I’m sure you’ve heard of Google Video, the video sharing platform from Google that allows users to upload and share short-form videos.

Well, now that YouTube is part of Google, it’s integrated its function with YouTube, and you can access both accounts from the same login. If you’re logged into YouTube, you’ll also see a small icon that allows you to access all of Google’s services, including YouTube.

YouTube is a juggernaut, commanding nearly half of the entire video market, with more than a billion users a month. But Google Video is still around, and it’s growing in popularity, mostly because it’s so simple to use. Anyone can set up a Google account and upload a video in less than a minute.

And that’s exactly what Charlie Pattinson did. The travel journalist and photographer from the U.K. created a YouTube channel where he gives tips on traveling to different countries and the various ways in which you can get around – typically by motor vehicle – in each location. He also covers destinations in more detail than most travel YouTubers, using the platform to disseminate his award-winning photos and videos of the places he visits.

I recently had the chance to speak with Pattinson about his new channel and how he uses YouTube to grow his international audience.

Why YouTube?

YouTube is the most popular video platform in the world, and it’s constantly evolving. The second and fourth largest networks in the world – behind YouTube and TikTok – respectively, Facebook and Instagram – are trying to figure out how to integrate video into their platforms, too.

So it’s clear that video is here to stay, and YouTube is the best place to be if you want to distribute and gain value from short-form videos.

How Does YouTube Benefit Foreign Travel?

The short answer is that YouTube allows you to speak to an audience all over the world, which can translate into increased popularity and followers, more video content, and more ways for people to engage with your channel.

If someone happens to be reading this and is interested in traveling abroad, I’d advise them to check out Charlie Pattinson’s YouTube channel, as a great place to start. His channel features top-notch production values, with mostly unedited video footage that gives an authentic glimpse into what it’s really like to travel internationally. He covers all the essentials, from how to get a visa to where and how to travel by bus and train.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend starting your own YouTube channel if your only goal is to gain popularity and engagement on social media. That’s not what YouTube is for. But if you’re looking for a way to become a thought leader or an authoritative voice in your industry, or if you want to document your travels in the way that Charlie Pattinson does, then YouTube can be a valuable tool.

How Does YouTube Benefit Native Travel?

If you’re a fan of YouTube and you only watch content relating to places you already know, then you’re missing out on a lot. Native travel vloggers can tell you about their own backyards in incredible detail, documenting every aspect of their day-to-day lives, and showing you sights that you’d never get the chance to see if you didn’t live there.

Think of a place you’d like to visit that is relatively unknown, or at least isn’t particularly well-documented. Like most things on social media, native travel YouTube channels are becoming increasingly popular, and the best ones can be quite informative, even for people who are relatively familiar with the location. You can gain a lot of knowledge simply by watching the videos.

The Rise in Popularity Of Native Travel YouTube Channels

If you follow the travel industry on social media, you’ll start to notice a large influx of new channels emerging, mostly focusing on content for and about places that the person running the channel hails from. For example, if you check out the tags for British Columbia, you’ll see that the province’s borders sprawl across the country, with many people living in cities on both sides of the border. So, naturally, a lot of content is being created about the place.

If you click on the British Columbia channel, you’ll see that it’s a combination of videos about the place, its food, and its atmosphere. One of the most popular videos shows a brief bit of footage of a bus driver’s hairy knuckles as he grabs a glass of wine while driving a full-size bus. The narration gives you a great sense of the place:

  • It’s a really cool place if you like mountains. It’s the kind of place where you can park where ever you want and go for walks.
  • The people are really friendly and welcoming, and there’s a lot of opportunity for those who are looking for work. It’s not like the cities across the border where you often find people struggling to make ends meet.
  • The wine is really good, too. I recommend trying some of the local varieties if you ever visit. They’re not too expensive and they go down very easily.
  • I feel that BC is definitely a place that you should visit at least once in your life. If you’re not from there, then you’ll have the chance to learn a lot about the place.

YouTube Allows For Multi-Platform Platform

One of the things I love about YouTube is that it allows you to develop and grow your audience across platforms. So you have one place where you can post content, and it will automatically update wherever you choose. It’s a great tool for digital nomads who want to develop an international following.

If you follow any travel-related Facebook groups or follow any travel bloggers on social media, you’ll start to see a trend emerge: Those who are increasingly popular, gaining a large social media following, have a YouTube channel. That’s because YouTube allows people to discover content that they might not have seen before if they were limited to one platform.

If you get a chance to speak with any of the well-known YouTube content creators, such as Michael Cox or Rebecca Lieb, you’ll discover that they use YouTube to gain popularity, engage with their audience, and eventually, build a brand, all while documenting their travels.

The Opportunities For Travel Bloggers And YouTubers

If you’re interested in blogging or you’ve already started a blog, then you have an idea of what kind of content you can produce and distribute. You can use a tool like WordPress to build and manage your own blog, or you can use one of the many free blogging platforms like Blogger or Tumblr.

If you want to become a YouTube creator, the number one thing you need to do is to find a niche. Simply put, a niche is a “small market or segment” within the travel industry. Once you’ve found your niche, the next step is to build a community. You can do this in a few ways, including hosting giveaways, offering free trips or upgrades to fans, or creating a point system where you give away tickets to travel, conferences, or meet-and-greets with big-name guests.

To get started, you can simply search for your niche and see what comes up. Once you have a few ideas, then you can start to build a blog or YouTube channel around one particular aspect of travel. For example, if you’re passionate about street food, then you can start a blog reviewing restaurants, or if you want to talk about luxury travel, then you can create a blog reviewing luxury hotels and restaurants.

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for those interested in traveling, and the best part is that you don’t necessarily need to be a professional, full-time journalist to get started. All you need is a desire to explore the world and a willingness to learn.

Becoming A Successful Travel Blogger Or YouTuber

If you follow the path of most established digital nomads, you’ll end up in the travel industry. But it’s a tough industry to break into, especially if you’re starting from scratch, with no connections or experience. It’s not that the industry isn’t welcoming, it’s just that there’s a lot of competition, and most digital nomads aren’t lucky enough to make a living from their travel content. But if you want to carve out a successful niche in the travel industry, then you need to learn a few things about creating content that will engage an international audience and convince them to subscribe.