Insights from a CVB YouTube video channel

Reviewing wildcat well data in 1939, Amarillo TX (courtesy The Library of Congress on Flickr Commons)I was working with a tourism-related client recently about incorporating more video into their website and destination marketing.

That inspired me to dig around in the Insights (analytics) section of the YouTube channel for another small CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) that I’ve worked with in the past, to see what sort of information I could glean.

Here’s what I found – perhaps it will help you with your own tourism videos.

**  Views average 35 – 40 a day. We started seeing solid jumps in viewership as soon as we began posting consistently. Ranking on page one in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) for desired keywords in YouTube Search took about 2 months, because we needed 3 -4 videos to really crank it and we released them slowly.

**  Viewership is 64% male, largest viewership is people aged 45 – 54.  There are a mix of people, but the top viewers are not younger people, contrary to video-watcher stereotypes.

**  Most people find this CVB’s videos with YouTube’s search engine, or they click around on the channel page, or they come over to our stuff from related videos.  The VAST majority, though, across all videos, find them with YouTube Search.  I was surprised by how low plain ol’ Google search ranked as a way that people find our stuff, even with the importance of video to universal search.

**  We do see people click and watch videos from the CVB homepage (where they rotate) but not a whole lot.  On a few videos, they watched it more times on the homepage than on the CVB Facebook Page (where they are also posted) which rather surprises me, but then again a Facebook video may get buried quickly whereas it rotates up to the homepage more than once.

**  The most popular video so far is an interview tied to a niche sport that held a training camp in town. The fan base is small but very enthusiastic, plus the featured team won a big tournament after the camp, which increased interest.

More data on this popular video:

—>  Most of its views, like the others, come from YouTube Search. I’d researched specific keywords for that sport and added more as I saw them being used in search strings, which paid off in making the video easier for people to find.

—>  25% of the viewers of that video watched it on a mobile device.

—>  It was embedded elsewhere but most views other than on the YouTube channel came from when we put it on the CVB Facebook Page (it helped that we tagged people in it plus the sport’s governing body.)  The second largest number of off-channel views came from embedding it in a guest post that I wrote for a sports information and networking site.  The third largest number of off-channel views came from people watching it in a post in a Ning group related to the sport.

Takeaways for you?

Have a plan going in that makes sense for your market, produce consistently and as often as possible, optimize your video for SEO, don’t discount the value of niche groups for spreading the word, make sure it looks good on a mobile device and allow the video to be embedded in places other than your YouTube channel.

Have you seen any interesting data from tourism video that you’ve done? Let me know in the comments – thanks!

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4 Responses to Insights from a CVB YouTube video channel

  1. Allen Gibson says:

    Hi Sheila:

    I was amazed to find out from a YPartnership presentation thru Travel Alberta last week that YouTube search now ranks as the 2nd most popular search engine. Period!

    This is going to change my thinking about online video as a tool. I’m already using it for my client, the town of Cardston, Alberta. But see the need to create more content.

    Cheers,
    Allen
    @starmediaguy

  2. Hi Allen,

    Yes, thanks for bringing that up. By the numbers, YouTube Search is the 2nd-largest search engine in the world, but because Google now owns YouTube, the numbers are often not broken out separately.

    Remember, though, the power of video in search is wasted if it is not optimized with appropriate text (including keywords) for search engine bots to crawl. It’s not “upload it, and they will come.”

    But you knew that….:)

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