How to grow your company using video

Written by Alex Smith – Head of Development UK&I at Left productions


You’ve probably seen and heard the tag line “Hotel? Trivago!” that was broadcasted on pretty much every web and TV channel around the world. Their video strategy started in 2013 and since then, they’ve implemented an aggressive growth initiative to become the world leader in hotel bookings.

In 2016 the firm invested $800 million into advertising alone, making them one of the biggest advertisers in the world. This fuelled some seriously impressive growth, with 50% of conversions being attributed to video.

How did they do it?

“How was all this possible” I hear you scream frantically at your computer? Well you’ll be surprised to know the answer is not sacrifice a live goat to the advertising gods.

– Test and learn

Oddly enough, a lot of people do not apply A/B testing to video, but they definitely should! The performance can be significantly improved.

And this is what Trivago did: they created different versions of their video, tested them and then focused their media spending on the winning versions.

They started with a simple explanation video, which cost them in the region of $30 000 to produce. Following this they did a series of videos in the same style, but this time, in 13 different languages.

A later series showed couples travelling in Venice, Berlin, Barcelona, as well as an alternate version for lonely single people depicting a solo traveller. This type of video cost them around between $40,000 (an example here).

– Make them dream

Trivago’s next strategy was to get into our dreams… not in a creepy way! They created real short films with compelling storytelling in New York, Bangkok and the picturesque Southern Italy with a budget of around $150,000 per film (an example here).

You might think that this type of investment has only an impact on branding, but Trivago is focused on Return on Investment. By investing in those films, they were able to ignite desire which resulted in lower cost-per-acquistion down the line.

What does this mean for them?

Today, Trivago’s revenue are equal to 90% of its expenses. And 85% of those expenses are dedicated to marketing and sales. That means that for 1$ invested in marketing, Trivago gets back $1.05. It’s not the best ROI ever and lots of other brands do better. However, for Trivago, they are still able build their brand on a global scale without losing money on  marketing spendings.

Feel free to reach out to Alex, head of Development UK&I at to talk about how you could use video efficiently for your company. You can also subscribe to Left Productions’ newsletter if you want to receive other videos like this one: here.