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Using YouTube’s Powerful Platform for Tourism


OK, so we know video’s critical in digital marketing. YouTube has been the second-most-used search engine next to Google for a while now. The most recent numbers show that over 500 hours of video is uploaded every minute and users of this social media platform generate somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion hours watched each day. These incredible numbers are only amplified by traveler trends on YouTube.

Consider that, each month, more than 100 million unique visitors to YouTube are travelers, per Think with Google. Some other stats from the blog: 64% of travel-related video viewers are thinking about a trip and three of five travelers use video in their evaluation of potential destinations. Got that?

Destination brands cannot sleep on the power of YouTube in tourism marketing. Video is the ultimate tool for storytelling, a key component of building an attractive experience for travelers. Once this video is created, however, presentation becomes equally essential.

As creators of several successful YouTube series for tourism, we’ve learned some best practices on the YouTube platform. These award-winning stories have collected millions of views, many of which are generated by attention to detail. So, here’s how to get the most out of your tourism content.

Titles, Descriptions and Tags

This is a biggie. We mentioned YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Well, no one’s going to find your videos without thoughtful titles and descriptions. In fact, those descriptions that are so often an afterthought play a huge role in search. Not to mention, it’s an opportunity to plug the website, subscriptions and other social media channels.

Titles should be carefully constructed and the longer and more detailed the description, the better. Add a handful of relevant hashtags for extended visibility. Finally, get all those keywords into tags for the video. These feed into the algorithm that determines related content in the suggested column. The more you can link your video to search terms and communities of travelers, the better. Cover any niches you might be trying to appeal to here.

Playlist Curation

Your channel should not be the default setting that just shows recent uploads. This should be a well-put-together collection of your content to help users find the videos they want and see any related content you want them to see. Categorize your playlists according to common themes or campaigns and present them in order of importance on the Channel page. Be sure to put the videos you want people to see first at the top as playlists tend to display a handful of thumbnails before getting cut off by the more button. While you’re at it, selecting a Trailer video for new and returning visitors will make your channel complete and up views on videos you want to feature.

Get Subscriptions

Treat YouTube as you would any other social media platform. Building an engaged following is an essential piece of the long game. You can encourage “subs” in a number of ways, adding buttons to the end of your videos in YouTube Editor or simply asking in your description.

Not to get too technical, but adding the code ?sub_confirmation=1 to your channel URL when linking from your website or other social media platforms produces a subscribe popup as soon as a user gets to your channel.

Use other social media to promote your YouTube channel, driving followers on other platforms to videos and playlists often. Make the call to action to subscribe when utilizing this tactic.

Finally, utilizing Shorts is key for creating subscriptions, mainly because a subscribe button is included on each one. This is where it’s once again essential to concentrate on your title to grab attention with keywords and relevant hashtags. The caveat is to be concise as your character count is limited.

Utilizing Paid Media

This is probably the most obvious way to get your content consumed: put some money behind it. More eyeballs mean more awareness, of course, as well as the potential for new subscriptions.

Pay attention to where you are driving viewers. If it’s to a playlist, for instance, you’ll want to rotate different videos to the top as if your target audience does continue watching, it’s the next thing they’ll see. Spread the love out between multiple videos as healthy view counts are also a factor in your content getting into more feeds.

So, that’s the quick and dirty version of YouTube best practices we’ve discovered over a couple decades of award-winning campaigns driven by video. If anything, remember to give YouTube just as much attention as any other social media. It’s essentially the most popular social platform in the world that happens to have all those search benefits as well. Pay attention to the titles, descriptions and tags; curate those playlists; encourage subscriptions; and put some money behind that content to get it seen and “liked” by an ever-growing audience of users/travelers.

About The Author

A journalist by trade, Shane tells stories that connect brands with target audiences and inspire them to act. He’s a writer, not a copy machine, and that approach brings exceptional content to every print or digital piece he pens.

Shane taps into his past as a reporter and editor to develop clear messages that resonate in every medium, be it blog or brochure, sponsored content or script.

Daily newspapers developed a habit for idea generation, attention to detail and knack for question-asking. His background as a magazine and web editor keeps client communications grammatically sound and effective.

Shane’s word-based deliverables range from long-form features to concise digital copy to persuasive prose. He’s been on both sides of the PR pitch and puts some muscle behind ABC’s media relations.