Youtube is a content creating platform that has been around since 2005, in this period of time it has garnered over a billion users, each of which have the ability to upload, share and communicate with each other over any topics you could possibly think of.
The stats on Youtube are astounding and are becoming more impressive by the minute, which is no wonder why companies all over the world are taking advantage of the reach the Youtubes reach by making original content and advertising alike.
This is a guide showing you how to market your business using a Youtube channel, and what kind of benefits you’ll see from having a presence on the platform.
Creating A Youtube Account
Creating an account with youtube is extremely simple, all you need to do is create a Google account. You’re not required to put in too much personal information as the phone number is optional. Youtube is also completely free so no need to worry about card information either.
If you have a Google account already then your Youtube account is made by default, all you need to sign in is the account username and password. If you need to set one up then follow these steps below.
- Head to Youtube, then click on the sign up button in the right-hand corner
- Now your on the sign-up page, choose your email username and password
- Your mobile number and email address aren’t required although it’s not made clear you can fill them out if you’d like.
- Fill out the rest and click Next Step
- Agree to the terms & conditions and that’s your account ready.
Creating your Channel
When you first enter the “my channel” section you’ll be prompted with a box like the one above. If you’re creating this for your business click on the link that says “Use a business or other name”.
When choosing your brand name, you’ll want to make sure that is is something that lets the viewers know what the channel is all about. If you have a company name, this is a perfect title for your account.
Now your channel is set up, there are a few settings that you might want to change at the beginning.
Connected accounts – You can connect your Twitter account with Youtube so that when you perform an activity on youtube, it will post live on your Twitter feed. You can filter this to only post when certain actions have been made.
Privacy – Here is where you can choose what is made private about your videos, comments, what shows on your activity feed etc.
Notifications – You can choose how many notifications you’ll receive from Youtube such as new comments on your video and when one of your subscribed to channels upload a video.
The channel description is quite an important feature, it summarises the business and what kind of videos you’ll be uploading. What you need to really focus on here is the first couple of lines in your description. This is what will be shown to those who hover over your channel icon.
Once you upload your first video, you’ll be able to enter a short description that you should really fill in before you make your video live. I recommend you focus on the first few lines of your description. This text will be shown to the users before they click on the video which is very important to capture their attention straight away.
You can customise your channels background with your own designs with the “add channel art” button. This lets you upload a photo that will act as a banner that will appear on your channel. The recommended size of a background is 2560 x 1440 and the image can’t be any bigger than 4mb.
Next up is a profile photo. This will be visible to everyone when you comment on, like or share any videos on Youtube.
When making your Youtube channel, it’s important to have a clear branding strategy. When someone clicks on your channel they should be able to see a clear message of what your channel is about, this involves having a high level of consistency throughout. All of your videos should have something whether it be an intro or outro that adds familiarity. Your banners and thumbnails can also feature similar layouts and you may even decide to add a channel trailer.
Below are some tips that you should consider when branding your channel:
- Have something that appears in every video you upload such as an intro, outro, music etc.
- Put some sort of logo on the channel’s profile that makes you unique
- Enter consistent metadata throughout your videos. This means using a similar style on your videos titles and descriptions.
- When you have uploaded a video, share it across all of the other social platforms you are using.
The thumbnail of a video is the first thing that the user will see on your video. If you watch any channels regularly yourself then you’ll notice usually the thumbnails they use are similar with different text in the picture. This allows you to have a certain kind of signature on youtube that helps distinct your videos from everyone else.
Adding your Custom Thumbnails
When you first upload a new video you’ll have the option to use 1 of the 3 default thumbnails which are just random screenshots within the video. To add your own branded thumbnail you first of all need to be verified on youtube. This involves phone verification to prove that you are in fact who you say you are. Then follow these steps to add your own custom thumbnail:
- Click on “video manager”
- Click edit on any of the videos that you have uploaded.
- Then click on the option the use custom “thumbnail” button and add your photo.
- Make sure to click “save changes”.
There are a few things you should consider about the thumbnail you decide to use.
- First, the image should be as large as possible as it will appear as a full-screen image before the user presses play.
- Next is to make sure that your image is in a popular format such as JPEG or PNG. There are a lot of image formats out there but youtube only support a few of them.
- You need to keep your image under the limit of 2MB, Youtube won’t allow for anything above this.
- Next is the aspect ratio of the image, most photos can appear in 16:9 or 4:3 ratio. With the former being a wider style layout with the latter being more boxed. Most browsers will display Youtube in a 16:9 ratio so you are best to follow suit.
Video playlists are a great way to separate your content into different categories, giving your viewers an easy way of finding the content they really want. For example, you may be running a Marketing business, with something like that there are lots of different videos you could upload such as tutorials, advice and much more. Below is a list of the great benefits of using playlists on your channel:
- It increases the amount of watch time on your channel
- It can appear in the user’s search results as well as recommended videos section
With Youtube, you can share videos very easily with people and within your other social media platforms. First of all, you need to click on the “Share” button that is shown at the bottom of the video. This will open up 3 separate tabs:
Share – Here you will be given a link that you can paste anywhere you’d like. You can also change where you would like the video to start using the checkbox below and setting a time you want.
Embed – You will be given a short snippet of code that you can paste onto a website for example and from here you can make changes to the width and height.
Email – With this tab, Youtube will email a list of addresses for you with the video. It will come from “firstname.lastname@example.org” this video will appear in their social inbox if they have one.
When deleting a video on Youtube, it will be permanently be removed and there will be absolutely no way of restoring it. Now with that out of the way, take the following steps when you want to remove your video:
- Click on “video manager”
- Select the video that you are going to delete
- Click “delete”
Once your video has been deleted, people still may be able to see it in their search results however if they click on the video it won’t be displayed.
Hiding your Videos
If you don’t want to completely delete a video but don’t want other people to see it then there are ways to hide your videos. With youtube, there are 3 privacy options:
Public – These videos are available to anyone and everyone, they will appear in the Youtube search results and can be shared throughout the web.
Unlisted – These videos can be accessed by those who have a link to the video but it won’t appear in the search results. This option is good if you want to place a video on a website but don’t want it shown throughout youtube.
Private – Videos that can only be accessed by users you give permission to. In order for someone to view your video however, they must have a youtube account.
Sharing Unlisted and Private Videos
Unlisted essentially means that you are removing your video from the search results. Once you’ve set your video to unlisted all you need to do is copy the URL of your video to begin sharing it. You can then paste this video and send it to whoever you’d like and they should be able to watch it without any issues.
Private videos are only available to a maximum of 50 different youtube users. You do this by adding the email addresses of the people you want to give access to (This has to be their youtube account email.)
Know it’s time for you to start thinking about how you can improve your videos such as optimising your titles and descriptions.
Title – The title of your video should explain clearly what your video topic is all about, in order to create a good title you need to find the right balance between the appropriate keywords for SEO purposes, but also keep it interesting enough to grab someone’s attention. Below is an example of a bad title:
“Build a Website with WordPress”
This is a title that contains the right keywords for what the video is about but it is quite a boring title that won’t gain much attention from people. Now, this is a better title for your video.
“Easy way to build your own website with WordPress”
This contains the right keywords and it’s an interesting enough title, encouraging more people to click on it.
The number of characters that youtube shows in its search results is between 50-60 characters so be sure to name your title with this in mind. Your video titles can be changed at any time so don’t be afraid to do so, if your video isn’t performing the way you thought then sometimes it’s worth changing the title to see if you can increase its success.
Description – Your description is an important part of your video, this area is great for you to get more in depth and include keywords that you couldn’t fit in your title. Don’t go overboard with this though, and make sure everything in your description is actually relevant to the video’s content.
Tags – These are a great way to help Youtube understand what your video is about, you should try and include lots of tags to help get your video out in front of as many people as possible. Again, you don’t want to overdo this, there is no point in adding tags that simply don’t have any relevance to your video.
Promoting Your Video
Views – More views = More views. What I mean by this is youtube will put the videos with the most views to the top of search results which then amounts to even more views. If you follow the steps above then you have laid the groundwork to allow your video to gain views, but now you need promote your video any way you can. Doing things like sharing your videos amongst your other social platforms and mentioning what’s coming next at the end of your videos will all in turn help drive people to your channel.
Subscribers – In youtube’s eyes, subscribers means trust. Channels with more subscribers will appear higher in the search results than those with only a few. There are a few ways to help increase your subscriber count by doing things such as asking people at the end of the video either verbally or in writing. The most important part though is consistency. You’ll never be able to gain any sort of subscriber base without continuously being active on your account and having some sort of routine. Now this doesn’t mean you have to post a video every single day, but you should always let the subscribers know some sort of schedule or what videos are coming next.
Comments – The comments section of each video allows your audience to communicate with both you and each other. This is a great way to start building a community that follows your videos and has reasons to come back on a regular basis.
Embedding Your video on a website – Another great way to get your content there is to place the video on a website. Most website platforms these days allow you to embed youtube videos very easily so that the user can view the video right there without having to go to Youtube itself.
Social – Adding your videos to multiple avenues such as Twitter and Facebook allow for your videos to be shared amongst all of your friends and family which can increase your videos views quite significantly.
Newsletter – You could add your video to a newsletter that you send out to people through email, again there is plenty of software out there such as MailChimp and AWeber allows you to embed the video within the newsletter.
Cross Promotion – Collaborating with other youtube channels is a great way for both parties to gain more subscribers. For example, if you are a digital agency that specialises in web design and you know a company that works mainly on the marketing side of things then you could work together to provide content for one another. This will introduce you to a whole new audience in the same bracket as your own.
AdWords – Google AdWords has a service called TrueView that allows you to promote your videos on Google search engine.
Monetizing your videos with ads
Once’s you start gaining lots of subscribers, you can start to put ads on your videos that youtube will split the revenue on. There are 2 steps you have to carry out before you can begin monetizing your videos. The first is becoming a youtube partner. To become a partner:
- Sign into your youtube account
- Click on your profile on the top right-hand side and click “creator studio”.
- Open up the “channel section and head to “status and features”
Once you click the “enable” button you’ll be asked to accept the terms and conditions and now the next step is setting up an AdSense account. This is where you will set up payment to allow youtube to pay you for bringing in the advertisement. Fill in the required sign-up details and you can now start to monetize your ads.
Now you’re all ready, follow the steps below if you want to monetize a video:
- Sign in to your Youtube account and then head to the “video manager” section.
- Click “edit” on any of your videos
- Click on the “monetization” tab within the info & settings section.
You can check your channels analytics which is very similar to Google Analytics. It is automatically set up when you create a youtube account, you can either head to the “analytics” section after heading to the “Creators Studio” or it can be accessed from http://www.youtube.com/analytics.
You will be able to see an overview of loads of different stats here such as the total views, view duration, viewer location etc. If you are also monetizing your videos then you can see the revenue you are receiving from youtube. Checking your analytics every so often is a good way for you to track what kind of videos are working for you and which aren’t doing so well.
There is also a real-time analytics section in the overview area allows you to see how many people are viewing your videos at this moment in time that updates every 10 seconds. You can see how many views were made in the last hour and how many in the last 48.
In order for you to see any stats in this section, you’ll need to be a youtube partner and have an AdSense account set up. Once this is set up you’ll be able to see what kind of revenue your channel is pulling in.
Watch Time Report
The watch time report gives you an insight into how people are interacting with each of your videos. Metrics such as average watch time and audience retention give you the insight necessary, so you can help grow your audience and focusing on what is working for you. Below is the each of the important metrics found in watch time report:
Audience Retention – You can see how your videos are doing at keeping your audience returning.
Demographics – This lets you know what kind of audience you have by narrowing down different demographics such as men/women and age range. You can use this to understand your audience better and allows you to see what kind of work you’ll be able to receive with these stats. What’s important is that you regularly check your stats to see if any improvements have been made to your channel increases the demographic that you are targeting.
Translations – You will want to make sure that your site is up to scratch. From this section you can see what language that people are using when they visit your videos, it’s a good indication to know if a portion of your audience is from a foreign country and their first language is their native language.
Devices – Here is where you can see which devices people are using when they are viewing your videos, you can narrow this straight down to not only what kind of device but what make it is as well. For example, you may find that your videos the majority of your views are coming from mobile devices. Then it would be a good idea for you to make sure any website your video appears on is mobile friendly.
The engagement report gives you the stats on how people are interacting with your videos, Below are the main metrics that Youtube will track for you:
- Likes and Dislikes
- Videos in Playlists
You will be able to view the metrics as an overall number for each video.
Youtube is a platform that is growing bigger and bigger every day and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon making it important now more than ever that you give your business a presence on the platform. Don’t get me wrong, using a youtube channel effectively will require lots hard work and continuous interaction but the level of communication you can achieve with the community building that Youtube provides is what sets it apart from anything else you’ll find on the web.