Pacific, a global performance marketing agency focused on content and search, found a way to repurpose content from Vrbo’s travel guides to use in videos ranking high on YouTube and Google Search, when the engine serves mixed results to answer a search query.
Shawn Massie, Pacific vice president of growth, calls the strategy Content Play.
“We thought that we could do this ourselves with quick video content -- under three minutes, when possible, because we know people’s attention spans are short,” he said. “Anything more than three minutes, viewers seem to drop off.”
Alexa, an Amazon company, estimates the daily page views per visitor on YouTube at 10.46. Daily time on site is 15 minutes and 29 seconds.
"The more competitive marketers like San Diego were a little more difficult to rank higher," he said.
Referrals from YouTube to the Vrbo site, at less than 20%, are not a major factor. Massie hopes viewers will do extensive research and then go to the Vrbo site to book hotel rooms and an experience to the destination of their choice.
The videos were produced last year, but they still have value, he said. They continue to rank higher in Google Search and YouTube.
“The video catches your eye, even if it doesn’t rank at number one,” he said.
The Pacific team took the travel guide content from the Vrbo site, wrote original scripts, and had voiceovers produced to create the two- to-three-minute videos focused on family trips. The videos highlighted kid-friendly destinations like Myrtle Beach, Florida; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and many others.
Connecting Vrbo’s YouTube channel with the company’s Google organic listing allowed Pacific to increase the ranking and the visibility for a large number of important search results.
The agency uploaded each video to YouTube with SEO-optimized descriptions, tags, and elements for each chapter.
Videos were posted in July 2021, and after six months the agency saw all videos rank under “Suggested Videos” and owning rankings for specific terms. For example, the phrases on YouTube “Things to do with kids in Myrtle Beach,” ranked No. 1, and “Myrtle Beach kids activities” ranked at No. 4.
Having the connection between the websites and the video content helped to rank higher and more often on Google and YouTube, and lead more qualified people to the Vrbo site to book a vacation.
Pacific initially tested the idea with Expedia, which owns Vrbo, after seeing competitors do something similar with longer-form content.
The campaign ran during summer 2021, when there was a dip in COVID-19 cases and a return to travel.