Global Insights on Vertical Video

a woman recording hot air balloons with her phone
by Chris Adams
Head of Research & Insights

Best practices from a global cohort of 15 destinations across YouTube Shorts and other major vertical video platforms.

In 2023, Miles Partnership collaborated with Google to organize and support a cohort of 15 destination organizations with the objective to test and assess vertical video best practices on the YouTube Shorts platform. Performance was monitored and contrasted against insights from other major platforms: Instagram Reels and TikTok. 

three phones showing instagram reels

Working with Google, Miles Partnership identified 15 leading destinations with a strong commitment to content and video storytelling to participate in this testing and educational group. Thank you for the time, input and insights shared by these 15 destination organizations who participated.

International Destinations

  • Bermuda Tourism Authority

  • Netherlands Convention & Tourism Board

  • Singapore Tourism Board

  • Tourism New Zealand

  • Visit Iceland

U.S. Destinations

  • Destination DC

  • Discover Puerto Rico

  • Explore Asheville

  • Memphis Tourism

  • South Carolina Tourism

  • Travel Oregon

  • Travel Michigan

  • US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

  • Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

  • Visit Myrtle Beach

The cohort ran for eight months, gathering the results from hundreds of vertical videos posted on YouTube Shorts and other major vertical video platforms. The program included educational sessions from experts at Google, YouTube, Miles Partnership and Odyssey Studios (Miles Partnership’s creative content studio).  The results were aggregated in an interactive DataStudio dashboard, breaking down top-performing videos across a range of criteria and factors. From this program, Google, Miles Partnership and Odyssey Studios, alongside the participating destinations, developed a wide range of best practices and practical tips in vertical video production and marketing.  

Here are just a few of the insights we gleaned from the Shorts posted during the program:

  1. Lean into authenticity. Inspirational nature, mouthwatering food experiences, and all stories with authentic, engaging storytellers were consistent themes of top-performing videos. 

  2. Utilize music & editing features. YouTube has a variety of features for you to make your video your own: use viral or royalty-free music for an enjoyable background sound or bring your style to the forefront with a voiceover. The top-performing videos also used quick cuts, reveals and other shooting techniques to match the visuals with the audio. 

  3. Showcase places that make up your destination. Highlight the small businesses and attractions that make your destination unique, giving visitors and locals alike a reason to visit. 

Bonus tip. Posting frequency is also important. Better performing destinations in the global Shorts cohort had a more active cadence (at least 2-3 times per week) of sharing new videos with their audience. 

three phones showing instagram reels

Our "Video Vision" 2024 webinar covers the latest insights and best practices in online video and includes speakers from Google, Odyssey Studios, New York City Tourism and Destination DC. See the webinar, slide set and other resources here.

In our 2023 edition of this webinar, we did a deep dive into vertical video best practices. See the 
"Vertical Vision" webinar recording and resources here.

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