be. When was the last time you looked at a photo and just on the image alone, decided to go on vacation?
Video tells a story. Video engages your audience and most importantly, video sells.
What are you waiting for?