How DoubleTree by Hilton Turned to Video to Engage Travelers

How DoubleTree by Hilton Turned to Video to Engage Travelers

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Google’s Think Insights has a post on Hilton’s DoubleTree hotel chain that discusses their success with video and their YouTube channel DTour.  The DoubleTree made their channel an engaging experience by encouraging user videos, creating a contest at launch for users to potentially become “DTourists” across six different continents.  In effect, the DTour channel is a travel video destination site where users share their travel experiences, with DoubleTree in the backdrop.

Highlights of the DoubleTree Video Campaign

DoubleTree had a website that was essentially dedicated to booking.  They didn’t have a way of driving engagement.  So they set up DTour so that people could share their travel experiences through video.  They have one of those specially-created YouTube homepages that has interactive features, including a map where people can click and share their experiences–they can share videos, photos, and travel tips, all through social media.

This same map also shows where DoubleTree hotels are near.  There is a booking widget, video tours of the various hotels, and DoubleTree’s own team members serve as guides giving their own video travel tips, hot destinations, and so forth.

Google found that 70 percent of the people who want to go on a trip have no idea where they actually want to go.  So DoubleTree has found success giving people inspiration for where they want to travel through all the various content they have posted on the site.  More research from Google and Ipsos revealed that 61 percent of business travelers used video to help them pick hotels and 41 percent of leisure travelers used video to plan a trip.

The beginnings of this new digital approach began small–it started with video ads on the BBC website and Lonely Planet and promotions on Twitter and Foursquare, among other promotional pushes.  Then they launched DTour with the “DTour of a Lifetime” competition, where users submitted 30-second to 3-minute videos that showed a hot travel destination.  Six winners were picked from the group to become “DTourists” across six continents.  The article states:

The DTourists will experience DoubleTree hospitality, meet locals and curate their own travel tips, stories and highlights for the DTour website via blog entries, photos, videos and social media posts.

These winners are going to have some incredible experiences, as a “robust itinerary” is planned.

DoubleTree has seen a good increase in business from their new tactics, and their budget for online media is about half of their total marketing budget.  So they’ve definitely seen some success using this marketing method.  To get the whole story, click here.


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