YouTube DOs and DON’Ts for Hotel Marketers

Over six billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube – that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth!

The very first video to reach one-million videos on YouTube was actually a Nike ad that went viral in September 2005. In the past nine years, this mammoth media player has evolved from a platform for amateur videos to becoming one of the world’s most powerful marketing tools.

YouTube’s influence will only continue to grow because it’s directly in line with how new media is trending. With the paradigm shift we are seeing towards mobile, it’s accessible everywhere and operates in a different league than traditional TV advertising.

By the Numbers:

Here are some important figures to help substantiate its dominance:

  • Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time
  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

How does YouTube and Hotel Marketing Collide?

Travelers are engaging with brands and content creators more and more. Travel shoppers are watching travel categories such as destination and attraction related videos, signifying their desire to find what entertainment gems lie in the surrounding area. In 2014, subscriptions to top travel channels increased 106% year-over-year.

Travel vlogs (video blogs) receive four times more social engagement than other types of travel content. People tend to find them more engaging on a per view basis and often more authentic, particularly with the younger audience.

YouTube is a forceful platform that can be one of the greatest assets to your hotel’s marketing strategy, if done correctly. Get it right the first time with our DOs and DON’Ts for hotel marketers.


Do Create Unique Videos that Accentuate Your Property. A recent trend in digital hotel marketing is the use of condensed “snackable” videos. Consider creating two to three 12 – 45 seconds videos that capture the unique features & amenities of the property. Create a video of your front desk manager or concierge taking consumers on a quick virtual tour of your hotel that showcases several wonderful property experiences waiting for them. Trigger an emotional response by using charming visuals of your hotel’s location, staff, and/or surrounding landscapes. Stretch your creativity and have fun with these videos.


The Hilton Puerto Vallarta hit the nail on the head by capturing their hotel’s breathtaking scenery in their YouTube videos.

Do Optimize for Search Engines. Remember who bought YouTube? Only the most powerful search engine, hence YouTube being second to the Google throne of search engine supremacy. Determine quality keywords that best represent your video and the hotel industry. Optimize video titles, descriptions, tags, customized thumbnails, create video playlists, add transcripts, captions; all of this helps boost your organic SEO efforts, making your videos more widely accessible.

Do Translate Closed Captions to Reach a Wider Global Audience. YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages. 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S., and nearly 70% of views come from non-English speaking countries. Translate your closed captions into other languages to help give your hotel a huge opportunity to expand its reach to an international audience. YouTube introduced a new tool to make caption translations much easier for video makers that you can check out here.

Do Keep Your Content Fresh. Be fresh. Be relevant. Be consistent. Create a content calendar as part of your overall strategy on certain aspects of your hotel you want to highlight and when. This is a best practice to help provide a bird’s eye view of your quarters and calendar year. Establish a pattern and stick to it. Plan ahead around the time of the year, whether it be seasonal or holiday activities.

Check out what the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts did when they created a snackable video showing prospective guests that they can expect new high-quality “hotel swag” when they book their next stay. The video went viral, with 430,000 views to date.


Do Have a Call to Action. A clear call to action helps increase exposure and viewership, and ties directly with viewers’ post-video behavioural patterns. You can simply ask viewers to subscribe to your channel, like your page or provide annotations to more videos of similar capacity. If you don`t ask, you`ll never know.



Don’t Take Your Time Getting to the Point. Grab the attention early! You have an average of 15 seconds to convince a viewer to keep watching your content. One of the biggest challenges of video production is the urge to show anything and everything right away in your clip. Highlight your most compelling points early on. Best practice examples include two to three 12 – 45 second vignettes of your property experiences, presenting guest rooms & suites, restaurant and lounge facilities and location of hotel with area attractions.

Don’t Forget About the Engagement and Analytics Tools. Communication is not a one way street. Engagement is all about respecting your audience and providing value to them. YouTube Analytics lets you monitor the performance of your channel and videos with up-to-date metrics and reports. There’s a ton of data available in different reports (e.g. views, traffic sources, demographics). It’s important to track your metrics to understand what the most effective videos are and what kind of an impact they’ve had on your audience.

Don’t Forget to Link to Other Platforms. You can easily share your videos across a variety of your social media platforms for expanded exposure and growth. So the video you created for YouTube can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, and embedded on your hotel’s website. And remember your videos don’t have to be one and done. Keep promoting this content throughout the month on your social sites to maximize publicity.

YouTube’s influence extends far beyond simply operating as a video player. Follow these tips to help fine tune your video strategy and maximize your hotels presence in this digital world.

For more insight and overview on how to use video successfully, download your Cheat Sheet for Video.

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