Originally posted on 06.06.2017.
Updated on 04.04.2019.

People are watching 150 million hours of YouTube every day, and done smartly, the platform can be a significant asset in your small business marketing strategy. Video content has long been an entertaining and informative way people spend their time. Not only do people watch YouTube videos in the spare few minutes they have on a subway or waiting in line for a coffee, but the average viewing session lasts 40 minutes. Think about that. You can take the time to bring home your message in ways website, and ad content can never compete with, and in today’s visual society, the impact can be that much more vivid.

Here are a few things to remember when cultivating a successful YouTube channel.

Stand Out

1) You want to start with a business channel, not a personal channel. Unless you run your business through your personal brand, use a customized URL as well as professional quality graphics and logo in the correct dimensions. This identifies your channel as belonging to your brand. You can qualify for a customized URL either by linking and verifying your official website, or having 100 subscribers on a channel that’s at least 30 days old.

2) Your channel description should give people an idea of what to expect.  This allows you the chance to introduce yourself. Make it pop by keeping it authentic—business speak won’t catch viewers’ attention as much as making your business relatable.

cellphone image of youtube

3) Get your website approved for YouTube cards. These add interactivity to your videos. Putting your call to action on a card encourages viewers to go straight to your website in a single click. Using the cards strategically—at the beginning or end, or in intervals throughout the video—gives viewers multiple chances to click for more information about you and your business.

4) Your call to action can also be verbal. In the video itself, encourage your audience to learn more and see what you’re all about by clicking more videos or the YouTube card leading to your website.

Don’t Skimp on Quality

5) Shoot and edit as professionally as you know how. If you need advice or help, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a videographer to learn some things up front.

6) Use fades, intro and outro music, and create beautiful but simple custom thumbnails for your videos using Canva—text over graphics—and keep the same theme for at least ten videos.

7) Close Caption your videos where possible, and if your viewership is multicultural, translate the content. YouTube is searchable in 76 different languages, and taking advantage of that audience opens up 95% of the internet-dwelling world.

8) Google likes regularly scheduled videos, and you can use sites like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule the posts themselves, as well as schedule cross-posting to all your social media accounts.

Young man being recorded for YouTube

Interact to Foster a Friendly Channel

9) Monitor comments regularly. Don’t be afraid to moderate them for extreme negativity. Toxic comments may give subscribers a reason to bail, while a welcoming atmosphere in the comments section keeps subscribers tuned in and engaged.

10) Respond to commenters. Check comments on a regular basis, once a week or more frequently as time allows.

11) Do special one-off videos too! Fresh content, even if it’s evergreen content once every few months, can keep your viewers interested in what you have to say next, and keep them coming back for more.

12) Don’t waste your Periscope videos! Post them to your channel to keep discussion and momentum front and center.

Binoculars on top of a building

Strive for Searchability

13) Title your videos appropriately. Title them with keywords that are easily searched and indexed by YouTube. People won’t discover you if they can’t find you with relevant keywords that relate to your content and your business.

14) Ranking matters. Do a search on the terms where you’d like to rank and consider the top 10 relevant content creators to see what they’re up to. Tailor your content in a way that’s similar but different enough to stand out.

15) Put search terms to work! Take those 10 relevant search terms and create unique extensions that would also lead to your channel if searched.

16) Are you related? Choose whether or not you want to be shown as related content to the videos on other channels similar to yours. That way, when someone’s finished watching your competitor’s video, they can come on over to your channel and see how you measure up

17) There are also other considerations, including ads and storage. such as whether to generate ad revenue by showing short ad spots at the beginnings of your videos. Take care to make sure the ad content doesn’t compete with your core business or your call to action. Another step to take is storing your videos on a cloud or other location besides your channel in case there are technical difficulties. Avoid the bitter disappointment of losing quality content you’ve worked hard to create if something happens to your channel.

youtube interview with woman

In the End…

YouTube garners an average of a billion mobile video views per day, and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. YouTube has launched careers, and while a healthy number of them are in the music industry, such as Colbie Caillat, Shawn Mendes, and Pentatonix, there are also make-up sensations who’ve gone on to model for big corporations like Loréal and Maybelline, comedians who are now headlining shows, clothing designers, foodies, science enthusiasts and many, many more. Your market is already waiting for you on YouTube. All you need is the channel for them to subscribe, and fresh, relevant content to be able to take advantage.

Looking to be seen? We’d love to talk to you about your video needs and how to navigate the wonderful world of YouTube. Contact us!