Make the Most of YouTube for your ski resort as featured in NSAA
This article was just featured in the 50th anniversary edition of NSAA Journal (National Ski Areas Association). Huge thanks goes to Troy Hawks, the editor for including it in, and to NSAA itself. Below is the article itself and a link to the PDF.
Three Steps to Improving Online Video Engagement
By Milena Regos, Founder, Out&About Marketing
YouTube, the online video giant with more than 800 million unique users each month, recently released a set of changes in an effort to become even more social and try to mirror much of the actions associated with Facebook. Ski resort marketers can take advantage of these changes to further ensure that their resort’s channel maintains its brand properties and is optimized in searches, to increase engagement with skiers and riders, and measure overall social media efforts.
Here are three easy steps to implementing YouTube’s new features.
Step 1- Customize Your Channel
By customizing their channel, ski areas can extend their brand and take full advantage of all the available YouTube features that not only help channels gain notice among viewers, but improves search capabilities and optimizes its ability to drive traffic to other social networks, blogs, and websites.
The first step in customizing your YouTube Channel is to set up a custom background image, like a great ski shot or a custom branded image. See Squaw Valley for example. Many ski areas use the official resort logo in order to make it easy for people to identify the channel.
The next step is to edit your channel details, including the title, description, and tags. These are all simple ways to improve your visibility on YouTube and make your channel look professional.
Next, marketers should select a featured video such as an upcoming special event, a resort highlighted video, or the video that netted the most views. Finally, connect YouTube with your other social networks, blogs, and websites. This is an excellent way to get your video content distributed to other social networks and, if you have a good call to action in your video, drive traffic to your website.
Step 2 – Engagement is Key
Thanks to the recent homepage redesign, everyone that is signed into YouTube will see their own channel and subscriptions first, making content more relevant to the user. Instead of getting the latest viral video, regardless of who produced it, now YouTubers can see the channels they have actually subscribed to.
Getting more subscribers to your video channel and making sure they interact with your video will boost your channel visibility, ultimately creating a small viral effect. The newly designed homepage is welcomed by users that have so far been diligently producing videos but only to gain a few hundred views. Continue to create videos consistently, even daily if possible, and create a call to action for your followers to get them to interact with the video. It’s also wise to be active yourself on YouTube by taking action on other videos. Every action users take on your channel will boost your video’s overall visibility.
Step 3 – Social Media Measurements or YouTube Analytics
Today’s marketers are now looking for methods to measure their social media efforts beyond the likes, followers, subscribers and views. Enter YouTube Analytics, formerly called Insight. Within YouTube’s new analytics window, users can analyze the overall performance of their video, changes to net subscribers, and what type of engagement the video received (i.e., likes, dislikes, comments, shares, favorites added and favorites removed).
Users can also see the geographic area the video was viewed from, the sources that drove traffic to the video, and even whether it was played via the YouTube homepage, an embedded player, or a mobile device.
The playback location helps users determine what websites and blogs are embedding the videos and connecting with them. YouTube’s Audience Retention metric helps determine how engaging the videos are by showing at what point viewers left the video. With this, necessary edits can be made to the video content and length. Knowing what makes your videos engaging, where are people watching them, how many people take actions and what kind and who’s embedding your videos are all important metrics that will help you improve your video content, increase your engagement and contribute to your overall social media measurements.
With online video boosting brand recall by 50 percent and likability by 26 percent, ski resort marketers will find YouTube, Vimeo and other online video networks a prime location to further connect with skiers and riders.
Milena Regos is the founder of Out&About Marketing, a digital marketing and social media consultancy based in Lake Tahoe with focus on ski resort areas, travel and tourism and health and fitness. Contact her firstname.lastname@example.org
YouTube by the Numbers • 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day • More than 3 billion videos are viewed daily • 150 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook • Every minute more than 500 tweets contain YouTube links • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major U.S. networks have created in 60 years • YouTube’s demographic is broad: 18-54 years old • 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (i.e., likes, shares, comments) every week