If there’s one way to convince you of the power of YouTube, it’s by starting with a few (ever so slightly mind-blowing) stats.
YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, second only to Google. That’s a big statement to make.
People collectively watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every single day.
YouTube is used by 55% of marketers as part of their marketing strategy, meaning that establishing a presence can help you stay competitive.
The beauty of YouTube is really in it’s simplicity… it makes it so easy for content creators to share content to the world, which means that from a viewers perspective, theres a huge range of content to choose from!
Whatever tickles your fancy and all.
YouTube marketing is sometimes overlooked by marketers, and with 500+ hours of video uploaded every minute it can be overwhelming to get started!
Not to panic – we’ve put together a step by step guide to help you to embark upon your YouTube strategy!
- Create Your Channel
- Research Your Competition
- Understand Your Audience
- Sit Back And Relax… Kind Of
- Create, Optimize And Upload
- Optimise Your Channel
- Other Social Media
- Adapt And Overcome
Create Your Channel
You’ll need to make this a business one.
Start by opening up a ‘Brand Account’ on Google.
This means that you can authorize multiple users to access the account simultaneously instead of it simply being for you or under you personal name.
Even if you don’t need multiple users now, it’s a good idea to set this up for the future.
Once you’ve created a YouTube brand account, you can customise your channel for your brand by going to your YouTube Channels Page.
Here you can add channel artwork, a channel banner, upload videos, organise those videos, create a channel trailer, and add channel keywords in the creator studio to make your channel more discoverable.
Research Your Competition
Complete an audit of your competitors – what do they do, how have their videos performed, is there anything you can learn, do better or is there anything that they haven’t done at all?
Start by identifying 5 competitors by having a search for keywords on YouTube and their associated channels.
For each of these competitors, make a note of their subscriber counts, video views, likes and even dive into the comments to see what their viewers are asking. If they are a true competitor of yours, you’ll likely be trying to target the exact same viewers.
A good framework to quickly identify your competitor’s performance is a SWOT analysis – have a look into the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of each competitor.
Understand Your Audience
YouTube Analytics is here to help with that.
If you’re completely new to YouTube, you won’t have analytics of your own to view, but it’s worth having a look at general YouTube statistics from the last year, and noting some basics from your competitors.
If you already have a channel up and running, YouTube Analytics will give you all the information you need about where your audience live, their age and their viewing habits such as average watch time etc.
Identify the types of content that your audience interact with the most, and be sure to look through existing comments on your videos to see what you might be able to learn.
The more you can understand your audience, the more easily you can cater to what they want to see.
Sit Back And Relax… Kind Of
Sit back and relax… by watching YouTube!
Now this may seem like a copout but it’s arguably one of the most important points!
How else will you learn which formats and techniques that you like? And how else will you know whats trending and what people are interacting with most?
This is where you start to picture how you want your videos to look, their length, what kind of content is involved and how they are edited.
Remember, all of this has to work with the context of your brand – is it that your brand provides educational content, tutorials, interviews, vlogs?
Try to visualise what makes logical sense for your business.
Create, Optimise And Upload
Much like Google, video views in the YouTube algorithm are ranked by titles, keywords and descriptions, so it’s super important to optimise your videos!
Use a bold title with relevant keywords (pro tip: take a look at Google Trends to see what’s popular), and try to keep the title under 60 characters – that way it’s less likely to be cut off on smaller devices.
Create a thumbnail that stands out rather than using an image from the video itself. Apps like Canva can be great to make an eyecatching image – make sure you save it as high res as possible (but annoyingly low enough resolution that YouTube lets you upload it!).
Write a few sentences below the video as a keyword-rich description. The key here is to find a balance between getting in those keywords and not sounding too spammy, which is easily done!
Be sure to add your links to social media channels, your website, or any other subscriptions here, along with any call to actions you deem to be necessary. Reminding people to like and subscribe is never a bad idea.
You also have a 15 hashtag limit – use these wisely and make sure you follow YouTube’s Hashtag Rules!
When it comes to uploading your videos, check out your channel analytics to see which times of day have the most active viewers and schedule to post within this window.
For many young individuals, YouTube sits above and beyond standard TV, therefore consider creating a regular posting schedule. This will also help you to stick to your content plan without wavering.
Optimise Your Channel
There are multiple ways to optimise your channel – as a bare minimum, we’d recommend adding a short and sweet channel description (remember those keywords and links), a channel icon or your business logo and a channel banner (this is a great place to push any upcoming promotions – just make sure it’s engaging and friendly as it effectively welcomes viewer’s to your channel).
On this banner, you can also add links to your social media channels, your website or an auto-subscribe prompt.
If you have lots of videos on your page, organising them into playlists will help to boost how professional and aesthetically pleasing everything looks.
If you want to go above and beyond, creating a channel trailer is a fantastic way to welcome people to your page and tell everyone what you’re all about. Ensure this is short, engaging and to the point as you don’t want to lose your viewers at the first hurdle!
This is often the decider as to whether they want to follow you or not – so make it good (no pressure)!
Other Social Media
We appreciate that a lot of effort can go into creating a YouTube video – so don’t waste it.
Try creating shorter ‘teasers’ to use on other social media platforms. A 30 second teaser clip on a platform like Instagram, is not only great content for Instagram itself, but also a great plug to get those viewers to head over to your YouTube channel.
Try linking your latest video in your bio, or place swipe ups on your stories if you’re able to.
You could also scope out other influencers or experts in your industry who have big social followings to collaborate with, to push your engagement further.
Adapt And Overcome
As always, with any marketing effort, it’s important to use analytics to understand how your content is performing.
Keeping your content plan flexible will allow you to adjust your content to suit the style of posts that are performing best. Remember that your viewers are the people leading your strategy – the more you can accommodate what they like to see, the better!
Keep an eye on changes to your subscriber count, audience demographics and locations, device reports, whilst carefully reading and responding to any comments on your videos. These are just as important as the quantitative data to learn from!
Starting or growing a YouTube channel is no easy task, but we hope that we’ve provided you with some valuable tips to guide you on your way.
Having a strategy and a plan of action in place is key to getting you started, but make sure as always that you remain flexible with your approach and learn from any data insights or mistakes along the way!
If you’re looking for any more advice for starting your YouTube strategy, please don’t hesitate to have a chat with one of us!