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How to Create a Travel Vlog YouTube Channel Part 3: Promoting Your Channel

Welcome back to part three of our series on how to create a travel vlog YouTube channel. In part one, we discussed how to start a travel vlog on YouTube by diving into the process of shooting. In part two, we looked at how to set up your YouTube travel channel alongside optimising your videos for better SEO performance. And that’s pretty much all you need to know, right?

Wrong. Just because your latest travel video has gone live on your channel, it does not mean that is the end of that particular project. There’s still so much that can be done to help promote your YouTube channel and make it a success.

In fact, when looking at how to this topic, learning how to promote your travel vlog on YouTube channel is perhaps where you need to work the hardest.

Below, I’m going to take a look at exactly how to promote your travel vlog and increase things such as viewership and subscribers.

Organise your videos into playlists

This is often overlooked, but playlists are a great tool when looking at how to promote your travel vlog. Remember that YouTube’s business model is based around advertising. Therefore, the longer you keep viewers watching, the more ads YouTube can serve to them. YouTube likes this.

Playlists make it much easier for your audience to watch multiple videos in a row. After one video is finished, the next one auto plays straight after. This will no doubt increase audience retention rates and that plays a huge role in how the YouTube algorithms determine where your videos rank in the search results. In short, playlists = higher audience retention = better SEO performance = more views and subscribers to your channel.

It’s also worth remembering that playlists are actually indexed separately in YouTube search results. For example, with the series I’m currently working on in Lombok, Indonesia, if someone searches “Lombok,” there’s the chance that my whole playlist will appear in the results, as well as my individual videos.

You should look to curate your videos into different playlists depending on their topics, whether they’re a series or the location you filmed them in. I’ve done that with all of my videos and it helps keep the channel nice and neat.

josh edwards YouTube playlists

Utilise your other social media platforms

iphone with social media

This seems pretty obvious and that’s because it’s so important. If you were creating a marketing strategy for any other product, you’d be looking at all the different ways in which you could reach your audience across multiple social media platforms, right?

Your YouTube channel should be no different. You should be looking to utilise any of the following platforms in order to promote your channel:

  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook

The important thing to remember here is that each platform has different requirements and needs. A video that works well on TikTok isn’t necessarily going to work so well on Facebook or LinkedIn. You need to think about where your audience primarily “live.” If your audience is skewed younger, there’s a good chance that you can reach them and a similar demographic who might enjoy your YouTube channel via platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Something that’s worked really well for me is to Identify segments that I can cut out from my longer form travel vlogs on the YouTube channel and repurpose them for platforms such as Instagram. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as some pretty drone footage cut to music, or a funny highlight clip from the YouTube vlog.

What you’re aiming for is to intrigue the viewer and, if they like what they see, encourage them to head over to your YouTube channel to watch more.

Another thing I like to do is use the “Stories” feature (whether that’s on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook) to give my followers a behind-the-scenes look at what I’m up to with filming and editing. This keeps them clued in on the process of making the travel vlog and builds up excitement and anticipation for its release.

Get involved in the travel space

Group of travel YouTubers
Photo by Tiago Rosado on Unsplash

This one sounds a little too general. What does this actually mean? Let me explain.

Whatever niche you’re looking to create a channel around, there is an industry and active online community based around that. In this case, you’re looking at travel (and if you want to be more specific, travel filmmaking). Even during the pandemic, travel is a particularly large industry. So, if you’re looking at how to promote your travel vlog, a great way to do so is to become “known” within this space.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, but I can give a few pointers:

Online discussions

We’ve already discussed using your social media platforms to promote your work; but alongside this, you should look to get actively involved in online discussions with other creators and people within the travel industry. Don’t force the issue (people will see right through that); but if something you read or watch piques your interest, share that with the world and start a discussion with others. Platforms such as Twitter are particularly good for this.

Use audio platforms

On top of that, look at how you can take these discussions into an audio environment. Jump on podcasts or live-streaming chat rooms such as Clubhouse where you can talk about travel with other people and give your thoughts and opinions. Maybe even start your own podcast or an email newsletter on a service like Substack

Attend conventions

When the time is right (post-pandemic), look at attending travel conventions. These are great places to network and connect with like-minded people, as well as the massive marketing industry that’s built on the back of travel.

Share on social

Every time you Tweet, comment, reply and talk about travel, you’re positioning yourself as someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about travel. Over time, people will naturally gravitate towards your online presence and find your YouTube channel. This is a great way to gain more viewers and subscribers over the long run.

Collaborate with others

Building off of this idea of being involved in the travel space, you should look to collaborate with other travel YouTubers. Again, you don’t want to force this. You’ll want to ensure that the people you collaborate with are relevant and a “good fit” for your channel.

In the YouTube Creator Academy, they highlight three key questions you should ask yourself when looking for collaboration partners:

  • Could you imagine someone watching one of their videos, then immediately watching one of yours? Would it make sense for them to be programmed together?
  • Do you have compatible values? Do they need any of the skills/production resources/unique access/audience that you have and vice versa?
  • Do you enjoy their videos? You like won’t enjoy collaborating with a creator whose work you don’t admire

If the answer is “yes” to all of these then you’ve come a long way in identifying someone who would be great to collaborate with. When you collaborate with other YouTubers, they’re going to be bringing their audience members with them and exposing their viewers to your channel. That can really help in how to promote your travel vlog.

Engage with your audience

travel vlogger at cafe
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

It always amazes me how many people overlook this. To have even one person take the time to visit my channel and watch one of my videos is amazing. The very least I can do is take a minute to read their comment and reply thoughtfully, just to let them know I’m grateful! Here’s why this matters so much:

It builds a relationship

Taking the time to engage in authentic, meaningful, and thoughtful conversation with your viewers builds a relationship with them. Taking the time to respond shows that you’re a real person—someone who is reachable and down to earth. People like this and I believe it increases the likelihood they’ll suggest your channel to friends, family, and other people they know. Word of mouth is still a really useful tool.

The YouTube algorithms love engagement too. The more comments across your channel, the more you’ll grow.

Learn about your audience

Taking the time to read and respond to feedback can also help you learn a lot about your audience. You’ll find out what they enjoy and what they’d like to see more of. This is basic market research that can help you create even better videos going forward, thus increasing views and subscribers.

It builds community

Like I said, not everyone is practicing this golden rule. Engaging with your audience and fostering a real relationship can help put you ahead of others. So much of the success of YouTube channels is about the community that they build. Without these communities, they would be nothing.

Be patient when building a YouTube channel

Lastly, I just want to remind you that it’s important to be patient with all of this. Success is not going to happen overnight. When you’re looking at how to travel vlog, sometimes the steps to success can seem so simple. You have to remember that this is a long, drawn-out process that will only lead to something good if you can stick with it and continue to practice these tips over a long period of time (I’m talking years, by the way).

If you’re committed to this and know what lies ahead, you can achieve those goals and aims that seem so unreachable right now.

Wrapping up

So, that’s a look at how to promote your travel vlog on YouTube. When it comes to how to travel vlog, there really is no one “right answer” that guarantees success. However, if you can remain patient and practice these steps over a long period of time, coupled with all of the tips and knowledge laid out in parts one and two of this series, you’ll be well ahead of most people with a solid foundation on which you can build. Good luck and bon voyage!

[Header image by Mesut Kaya on Unsplash]

Josh Edwards
the authorJosh Edwards
Josh Edwards is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, and adventuring storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK). He's passionate about travel filmmaking and documents adventures and stories through his films.
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