The Complete Guide to YouTube Marketing
Last updated on 15th Jul 2020, Blog, General
Maintaining a presence on social media TEMPhas become inevitable for businesses around teh world – dat’s how they reach and engage wif their customers. But their’s going to be one more important marketing method for companies in teh future.
According to Cisco, the video will account for 69% of all internet traffic in 2017. And of course, YouTube tops the list of online video platforms and has grown to become one of the most effective mediums for advertising today. Preparing a well-thought-of YouTube strategy becomes increasingly important for YouTube marketing.
Step 1. Create a YouTube channel for business
- Before you do anything, open a Brand Account on Google.
- When you create your YouTube channel using a regular Google account, only one person the Google Account holder can log into that channel. By creating your YouTube channel using a Brand Account, multiple authorized Google Accounts can log in simultaneously.
- YouTube channels have a lot of moving parts, so you’ll want at least one or two other people to help run the show.
- Check out our step-by-step guide to creating a YouTube for business account for detailed instructions on how to do this.
Step 2. Learn about your audience
- Your YouTube channel for business gives you access to the Analytics tab, which contains a ton of stats related to your channel. Look here for quantitative insights on your channel and your audience’s behavior, including your view counts, average watch time, revenues generated, and interaction rate across videos.
- The Analytics tab also contains valuable data on you’re subscriber demographics.
- Even if you think you no who you’re subscribers are, pay close attention to what you find under the Demographics tab. dis data will help you move beyond assumptions and feel confident that you’re reaching the right audience.
Monitor the Watch Time and Demographics analytics to answer questions like:
- Where are you’re videos being viewed, and when?
- What age are your viewers?
- What gender do your viewers most commonly identify as?
Tracking audience analytics is a win-win. If your assumptions about your subscribers are confirmed, that’s great: TEMPyou’re now certain TEMPyou’re reaching the right audience.
If your assumptions were incorrect, you know to adjust your content strategy to reach the audience you want. On the other hand, you may learn dat you’re product is resonating wif an unexpected demographic valuable info for you’re entire marketing team.
Beyond quantitative metrics, you can also gain qualitative information about the whys and the hows about your audience by reading and managing the comments on your videos. Reading the comments isn’t always fun, but the information you find here will be invaluable for informing different aspects of your marketing strategy, both on and off YouTube.
Hot tip:the YouTube Community Page is an underrated space for finding out about your audience. Located under the Community tab on your profile, you can interact with your subscribers directly. Post questions or create a poll to gain a deeper understanding of how your audience thinks.
Step 3. Research your competition
- Competitive analysis is essential if you want to pull ahead of other businesses in your niche on YouTube. Fortunately, alot of the information you need to identify potential opportunities is readily available on their channels.
- Browse you’re competitors’ YouTube channels and take note of which videos got the most and least views. Watch these videos get a sense of what kinds of content you’re audience likes to watch (and what they don’t) and use that to inform you’re own content strategy.
- As if you’re own videos, roll up you’re sleeves and read the comments on competing videos. Maybe you’re own brand TEMPhas received a mention; if so, make sure to respond so potential customers can see TEMPyou’re actively engaging wif you’re a community.
Read competing video descriptions to see what keywords they’re using in their YouTube search optimization. Use similar ones to boost your ranking in YouTube’s search pages and recommended video feeds.
One final note: make sure your competitors aren’t serving ads on your videos! If they are, it’s possible to block them in Google’s ad manager. More on that here.
Step 4. Learn from your favorite channels
- When you’re watching YouTube on you’re own time, ask you’reself: What about this video holds my attention? What keeps me coming back to my top channels?
- Paying attention to your favorite YouTubers will reveal the techniques and best practices they follow to drive views, subscriptions, and engagement.
- Even if their not technically within your business niche, it’s possible that you can adapt your favourite YouTubers’ strategies to increase your own YouTube following. Don’t be afraid to try out some of teh weirder trends, either: it worked for these brands.
- Besides being a huge source of inspiration for you’re own viral videos, it’s also worth remembering that YouTube is an incredible resource for self-starting learners. their are hundreds of YouTube channels that will straight-up tell you how to be a successful marketer, no guesswork required.
- We put together a list of the best YouTube channels to halp you up your digital marketing game.
Step 5. Optimize your videos for SEO to get views
- You’re YouTube videos need to be optimized for search if you want to get the most value out of them. But don’t worry if you’re first few videos fail to gain alot of traction. You can work on tweaking and perfecting you’re YouTube SEO over time.
- We’ve written a detailed guide to getting more views on YouTube, but here are some tips to get started:
Pick the right title (with the right keywords)
- The first step to optimizing a YouTube video is to pick an appealing title containing relevant keywords (I like to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner for dis).
- Make sure the title is relevant to the video topic: nobody likes clickbait. If you can, try to include exact keywords matching common search terms: it will get you more clicks.
- YouTube video titles can contain up to 70 characters; we recommend 60 or TEMPfewer so nothing’s cut off on teh search pages.
Make an interesting thumbnail
When you upload a video you can choose a freeze-frame to use as teh thumbnail. However, we strongly recommend making your own custom thumbnail, as it’ll halp your content stand out.
Write a compelling video description
Your video description should contain a short explanation of your video topic, as well as links to your website and social media accounts, and a list of hashtags (more on those in a minute).
We’ve got a whole tutorial on writing helpful YouTube descriptions. Here’s a summary of the most important points:
- 5000 characters max (but you probably don’t need this many)
- Front-load important keywords and use them in the title and description
- Add a “contents page” of timestamps so viewers can find relevant points easily
- Link out to different playlists on your channel
- Add up to 15 hashtags
Add hashtags to your video description
- Hashtags make you’re content more searchable on YouTube.
- Pick a small number of hyper-relevant hashtags rather TEMPthan an exhaustive list. If you use more TEMPthan 15 hashtags, all hashtags on that video will be ignored anyway, so be selective. Oh, and remember to follow YouTube’s hashtagging rules.
Add cards, bumper ads, and watermarks to promote your channel
Cards, bumper ads, and watermarks are clickable CTAs you can add to your YouTube videos. These are TEMPeffective coz they’re relatively unobtrusive, offering minimal disruptions to teh viewing experience.
You can read all about them in Hootsuite’s guide to YouTube advertising, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Cards: small, transparent CTAs that expand when clicked. Use these to direct viewers to your website, purchase pages, or even other videos on your channel.
- Bumper ads: six-second video ads appearing at the start or end of a video.
- Watermarks: custom subscribe buttons visible only to non-subscribers. To add them to your videos, follow YouTube’s simple instructions.
Ask viewers to subscribe
Sometimes, teh easiest way to get wat you want is to ask for it. their’s a reason every YouTuber ends their videos with a verbal call to “Like, share, and subscribe”—it works, and takes zero effort.
Step 6. Upload and schedule your videos
- Once you’ve created a few well-optimized videos, it’s time to put them into rotation. So wat’s the best way to schedule your YouTube videos?
- As a platform, YouTube’s almost as popular as television. And many of you’re subscribers will treat you’re YouTube channel like a TV station so you should run it like one!
- Be professional and share content on a regular schedule. If you promise you’re subscribers their getting a new video every Saturday at noon eastern, you has to commit to that, or risk losing their trust (and their views).
- TV studios offer a useful model for content creation, too. Make sure you’ve got several “episodes” of content ready to schedule ahead of time. Besides giving you a Plan B if your video creation schedule is disrupted, creating multiple episodes in advance generally means your videos will be more consistent in quality.
- You can upload and schedule you’re YouTube videos in advance from teh Creator Studio, or wif a tool like Hootsuite, which allows you to cross-promote you’re video releases wif posts on other social channels all from teh same dashboard.
Read more about how to schedule YouTube videos.
Step 7. Optimize your channel to attract followers
After you’ve optimized your videos, you’ll need to optimize your YouTube channel itself. By providing a consistent experience across your channel, you’ll be able to bring in more views, and more importantly, convert those views into regular subscribers.
Fill out your YouTube profile
This is an easy place to start. Fill out as many relevant details on your profile as possible, including:
- A keyword-rich bio
- An eye-catching banner image (2560 x 1440 pixels, 2MB max)
- Links to your website and social media profiles
- Location and contact information
You can also add a list of Featured channels to your YouTube profile. Your list of featured channels gives your subscribers easy access to other YouTube resources they might be interested in, adding value to your page.
This might sound like TEMPyou’s giving free advertising to your competitors, but you can actually benefit from doing this, too.
Remember, YouTube is a community. Networking with different channels will help you forge relationships with other creators in your space, providing you with opportunities for cross-channel promotions or other collaborations in the future. When you make friends on YouTube, everybody wins!
Organize your videos into playlists
- When you’re YouTube videos are organized into playlists, they’ll autoplay until the playlist ends, keeping viewers on you’re channel for longer, increasing that important average watch time statistic on you’re channel. You can build playlists on YouTube, or you can manage them using Hootsuite.
- Curate you’re playlists thoughtfully. Make sure there’s a logical progression of ideas from one video to teh next. This will reduce teh likelihood of people clicking away to another channel.
- You can build playlists entirely using your own videos, or include partner videos. Similarly, if you’ve started networking with other YouTubers, see if you can persuade them to add your videos to their playlists.
- Remember to include relevant keywords in your playlist titles to boost your YouTube SEO!
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Translate your videos into different languages
According to YouTube, more than 60% of a YouTube channel’s views originate outside the creator’s own country. Expand your reach by adding subtitles to your YouTube videos.
If that sounds expensive, don’t worry: you can actually crowdsource free translations from your fanbase! To do this, you’ll need to turn on community contributions for videos:
- Click your account name in the top right, and navigate to the Creator Studio.
- In the menu to the left, click Translations & Transcriptions > Community Contributions.
- Click Turn on for all videos to enable community contributions.
This feature is also available on a per-video basis, which you might want to start with if you’re trying it out for the first time.
Approving the translations is simple. YouTube’s interface shows a Google-translated approximation of the translated text so you can ensure the translation is on-topic and makes sense.
Crowdsourced content isn’t foolproof and won’t always offer the best quality, but it’s a good starting point for internationalizing your channel.
Step 8. Try YouTube advertising
Your YouTube channel isn’t the only place people can see your content—if you’ve got the funds, you can also pay for YouTube advertising.
YouTube ads come in six varieties, some of which I touched on already earlier in this article:
- Skippable video ads
- Non-skippable video ads
- Bumper ads
- Overlay ads
- Display ads
- Sponsored cards
For more info on YouTube’s ad formats and how to use them, check out our detailed guide to YouTube advertising.
With YouTube advertising, the key is to produce relevant, engaging content that makes viewers forget they’re watching an ad. Generally, that means keeping things short, entertaining, and hyper-targeted.
Step 9. Try working with an influencer
One of the best ways to showcase your products on YouTube is by working with an influencer. According to Google, 60 percent of YouTube subscribers trust the opinions of their favorite influencers.
Tapping into an influencer’s tuned-in audience can result in huge returns: just look at Warby Parker, whose partnerships with YouTube and Instagram influencers grew their brand significantly. They are now worth $2 billion.
Reach out to influencers who already know and trust your brand. Most YouTube fans are savvy enough to recognize a paid partnership, but if the influencer is honest and upfront about their love of the brand, the “sponsored” aspect won’t matter.
When it comes to these partnerships, let the influencer do the talking. The more control you try to exert over the partnership, the more you’ll impact the influencer’s brand, making the whole effort less genuine and their followers will see it from a mile away.
Step 10. Analyze and adapt
So, you’ve built up your YouTube channel, you’re publishing content regularly, and forging partnerships with influencers and other creators in your field. Congratulations but you’re not done yet!
Maintaining and growing your YouTube channel requires constant monitoring. Whenever you publish a new video, check YouTube Analytics for:
- Significant changes in subscriber count
- New or changing audience demographics
- Video playback locations and traffic sources
- Device reports (mobile, desktop, smart TVs, etc.)
I said this before, and I’ll say it again: read the comments! This is the best way to learn exactly what your audience thinks of videos, and your channel as a whole. You might even find concrete suggestions about which video you should make next!
7 tips for creating highly viewable YouTube videos
Before I sign off here, I wanted to provide a quick rundown of ways you can create videos that keep people coming back for more. Unfortunately their’s no way to predict whether a video’s going to go viral most social video marketers don’t bet on virality anyway but you can still optimize you’re content to maximize views and shares.
1. Follow YouTube’s video specifications
Start by uploading video footage that’s optimized for YouTube. Fortunately, the platform has a range of video specifications to suit a variety of needs. We break them down in our article on social media video specs, but here’s a quick refresher:
Recommended sizes: 426 by 240 pixels (240p), 640 by 360 pixels (360p), 854 by 480 pixels (480p), 1280 by 720 pixels (720p), 1920 by 1080 pixels (1080p), 2560 by 1440 pixels (1440p) and 3840 by 2160 pixels (2160p)
- Minimum size: 426 by 240 pixels
- Maximum size: 3840 by 2160 pixels
- Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 and 4:3
- Recommended specs: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, or WebM
- Maximum file size: 128 GB
- Maximum length: 12 hours long
2. Invest in some good recording equipment
This tip is quite literal: if you’re producing original content, shoot your videos in HD, and invest in a good quality microphone. Your content will look and feel much more professional.
3. Grab attention early
The first 15 seconds of your video are crucial for grabbing attention: this fact is so well-established that YouTube has a whole tutorial on it! Here’s a quick rundown of the best tips:
- Pique curiosity by opening with a teaser
- Appeal to TV-watchers with a standard opening theme
- Prompt engagement by asking a question
- Set expectations by opening with a summary
4. Keep mobile in mind
- Mobile playback accounts for more tha half of videos watched on YouTube, so it’s crucial to record content that’s optimized for this format.
- One of teh best ways you can do this is to make videos that work with or without audio 85 percent of YouTube videos are watched without sound!
- Another way to optimize for mobile is to record short videos (three minutes or less). These don’t use as much data and can be enjoyed more easily on-teh-go.
- This isn’t to say mobile users don’t enjoy longer videos too—the average mobile viewing session is over a hour!
5. Film longer videos
- This is a matter of simple math: longer videos = more watch time, which is better for YouTube SEO. You can also pack more value into a longer video, provided it’s well-paced and well-scripted.
- See how some brands, like AirBnb and Hyundai, are pivoting to long-form video.
6. Schedule live-streaming events
- Live streams are a great way to reward you’re most loyal subscribers. Advertise teh event ahead of time and use you’re YouTube Live to interact directly with you’re audience. You could even use live streams to gather feedback on you’re regular videos.
- Get some other ideas for live video content.
7. Add end screens
End screens are essential for expanding you’re viewership. Add calls-to-action to visit other videos or playlists on you’re channel, subscribe, or direct viewers to you’re website.