How to Create a YouTube Channel for Your Tourism Business
With over a 100 hours of video uploaded every day and a billion viewers every month, YouTube has turned into a powerful video-sharing platform. According to the Google/Ipsos MediaCT study, ‘The 2012 Traveler’, 74% of affluent travellers in the US have been prompted to book after watching an online video. (Read ‘The 2012 Traveler study’ on New Media Trend Watch)
Keeping these statistics in mind, establishing a YouTube presence will most likely benefit your business and lead to more bookings. Here’s a guide on how create a YouTube channel for your tourism business. (Also see Online video marketing for tour and activity businesses for more tips about Online Video Marketing).
1. Planning your YouTube channel
Plan and develop a marketing strategy for your business’ YouTube channel. With a clear strategy for your channel in place, you can set targets and measure engagement with your viewers. To help you develop a strategy for your channel, we’ve put together a list questions.
What is the purpose of your YouTube channel? Do you want to educate viewers about your business? Do you want to use your channel to sell your product to your audience? You need to know what you are trying to achieve with your YouTube channel.
Why has your business chosen YouTube as an online video marketing platform? Are there any other alternative video-sharing websites? Do they have the same reach and social features that YouTube has?
What type of content do you want to share on your YouTube channel? You need to develop a strategy around the content you share on the channel. Some content ideas that come to mind: Videos of your product’s unique selling points, interviews with visitors, exciting activities in your area, or information about your location. (For more online travel-related content ideas, see our article on 5 Blog ideas for hotels, guesthouses and B&B’s.)
2. Signing up for a YouTube channel
Creating a YouTube channel for your business is simple, and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Before you visit the video-sharing site, you need to log into your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can create it on the YouTube main page. Once you’re logged into your Google account, you can venture into YouTube. Click on the upload option on the YouTube main page, select create new channel and fill in your details. Add your username and you’re started.
3. Choosing your YouTube channel’s username
The logical choice when adding a YouTube channel username is to use your tourism business’ name. After all, the main goal of creating the account is to market your business.
However, YouTube has millions of users and one of them could be using your business name as their username. This means your business name will not be available as a YouTube channel username. If that’s the case, you can use the following tips to find a perfect username for your business:
Choose a username similar to business’ name: An alternative username that is closer to your business’ name will make it easier for clients to find your YouTube channel.
Keep it short and simple: A short and simple username is easier to remember. Avoid adding numbers in the username as that might make it difficult for viewers to find your YouTube channel.
Make it catchy and fresh: A short, simple and catchy name is very inviting and easier to remember. For example, a YouTube channel named ExploringTheMotherCity is more catchy and inviting than MotherCity.
Add your services: If you can include your main service or product in the username, it will give viewers an idea of the type of video content they can expect from your channel.
4. Your YouTube channel profile
Click on “About” on your main YouTube channel page to create a short profile. You can add a short description of your business, links to your other social media accounts and website URL. When writing your business’ profile, try to keep it simple and straightforward. Tell clients about your products and services in an informative tone.
Now, that you have added a brief background about your business, it’s time to add artwork into your YouTube channel.
Choosing a background image
The recommended background image size for a YouTube channel is 2560 x 1440. Due to its size, the background image will form a large part of your channel’s main page. To make the most out of this image, make sure it reflects the key parts of your business. For example, if your lodge offers water rafting, try to incorporate that in your background image.
Here you can add the logo of your business. The recommended size for the channel icon is 800 x 800. Make sure that the logo is clear and has high image quality.
5. Find tracking tools
Before you upload your first video on your YouTube channel, it is important have a monitoring or tracking system in place. These digital tools allow you to measure engagement, check trends and see which areas of your channel need improvement. Effective tracking tools include: Google Analytics, VidStatsX, ChannelMeter and SocialBlade. All of these tools have various functions and adaptations. It’s a matter of finding one that works for your business’ YouTube channel.
6. Upload your first video
Now that you have a well-assembled YouTube channel, you can upload your first video. Click upload, drag and drop a video on the page. Alternatively, you can upload a video from your computer.
In your first YouTube video, you should introduce your business, services and products. This will give viewers an idea of what to expect from your channel.
To reach more viewers, you have to maximise your video’s search potential. Here’s a list of YouTube’s search engine optimisation tools to help your video reach a larger audience.
Title: Name your YouTube video with a common search term. If you give the video an unpopular title, your video’s search ranking on YouTube will be very low.
Description: YouTube has a 5 000-character limit for video descriptions. The description should include a brief summary of the video and a link to your website. You could also use keywords to help improve your video’s search engine rankings on YouTube.
Tags: In this section, you can type words that you think viewers are most likely to use when searching for a video similar to yours. Mix commonly used and less-popular tags to reach a wider YouTube audience. Each tag has 120-character limit.
7. Pat yourself on the back
Congratulations, you have successfully created a YouTube channel for your tourism business. Now you can start marketing your products and services on your channel.
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To learn more about how a YouTube channel could benefit your tourism business or organisation, book an E-Tourism workshop.
Similar: Online video marketing for tour and activity businesses.