Posts Tagged ‘power of video’

The Power of Video and YouTube Community Building

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Easily accessible economic cameras and video phones have recently replaced camcorders and film roles from the last century. With these new products, entertainment and businesses stepped into the new multimedia dimension. What’s the impact? If the picture says more than a thousand words, video without doubt says more than a thousand pictures.

From movie trailers and interviews to “home-made” cooking tutorials, all this and everything else imaginable can be found on YouTube. During the past three years this powerful broadcasting website created a community of 200 million unique users and has the 6th largest audience on the Internet. With the audience that closely mirrors the demographic of the US online population and with monthly unique visitors of 71 million on YouTube, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that opportunities for advertisers are just enormous.

The best of all is that YouTube makes room for everybody, from amateurs to video gurus. You don’t need a professional footage to draw visitors to your YouTube profile. For you – property owners, it can be a pretty useful channel to target travelers. From our internal research we know that the majority of travelers that visit Rentalo are between 25 and 34 years old and over 55. Main YouTube’s audience belongs to the similar age groups as well.

Uploading a video to YouTube is simple and doesn’t require any special skills. The most important thing to remember is to assign as many tags as possible to your video (tags are keywords people use in their search). You should also include keywords in the description of your video. When writing a compelling description, you can refer to my previous post about how to create a copy that sells.

Your opportunities with YouTube, however, go far beyond uploading a video of your vacation rental. There is always a larger picture and here it’s about using YouTube as a great tool to build your own community. There are countless videos of users who share their own tutorials, travel guides or hidden talents. Some of them have built huge communities just by catering to the right audience with the right product. They encourage comments, invite subscribers, belong to certain circles and what’s the bottom line, they link to their private websites where they usually sell their products or services. Great example of a successful “you-tuber” is your fellow property owner from Amsterdam ” PhilDutch.

As YouTube says, “Online Video isn’t the future, it’s the present”. The fact that 75% of Americans watched a video online last month is enough information for you to act! At Rentalo we decided to go with this fast-growing trend last year when we introduced a video inclusion option. Since that time property owners can link a property video to their Rentalo listing for free.

We also prepared a mini tutorial for owners providing technical tips, giving advice on what to capture and finally teaching how to upload a video to YouTube and then include a link in Rentalo. If you have a video of your vacation rental, it’s about time you shared it with Rentalo’s audience. If you don’t have one yet, you definitely should think of making one. Video can be as simple as a slideshow of your finest pictures put together by a Windows Movie Maker (a program that every computer has). You can also add music and put subtitles.

Just one last thought. Remember that today consumers have turned into Trysumers, people who enjoy full access to information and reviews and who like unconventional ways of “trying” new services. They want to taste and “touch” a product before they purchase it. Do you think video will influence their decision about booking your place? I think that chances are pretty high.