Most vacation rental hosts market their properties on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook but fail to utilize YouTube—at great disadvantage to their Airbnb business. YouTube is not only the best platform to host all your vacation rental marketing videos but is an important marketing channel in its own right.
Top Tips for Growing Your Vacation Rental YouTube Channel
YouTube is second only to Google for getting the highest number of visitors worldwide and boasts 2.6 billion active monthly users in over 100 countries. An average of 694,000 hours of video are streamed each minute (higher than even Netflix), and users spend an average of 19 minutes daily on the channel. Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts, introduced only in 2020, attracts over 30 billion daily views.
Combined with the fact that YouTube also acts as a search engine and its content is easily shareable, the channel is a powerful medium for reaching potential guests and convincing them to stay at your vacation rental.
Not only is YouTube huge, but it is still growing. With over 5 billion videos watched each day and being available in 76 different languages, marketing your vacation rental through YouTube allows you to reach a truly enormous and global audience, give your listings more exposure, and potentially growing your bookings.
Not only is Google search increasingly favoring video content in its search results, but by backlinking your website blog content and YouTube content to each other, you can improve your overall SEO. Improved SEO helps you rank higher in organic searches on Google, giving your properties greater visibility.
Video content is more interesting, engaging, and shareable, so the audience prefers it over simple text or still imagery. With video, you can bring your vacation rental to life and allow guests to envision their stay. It can even increase your conversion rate by up to 80 percent, meaning marketing your vacation rental on YouTube will get you more bookings.
Unlike Instagram with its stories and reels or TikTok where short-form video is king, YouTube provides you complete control over the length and type of video. So you can decide how best to showcase each piece of content and for how long for it to be maximally effective.
Unlike most other social media channels that either limit or restrict how much you can promote your other digital marketing channels, you are free to put up links and promote your other channels, be it your vacation rental website, Airbnb listing, or other social media channels freely, both in the description of each video and within the content of your video.
Like with any other social media channel, you should treat your YouTube channel as an extension of your vacation rental brand and establish your unique channel identity by keeping with your brand guidelines. Some important considerations are:
This is the equivalent of your Instagram or Twitter handles. Your name should be reflective of your vacation rental properties/business.
Get your family and friends to subscribe so you can reach the 100 subscriber mark over 30 days and you can customize your YouTube URL. You can make your URL match the name of your YouTube channel to make it easier to find and recognize.
This is ideally the logo of your vacation rental business and is similar to your listing’s thumbnail photo on Airbnb.That way, your channel is easily recognizable and creates a strong brand impression.
This is the banner image and should scale across the different devices users access YouTube through, such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and TVs.
This is the ‘about us’ section of your YouTube channel and should include keywords that you want to rank for on search. Try using keywords you think your guests would use in search when looking for new properties.
The video introduction to your Airbnb vacation rental should ideally be short. Helpfully, your trailer will not be interrupted by YouTube ads, making it even more important you hit it out of the park with yours since you have undivided attention.
You don’t need to invest in a high-end camera or pay an agency, but you do need to make sure the quality of the videos you upload are high. No one will sit through a poor-quality video. That’s what podcasts are for. Most smart phones today are capable of taking a decent quality video, but also pay attention to sound quality and ensure you keep a steady hand for easy watching.
From the title and description to the thumbnail and tags, make sure each video you upload on YouTube is optimized for search so it is more likely to be discovered by the people you are trying to reach.
Make sure all your videos have a call-to-action (CTA), whether that is to go visit your vacation rental website, check out your Airbnb listing, or click subscribe on your YouTube channel.
Ensure all your videos follow your brand guidelines (as discussed above). This will ensure your audience will associate your videos with your brand over time and creates brand awareness and can even lead to brand loyalty.
Just like you use YouTube to promote your other marketing channels, use them to promote your YouTube channel by dropping a link. You can even embed your YouTube videos in your marketing emails.
By creating playlists, you can organize your YouTube channel and encourage users to continue to watch your content. Playlists also appear separately in search results, providing an additional search advantage.
By close captioning your videos or providing YouTube with the transcript of your videos, you not only make your videos more accessible but more likely to be watched.
You can attract more subscribers by giving special offers and even free stays away to a lucky few of your YouTube audience. It can also be a great way to thank your existing audience and build loyalty.
Perhaps you want to grow your YouTube subscriber base fast. Or you’re having a flash sale to fill in gap days in your calendar. Whatever your reasons, paying for YouTube ads can help achieve your goal.
Many Airbnb hosts tend to ignore YouTube as a marketing channel for their vacation rental. But as the second most visited website worldwide that means missing out on a huge opportunity. At a time when video content reigns, YouTube, which is optimized for the form, is a worthwhile opportunity for bringing your property to new audiences, converting them into customers, and establishing your brand.