Did you hear? YouTube replaced Facebook as the #1 platform that affects consumer behavior.
And, it’s the #1 purchase-driver on social.
So if you’re not using YouTube in your social media marketing campaign, you’re missing out big time.
That’s exactly why today, learn everything for your YouTube video marketing strategy.
Here’s a complete guide on creating a strategy and publishing your first video on your business YouTube channel.
Let’s get into it!
We’re excited to help you figure out how to use YouTube marketing strategies for your business because we’re passionate about the guaranteed results.
In fact, here’s one of our customer testimonials that were recently left.
Working with Anthony, we can tell you that this take is 100% accurate.
So if you’re looking for a digital marketing agency to help you, give us a call and ask for Anthony if you’re interested in learning more about our services.
Now let’s get into the good stuff (aka YouTube marketing strategies)!
Why Your Business Should Be On YouTube
Google owns YouTube, and it is the second most visited website in the world.
It’s also one of the biggest search engines out there.
Unlike other social networks that tend to attract specific age groups or interests, pretty much everyone is on YouTube.
YouTube is an excellent way to:
- introduce your brand to new people and potential customers
- show up on search results when customers need you most
- build brand awareness and an engaged audience
- send traffic to your website or landing page
Before you get on the platform and start posting videos though…
…let’s look at some powerful YouTube marketing strategies to boost your YouTube efforts plus some best practices.
Effective YouTube Marketing Strategies & Tips For Your Business
You always want to create a marketing strategy, because this is the roadmap and plan for how you’ll get to where you want to go.
We’ll walk you through each of these YouTube marketing strategies and share our tips along the way, so let’s get into it.
1. Create a YouTube channel for your business and fill out your profile.
Before we tackle the different YouTube marketing strategies, you want to secure your YouTube account channel name.
You want to choose a great name, but not something that will embarrass you or age poorly later on.
For help with that, check out our recent post that walks you through how to start a YouTube channel, including choosing a name for your channel.
Here’s how you’ll create your channel:
a. Go to YouTube and sign in. Head over to youtube.com and click ‘Sign in’ at the top right corner of the page.
Make sure you choose the Google account you want to use.
b. Head over to your YouTube settings. In the top right corner of the screen, click on your profile icon.
c. Lastly, click “Create a channel.”
2. Research your audience
It’s really hard to make a content strategy for a nameless, faceless mass. Or, worse, trying to make content that appeals to everyone.
First, you will never make content that the audience wants and will appeal to them.
You may want to have mass appeal, and that’s fine, but you still need to be intentional about creating mass appeal content.
Second, creating new content that appeals to you, or is fun for you to make, may not serve your target audience in a useful way.
It may not resonate with them. Don’t assume that your audience is like you.
So, how do you research a potential audience?
a. Start with your own website analytics. Look at Google Analytics to check some important metrics like who is engaging with your business.
b. Look at the analytics on all of your active social media accounts. You can learn a lot about who is interacting with you.
Let’s look at Facebook really quickly and do some audience research.
- Go to facebook.com/insights
- If you have more than one page, select the page you’d like to view.
- For this post, we’ll skip down to “Audience” and click.
- You can see your current audience demographics including age, gender, and location.
- You can also look at potential audiences.
- Select the “Filter” button to change targeting and use the audience in your ad account.
- There’s also a button to create an ad right from here.
- Select “Export” to share this audience. You can choose from PNG, CSV, and PDF formats.
c. Create a customer persona (actually, create a few of them) based on customers you’ve interacted with or seen in your store.
Give the persona a name and a full personality.
3. Research your competition
This YouTube marketing strategies list wouldn’t be complete without knowing who you’re competing with.
Before creating any marketing strategy or video production, good marketers conduct competitor research.
And the same holds true for YouTube.
How do you find competitors to analyze? Competitor analysis can be as simple or as complicated as you want.
For your YouTube strategy, we recommend you devote time to doing this analysis, but not more than a couple of weeks.
You don’t want it to hold you back from getting started.
Here’s what we like to do:
a. Write down direct competitors that you’re already aware of.
b. Practice social listening. Read the comments and snoop around your YouTube subscribers.
This will help you find out who they’re talking about and who else they’re watching.
c. Look at hashtags related to your industry and target market. And then, look at some of the top videos using that hashtag.
d. Test out search terms related to your business and look at the most popular channels.
4. Learn from your favorite channels
If you’re like most of us, you’re on YouTube.
Maybe you have some channels and creators that you love watching. They’re a great place to start when you’re trying to figure out what to do.
What does this look like?
When we’re analyzing channels and creators, we like to answer a few questions on a sheet of paper or in a Google Doc.
- Why was I initially drawn to this channel or this creator?
- What is it about the content that keeps me coming back?
- Are there videos I won’t watch from this creator? Why?
- What types of content do they create?
- Do they have any series or episodic content?
- What is their intro? Outro?
- How do they engage with their audience throughout the video?
- Are they active in comments, Community, and Stories?
- Do they use Live Streaming?
Use these answers to guide you in creating your content plan. You’re not looking to copy exactly what your favorite creators are doing.
What you want to do is look at the why’s, beyond the surface-level content, and ask yourself how you can make that work for your small business.
5. Create your schedule
These YouTube marketing strategies help you get closer to creating and publishing your first video, so don’t lose focus!
Now you need to decide how often to publish your content and when.
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have a lot of resources (refer to your SWOT Analysis here), you don’t want to overcommit.
We would start to schedule videos for twice a month and work our way up from there.
As a content creator, it can be challenging to balance your production schedule…
…with writing new scripts and planning upcoming videos.
It’s no small feat to get a YouTube video out with all the editing, troubleshooting, and prepwork.
If you find yourself pressed for time or feel like you’re always working against the clock…
…try to get on a schedule where you’re working 2 or 3 weeks (or more, ideally) ahead.
It’s easy to do this when you’re starting out by just holding the release of your first video for a couple of weeks while you build up your library.
A note on day and time to post:
When you’re an established channel with an engaged audience, you don’t have to worry too much about posting at the “right” time.
Keep in mind that once you start gathering enough analytics from your channel followers as your subscriber numbers grow…
…the “right time” will also change.
We recommend checking that monthly when you do a channel audit.
Generally, the best time to post is:
- Mondays: 2-4 pm
- Tuesdays: 2-4 pm
- Wednesdays: 2-4 pm
- Thursdays: noon -3pm
- Fridays: noon -3pm
- Saturdays: 9 am-11 am
- Sundays: 9 am-11 am
The best days to post, according to Frederator Networks, are Thursday and Friday.
We also like the point here that many are watching YouTube like they would on traditional television.
This means the hours between getting off of work and going to sleep for the night usually works best.
6. Create a content calendar and publishing schedule
Now, this is one of the YouTube marketing strategies that are fun to do.
So now that you know how often you’ll be posting, it’s time to come up with ideas and start giving ourselves deadlines!
Use your chosen day and time (or days and times if you can commit to making more content)…
…and list out how many videos you’ll need for the month.
Now let’s come up with some ideas and decide the types of content we’ll create.
We like to create a 10 x 10 grid when coming up with content ideas. We put categories we know 80% well across the top to guide our brainstorming.
In the other spots, we start to brainstorm more in-depth topics related to the general topic.
You’ll want to make sure each of these ideas has a high enough search volume.
What that number is will depend on your business, goals, and audience research.
Once this is filled out you’ll have 100 content ideas that you can add to your calendar and flesh out in more detail!
While you’re writing out these ideas, consider what type of video you’ll create.
You can do anything you want in the future, but here are some ideas for your first few videos:
- Channel trailer for non-subscribers
- About us video
- Behind the scenes
- Brand Story
- Team culture or values
- Tutorial or how-to
- Tour of the office/store
- Intro to your most popular products or services
Publish Your First Video On YouTube
You’re finally ready to publish your first video on YouTube and catapult yourself, or your business, to a whole new level, and we’re so excited for you!
But we’re not done quite yet.
You’ve created your strategy, come up with ideas, filmed and edited, and are ready to publish.
Before we blast that video out there though, let’s make sure that our video can be successful with some post-production, and pre-publishing tasks.
Here are some YouTube marketing strategies you can do.
7. Optimize your videos for search
YouTube is a search engine, so you need to treat every video like it has the potential to go viral if only you optimize. Let’s look at how to do that.
You want to create every video with a keyword or phrase in mind.
And, you want to include keywords everywhere you can so your video shows up for the right people.
Similar to content marketing, this will also help you increase your click-through rate.
For keyword research, we recommend using:
- Google Trends
- Keyword Planner Tool in Google Ads (since YouTube is owned by Google and shows up in Google results, this is a great place to look)
There are a ton of other options for free and paid tools, so start with Google tools and expand from there.
After you have that keyword selected, you’ll optimize your videos with it. Here’s where you should use your keyword:
a. Put the keyword in your video file name.
YouTube scans this and the file data to help make its decision. So for instance, instead of using finalFinalTutorial4.mp4, go with financial-life-hacks.mp4.
b. Put the keyword in your video title, but only if it makes sense and sounds natural.
If we go with the Financial Life Hacks example, that would be an okay video name. A better one would be 10 Financial Life Hacks for Millenials.
c. Put the keyword and other relevant terms, information, and links to your website in the description.
You have 1,000 characters to use in the YouTube video description, but Google only displays the first 100 and you have to click “show all” to see the rest.
So, lead with any CTA’s or your most important information.
This also helps you to show up in suggested videos in the right column, which is a significant source of traffic for a lot of channels.
d. Use the right tags.
YouTube recommends using tags and says that it helps YouTube understand the content and context of your videos.
Using irrelevant tags can get you in trouble with YouTube, so keep it keyword-focused and on-topic.
e. Categorize your videos in Advanced Settings.
YouTube’s Creator Academy recommends taking your time to decide what category your video belongs to.
This is because it is used to determine who to show the video to, and which pages it might make sense on.
f. Upload an exciting custom thumbnail to your video.
Use your title or a catchy quote with an image of you or the on-screen person.
YouTube thumbnail with humans gets more clicks than thumbnails without humans.
Add your logo and have fun with it.
Canva is a great resource for free thumbnail templates.
Take your time browsing popular videos and analyze the thumbnails. Do they have anything in common?
g. Add subtitles using an SRT file.
Every video you put out in the world should be viewable without sound.
Take the time to caption your video (or have an employee do it).
YouTube auto-generated captions are getting better, but it’s not perfect, so make sure to double-check it.
h. Use Cards.
YouTube Creator Academy describes Cards as:
“preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”
You’ve seen these pop-ups. They’re an excellent way to get your viewers relevant information and keep them engaged with your videos.
Let’s walk through how to add cards to your videos:
- Sign in to YouTube Studio.
- From the left menu, select Content.
- Click the video you’d like to edit.
- Click the Cards box and select the type of card you want to add.
- Choose your specific video, playlist, channel, or link.
- Change the start time for the card below the video.
- Add an optional message and teaser text about the video. Note: Message and teaser text are required for channel cards.
- Click Save.
There are 6 card options and you can use up to 5 in each video:
- Channel Cards – direct viewers to another channel.
- Donation Cards – encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations.
- Fan Funding Cards – ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content.
- Sponsored Cards – viewers can choose to click on the Card icon to access further information about the sponsored content.
- Link Cards – direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
- Poll Cards – pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response.
- Video or Playlist Cards – link to other YouTube content of this kind.
i. Use end screens.
End screens can be added in the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video.
It can give you even more options for sharing content with your viewers.
Let’s walk through how to add an end screen to a published video. You can do this during the upload process as well which we will show you later.
- Go to YouTube Studio.
- From the left menu, select Content.
- Click the video you’d like to edit.
- Click the End screen box and choose the element you want to add.
- Click SAVE.
You have a few different options for the elements you can add:
- Video or playlist
- Feature and promote new videos
- Add “best for viewer” which allows YouTube to choose the best video (I love this option)
- Feature a video or playlist from yours or any other channel
- Encourage subscriptions to your channel
- Promote another channel with a custom message
- External website
- You can link to your website or showcase a link to the products you talked about.
- YouTube is changing the way linking to external websites works.
Eligible creators can link to any external website, as long as it follows YT Community guidelines.
So, that feature may be available to everyone soon.
Now that you’re familiar with how to optimize your video for performance, let’s look at how you can upload and schedule your videos.
8. Upload and schedule your videos
When you’re ready, upload your video to YouTube and schedule a release date. You’ll upload your video like this:
- Sign in to YouTube Studio
- In the top-right corner, click CREATE
- Click “Upload videos”
- Select the file you’d like to upload
While your video is uploading you can fill out the details. Let’s quickly look at that.
- Age restriction
- Paid promotion
- Automatic chapters
- Language & captions
- Recording date & location
- Licenses and distribution
- YouTube Shorts permissions
- Comments & ratings
After details are done, add video elements like your end screen and cards.
When adding end screens, you can import from a video or add them yourself. Here’s what you need to do when you choose to add them yourself.
- Click add an element and choose from your options. We always like including a subscribe button here.
- You can play around with placement options and can change that card outline if it’s distracting you.
- Make sure it’s in a place that looks good on your final video. To get rid of an element, hit the trash can.
- Keep in mind that at least one element needs to be a video or playlist.
- You can select a video or playlist from your own channel, or choose from other channels and videos on YouTube.
- Adjust the timing of the End Screen elements and then click Save.
When adding your Cards, you can select videos that you’ve uploaded or videos from anywhere on YouTube.
Add a custom message with more info.
Your Teaser Text shows up when the card displays. You can make it say whatever you want or leave the default.
Remember you can add up to 5 cards and have up to 6 options. So play around with those, and don’t be afraid to try a new one you haven’t used before.
9. Decide when to publish your video and privacy settings.
The last step is to double-check that there are no issues with your video.
For publishing immediately, you have 3 options:
If you want to schedule your video, select your date and time, and whether or not it will be a premiere. Your video will be public when it is published.
If you choose a “Premiere”, you’ll get a URL to a watch page that has a countdown timer so you can promote it in advance.
Try These YouTube Marketing Strategies Now!
Whew! That was a lot of information, but thank you for sticking with us to the end.
We hope you found this post helpful, and that it made some of the YouTube marketing processes a little less confusing or overwhelming.
You’ll get better at video as you go so it’s important to be gentle with yourself.
Most people have quite a learning curve when it comes to video creation, production, and promotion, and that’s okay.
Focus on quality and consistency and everything else will fall into place. Who knows you might even start to make money with your YouTube channel!
What do you do if your videos aren’t reaching people?
Sometimes your channel and videos just won’t do well on their own. That’s okay.
It’s perfectly normal, actually.
And that’s where YouTube paid ads such as bumper ads, overlay ads, display ads, skippable ads, non-skippable ads, etc. can help.
We recently shared a post on running YouTube ads, so read that one for more information and detailed instructions.