In search of adventure and advice, potential travelers are flocking to YouTube to watch travel content. According to a recent study by Google, travel content viewership is at an all-time high, increasing 118% year over year. But how has travel content viewership skyrocketed?
Two-thirds of U.S. consumers watch travel content when considering and planning travel, so YouTube is prime destination for travel brands to connect with potential customers. When searching for travel content, consumers focus on destinations, attractions, or travel research—these make up 88% of all travel searches.
The most successful travel content, surprisingly, is not user-generated content—it’s branded or professional videos, which make up 67% of travel content viewership. Viewership of this kind of branded content has increased an amazing 394% year over year, hinting at the potential success travel and lifestyle brands can find on YouTube.
Travel content performance shows no signs of slowing down: subscriptions to travel channels are also up 106% year over year. And these subscribers show greater interest in travel videos: their watch time is 86% longer per view than nonsubscribers.
Travel vlogs make up almost half of all travel channel subscriptions. These vlog viewers are the most engaged of all travel audiences, performing four times as many actions (likes, comments, etc.) as any other travel content audience.
A lot of this engagement can be attributed to demographics. Travel vlog audiences tend to be younger and more likely to watch vloggers they can relate to, whereas older viewers (ages 25–64) watch more varied content that’s informational and more directly related to purchases, such as video reviews and tips.
Connecting brands and travelers
What does all this mean for brands and advertisers? Given that travel content continues to grow faster than any other major category on YouTube—with uploads increasing 190% from 2012 to 2013—travel brands have a great opportunity to connect with consumers through video.
By creating content that inspires their audience and showcases destinations and attractions, brands can reach travelers in a unique and exciting way.