Here's a quick follow-up from our video marketing article
from earlier this week that looked at the ways that airlines are using video to market on YouTube.
Especially given the mainstream media success that paralleled/fueled the viral success of Virgin's new "Safety Dance" video, these videos can function as more than just a one-channel means of marketing. So Tnooz asked YouTube a few questions to flesh out their official recommendations for video marketing in the travel industry.
From Stephanie Davis, Industry Director, Travel at Google:
What are the current trends with airlines on YouTube?
We’re seeing more airlines creating specifically for YouTube, rather than just repurposing existing TV spots or content. A great example of this is the trend in creating funny and engaging safety videos. Airlines like Virgin America and Air New Zealand have been able to reinvent something that’s traditionally seen as “boring” into something that people actually want to watch.
In addition, ancillary revenue is a key profit driver for airlines. We’re seeing airlines use YouTube as a way to showcase key differentiators about their brands in a rich way - such as first class cabins, the food/wine offered in flight, the in-flight entertainment.
More broadly we’re seeing a move toward airlines embracing YouTube as a branding platform. The travel industry is traditionally focused on direct response, but with YouTube you can reach millions of people relatively easily in a cost-effective manner. This is important for airlines in particular, who are aiming to reach consumers in multiple destinations as cost-effectively as possible.What's working especially well? And what about things not really taking off?
The type of YouTube strategy that works well for airlines are ones that encourage viewers to keep coming back to their channel. While creating a viral hit can be a great flash in the pan, it doesn’t necessarily encourage continued engagement with your brand.
We advise airlines to take a similar approach as the most successful creators on YouTube - think about growing your audience, not just driving views for a single video. If you look at Virgin America’s YouTube channel, for example, they’ve been consistently posting interesting content to their channel from videos about their pet liaison to tours of their Loft lounges.
What impact do the success of these videos have on search?
We often see corresponding spikes in searches for the video with searches for the brand overall. For example, we saw a spike in searches for Virgin America at the same time as we saw a spike in searches for their new safety video. This shows how videos can drive overall brand lift for an airline.
In the wider perspective, what tips do you have for airlines and other travel brands creating content for YouTube?
When we talk to airlines and travel brands about their strategy on YouTube, we focus on these main areas:
Define your goal: Many advertisers get lost in the “we have to have a viral video” mindset. This isn’t always the right tactic for your brand. So to start, we always encourage brands to think about their end goal - is it conversions? brand awareness? web traffic? Then they can design their campaigns accordingly.
Focus on engagement as a measure of success: Most successful channels are ones consistently publish video content that’s compelling that gives people a reason to stay and watch. Video views are important, but also look at the other metrics you can use through YouTube analytics, such as whether people are subscribing or staying on your channel to watch more videos.
Make your videos discoverable: Each type of video should given its own space on your channel. With our new brand channel design you can easily create playlists or shelves that focus on different audiences or types of content. British Airways for example has created playlists for videos about their cuisine or on-flight entertainment.
Promote your channel to viewers: With more than 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s important to not just post your videos and hope people will find them. It’s important to create a distribution and promotion strategy, using things like your social channels and video ads. Additionally, since 40% of views on YouTube now come from mobile devices, it’s important that your video ads run across all screens.