The most highly-used search engine on the planet might not surprise you (Google), but do you know the second-most widely used search engine? It’s YouTube.
This makes YouTube a fantastic option for those businesses looking to expand their reach to target consumers who, like Google, search with intent.
Beyond this, YouTube is a great way to answer many of the frequently asked questions that businesses often face including:
- Struggling to gain an online presence?
- Not sure how to present unique content that you know your target customer could benefit from?
- Want to leverage your media presence in a way that connects with your audience unlike any other medium?
This beginner guide will provide you with a strong foundation how to make a YouTube channel for your business.
This guide will cover the YouTube marketing necessities including:
- YouTube Channel Branding Strategies
- How Engage With Your Subscribers & Create A Community
- YouTube SEO – How To Get Your Videos Found On YouTube
- Developing A Data-Driven Content Strategy
1. YouTube Channel Branding Strategies
We have covered the importance of branding for your company’s image extensively including the psychology behind branding. The same concepts apply when creating a YouTube channel for your business.
Before discussing branding strategies for your YouTube channel, it is important to stress a point from an earlier article on branding as an experience:
Successful brands don’t focus on simply what the brand will look like, but it will also consider the experience that people will have with that brand. That experience includes everything from the more obvious, customer service experience, to the less obvious, mood impact of colour choices.
How does this play into your YouTube channel? Your concern should not be limited to only the logo/watermark included in a video but rather the purpose, vision and value added you and your business provide.
Here are some key branding strategies, shown by those industry leaders, to have great success when growing a YouTube channel.
This is likely to be your logo that is communicated across all channels for consistency purposes. As this is the primary means that your target audience will remember you by, it should communicate your brand image and elicit an emotional response.
You will want to ensure that a high-quality image appears on all videos across all devices for the best effect.
Similar to the channel logo/icon, your YouTube channel should maintain a consistent watermark across your videos so as to create brand awareness. If brand is big enough, viewers will immediately recognize who the video belongs to by seeing this watermark on future videos.
The banner is a great way to show off your brands creativity and also act as an additional call-to-action. For example, Hiilite’s current banner leverages professional photography and encourages the visitor to check out our website and/or social media accounts.
The description is where you should not only communicate your YouTube channel’s content, but also the voice behind the channel. The hook should be located here – a concise, detailed description of what type of content the user can expect that is sure to lead to subscriptions.
The thumbnail of a video is the static image that is shown to the searcher in the results pages. The thumbnail is an extremely important factor in enticing a searcher to click on your video. 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube utilize custom thumbnails. For this reason, it should not be overlooked when creating your YouTube channel’s content.
Best practices for creating YouTube video thumbnails include:
- Use the proper YouTube Thumbnail dimensions
- Include a title in your YouTube Thumbnails
- Use good contrast in your YouTube Thumbnail design
- Be consistent with your YouTube Thumbnail design and font
- Use attention grabbing pictures in your YouTube Thumbnails
- Be honest & accurate in your YouTube Thumbnails
YouTube Channel Trailer
Much like a movie trailer, you want your channel’s trailer to summarize the ‘plot’ both effectively and efficiently. This video should be utilized in efforts to hook in more subscribers that can’t wait to view your next video. Often brands will promote their top video here.
Finally, because this video is likely to be viewed by many as a starting point, it can call on the viewer to take additional action such as, ‘watch this video’ or ‘be sure to subscribe now for more quality content’.
2. How Engage With Your Subscribers & Create A Community
There are plenty of content creators out there – so how do you stand out from the pack?
In addition to creating unique content, a key to growing the success of your YouTube channel is creating a sense of community with your viewers. This is typically done by engaging with them, understanding their wants and needs and tailoring your content to meet this feedback.
Creating a loyal fanbase doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some strategies that have been shown to work that you can apply to your YouTube channel.
Establishing a consistent publishing schedule
Beneficial for you in that it keeps you committed to generating unique video ideas well in advance, it also benefits your subscribers in that they know when they can typically expect the next video of yours to be published.
contests, giveaways, etc. work great for generating engagement. Now is not the time to be humble. If you are not asking your viewers to subscribe, comment, and like every video, you are missing out on valuable long-term subscribers.
Curated content and playlists
Like streaming platforms like Netflix, once a viewer finds a channel they enjoy, the likelihood they binge watch your content is higher. Taking the time to curate playlists of videos with similar subjects and/or topics can make this process for the viewer.
Hiilite’s YouTube channel utilizes the playlists feature to act as a one-stop shop for all questions related to digital marketing. Analytics are your friend here as the numbers can determine what a potentially useful playlist may be, and how to segment it based on your demographic.
3. YouTube SEO – How To Get Your Videos Found On YouTube
By now, we have covered Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in great detail as it relates to traditional search engines like Google. For a refresher, be sure to check out On-Page Keyword Optimization.
YouTube’s algorithm is similar in that it is constantly changing, and staying up-to-date on the fluidity of changes, is key to ranking your video highly in results pages.
We will cover the YouTube SEO basics to help improve your videos visibility online.
Much like SEO for your website, the same concepts apply when optimizing your YouTube channel’s videos. The easiest place to start is to on YouTube itself by typing in your root keyword (video topic) and noting the suggested search terms in the dropdown menu. These search queries are proven to appeal to a bigger audience as they have been searched for previously. For further insight, Google’s Keyword Planner is a useful tool in identifying highly searched for terms.
YouTube video title + description optimization
Now that you have done your keyword research, it’s time to implement your findings for the appropriate keywords. The video’s title and description are key touch points to ensure your keywords are included. Doing so sends YouTube a signal as to what the video is about and increases the likelihood your video is shown in search results.
The description also acts as a way of introducing the video’s topic and encouraging the user to stick around to view the video in full. Including the transcribed video along with timestamps to key moments within the video is a popular practice as it improves the user experience for a viewer.
Finally, a properly written description encourages action such as visiting bio pages of the performers, social media pages and more. Be sure to experiment with creative calls-to-action within your descriptions!
Detailing the conversation’s discussion points manually and uploading these files to the video is not only great for user experience, as they can watch the video with captions and the sound off, but SEO benefits as well. YouTube is like Google in that they both crawl the text present on a given website (in this case the transcription file) to identify the video’s subject matter when choosing which videos to display in search results.
The tags you apply to your videos should accurately portray the video’s category and content.
Not sure what tags to include on your video? Be sure to install the free vidIQ to uncover the tags used by your competitors. Apply these to your videos to easily enter the landscape and overtake your competition.
Links are a fantastic way to encourage your viewers to visit your business’ assets (i.e. social media channels, websites and more). Further to this point, it’s suggested that you make it very simple for a viewer to subscribe to your channel via one-click links. Often, these are seen at the end of a video as a card. Additionally, you can link to other videos of yours to increase the viewership of those.
4. Developing A Data-Driven Content Strategy
YouTube analytics are your friend. Obviously initial videos will require a feeling out process to determine their success levels. However, it should become clear who your demographic is (should match up with your target audience). Here are some analytics considerations to develop a sound, data-driven content strategy for your YouTube channel.
Aim for approximately 5-10 minutes in length
This is considered the sweet spot for videos to have any chance of ranking well on search results pages.
The first 48 hours can determine how successful your video will be
YouTube’s algorithm is known to determine how often it is going to organically push your video to others based on the performance in the first 48 hours after it is published.
Grouping videos with similar subject matter or creating a series within your channel is a fantastic way to encourage binge watching from your viewers. YouTube analytics provides a platform to see which videos perform best and which demographics engage with which content.
We have just touched on some of the basics in this article. As you can see, undertaking the creation of a YouTube channel for your business can have tremendous benefits for your reach. However, there is a lot of research and consistency that needs to go into your channel before it is successful.
The overarching positive to starting a YouTube channel for your business is that its FREE. Once you have gotten accustomed to all of YouTube’s guidelines and video optimization tips, you will be connecting with potential consumers that may have not otherwise have ever discovered your business.
Interested in more YouTube tips? Subscribe to our channel to see the topics discussed here put in to practice.