Online travel agents (OTAs) are driving some impressive traffic from YouTube, research shows.

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Travel fare aggregator website Skyscanner saw a 59% increase in referral traffic year-on-year between 2015/16 and 2016/17, according to a report by Hitwise. Booking.com also witnessed a healthy 31% leap in referral traffic in the same period.

In fact, it was a similar outcome for a number of OTAs – HotelsCombined (42%), Expedia (27%) and TripAdvisor (11%) were all found to have enjoyed a rise in referral traffic from YouTube.

The increases don't really come as a great surprise. It's no secret that video is now the most popular and effective form of content for engaging consumers. By some point this year, video content will represent three quarters of all internet traffic, KPCB predicts.

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In terms of YouTube specifically, the platform makes its data available to brands, allowing them to successfully transition interest from social media to their own websites.

The data reveals what kind of content users are watching, as well as the types of content that typically drive subscription to YouTube channels. Brands can then create their videos according to what's popular.

So, what videos are proving a winner for travel brands? Econsultancy takes a look at a few examples from within the industry:

1. Expedia

We've said it plenty of times before, but travel brands are in something of a privileged position when it comes to content creation. All they really need to do is showcase a destination in all its glory, exactly like Expedia does.

However, in order to stand out, you've got to do a bit more than just film the best parts of a particular place. Expedia has got on board with 360-degree video, meaning users can choose which parts of the landscape they see in a video.

Its 360-degree videos are proving a hit, with its 'How Far' video in collaboration with Explore Australia having clocked up over three million views at time of writing.

2. GoPro

If you haven't been on GoPro's YouTube page before, you can probably guess the sort of content you can expect to see... It's filled with content generated using its own technology.

GoPro is not technically a travel business, of course, but it uses travel content to engage with adrenaline-hungry consumers. As such, it regularly looks to its users for content, who probably do a better job of showing off GoPro cameras than the brand ever could.

3. Lonely Planet

It's somewhat instinctive to want to give a video some sort of voiceover to help guide viewers through the images being shown on screen, but in can sometimes be more effective to let the visuals speak for themselves.

Lonely Planet's narrator-less videos have a somewhat otherworldly feel, almost as if we're witnessing something we shouldn't. You can't help but keep watching.

If these findings have moved you to think about YouTube marketing as a means to drive traffic to your website, you need to be sure you don't disappoint your visitors when they do arrive.

The solution

At Digital Trip, we can help you create a website that both you, and more importantly, your customers, will love.

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