The tourism industry is not very well represented on YouTube – sure, many businesses will create a channel, upload one or two videos, but this is as far as it goes. Did you know that it is the second largest search engine online, and 6 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube every month. Here are my lessons learned building an audience on YouTube.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Do not put any thought into creating the highest quality video from day one; initially, just upload content and you will find that as your audience grows so do your skills in video production. You will see creators, who have tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of views, produce the worst quality video, but the audience does not care – it’s all about your personality and your story.
Don’t get hung up on technology
My camera of choice is a Canon G7X Mark II – it’s at the lower end of the digital camera range, but produces great HD quality video. Ideally, look for a camera that has a wide-angle lens and good battery life. You do not need an expensive DSLR camera and audio equipment. Just buy what you can afford and make sure you research online (tip: YouTube is great for camera research) before purchasing the camera.
Networking is essential
Networking is essential to growing your audience on your website – it is no different on YouTube, and I will cover this in more detail in the future, but for now, draw up a list of five YouTube channels where your audience are watching videos, and look through the comments to see where you could add to the conversation.
Like networking on any platform, it’s important that you do not jump into conversations and post spam – it is frowned upon on YouTube. Instead, share your knowledge, your experience and people will click through to your YouTube channel if you have something interesting to offer.
Don’t focus on creating viral videos
On YouTube, views generate revenue through Google AdSense, which is why a lot of video creators attempt to create viral videos. As a tourism business, it would be good to create a video that gets media attention, but that is very difficult to do – and too many businesses try and create that next big viral video rather than serving their audience.
Have a strong call to action
You will want to send your audience to either your website to sign up to your email list or, to a social network where you can continue to provide them with great content. YouTube offers different ways to create links to external websites within your videos, called Cards. This will be covered more in a future post, but they are a very useful feature that you should add into your videos.
Have a measurable goal to work towards
Most businesses will jump straight into creating a channel and uploading video content with no thought into the end goal. Before you create your channel it is essential that you think of goals that are measurable and are achievable. Plan your content with the goal in mind.
Do not focus on the number of subscribers and views, in reality, what does this achieve for your business? Surely, if you are a B&B you will want to generate a percentage of your bookings through YouTube, or a tourist attraction will want more visitors, both of these are measurable and can be achieved.
Interact with your audience
As a viewer, you love to receive a response from the video creator, and it helps create an engaged audience. While this isn’t always going to be possible (depending on the size of your audience) it’s essential that you reply to every single comment at the early stages of your channels growth.
Title, Thumbnail image, description and tags are Important
This information is vital to the growth of your YouTube channel – to be honest, it should not be the last lesson learnt on the list, but, I only wanted to give this advice to those of you who have made an effort to read this article.
The video title, description, thumbnail image and tags are essential to the discovery of your video. When you’re creating a content plan (because you are going to create one, right?), it’s important that you give some thought into all of these areas; it will help you shape the content.
This post is an overview of some of the lessons learnt from my experience building an audience – over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be going into more detail on how to build an audience that converts into customers on YouTube.
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