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5 tips and ideas for travel YouTube channels [2022]

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Photo by Peggy Anke on Unsplash

Growing a travel YouTube channel while actually traveling can be a daunting affair. Getting the right footage, finding ideas and optimizing your videos to grow/reach more people is difficult even when you’re not moving from place to place. 

These five (often overlooked) tips should help you find new ideas and optimize your travel YouTube channel for growth.

Balance selfie-style vlogging with travel landscapes

Travel vlogging videos need much more context than regular vlogs. 

A travel video that’s overly focused on surrounding sights/sounds comes off like an impersonal commercial that viewers can’t connect with. On the other hand, a video that’s mostly selfie footage doesn’t provide enough context; it may feel like a podcast rather than a travel vlog.

The key is balance. Use selfie-style footage to explain, connect and show your personality while using landscapes to immerse the viewer in new worlds and the journey (after explaining). Intersperse the footage and you’re golden.

Include your viewers in your videos

Why do people watch travel videos? They want to escape, relax and be entertained (among other things). Viewers want to feel as though they’re traveling with you.

Unlike travel TV shows, YouTube channels give you the opportunity to engage with your viewers and make them feel they’re a part of your journey. 

Simply by answering questions or taking feedback/suggestions from your viewers in your next video, they’ll feel more included and invested. And if your viewers feel more invested, they’ll stick around.

To find ideas, ask yourself “Would this happen in my own country?”

It’s easy to take all your travel experiences for granted and seemingly “run out of ideas”. But simply asking yourself if this experience would happen in your home country can get the ball rolling.

It can be something as simple as trying out a new food/restaurant or as unforgettable as visiting the Taj Mahal.

It doesn’t have to be your own country either; it can also be your viewers’. The point is to immerse your viewers in a new experience they’re unfamiliar with. 

Every country has its own quirks that bring with it a ton of video ideas.

Remember first-time viewers don’t care about you (only the value you provide)

While your long-term subscribers may be invested in your unique journey, first-time viewers are not. All they care about is the value your videos can provide by informing them, entertaining them, inspiring them or immersing them in the escapism of travel.

Every video of yours is a potential first impression on a new viewer. As such, make sure that all your videos can add value to newer viewers without them needing to view the other videos.

This means making self-contained videos, balancing talking about yourself/your journey vs. about the travel experience and letting newer viewers know what they can expect from future videos.

Create thumbnails & titles based on the single most interesting thing in the video

Your video’s thumbnail and title are the difference between a viewer scrolling past your video and clicking on it. The thumbnail and title’s job is to give potential viewers a glimpse into what your video is about.

The key word here is glimpse. That is, the thumbnail and title don’t need to summarize the whole video but just provide one eye-catching moment to draw the viewer in.

So much can happen in a single travel video but know that one great moment is more “clickable” than several mediocre ones. Carefully choose what viewers will be most interested in and base your thumbnail and title on that.

It’s the thumbnail and title’s job to attract while it’s your footage’s job to showcase/communicate.

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