With 2.86 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world after Google and is able to benefit businesses in many ways. Companies can develop YouTube channels for advertising, and the platform is not just a popular entertainment channel. With YouTube channels, brands can reach new geographic areas, market their products, build a large customer base, and increase sales.
YouTube is also a well-known educational platform. Companies can gain greater exposure through YouTube, thereby expanding their customer base. Google will rank brands higher if they create detailed tutorials, live streams, guides, and lessons.
In addition to running ads, companies use video-sharing platforms to reach a wider audience and acquire new customers. In addition, it’s much cheaper than paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
This article discusses why YouTube can be a powerful marketing tool and reviews its benefits. Afterward, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to create a YouTube marketing strategy.
Table of Contents
What is YouTube Marketing?
YouTube marketing involves promoting a brand, product, or service on YouTube. A variety of tactics can be used, including (but not limited to):
- Creating promotional videos
- Working with influencers
- Youtube advertising
YouTube is one of the most versatile and exciting marketing platforms available today. It is the best way to market your business – whether you’re an entrepreneur or a corporation. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? In general, it is, if you know what your customers really want rather than thinking you know what they want.
In addition, you need to make sure your videos are found by the right people. Your content will need to be optimized for YouTube’s algorithm, just like you do for Google’s.
YouTube is improving the platform every day, and so things may change, but don’t worry: The principles stay the same, even if a button has moved.
To help you successfully promote your business on YouTube, here is a complete step-by-step checklist.
Benefits of YouTube Marketing
In the expanse of the Internet universe, YouTube is not—definitely not—the only video-hosting site that is available to people. There are still lots of other websites that offer video-sharing services. But what makes YouTube stand out among the rest?
1. YouTube tops the ranking in Google search results
One reason is that YouTube tops the ranking in Google search results. Has there been an incident when you search on Google “One Direction Story of my Life music video” but YouTube is not on the top results? Chances are if you search for any kind of video online, the top result will almost always be on YouTube.
That is one of the reasons why a huge wave of people is being drawn to YouTube each and every day. YouTube tops the Google search result, which means YouTube will be the first site that people will see and visit.
2. Youtube can handle a large audience
Another reason is that it can handle a lot of people every day for it has a great (great is probably an understatement) traffic source. As of today, statistics show that YouTube caters to a billion people every day. Just imagine how large that number is?
Just put it this way: If you’re on your computer and billions of people keep on sending you requests to access your computer, what would that be like? Being a huge company, YouTube can accommodate a large number of people which means there is no hassle with regard to traffic and access.
3. Youtube is convenient to use
Moreover, YouTube is convenient to use. Its features can easily be seen on its Homepage, which makes it hassle-free, even if it’s your first time visiting the site.
9-Step YouTube Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Create a YouTube channel for your business
Building a channel is what you came here to do, and now it’s time to get to it. You can do the work to establish your channel after you’ve logged on to YouTube with a Google account. After that’s done, follow these steps to get your channel off the ground:
1. Log on to YouTube, and click the Channel icon in the top right to bring up the YouTube Studio and YouTube Settings pull-down menu.
2. Choose the Create a Channel option from the pull-down menu. A dialog box appears, with “Your creator journey begins” across the top.
3. Click the Get Started link. In the new dialog box that appears, choose the name you want to use for your channel.
4. To create a custom name, click Select under that option, enter a custom name in the new dialog box that appears, and then click Create. This name can be anything you want and isn’t set in stone. You can change your channel name at any time, though it isn’t to be confused with your custom URL, which we get to later.
5. In the new dialog box that appears, start setting up your new channel. At this point, whether you’ve decided to stick with your own name or come up with an original one, you have the option to set up some crucial details about your channel.
- Upload a profile picture: This is the avatar for your channel. Whether someone is on your page or reading a comment you’ve made, this is who they’ll see. As long as it adheres to the correct dimensions and community guidelines, it can be anything you want.
- Add a channel description: This is the elevator pitch people see when searching your channel. It’s a good way of introducing who you are and what kind of content you make. It’s also a way of making your channel more visible when searched online (also known as search engine optimization, or SEO). Don’t skimp on this; the more descriptive words and phrases you use, the better off you are.
- Link your websites: Whether it’s a website or a social media page, link them here. This enables you to easily drive traffic to whatever page you’re trying to promote.
6. When you finish setting up your channel, click the Save and Continue button.
7. Before you get around to beautifying your channel and making it your own, you need to verify your channel to prove that you’re a real human being and not some kind of Internet robot who has created this channel for nefarious purposes.
8. By default, YouTube assigns your channel a random and unmemorable URL, which can be quite ugly. (URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, a fancy term for a web address.) It’s a good idea to replace this unattractive URL with one that aligns with your branding and makes it easier for viewers to remember your channel. Keep in mind that updating the URL comes with some eligibility requirements. Specifically, you need to have at least 100 subscribers, a minimum of 30 days of channel management experience, a channel icon, and some channel art.
Learn more: How to Start a YouTube Channel
Step 2: Understand your target audience
Before you start, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your target audience for the marketing campaign. Knowing your audience allows you to make informed choices for both the creative aspects of your video and the media targeting options.
YouTube provides a platform to reach a wide audience. Google and YouTube offer various tools to help you learn about and target your desired audience, ensuring that your message reaches the right people. Taking the time to think about your target audience will make your marketing campaign more manageable and focused. While you’ll have many options for buying media to reach them, start by creating a clear mental picture of who you want to address.
When defining your audience, marketers often categorize people into subgroups. These subgroups then guide the development of creative content, such as advertisements, making sure it resonates more directly with the intended group.
For instance, if your product is aimed at parents, consider characteristics such as their age, behaviors, and lifestyle. Understand the challenges they face and identify their preferences in terms of content and activities. These initial audience insights will influence your creative choices in communicating your product and ultimately shape your YouTube video ad.
You can build a profile of your target audience by thinking through a few classic marketing dimensions:
Demographic dimensions are things like the audience’s age, gender, parental status, or even household income.
Perhaps you run a luxury stroller company, and you want to target first-time parents with a household income of $75,000 or more.
Your video creative may feature parents of a similar age, dressed in a way typical of that age group that would resonate with your desired audience.
Think through where your customer is located. They could be a local audience, nationwide, or even worldwide. Ask yourself where the people most likely to be interested in hearing from you are living and keep this in mind when developing advertising creative or content that speaks to them.
For example, if you run a local bakery, your video ad may feature your store and scenes of the town where it can be found. If you run an online baking supply store, featuring local imagery probably won’t be as important as showcasing your supplies being used in bakeries all over the country.
Psychographics deal with mindset. You can think about your audience’s personality traits, including things like their value and belief systems, interests in life, political, social, and cultural attitudes, and more.
When you think about your audience through a psychographic lens, you start to build a fuller picture of who they are beyond just demographic and geographic criteria. You may decide to make video creative that overtly speaks to your audience’s opinions on a topic.
Perhaps you’re passionate about the environment and have decided to lobby for your township to change its recycling policy. In your video, you can directly appeal to your audience for support by showing a local park becoming a cleaner environment without plastic bags if a policy change was made.
Activities, lifestyle, and interests
Diving deeper into building a full and complete profile of your audience members, you can think about the kinds of activities they like to engage in. Perhaps they spend their time engaged in outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, or perhaps they prefer fine dining and wine tasting holidays.
When you’re creating video advertising, you can often find better performance results by including signals that resonate with your audience.
For example, a Canadian-based fashion retailer made a series of advertisements promoting its men’s clothing range. The retailer discovered that country music and bluegrass were popular with the desired audience, so they started to make video creative that included models with guitars and banjos. These videos performed better than the creative that didn’t feature musical instruments.
What other kinds of products and services does your ideal audience use? Thinking through what else your audience may purchase and use in life can give you a sense of their expectations of other products and services.
Perhaps you offer an online meal delivery service targeted to health-food fanatics and exercise fans. Understanding the other products, such as protein bars and vitamin supplements, and services, such as gym memberships and personal trainers, that they use may allow you to highlight similar features that your product or service offers.
For example, if a fancy gym offers a towel service, perhaps your meal delivery includes a higher quality napkin. If a protein bar is vegan and locally sourced, highlight that your food is also sourced from local farms. You can make creative choices to highlight those connections, reaffirming in your desired audience members that what you have to offer is something that they’d like.
Of course, media consumption is an interesting lens to think through. Your desired audience will visit certain websites, use particular apps, and be interested in topics, themes, and a variety of different types of content. The big question here to consider is whether your desired audience members use YouTube, and if they do, what do they like to watch on YouTube? You can make some creative choices based on what your audience likes to watch on YouTube.
These dimensions help you think about who you want to talk to and how to inform the video creative you make.
Step 3: Research your competition
Take a look at your competitors, the people who are in similar businesses as you, even if they are in different geographies, to see what they are doing. You can learn about your audience from how your competitor is talking to them and how they are reacting.
Think about the following questions:
How do our competitors market to their target audience? Does this approach tell you something about the audience you may not have considered?
How is their audience different from yours? Could you be reaching a different audience who might like to hear from you? Could you be talking to your audience in a different way?
When it comes to YouTube, which of their videos performs well? What do you think makes the video perform well? What do you like and not like about it?
What are people saying in the comments and on their social sites? Are people responding positively? Are they asking for something that’s not being delivered that perhaps you can provide?
What kinds of videos are they making? Do you think these videos are of interest and helpful to the audience? What would you do differently?
What do their ads look like? What’s the tone and style? Have your competitors made a creative choice that makes these ads perform well or perhaps poorly?
What products or services do they offer that you don’t? Are you at an advantage or a disadvantage in this regard? Are your competitors offering something the audience wants that you don’t yet offer or that you haven’t yet communicated that you do offer?
Step 4: Create high quality videos based on YouTube’s algorithm
The YouTube algorithm can make or break your content strategy if you are a business on YouTube. You need to understand YouTube’s algorithm to gain viewers for your videos and increase your brand’s organic growth.
There are two ways in which YouTube’s search and discovery system works. The first purpose is to help viewers find videos that are interesting to them, as well as to cement long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction.
At the end of the day, you want YouTube to recommend your videos to users based on the algorithm. Remember, viewers will always dictate what the algorithm likes, so think of this as appealing to them.
Below are some tips to help you create videos based on the algorithm:
- Your video’s thumbnails (pictures) should be recognizable
- Optimize your title and description. In order to write a strong title, make sure you use the right keywords. Find these words and phrases in YouTube Analytics, and add them to your titles. Limit your title to 60 characters or less.
- Use the most critical keywords to write a summary of your video
- Use CTAs in the form of a card, end screen, watermark, or bumper ad to encourage users to take action.
- Encourage people to share, like, comment, and subscribe.
To learn more, you can read our complete guide on making high-quality YouTube videos.
Step 5: Create a schedule to upload your videos on time
Scheduling videos in advance offers valuable advantages. Once you start scheduling videos, you’ll be able to manage your time like a pro.
By doing so, viewers will know when the next video will be released. Pick a day and time when engagement and views are highest. To determine the best date to upload new videos, you can check your analytics if you have already uploaded some videos.
Step 6. Make sure your channel contains all the necessary information
You need to optimize your channel to simplify search. Below are some of the tips that can help users find your channel easier:
- First, complete your profile. You should fill out the channel description, upload your logo, and use channel art. If you have other channels or resources that subscribers might find useful, you can include them.
- Second, include links to your website and social media profiles on your channel.
- Third, create a YouTube channel trailer to introduce your company to viewers and educate them about your product. Describe your brand statement to users and explain why they should subscribe.
Step 7: Promote your videos
YouTube provides plenty of ways to promote the content to ensure it reaches as many people as possible on the platform. You can gain exposure for your videos by including relevant keywords in their titles.
Other than that, you can also consider creating accounts on different social media sites to promote your videos. The primary goal of using social media is to increase your view count in your videos and develop a strong fan base that favors your videos. This doesn’t directly give you any profits, but it helps build a solid viewer base and reaches out to those who do not know about you or your videos.
If used in the right way, social media can help boost your view count several folds. Your YouTube videos have their unique address or “URL.” Copy this URL and paste it in your Facebook, Twitter, or any forums you frequent. Any user who clicks this URL will be directed to your YouTube video, at which point, if it interests the person, he will subscribe and add to your pool of views. Make sure to include these URLs only in places that do disturb or annoy the other users.
Step 8: Consider influencer marketing
Opinion leaders have a large following who may be interested in your product. You should always contact influencers in your niche who are willing to promote your company.
Since 49% of customers trust influencers’ recommendations, you may want to collaborate with them to promote your brand.
Getting an influencer partnership off the ground requires some preparation as with any paid advertising or marketing campaign:
- Decide who your audience is and what your goals are
- Follow the rules – not just YouTube’s. Disclose paid or sponsored content in accordance with FTC rules. Use the hashtags #ad and #sponsored with your creator partner.
- Pick an influencer who aligns with your brand and you trust.
- Analyze your results and learn from them.
Step 9: Measure your success
After you create and upload your videos to your channel, you can look at your reports to see what people are responding to. This data can help you develop ideas for your next videos so that you maximize your chance to grow your audience.
The YouTube Creator Classic tool has a fully featured Analytics section, with lots of reports to help you understand how your video content is performing.
Some of the most important reports on this dashboard are for
- Watch time
- Average view duration
- Estimated revenue (if you’re in the YouTube Partner Program)
- Your Top Ten videos
Use the Overview page for an at-a-glance look of how your channel is performing and then use the left-hand side menu to dive deeper into the more detailed reports for each of these within the three main sections of reporting:
- Revenue reports
- Watch time reports
- Interaction reports
You can view real-time data in the Realtime section, which shows you view counts from the last 60 minutes. The reports update every 10 seconds, which is great if you find one of your videos is going viral, meaning that it’s taking off and being shared around the world.
Top 5 YouTube Marketing Tools
There are a few useful tools you can use to build a great channel and gain subscribers and views.
You need standout thumbnails and feature images on YouTube to attract more subscribers. You can help yourself with this by using Canva. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to create any image you wish and attract new customers. There are many templates available that can help you create a YouTube video.
- Free plan: 30-day trial.
- Paid plan: From $12.99 per month for up to five users.
Similar to Google, YouTube ranks videos according to keywords, titles, and descriptions. It’s for this reason that you need an appropriate tool. With Keyword Tool, you can optimize videos and make them rank higher. This increases your channel’s popularity and number of views.
- Free plan: Available forever with limitations (you cannot see search volume, trend, CPC (USD), or competition).
- Paid plan: From $69 per month for one user, billed annually.
BuzzSumo is a great YouTube marketing tool that allows you to produce high-quality content that helps viewers learn more and provide value. The tool also helps you monitor how your videos are performing after uploading them.
If you want to collaborate with other YouTube channels, BuzzSumo can help you find relevant content creators. BuzzSumo can recommend online influencers based on language, audience size, engagement rates, and domain analysis of popular influencers you find.
- Free plan: 30-day trial.
- Paid plan: From $99 per month for five users.
With TubeBuddy’s Keyword Explorer, you can find out which keywords might work best for your channel. You can use the tool to do two things:
- Identify the interests of your target audience.
- Find out what video you might want to make next.
With this extension, you can find keywords, perform A/B testing, create templates, and filter comments quickly. You can increase viewership by translating your video title and description into other languages using its video SEO tools.
The TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer allows you to rank higher in search results by using the right keywords. You can also test titles, tags, descriptions, and thumbnails with this browser extension’s A/B testing feature.
- Free plan: Available forever.
- Paid plan: From $7.20 per month for one user, billed annually.
Agopulse is an all-in-one platform for managing social media. The software creates and schedules social media content, engages audiences, listens for key terms, and analyzes social media performance. These functions are centralized across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Online marketers use Agorapulse to create & schedule social media content, engage audiences, track key terms, and analyze social media performance. Currently, the system integrates with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
In addition to saving considerable time, companies that adopt social media management systems are able to improve their online brand presence. With tools like Agorapulse, it’s easier to engage customers and fans consistently online.
- Free plan: 30-day trial for one user and three social media profiles.
- Paid plan: From $79 per month for two users and ten social profiles.
With the best YouTube marketing strategy tools under your belt, let’s explore some great tips to get more views.
4 YouTube Marketing Tips
1. Write titles that are eye-catching
To attract new subscribers to your channel, create an engaging headline. Create a catchy title for your YouTube video to entice users to watch. If you want to get more views, you should use question-based titles or include hyperboles. Those who want to reach their target audience use a conversational tone.
Alternatively, you can start your headline with “Best of” or “How-to”. It’s not a good idea to use clickbait headlines, as they often mislead readers.
2. Find out what your viewers want and need
If you want to get more views, make sure your content suits your audience. To create top-notch videos, it’s important to understand your viewers.
If you’re just starting on YouTube, check out videos from your competitors and popular ones.
Analyze videos with the most engagement, views, likes, and comments. This will help you figure out what topics and types of videos people are interested in.
3. Create compelling thumbnails
Choose your own thumbnail picture instead of using a blurry screenshot from YouTube.
Thumbnails are crucial for your YouTube videos. They’re the first things people notice in search results, and a good one can boost your video’s watch time and improve its ranking on YouTube.
Make sure your thumbnail stands out and grabs attention, so your video doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Avoid using random shots from your video; they might not be the most eye-catching.
Here’s a fantastic example of a customized thumbnail:
4. Use video hashtags to boost YouTube search results
When you post videos on YouTube, use hashtags (#) in your video titles and descriptions. Hashtags help people find your videos when they search for specific topics.
Adding tags can make your video more visible by highlighting key trends. If you put a hashtag in the video description, it will show above the video title and become a clickable link.
Just remember, if you use a hashtag in the video title, the ones in the description won’t show above the title.
5. Add subtitles and closed captions
If you want to make your YouTube videos more accessible, it’s important to add subtitles and closed captions. Subtitles convey video dialogue for viewers who may not understand the language, while closed captions cater to those who can’t hear the audio.
Both subtitles and closed captions contain a written transcript of the video content, alongside time codes for synchronization with the video. YouTube supports various file formats; you can check the compatible ones on their platform.
Apart from the benefit of accessibility, having a transcript for your video also boosts its visibility on search engines, similar to a blog post.