We are a Visual Society…and Your B&B Can Exploit it!

Check out the statistics:

–  32% of all Internet activity is made up of Video
–  Consumers prefer video 6 to 1 over text
–  Facebook video viewers are up 2000% in the last year
–  It was discovered by Forrester Research that videos increase Search Engine Optimization on Google’s (and other search engine’s) algorithms by up to 53 times.
–  40% of Internet activity last year was on CONTENT…whereas only 20% was on search and commerce activities.

The numbers are convincing, but not surprising when you see the explosion of Social Media and technology in our industry.  These figures, presented by Stephen Schweickart, CEO of VScreen, were detailed by Stephanie Andre in an interview published in RISMedia’s April 28 Ezine.


Gone are the days when having a few photos on your website was all you needed.  The leaders in the inn industry recognize the power that video offers when grabbing the attention of the consumer.  Everybody has heard that you have 3 secondsto grab the attention of a web surfer once your SEO efforts brings him to your site.  If he subconsciously discovers he likes the look of the site, he gives you another 4 seconds to discover if your site can meet his needs by looking at the functionality and navigation. If you fail at either of these steps, he hits the BACK button and he’s lost.

Video, per Mr. Schweickart, extends that window of attention-span to 14 seconds.  People enjoy movies, they like the action.  We are a visual society and the days of stagnant photos of the bed in the guest room will not grab the attention of the potential booking anymore.

It’s time to update websites to meet these evolving interestsof the traveling market.  Check out the YouTube video made by Dallas and Nancy Renner of the Chocolate Turtle B&Bin Corrales, NM.  Not only do you get to see a bit of the inn and its colors, but the video takes you into the community to see the shops, the animals and the mountains, and you get to meet the innkeepers as well…always a part of the guest memories you want to create.  That’s a marketing advantage over the competition that throws water on the fiery argument that it’s the current recession that is causing business to be down.

Your breakfast presentations are fabulous.  Make your inn’s presentation on the internet fabulous too.

Here are a few ideas to consider as you work to improve your website:

  • Replace the stills of the guest bed with video of the guest rooms…panning around the room and out the windows to the scenic river below.
  • Pan across the deck or private patio with the colorful breakfast settings to the bird feeder with the orioles and bluebirds or to the water feature in the garden.
  • Film the scarecrow festival in October, the strawberry festival in June, the sleigh rides in January and the flower fairs in April in your region.  These are the places your guests are going to want to see to have the full experience.
  • Loan your digital camera to your guests heading out hiking or to the battlefield re-enactment, show them how to use the video feature, and put their live testimonial on your site and blog.
  • Link your blog with a feed to your Facebook account to have your videos shown to your fans around the world.

Grab them with your inn’s beauty, your creativity and your innovation.  You only have 3 seconds.    Scott

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