Getting Started On YouTube: A Guide For Businesses

Getting Started On YouTube: A Guide For Businesses

YouTube’s biggest selling point, as the world’s second largest search engine and under its parent company Google, is that despite competition from other video platforms, people using it often have a need. Learn how to tap into that need.

Written by Matt Allen

6 min read

As part of your business’ overall marketing strategy, YouTube is one channel that should definitely feature in your mix of tactics. Online marketing has become increasingly sophisticated and diverse in the last decade, and it’s a fact that YouTube is no longer the only place where video content can be shared and consumed. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat now give companies the ability to create and share video content.

However, YouTube’s biggest selling point, as the world’s second largest search engine and under its parent company Google, is that despite this competition, people using it have intent. They are often looking for something and have a need.

YouTube can improve SEO and overall brand presence by creating content that is unique, easy to share and consume. The platform provides businesses with an opportunity to build and engage with their audience, and it’s not as hard as you think to get started!

Why Should My Business Use YouTube?

If you’re not convinced that your business could harness the power of YouTube, here are a few key stats:

  • 2 billion logged-in monthly users, a number that is still growing
  • 500 hours of content uploaded every minute
  • On average, a visitor will watch 11 and a half minutes per day
  • 70% of what people watch is determined by YouTube’s algorithm
  • Over 70% of views are on mobile

Source: Hootsuite

So what can we learn from this? A huge number of people, actively searching for information presents a massive opportunity to engage with your existing audience, while increasing your reach and gaining access to a whole new audience.

Getting Started On YouTube

As YouTube is a Google company, you’ll need a Google account to create your YouTube channel. You likely have one already but if you don’t you can find instructions on how to create one in this video.

You’ll then be able to create your YouTube channel which has been made extremely easy thanks to this video tutorial from Google (these videos are excellent examples of the kind of content that works well as we will discuss later).

Creating Videos

You don’t need a huge budget to get started. One thing the pandemic of 2020 showed us is that people are willing to accept video content that is not studio-quality with expensive equipment: as long as the content is useful, filming video on your PC and even mobile phone can create great output.

What type of videos work well on YouTube?

Here are 6 ideas for video content that can work really well on YouTube channels:

1 How-to guides

As we mentioned earlier, people using YouTube are often showing intent, i.e. they are looking for an answer to a question. This is why ‘how-to’ guides work incredibly well. From how to fix your vacuum cleaner, to laying decking in your garden, all the way to checklists for setting up your new business on Shopify, there are guides for thousands of tasks. Find out what questions your audience wants the answers to, then demonstrate your expertise and provide them!

2 Customer reviews or case studies

These kinds of videos are a great way to build social proof and help demonstrate your business’ credibility. In a recent survey conducted by ESC, 45.8% of respondents said that it was important to them to see customer reviews of products before they make the decision to purchase.

3 Product demos

This type of content can help augment the value provided by customer reviews: showing products in action can really sell the benefits and increase the chance of a conversion.

4 Thought leadership pieces and interviews

One of the key tenets of SEO is the concept of Expertise, Authority and Trust, and helping demonstrate all of these is possible through video content that shows your business and its people are experts in their niche. Again, these videos add credibility, build trust and can help persuade potential customers that you’re the business they want to work with or buy from.

5 Events

If you host any events, why not have someone film it so you can use it as promotional material later? If you host an online event it’s even easier! Simply record it as it’s happening and upload to your YouTube channel like we did with our Shopify Meetup.

6 Podcasts

A podcast is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and share knowledge with your audience. Yes, we know everybody on the planet hosts a podcast now - but that doesn’t mean you can’t create one that adds value to your audience. Sketch out a general structure with areas you’d like to cover and questions you’d like to answer, and have a discussion with two or three people (colleagues or expert guests), making sure you stay on topic and cover all your points!

Marketing On YouTube

Marketing on YouTube is like marketing on other social platforms: the first step is to create your strategy.

Set your goals

Start by setting your business goals: what is it that you want to achieve and how can your YouTube channel help you realise these goals? Is your aim to grow brand awareness, increase traffic, clicks, gain subscribers etc? If you can put the time into creating content and marketing it on the platform, you’ll be able to do all of these things.

Optimise your videos for SEO

Make sure your titles and descriptions describe the content well and accurately, using keywords that are relevant.

Ensure your video description is at least one paragraph long, and make use of tags and categories. All of these things help YouTube better understand what your content is about and will increase the likelihood of it being seen by people who will find it relevant.

Promote your content via your website and blogs

Your video content doesn’t have to reside solely in your YouTube channel. Create a landing page on your website for your videos, and embed them into blogs to increase engagement.

Repurpose videos

You can even change the content into a different format, for example by transcribing video dialogue into written content for blogs and articles, or even on YouTube under the description. You don’t have to do this manually either: there are plenty of cost-effective methods, through automation via platforms like Trint or by paying a freelancer to do it for you. Including a video transcript is a great way to boost SEO as the written words are indexable, plus it’s good for viewers: they can still use the content if they can’t hear it.

If the videos work well from an audio perspective, why not share them on podcast platforms? At Eastside Co we host a video-based Ecommerce podcast where we talk to industry experts, and as well as hosting them on YouTube we use a podcast distribution service so they appear on audio podcast platforms like Spotify.

Promote via email marketing

An effective way of sharing valuable content with your audience is simply to email it to them. It is something free and of value to them, while keeping your brand in the forefront of their minds.

Utilise social media

You can share your YouTube video content directly onto other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to increase its reach. Make sure you select several appropriate hashtags to help it get seen by people who will be interested in it.

Collaborations and audience cross-pollination

If some of your content features other businesses or partners, for example in a podcast, make sure they promote the videos as well. Cross-pollinating audiences can mean access to a new group of potential customers who may not have otherwise been familiar with your brand.

Encourage engagement

Make sure to ask questions of your viewers during your videos and in the descriptions to encourage them to leave a comment and start a discussion. Use brand monitoring to find other mentions of your brand and further identify engagement opportunities. Make sure that you stay involved in the conversations too. Acknowledge comments and answer any questions in the comments.

Other points to consider

Create playlists

Organise your videos into categories using playlists so they’re easier to find, for example ‘podcasts’, ‘how-to’ and ‘events’ playlists.

Keep your branding consistent

Your YouTube channel should be an extension of your brand. Keep it consistent with the look and feel of your website, and all other places where your brand exists.

Check the thumbnail image

The thumbnail image will be visible whenever your video is indexed, so when you’re posting your video make sure the thumbnail is a good one that represents the content. Add your company logo into the corner to help brand recognition.

Include calls to action

What do you want the viewer to do next? Do you want them to subscribe, ‘like’, comment, go to your website? Include a CTA to guide them to the next step on the journey. Keep it simple; do not confuse the viewer with lots of options.

Post regularly and consistently

As with algorithms on other platforms, posting consistently can help push your content up and make it more visible to reach a wider audience. If you have regular viewers they’ll be expecting videos to land on a regular basis too. Try and stick to producing regular output for better results!

Make use of the analytics

The platform includes access to useful analytics so you can monitor your content’s performance and use the information to improve your strategy. Here are some useful stats to keep an eye on:

Watch time

The total video time in minutes and hours that people have spent watching your videos. The algorithm uses this to count towards your ranking so the more time people are spending on your videos, the better.

Engagement

YouTube also tracks engagement on your channel, including stats like how many likes/dislikes you get, number of comments and how many times a video is shared.

Subscriber numbers

As well as the current number of subscribers, YouTube also takes into account how many people subscribe after watching a particular video which is an indicator of relevance.

The key thing now is to start creating some videos. Bear our tips in mind and don’t worry about getting studio-quality content out there. The key thing is the value you have to offer your audience, not whether or not it’s filmed in HDR!

If you need any support with marketing strategy for your ecommerce business, drop us a line - we’d love to have a chat.

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