Digital

How U.S. State Tourism Boards Use YouTube to Drive Visits

Jul 22, 2014 4:40 pm

Skift Take

Take advantage of online video and show who and what make your state worthy of a visit for locals and foreigners.

— Joyce Manalo

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Free Report: The State of Chinese Outbound Market Travel

Visit California  / YouTube

Bob Burnquist's Floating Skate Ramp in Lake Tahoe. Visit California / YouTube


With Visit California and Travel Oklahoma’s successful online video campaigns, we decided to take a peek at top U.S. destinations to see how states were communicating their stories and garnering the most visibility on YouTube based on views and subscribers.

Over the first half of 2014, thirteen tourism boards have had over one million views on their respective YouTube channels. Of this group, 70 percent have over one thousand subscribers. The top performers had four million views and the majority averaged at 250,500 views.

In terms of the best performing videos year-to-date, ten of thirteen videos were about being outside. Visit Florida and Go Hawaii were the two that focused on beaches, and the rest presented mountains, forests, and lakes. Travel Oregon featured its states’ seven wonders with a teaser video for each of the sites that it prominently highlights on its YouTube channel and its main page.

Visit Virginia and Alabama Tourism videos were about local food and beverages. Other states also uploaded videos about local artisans and food with video profiles of local businesses and its owners.

Enjoy Illinois was the only state that showed a wide range of activities that included outdoor and city sites — as seen through the eyes of one of its most celebrated natives, Abe Lincoln.

A few of the states paid tribute not only to its natural beauty but also to its musical talents. Visit California partnered with skater, Bob Burnquist and band frontman Edward Sharpe on its #DreamBig campaign; Travel Nevada collaborated with the band The Killers, and Colorado Tourism worked with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to provide music for their state’s commercial.

Out of all the states mentioned, Visit California and Travel Oklahoma blended their online video content with YouTube Advertise solutions to increase its visibility. The results of Visit California’s YouTube takeover was a 7% lift in consideration and 17% lift in likelihood to visit California. Travel Oklahoma was able to increase web traffic nearly fivefold in just over one year, as reported by Google.

Learn More at SkiftIQ

U.S. Destination Views Subscribers Video Uploads/Month Growth of Views/Day
Visit Florida* 10,502,885 10,355 22.3 82,900
Visit California* 5,288,640 3,439 3.53 51,000
Enjoy Illinois* 3,608,191 1,625 1.86 28,800
Travel OK 7,425,286 439 1.44 27,500
Visit Virginia* 2,382,973 1,185 1.03 8,190
Pure Michigan* 3,910,883 5,291 15.1 5,230
Alabama Tourism 1,145,825 468 0.78 4,660
Colorado Tourism* 2,179,466 1,162 1.03 4,320
Travel Oregon* 4,412,071 4,028 6.18 3,850
Vermont Tourism 1,360,286 647 1.61 2,740
Travel Nevada* 7,086,048 1,018 2.47 1,930
Go Hawaii* 2,086,327 2,201 0.47 674
South Dakota Tourism 1,166,611 922 1.47 540

Source: SkiftIQ
Notes: * Included in top ten American state tourism boards with the most subscribers.

Below is a curated list of the U.S. Destinations’ top performing videos year-to-date:

Visit Florida

Travel OK

Travel Nevada

Visit California

Travel Oregon

Pure Michigan

Enjoy Illinois

Visit Virginia

Visit Colorado

Go Hawaii

Vermont Tourism

Travel South Dakota

Alabama Tourism

Learn More at SkiftIQ

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