Ten Months ago I stopped doing my main source of income, commercial video production for business and tourism regions, to travel and film the world. My plan was to rely solely on income I made from online video.
So understandably, it is in my best interest to have some idea of what the experts say works well for online video. The video above features YouTube’s trends manager, Kevin Allocca explaining the three points youtube has found helps videos go viral; 1) Tastemakers, 2) Participation 3) Unexpectedness.
I want to focus on one of these points, Tastemakers, and discuss who the tastemakers are for the genre of travel videos.
There are many cases of where travel video channels have been given a nice boost thanks to the help of other well known youtubers.
Natalie Tran, Australia’s most successful youtuber, was sent around the world to produce short and sweet location videos that have proved to be very successful for Lonely Planet’s youtube presence, increasing their subscriber base from 15,000 to over 40,000, and leading to over 3 million more video views
On youtube there seems to be a shift away from individual content creators to content produced by studios. Vice for example were recent recipients of youtube’s original content funding, whereby google dished out $100 million, with some studios receiving as much as $5 million each.
Other travel channels, even those with the appearance of an individual creator, now have the backing of large studios. Sonia Gil’s relatively new channel is backed by Big Frame Media Company, thus meaning she has access to cross promotion from other top performing channels in Big Frame’s stable.
Travel Videos seem to be a very fickle genre online. Even the big players have had difficulty finding viewers. Youtube’s own Vacationer channel has quietly disappeared without a whimper! And even one of the biggest companies in the world, Coca Cola had trouble finding an audience for this round the world adventure.
So when I see a travel video, which has the backing of a large company, suddenly go viral, I always question how it has happened and whether it is due to some clever white hat marketing? I saw these factories in the Philippines, rooms full of bleary eyed Filipinos clicking ‘like’ on Facebook and Youtube. Popularity on the internet it seems, can be bought at the right price!
So what does this mean for the individual traveller or couple trying to make a little extra pocket money from their travel videos as they travel? Can we find tastemakers in the travel blogging sphere? Should we all be cross promoting our work to help establish bigger followings? Interested to hear your thoughts below?