Are you on YouTube? You should be. In the article entitled “YouTube Marketing” Hubspot theorizes that we’ve all spent a wasted afternoon watching one silly video after another on this platform. YouTube has always been a source of entertaining content, but it’s also staking its claim as an essential tool for marketers. In fact, nearly half of all marketers (48%) plan to add YouTube to their marketing strategy over the next 12 months.
You may be thinking: “That’s great, but my audience isn’t on YouTube.” Well, think again. One-third of total time online is spent watching videos, and YouTube has more than a billion active users. The platform is so expansive that it can be accessed in 76 different languages, accounting for 95% of the world’s population.
Not only is your audience on YouTube, but also YouTube can help improve your SEO and overall brand presence. YouTube allows marketers to present unique content that’s easy for viewers to consume and share.
YouTube marketing can be an intimidating tool for brands. That’s why we’ve created this complete guide for YouTube pros and newcomers alike. Below we’ll walk through each step of marketing on YouTube.
So, you’ve decided to create a YouTube channel. Great! We can’t wait to see the amazing content you promote. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that maintaining a YouTube channel takes a lot of time and planning. Are you ready for it?
Unlike other social networking platforms, YouTube exclusively hosts video content. If you’re creating a YouTube channel to merely upload one video and have no intention of maintaining the platform, you might want to reconsider.
You’ll need to set aside plenty of time to plan, film, edit, market, and analyze your content on a consistent basis. You’ll also need to define your brand’s goals and plan for how video can specifically help you achieve these. If you can devote an appropriate amount of time and energy into the platform, you’ll be able to create engaging, shareable content for your growing audience.
Before you start filming video content, you’ll need to set up your YouTube channel. This can get a bit complicated. As you probably know, Google owns YouTube. As a result, when you sign up for a Gmail account, you automatically gain access to a YouTube account, and much more.
Depending on your business, you may not want to tie your email to your business’s YouTube channel — especially if you need to share access to the account with team members or an agency partner. We suggest that you create a common email account that can be used by multiple people.
Now that you have a Google account, you’re ready to publish some awesome video content. But we’re not done quite yet!
You now need to set up a YouTube Brand Account. A Brand Account allows users to manage editing permissions and create a more holistic online presence. In the upper right-hand corner, take note that you’re probably already logged in. If this isn’t true, click on the blue “Sign in” button in the upper right-hand corner, and enter your new Google account username and password.
Once you’ve signed in, click on “My channel” in the left-hand menu bar. There, you’ll have the option to create a channel right away. Do not click on “Create Channel.” Click on “Use a business or other name” at the bottom. Enter your Brand Account name and press “Create.” Note: You can update or change your channel name from your account settings later, so don’t worry if you need to revise your selected label.
Start by adding a channel icon and channel art. These will be the first things users see when visiting your YouTube account, so be sure to use images that are easily recognizable and consistent with your overall branding.
A channel icon is similar to a Facebook profile picture. This image will be used across all of your Google properties such as Gmail and Google+. Consider using a company logo or, if you are a public figure, a professional headshot.
To add a channel icon, click on the default red profile picture in the upper left-hand corner of your channel. Then, upload an image. Google recommends uploading an 800 x 800 pixel square or round image. Note: It may take several minutes for your channel icon to appear after uploading.
Next, upload your channel art. Click on the blue “Add channel art” button in the center of your channel. Upload a 2560 x 1440 pixel image that will scale well — across a desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV.
After you upload your channel icon and art, add a channel description, a company email, and links to your company website and other social platforms under the “About” tab. Your description should provide more information on your company and explain what type of video content you plan on sharing. Search engines look at your description when determining how to rank your profile, so incorporate relevant keywords in your overview. We’ll talk more about how to optimize your YouTube channel description below.
With the basic profile complete, it’s time to add a few finishing touches! Before we move on, it’s important to get one thing straight — you can customize the way your YouTube channel looks to subscribers and unsubscribed visitors. This means that unsubscribed viewers would see different featured content than dedicated, subscribed viewers.
One of the main ways you can take advantage of this feature is by creating a YouTube channel trailer. A channel trailer is the video version of your description and is shown to all your unsubscribed viewers. Your trailer should be short and sweet (around 30 to 60 seconds).
Focus on showing visitors what your channel is about and what they can expect to see. Don’t forget to encourage them to subscribe. Your trailer won’t be interrupted by ads, so it’ll keep the user focused on why they should watch more videos from your brand.
Ready to get started? First, make sure channel customization is turned on. To do this, click on the gear icon next to the red “Subscribe” button in the upper right-hand corner of your channel. Next, turn on the “Customize the layout of your channel” option and press “Save.”
Now that you’ve set up your channel for customization, upload your trailer. Click the arrow upload button in the upper right-hand corner and select your video file. Remember to add keywords to your trailer name and description. Once your video uploads, click on the “For new visitors” tab on your channel homepage. Then click “Channel trailer.” Finally, select your uploaded trailer, or enter a URL to a video you’d like to feature, and press “Save.”
Your channel may be eligible for a custom URL if you have over 100 subscribers, a channel icon, channel art, and is more than 30 days old.
The first step to becoming a YouTube marketing pro is creating and optimizing your video’s metadata. Simply put, metadata gives viewers information about your video, which includes your video title, description, tags, category, thumbnail, subtitles, and closed captions.
Providing the right information in your video’s metadata ensures that it is properly indexed by YouTube and appears when people are searching for videos like yours. Be succinct and straightforward when filling out your metadata — your content could be removed if you try to promote it with unrelated keywords.
Now that your YouTube channel is set up, it’s time to start populating it with content.
About The Author
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.