EVOLUTION OF TRAVEL MEDIA
The art of documenting travel for the masses began with words as it was all there was. The barriers to entry weren’t that high and it gave people an idea of what it was like to go somewhere they probably never will. Over time some writers rose to the top and achieved notable success and reach via partnering with larger publications and often writing books about their adventures.
Next came photography and it showed people a fleeting glimpse of what it was like for a split second in time. Magazines like National Geographic were society’s window to the world; each new edition was filled with wonderfully taken photos and accompanied by the related stories from all corners of the earth. The barriers to entry for photography are higher than writing; it takes expensive equipment, an eye for the shot and specialized knowledge.
If a photo is worth a thousand words, what’s video worth?
Video is the wave of the future as it lets people really feel they are there. Instead of giving people a sliver of the action through stills and prose, it’s giving them a piece of the pie and a real taste for the place. Video has the highest barriers to entry as you can’t hide behind your camera or words and paint the picture you wish as it’s real, authentic and takes skills to edit the raw footage into something worthwhile.
STATISTICS TO BE CONSIDERED
Below are some statistics from Youtube, the world’s largest video hosting website.
- Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
- 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
- In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth
- 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
- 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc) every week
- More than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community
- Traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011
The statistics above speak for themselves and are taken directly from Youtube’s press statistics page.
What this information tells us is that video is incredibly popular online as well as on mobile devices and that the audience is engaged and social by nature. It also tells us that in today’s day and age to NOT be using video would be the equivalent of ignoring photography in the past, a mistake.
These statistics are simply from Youtube.com, what about all the others combined?
In order to start creating video content for the web, you’re going to need a camera, video editing software and a little bit of patience.
There are countless different types of video recording equipment available but in order to not overwhelm you; we are going to keep this simple. Naturally price is always something people consider but it’s important to also consider your style of travel and the types of videos you wish to produce. Will you be diving with sharks, eating roof-top dinners or both?
Many people use their iPhone, DSLR, Point-and-Shoot or a GoPro to shoot their video content. An entire piece could be written on what camera you could use and a large part of that would be personal preference. Just know that you want to film with something that has high definition (HD) capabilities and solid audio. Other accessories which are popular for video blogging include an external microphone and tripod.
Once the video has been shot the next step is choosing the appropriate video editing software. There are many different types available for both the Macintosh and the PC but if you’re starting out and aren’t already deeply involved you’ll probably wish to start with a basic program. You’ll want a piece of software that allows you to do what you wish but doesn’t overwhelm you with options that aren’t relevant to your current needs.
A great way to start editing your videos is with Windows Live Movie Maker if you’re running Windows and iMovie if you’re using a Macintosh computer. There are many other different software choices available but these are the most commonly used on their respective platforms, especially for beginners.
Once the videos are made, distribution is the next step. Naturally you’re already familiar with Youtube but there are countless other hosting services available and most are free. Another service that is particularly popular with travel bloggers and worth noting is Vimeo. Unfortunately only their basic plan is free and you’ll have to pay a fee if you wish to use all their features.
Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of video hosting services that can be found here.
If you’re looking to upload your videos on multiple platforms, there is a service called oneload.
BENEFITS OF PRODUCING VIDEO
Besides the fact that readers of a travel blog will probably enjoy and find value in the travel videos you produce, there are also other motivations to start making videos and sharing them online…
More than ever, readers want to know who their information is coming from. It’s well and good to make an about me page with a bio and photo but it doesn’t really tell the real story of who you are. A video really gives your audience an idea of who you are that can’t be conveyed any other way.
By uploading your videos to a video hosting service, you’re including your brand in the search results that are conducted directly on it. Many people search directly on video hosting services as they want a video result in particular. Many of these services also have a list of similar results showing to viewers while they are watching a video.
SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
Your travel blog may not have enough trust to rank high for some competitive keywords but websites like Youtube are often shown as one of the top few results for a large array of terms. I just typed in “Venice by Night” into Google and on the first page it had a result from Youtube & DailyMotion…
If you’re making videos that feature you and sharing them, the possibility of being approached by a production company for something larger is very real. While I was recently at TBEX and chatting with numerous industry stakeholders, something that kept coming up was video.
It is almost as though travel bloggers making videos are in high demand as the industry has excess supply of talented writers and photographers but not that many committed to making high quality videos that are also engaging.
Video is the wave of the future and it’s not going anywhere, grab your surfboards…
Photo by Common Sky
- 4 September, 2012 @ 12:16 [Current Revision] by SHABL
- 4 September, 2012 @ 12:16 by John O'Nolan