Located beachfront along the sun-splashed Kohala Coast, a premier destination for Hawaii hotels on Big Island, the luxurious Waikoloa Beach Marriott® Resort & Spa welcomes guests with gracious style and Hawaiian service. With the bounty of land and sea captured in stunning views, our Big Island Hawaii hotel and resort is the perfect place for a memorable vacation or meeting.
Lisa Matsuda, Marketing Communications Manager, eCommerce, is part of the team that manages online marketing and merchandising efforts for five Hawaii resorts, including the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
“After we saw the VBrochure opportunity, we realized it made sense to subscribe to this program for a few of our resorts. The Waikoloa Marriott had already invested in the production of 360 virtual tours and a video, so they were a good candidate for VBrochure.”
Corporate and regional websites, email campaigns, search engine optimization, social media, press releases and now visual merchandising are all part of the regional e-commerce team’s tool kit. “With the VBrochure program, we are now able to feature rich media on traditional and non-traditional travel related web sites,” Matsuda told us. She went on to explain that they put a strong emphasis on ensuring content is all updated and relevant because they’ve read the research and they know that there’s a higher percentage in conversion based on the content they show online. That’s why, when the Waikoloa Beach Marriott subscribed to VBrochure, they did it right.
Making the Most of Their Rich Media Investment
The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa invested in the rich media content so it made sense to get it in-front of online travel shoppers so they can fully experience the hotel online. “The resort produced a quality video, so syndicating it was important to showcase the property,” said Matsuda. “VBrochure made it easy for us to market the resort on the vast majority of web sites that travel shoppers use throughout their travel shopping journey.”
Following Online Video Best Practices
The Waikoloa’s video was originally almost four minutes long. Realizing the short attention spans of online consumers today, they knew they had to do something to make it fit with what online travel shoppers want. So, they took the full length video and edited it into a short, concise video that showcases their beautiful resort in just 30 seconds… the perfect length according to online video best practices.
Reporting and Improving
Matsuda believes that they will see some improved conversion results from their online merchandising activities. She is using the VBrochure built-in reporting functionality to better understand how and where travel shoppers are experiencing this hotel online. “Monitoring rich media views will help us understand which sites are popular, what people are looking at – are they interested in the tours? Are they interested in the video?” With that information they can continually evolve their visual experience by changing and adding photos, virtual tours, media item text and so on in real time – ensuring that they always have an updated and relevant visual experience available online.
Setting Success Factors Upfront
The Waikola’s VPowered Multi-Media Viewer went live on January 1st, 2011, but not without knowing what they hope to achieve. As an experienced e-Commerce professional, Matsuda knows her stuff. “The more views, the more compelling rich media content that is available on third party sites will help the conversion. We want to convert the researchers, planners and lookers that are on these travel sites through relevant content that showcases our hotel’s story better – at the end of the day, we hope to drive the traffic and improve conversions on the Waikoloa Beach Marriott website.”
Spreading the Word
Matsuda was happy to share her advice for other hotel marketing and e-commerce professionals. “I would suggest that hoteliers invest in developing 360 virtual tours and a video of their hotel, then ensure the content is displayed on their website, their corporate branded site and other travel related sites.”
She goes on to emphasize that hoteliers should focus on relevant visual content. “Add the bright, large compelling photos to the mix. That in itself will sell the hotel, convert the bookings, and drive the added revenue that you want. I think the investment will pay for itself in the long term.”
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