Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

How YouTube Can Enhance Your Destination Marketing Plan

youtube for destination marketing

Over the last 12 years, YouTube has evolved from a simple video sharing and viewing platform to a social media and advertising juggernaut. Today, it holds unlimited potential for travel destinations looking to beef up their marketing plans. Getting in front of new audiences is easier than ever with the power of visually appealing content. Plus, you’ll get more mileage out of branded videos by giving them an evergreen place to inhabit. And as you may have heard, recent studies show that audiences prefer video on all social platforms. It’s time to harness this information and use it to your brand’s advantage.

Getting Started

Creating a YouTube channel and curating content starts out much like every other social platform you’re using. Customize your profile, and change it accordingly as your business grows and flourishes. You can (and should) populate your channel with videos created for your destination. Think TV spots, PR videos, tours, events – any engaging video content that showcases the different facets of your attraction. Curated content doesn’t always need to be over-produced either (just make sure it’s not amateurish). It’s also important to look at quality over quantity.

Embed Right Into Your Website

This is possibly the most important aspect of using YouTube to promote your brand. Linking to YouTube videos while posting on other social platforms is fine, but when it comes to your website, you have to change it up, especially since it stands to improve your search rankings. Let’s say you want to share your video – whether socially, verbally, or via email. If your video is embedded on your site, then you already have your audience one step deeper into your funnel. If your viewer has to navigate over to YouTube, with its hefty serving of recommended videos, you run the risk of distraction. And having your intended audience click further away. By integrating your videos directly in your website, you give your audience direct and immediate interaction with your content and can drive them to other parts of your website instead of elsewhere.

Use Comments to Connect

Your YouTube channel is another way to interact directly with your audience. Your comments section is poised to turn your customers into your brand advocates. It also allows you to respond to each individual – but keep in mind, every response is public. And there’s no way to privatize your messaging. Fans of your destination and potential visitors alike will enjoy seeing your responses to questions and comments and will be more inclined to visit knowing how attentive and responsive you are. This is especially true for negative comments or experiences – it’s a testament not only to your brand but to your customer service.  The comments section also turns your fans into brand advocates.

Fine-Tune for More Effectiveness

The beauty of video is that it’s highly measurable. On your YouTube channel, you can see how many views each video has. So you’ll quickly understand which of your videos are most popular among your followers. If your videos are embedded, you can also see which ones are visited most often on your own site and where your visitors are coming from. This allows you to inform your video strategy. Let’s say time-lapsed videos of your grounds are the most popular and documentary-style videos are not heavily viewed. Now you know what to spend your money on when you’re ready to produce more video content.


YouTube is an important platform for tourism destinations to explore and eventually excel at. The experiential nature of your brand is often best captured with video. If you know what kinds to post, how to distribute and feature them on your site, and how to use YouTube as a vehicle for connecting with your customers, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.