Sailing Fox
Sailing Fox

We are Simon and Carla and we have a sailing channel called Sailing Ocean Fox on YouTube. We have been sailing around the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean for the past two years and have been documenting our journey and lifestyle on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Earlier this year we decided to ask our followers a few questions – we have over ten thousand subscribers on Youtube and six and a half thousand on Facebook. We wanted to find out what people were really looking for when it came to viewing a travel Youtube channel: Most importantly, we wanted to learn what would make them subscribe through the sponsorship platform of Patreon. If we could find out what people were looking for, we could use this to improve our subscriber count and hopefully increase the number of people who pay to watch our channel.

First of all, we needed to find out the demographic of the people that follow our channel. For this, we turned to Google Analytics. After analyzing our subscribers, we found that 33% of our viewers come from the USA, while 8% came from the UK. Canada, Germany, France, and Australia followed next on with 6%, 5%, 5%, and 4% respectfully, making up a further 20%. 94% of the people that watch are male, but this may well be skewed as wives and partners may watch at the same time.

Our survey showed that 74% of the people that view our programs are over the age of fifty. This could be because they have more interest in sailing, they are planning to sail the seven seas, or they have more time to watch. But what it does tell us is that we should tailor our content to appeal to the “Baby Boomers.” When it comes to social media, 44% of our survey responders choose to interact on a through Facebook, closely followed by Youtube at 42%, with Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn making up the rest. Therefore, all marketing efforts for our channel should focus on these two social media platforms, Facebook, and Youtube.

We asked our followers:

“How much travel content do you consume on a weekly basis?”

Surprisingly, 19% of the people surveyed view more than five hours of travel-oriented programs each week, while 66% of people watch between one and five hours per week. We can, therefore, assume that travel is a hot topic, and people are searching on Youtube for videos related to travel. The market is simply huge – large enough for many sailing channels, RV channels, camping channels, and travel vloggers are all able to cover every aspect of travel.

The survey also confirmed that most people like to follow the actual people behind the channel and not just the destination. They buy into the lifestyle of the vlogger and follow the story over a period of time. They enjoy watching the vloggers journey through a typical day in their life.

When asked:

“What would encourage you to subscribe through Patreon?”

Nearly fifty percent of the people said they would be encouraged to subscribe if there was additional content that came along with the subscription. They need to feel they are getting something special for their subscription. Therefore, we provide an additional program each week for our Patreon channel and provide exclusive updates each day by video, so long as we have a data connection. This is really important to keep them coming back to our channel month after month.

The cost to become a Patreon varies and is set by the creator. For our channel, it is spread from as little as 4$ per month up to 50$. The survey suggested that 42% of people would be happy to pay up to five dollars per month so long as they get some exclusive content, just like any subscription TV service. So this is kind of “stack it high and sell it cheap.” It’s better to go for the quantity as you will lose a few subscribers each month.

It is important that viewers watch the program to the end, as this gives the vlogger an increase in advertising revenue from Google, in addition, Youtube’salgorithm will notice the watch time and promote the video for you. We asked “What would make you watch to the end?” and, interestingly enough, people are looking for an “explanation of the events” so they understand what has happened, and not necessarily a climax to the story. It, therefore, appears that people are more after information and learning points rather than a Hollywood ending.

We allowed the participants to make their own comments at the end of the survey, and a lot of people said they look for original content and good videography, audio, and editing. They like more everyday events and a recap of the program that tells them why something happened, how it happened, and the background to the story.

Since our survey, we have seen our subscribers grow from ten a week to over one hundred a week. We feel this is due to us taking the results of the survey seriously and making small changes to our programs.