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By Michael Moore
No matter which list of the top websites in the world you look at, the same websites show up, and often in similar order.
Google is typically the top site, followed by some combo of Facebook, Amazon and a handful more.
But there’s another website on those lists that has little or no campground presence. I’m talking about YouTube, which is typically ranked between second and fourth in most visited websites.
The numbers are staggering: over a billion people use YouTube each month, with 5 billion videos watched every day, according to youtube.com.
And it’s not just the kids that are hogging all that bandwidth at your campground: 53% of users are 35-plus years old, as reported by videonitch.com and searchenginewatch.com.
If you currently don’t have a presence on YouTube — one that you own — why don’t you?
The top-visited website, Google, forced campgrounds to get a standalone website. One of the other top visited sites, Facebook, prompted most people to get a Facebook page. So why not YouTube?
You can post just a single video, or create your own channel to house multiple videos, all created and controlled by you, assuring that your potential customer gets information about your campground straight from the source.
The traffic alone is an important enough reason to start posting on YouTube; but another, equally important reason is to ensure your control of the message.
Imagine not having a website and allowing review sites or industry sites to dictate your image to the world, or someone creating a Facebook page for your campground and posting photos and information without your permission. Wouldn’t you rather take control of the footage being put out about your campground?
More importantly, wouldn’t you like to put YOUR reservation link in the description of a beautiful video of your campground?
For most campgrounds, the only videos posted to YouTube are ones shot by customers about their individual experience there.
Luckily, most videos (like reviews) are positive but there’s no way one RVer can experience everything you have to offer. An amateur campers video diminishes the majority of the amenities and features you’ve worked so hard to provide.
Campgrounds are beautiful things to record. Not only do they show a customer a visual with impact that just can’t be duplicated, but the stats prove that they’re more effective than a typical website.
Videos have 41% higher click-through and are showing up as much as 50 times higher on Google search results than websites, according to videonitch.com and searchenginewatch.com.
You may ask yourself, “Great, how do I go about getting one of these magical videos?”
There are a handful of vendors that cater specifically to campgrounds, folks who travel the country by RV and know exactly what’s important to your customers.
It helps to have someone with that knowledge, since trying to explain what your customers are looking for is half the battle. You’ll want to make sure you own your video product and footage.
Not only should they go on YouTube, but they’re great tools to put on your website as well.