How to market your travel business, part 5: video

When thinking about how best to market your travel business, you might not immediately think about YouTube. However, with over one billion people making their way to the website every month, there's a pretty convincing argument for using YouTube as part of your content marketing strategy.

If your videos are interesting, relevant, optimised and being promoted, you stand a great chance of reaching and engaging with a huge audience.

That said, not every industry is well matched with YouTube's personality traits. Luckily for travel businesses, the two are a match made in heaven, as brands have a giant palette in which to draw from as they go about creating videos.

Plus, recent findings of a study published on Think with Google suggest that YouTube is fast becoming the search engine of choice for travellers seeking inspiration for their next trip.

That ties in with Google's '5 Stages of travel' which says a consumer's travel journey starts at 'dreaming'. It's at this point that they go in search for inspiration via online content, with 62% of leisure travellers and 74% of business travellers wanting to see a video before they make a final decision on where to go, according to research by Frederic Gonzalo.

If you can satisfy this hunger for travel videos, you will start to build up a healthy number of subscribers who are sharing your videos with their network and so on.

It all boils down to inspiration and know-how: being able to come up with new ideas for video content and knowing how to make those videos visible.

How to make your YouTube content visible

Get the title right

First things first, your title will need to make sense otherwise users will quickly scroll past it. That might sound like a simplistic piece of advice, but brands have been known to let keywords skew common sense. Sure, you'll need acute awareness of what your customers are searching when looking for a relevant video, but you shouldn't let SEO practices lead you into writing a clunky title.

Keep the description short and sweet

You might be inclined to pack your video's description with a tonne of keywords, maybe even throwing in some complicated jargon to really rev-up the SEO. However, you've got to make sure your description does its job of telling your audience what your video is all about, or they will look for less confusing alternatives.

Don't forget to tag!

Tags are crucial to discoverability and visibility on YouTube, which is why SEO-Hacker suggests using at least 10 in order to give your video a good chance of being found. It's at this point when you can get away with a handful of keywords - just make sure they are relevant to the video, i.e. don't try and bandwagon on the back of a trend, as you'll lose some credibility.

Promote it elsewhere

It goes without saying that once you've uploaded your video to YouTube and all the tags and titles have been added, it's time to proudly start sharing your video with the world. It's not enough to just post a YouTube link on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you've got to give the video some context, enticing people to click play.

While the video's title, description and distribution are no doubt crucial to getting your video content seen and heard, it's the video itself that arguably plays the biggest part in visibility. If you can come up with some fantastic ideas for travel-related videos – a tour of your hotel, perhaps, or original and real footage of adventure travel – we can say with some sureness that your content will find a sizeable audience.

That's because internet users love video content these days and are even prepared to trawl the web aimlessly looking for something that makes them feel something. So get to work on thinking of some video ideas – the more unique the better.

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