You don’t need to have a massive marketing budget or in-house multi-media team to take advantage of YouTube. With a bit of imagination and creativity, your tourism business can produce video content that inspires, engages and, ultimately, converts viewers into customers.
This is powerful stuff. Few small and medium-sized tourism businesses have yet to embrace a YouTube marketing strategy, despite its ever-growing popularity. As always, that means massive potential and profitability for those who do!
If you’ve been hesitant to utilize YouTube marketing as a medium to distribute your travel content, here are a few reasons to reconsider today:
Why Every Tourism Business Needs To Be On YouTube
When it comes to creating travel content, most tourism marketing strategies head straight to blogging. Don’t get us wrong—high-quality blog posts are a key component of any content marketing strategy. But don’t forget that articles are just one medium for sharing content with travelers.
Videos are one of the easiest ways to connect with, inspire and engage travelers. And YouTube is one of the easiest ways to get your videos in front of the right travelers for your tourism business. Recently, the YouTube Official Blog stated that 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month. That’s the equivalent of one in every five people around the world!
According to Think With Google:
- -2 out of 3 U.S. travelers watch online videos when they are thinking of taking a trip
- -Over a BILLION people watch YouTube videos each month, with over 8 billion views each DAY
- -Travel related video content has increased by an average of 118% year over year
- -It’s not just teenagers watching YouTube; 50% of YouTube viewers are aged 25-64
Here are a few specific reasons to embrace YouTube marketing today:
Build Your Travel Brand
Put some personality behind your team with an introduction video that leaves travelers feeling like they know you before their first booking. Become a thought leader in your specific niche by sharing interesting industry insights. Share videos that don’t just highlight your destination or offering, but also clearly convey your mission and what you stand for. The options for building your travel brand on YouTube are only limited by your imagination!
What better way to cultivate relationships with travelers than through visual storytelling? Travel videos are about as close as potential customers get to actually being able to experience your epic travel offerings (save for virtual reality.)
Travel videos tend to be especially important during the Dreaming Stage of the traveler’s journey as they are best able to transport people into the experience. However, you should still create videos to meet travelers on each stage of their journey in order to nurture them from dreaming about their next trip to becoming a high-value customer who returns time and time again.
In addition to its real branding and relationship building benefits, remember that YouTube also functions as a search engine. Not only do travelers search directly in YouTube, but YouTube videos also show up in Google and other search engine results. Optimize your videos for travelers and SEO for exponential success!
Top Tips To Consider For A Successful YouTube Marketing Strategy
1. Know Your Goals
As with any tourism marketing tactic, the first thing you absolutely must do before diving into a YouTube strategy is to get clear on your goals.
You can follow the same steps we outline in our article about setting SMART tourism marketing goals that ensure you can measure, manage and IMPROVE upon your efforts.
There’s also a free download in the article that walks you through setting goals. It sounds simple, but time and time again this is one of the most important steps that businesses of all sizes tend to skip over. Don’t be like everyone else 🙂 Hop over to the article to read about SMART goals and download the free guide when you’re done here.
2. Invest In A Professional Featured Video/Trailer
Many small tourism businesses are worried about producing sub-par travel videos because they have zero experience in production and only a smart phone to work with. While the higher the quality your videos the better, don’t let the lack of a professional team stop you from creating YouTube videos altogether. After all, one of the reasons why vloggers are so popular is because of the raw authenticity of the content they share with their viewers.
However, when possible, we do recommend investing in a professional travel video to serve as your featured YouTube video/trailer. This will be the first video travelers see when they land on your YouTube page, so it’s especially important. You can also repurpose this professional video on all of your marketing channels, so the ROI is well worth it!
3. Utilize User Generated Content
Video content created by your guests is a great way to give potential customers an authentic, first-hand look at what your service is actually like—advertisements and filters aside. Work with influencers, run a competition that includes a video component or re-share content your guests are already sharing (with their permission.)
4. Incorporate Testimonials and Social Proof
You already know that testimonials and social proof are critical to the success of any business. All you have to do is look at TripAdvisor or ask any customer what factors influenced their booking decision to know that.
A video testimonial amplifies everything we love about testimonials as it allows travelers to easily identify and relate with other real-life customers. While travel videos should focus heavily on the destination and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on avail, don’t overlook incorporating testimonials into your YouTube marketing strategy.
5. Be Consistent
It’s not easy to find the time to film, edit and upload travel videos to your YouTube channel. But the more consistent you can be, the more followers and viewers your channel will begin to attract.
If you’re struggling to find the time to create video content, remember that you can repurpose your videos on your social media channels, blog, website landing pages and email marketing strategy!
6. Don’t Get Obsessed With Video Views
Just like social media followers or website traffic, the end-all goal of YouTube marketing is not the number of subscribers your channel has or the views your videos receive. While it is important to get your content in front of as many travelers in your target audience as possible, we also want to understand how YouTube is impacting bookings + revenue.
How To Set Up + Optimize Your YouTube Channel
Here is a quick tutorial on how you can create your brand’s YouTube Channel in under 5 minutes!
Now that you know how to set up your YouTube channel, you can start to fill it out by adding your logo, channel art, channel description and uploading your featured about video and other travel videos!
Once you’ve started filling out your channel with awesome travel videos and organizing them into playlists, your channel will begin to look like this!
An Excellent Example Of Video Marketing In The Tourism Industry
Finally, we want to leave you with an inspiring example of video marketing in action. Note that this isn’t specific to YouTube, but the more you get your creative juices flowing, the more you’ll be able to incorporate unique ideas into your travel content on YouTube.
This 2009 example is quite famous, but it’s well-known for a reason: it works!
Tourism Queensland’s campaign for The Best Job In The World was a competition offering the winner the job of “Island Caretaker,” a $150,000 AUD package. The campaign received over 34,000 video applications!
As SapientNitro explains:
The key insight we uncovered was that people don’t truly experience something unless they immerse themselves in it. And in terms of Queensland’s Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, a little-known slice of tropical paradise, the only way we could immerse people was to have them live there…or at least fantasize about living there.
While you don’t need to use YouTube to give away a six-month job position, this is an inspiring example of what creativity and innovation can lead to in your video marketing!
For more video marketing inspiration, check out this round-up of videos from Tourism Ireland to British Airways to HomeAway.
Now, we want to hear from you! We are considering making YouTube Marketing a series where we cover how to film videos from your smart phone, how to get more subscribers and engagement, and how to convert views into customers. Is this a series you would be interested in? Be sure to leave us a comment or drop us a line to let us know!