It’s true that everyone watches YouTube videos these days, but even the best YouTubers have a YouTube marketing strategy. Over 75% of Americans aged 15 and up use YouTube. As a platform that has over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the world’s second most popular website after Google. When you’re developing a social media strategy for a B2B company, the first platforms that might come to mind are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. While these platforms should be a big part of your strategy, you shouldn’t forget about YouTube.
YouTube content covers a wide range of topics and it can be an excellent platform for your company to share its unique expertise with a captive audience. Take a moment to think of the creative YouTube videos that still stand out in your memory and you’ll understand why YouTube is such a valuable marketing platform. We’ll talk about some effective YouTube marketing strategies that you could experiment with in a moment. First, let’s start by defining and talking about what YouTube marketing can do for your brand.
What is YouTube marketing?
YouTube marketing is a great way to promote a product, brand, or service online. YouTube marketing usually includes the following elements:
- Natural promotional videos
- Collaboration with influencers
- Platform advertisement
Marketing your business on YouTube is easier when you’re creative about it. Even so, there are still some standard rules you should follow. For starters, whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, you must create content that your target customers want.
Why should YouTube be part of your PR & marketing strategy?
1) Gives you access to a large, captive audience
There is little doubt that YouTube has a massive user base that is just waiting for fresh content to consume. It’s easy to assume that YouTube only offers this kind of access for B2C brands but that is far from the truth. In reality, YouTube is currently ranked as the fourth most effective B2B marketing channel, trailing only email marketing, LinkedIn, and print. If you’re a B2B marketer, the ROI you generate from your YouTube channel will only increase as user preference for video grows. Your brand can reach the target market and increase brand awareness and reach by actively posting on YouTube. With such a massive audience consuming content on the platform, YouTube should be included in the social media strategy of every B2B marketer.
2) Offers opportunities for thought leadership
Consider the last time you were watching a YouTube video. Did it all begin with a Google search? Many customers visit YouTube after looking for ‘how-to’ content. Once they find a good tutorial that works for them, they start thinking of the owners of the tutorial as trusted experts in that space. Creating this type of content can be an excellent way to attract viewers to your YouTube channel and pique their interest.
Looking at your clients’ most frequently asked questions can help you plan your video topics. If your company creates healthcare software, you could choose a common pain point that your software addresses and create a ‘how to’ video highlighting your software as a potential solution to the problem. When developing your YouTube strategy, make sure to include lots of content that highlights your company’s expertise and positions your team as thought leaders.
3) Increases your chances of having your content recommended alongside other relevant content
Have you ever watched a quick video and found yourself still watching videos related to the original topic thirty minutes later? This is how YouTube’s ‘Up Next’ feature works. After your initial video concludes, YouTube will automatically begin playing related videos based on tags and keywords from other content creators.
Like your SEO strategy, your YouTube tags should include specific, targeted keywords to help you reach your target audience. You need to combine these with some broad tags to help YouTube’s algorithm understand the larger context of your video. Using relevant tags when uploading your video can increase the likelihood of it being seen by new audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive users to your page.
4) Drives clicks to your landing pages
Many B2B companies want to drive potential clients to their websites to make a purchase or be captured as a lead. YouTube can be a fantastic tool for achieving both of these objectives. Make sure the end of your video includes a compelling call to action that will direct your viewer to your desired landing page. For example, you could direct the audience to your website to download a free e-book with additional tips not covered in the video. Alternatively, you could encourage them to fill out a contact form to get in touch with a company representative. You could also give your audience a place where they can sign up for your newsletter.
How to market your YouTube channel
Let us look at different strategies that other influencers and brands have used successfully
Make use of your website and blog to promote your YouTube channel and videos. To begin, include a YouTube follow button on your website and blog so that your audience can easily find your channel. Second, incorporate relevant videos into your website or blog posts. Consider making a YouTube video to go along with a specific blog post or sharing customer video reviews or case studies on your website.
1) Social media
Sharing your videos on social media is a quick and easy way to add context to your video and engage with viewers. YouTube makes it extremely simple for you to share your videos on other social media platforms. To share a video, simply click the “Share” button beneath the video you want to share. From there, you can decide where to market the video. YouTube even provides a shortened URL for your video to make posting easier. When promoting your YouTube channel or videos on your social media sites, sharing the video directly on your timeline or feed may not be the most effective strategy.
Before you do this, consider why you made the video. Perhaps you created a tutorial in response to a high volume of questions about using your product. In that case, responding to those questions with a link to your video may be the best way to share the video. If you created a video to raise brand awareness, consider including the link in the bios of your social media profiles. If you made a video as part of a more extensive campaign or global trend, make sure to include relevant #hashtags wherever possible to ensure your video is included in the conversation.
2) Blog posts and website
This will not only help you market your YouTube channel and videos, but it will also drive traffic to your website. To feature a YouTube video on your blog or website, copy the embedded code from the video description. Learn how to do this without slowing down your website by following the step-by-step embedded instructions.
While YouTube is a video platform, you need content of all types to build a brand. This applies whether you’re building a personal brand for an influencer or a business brand. If you need help creating this kind of content, you can reach out to an agency that has experience with different types of content for brands across different industries.
Pressfarm is a PR agency that helps startups and established companies create memorable content to capture attention in the media as well as among their target audience. Their PR experts and writers work with companies to help them understand what it takes to stand out in their niche and create quality content that makes heads turn. With a professional press release, some compelling feature articles, and a creative media kit from Pressfarm, your brand can make a splash in your industry.
By submitting your brand to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online presence, ensuring you rank in relevant search results. With a custom media list as well as a database of 1 million+ bloggers, journalists, and influencers, you can connect with the best storytellers and thought leaders in your niche. One of Pressfarm’s affordable PR packages could be exactly what you need to take your brand to the next level.
While you’re looking for and attracting new customers and leads, don’t lose sight of the customers that you already have. Share relevant video content with the people on your mailing list. Encourage these contacts to watch a video you’ve embedded in a blog post to increase traffic to both the video and the website. Alternatively, you could use this strategy to direct them to a relevant playlist you’ve curated. Another great way to keep your contacts engaged is to send an email newsletter with helpful information and video content.
4) Q&A sites
Do your videos offer a solution to a common problem or present an answer to a frequently asked question? If so, sharing them on popular Q&A sites like Quora could be a great marketing strategy for your company. Keep an eye out for questions that you can answer by sharing video content that offers answers. In this way, you’re offering these communities value with your content. Over time, they’ll start to turn to your brand to answer more questions that they may have. Eventually, they will be eager to use your products to solve the problems they’re facing.
5) Collaborate with people
Do you have connections to other brands that have a strong YouTube presence? Invite them to work with you! Collaboration is a fun way to ensure that both your channel and the other brand’s channel gain exposure to a new audience. There are numerous opportunities to collaborate creatively with other brands. Just make sure that their audience and goals are similar to yours. The collaboration should be in line with your marketing strategy otherwise it’ll be a waste of resources.
6) Engage with your viewers
Finally, make an effort to interact with your audience. Respond to comments, answer questions, solicit feedback, and express gratitude to your viewers for their support. It is easy to overlook this or put it off, so set aside a specific time to check video interactions and respond to users.
How to stand out with your YouTube channel
What we’ve already talked about covers the basics of marketing a YouTube channel. However, if you want to go beyond that to build a channel that captures attention, you can combine the above strategies with the tips below.
1) Draw inspiration from other YouTube channels
Nobody ever said YouTube marketing was simple. If you’re looking for the best way to advertise on YouTube, you should be aware that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As a brand, when you’re venturing into new territory and trying to advertise on YouTube, you should take it slowly. Give yourself some time to think about how you can make the most of your YouTube channel. It’s also important to get creative and, of course, do some market research. If you’re new to the concept of YouTube marketing, you can begin by researching the YouTube strategies used by the best YouTube channels.
With so much content available, it can be challenging to be authentic. Even so, taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that will provide you with a mix that will help your brand personality to stand out. An excellent place to start is to look at the top YouTube trending videos and look for any similarities on both a strategic and technical level.
2) Check out your competition
Once you’ve discovered those YouTube tactics that YouTube users seem to like, you should narrow your searches and see what other players in your industry are doing. The advantages of conducting a YouTube competitor analysis include identifying gaps in your YouTube competitor’s content. With a good competitor analysis, you can also identify needs that you can fill for the YouTube audience. Although researching your YouTube competitors can be time-consuming and challenging, the results will be worthwhile. Fortunately, there are a plethora of competitive analysis tools available to help you with this task.
You’ll need to schedule time to plan, film, edit, market, and analyze your content regularly. Additionally, you’ll need to define your brand’s goals and devise a strategy for achieving them with video. Once you have created a Brand Account, it is imperative to understand some guidelines that you need to follow. You should treat your YouTube channel as an extension of your brand. Follow these YouTube brand guidelines as you create and customize your channel to properly establish your channel’s identity and attract subscribers. While this tip might seem obvious, you need to go above and beyond the requirements of a standard YouTube channel if you want to stand out on the platform. It’s important to find out what kind of video content YouTube audiences enjoy consuming.
3) Create an engaging YouTube channel
If you find that audiences in your industry enjoy “how-to” videos more than anything else, brand your YouTube channel as a “how-to” channel. You can also feature your products in these videos as part of the solution to the problems you’re tackling. On the other hand, if you find that the audiences you’re targeting prefer content that follows a “Q&A” format, then you should brand your channel accordingly. Branding your channel as a “how-to” channel doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to creating “how-to” videos. In reality, you can combine this with other video formats. Moreover, branding your channel as a “how-to” channel doesn’t mean that the title of the channel name needs to reflect this. However, you can specify this in the channel description and make sure it’s clear in the content that you create.
Ultimately, branding your channel in a specific way will ensure that the channel stands out to audiences who are looking for this type of content. Now that we’ve talked about the branding of your channel, let’s talk about the technicalities of setting up the actual channel. Since YouTube is part of Google, you must first create a Google account. Here’s how you can get started:
- Set up a Google account.
- Use this Google account to set up your YouTube account.
- Sign in to YouTube and create a Brand Account.
Managing your video channel with a Brand Account is preferable to using your personal Google account. For starters, a Brand Account allows multiple people in your organization to manage and update your YouTube channel. More importantly, it enables you to later expand your business by adding more YouTube channels. Unlike other social networking sites, YouTube only hosts video content. If you devote enough time and energy to the platform, you will be able to create engaging, shareable content for your growing audience.
Youtube Marketing Strategy:
- Choose a channel name: Every video you upload will display your channel name. Check that it is correct and consistent with your other social media platforms and overall branding.
- Upload a channel icon: Google suggests uploading an 800 x 800 px square or round image. Your channel icon is similar to a profile picture on Facebook. This image will appear on all of your Google properties, including Gmail. Consider using a company logo. You can also use a professional headshot if you are a public figure.
- Add some brand visuals: Upload a 2560 x 1440 px feature image that will look good on a desktop, tablet (like the Galaxy Tab S and Surface Go), smartphone, and television.
- Develop a channel Description: Your description should include more information about your company and an explanation of the type of video content you intend to share. When determining how to rank your profile, search engines look at your description, so include relevant keywords in your overview.
- Create a channel trailer: Your trailer should be brief and to the point (around 30 to 60 seconds). Concentrate on informing visitors about your channel and what they can expect to see in your videos. The good news is that YouTube doesn’t add ads to trailers. With fewer interruptions, your audience will remain focused on why they should watch more videos from your brand. Finally, don’t forget to persuade them to subscribe.
- Choose a channel URL: If your channel has over 100 subscribers, a channel icon, channel art, and is more than 30 days old, you may be eligible for a custom URL.
- Include channel links: Use the “About” section of your channel to link to all other social media accounts and relevant websites. This makes it easy for subscribers to contact you elsewhere.
4) Make your videos appealing
There are various ways to make YouTube videos more appealing; let us dive into each.
Don’t use dull YouTube thumbnails
Whether you like it or not, first impressions are critical. When users are in the YouTube dashboard, looking for something in particular, and have a seemingly endless content feed at their disposal, the only thing that will make them stop scrolling is a killer YouTube thumbnail. Your YouTube thumbnail should entice the user to click and watch the video. This is critical to remember if you want to increase your YouTube subscribers.
Since YouTube thumbnails are a visual representation of your YouTube videos, try including close-up images and a caption that draws the attention of your viewers. Here’s a tip for when you’re creating your YouTube marketing strategy: YouTube thumbnails must be eye-catching and directly related to what the YouTube video is about. If possible, design these in a personalized style so that users can quickly recognize the brand.
Keep in mind the significance of YouTube descriptions:
YouTube is the second most popular search engine. You need to fill those text sections out carefully because they are crucial. Let’s start with the titles of your YouTube videos. You need a great title for your YouTube video to help it stand out from the crowd and entice people to stop scrolling. In addition, a great title that takes industry keywords into account will boost your SEO. This is a critical YouTube strategy. It would also be a fantastic idea to optimize those titles for YouTube voice search. Consider the most common keywords people use to find what you’re talking about in your YouTube video. Consider doing a voice search on YouTube. Playing around with this feature will help you decide whether a longer or shorter title is more effective
Now let’s look at how to write a good YouTube description.
The same SEO principles apply to your YouTube video descriptions:
It would be best if you began your YouTube video description with your focus keywords. Nevertheless, you should avoid sounding spammy or robotic. Instead, your tone should be casual and conversational. Also, try to be descriptive and to the point to provide just enough information about what your YouTube video covers. Remember you need to fit within the 300-character limit (or three lines of text) YouTube allows before the “Show More” section. Few people will actually click on “show more” to read the entire description if it’s too long. For this reason, you need to make sure the most important elements of your description fit within the 300 words that are visible. After all, this is where you have the most power to capture attention. While creating engaging content is essential, it is not the only factor that determines success.
Remember how we said YouTube is the second most popular search engine? You can do several things to optimize your videos to rank high on YouTube and in Google search results. The first step toward becoming a YouTube marketing expert is creating and optimizing your video’s metadata. Simply put, metadata gives viewers more information about your video. Metadata generally includes the title, description, tags, category, thumbnail, subtitles, and closed captions.
It’s critical to optimize your video’s title and description, just as you would with on-page SEO. When scrolling through a list of videos, people read the titles first, so make sure yours are clear and compelling. They should pique curiosity in your content or make it clear that your video will help them solve a problem. In order to better understand what viewers are looking for, you need to conduct keyword research. Include your most important information and keywords at the start of your title. Finally, keep your titles to 60 characters or less to avoid the text cutting off in results pages.
YouTube will only display the first two to three lines of your video’s description (roughly 100 characters). Viewers will need to click “Show more” to see the rest of the article. As a result, always include essential links or CTAs at the beginning of your description and write the copy in a way that encourages views and engagement. Consider including a transcript of the video in the description as well. Since your video is usually full of keywords, video transcripts can significantly improve your SEO. Include a default channel description with links to your social channels, video credits, and timestamps for individual videos. You can also use #hashtags in your video titles and descriptions, only sparingly.
Use your tags to highlight the main keywords. Tags connect your video to similar videos, which expands its reach. When tagging videos, start with the most critical keywords and include a good mix of common and long-tail keywords.
After you upload a video, YouTube will allow you to select a video category under “Manage Videos”. Video categories organize your video with other content on the platform. Go to the Edit menu and select a category from the dropdown list to choose a category.
Video thumbnails are the main images viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results, and they can have a significant impact on the number of clicks and views your video receives. YouTube will suggest a few thumbnails for your video, but we strongly advise you to upload your own. Consider high-quality shots that accurately represent your video when filming. According to YouTube, 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails. To ensure that your thumbnail looks good on all screen sizes, YouTube recommends using a 1280 x 720 px image. To upload a custom thumbnail image, you must first verify your YouTube account. You can do this by going to youtube.com/verify and entering the verification code you received from YouTube.
Subtitles and closed captions benefit viewers and help optimize your video for search by providing another opportunity to highlight important keywords. You can add subtitles or closed captions by uploading a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file. You can also offer a full video transcript and have YouTube automatically time the subtitles, type the subtitles or translation while watching the video, or hire a professional to translate or transcribe your video. By including the correct information in your video’s metadata, you can ensure that it is properly indexed by YouTube. In this way, it will appear when people search for videos like yours. When filling out your metadata, be concise and straightforward — if you try to promote it with unrelated keywords, your content may be removed.
Create YouTube playlists by organizing your YouTube videos.
Do you know why you should organize your YouTube videos into playlists? This encourages your YouTube viewers to stay on your channel for longer so that they can watch a more significant portion of your YouTube content. If you make their viewing experience more straightforward, they’ll appreciate it and reward you with more views. Believe it or not, having a well-organized channel can be interpreted as a sign of your brand’s professionalism. Keep this in mind as you develop your YouTube advertising strategy.
5) Cross-promote your content
As we already said, you can increase the reach of your YouTube videos by cross-promoting them on your other social media accounts! While it’s important to tailor your approach for each social media channel, you must maintain consistency in your overall social media presence. This is an excellent opportunity to cross-promote content that has performed well to gain even more exposure.
6) Create partnerships
Partnerships, whether with another brand that has a similar audience or with an influencer, are a vital part of successfully doing YouTube marketing or any type of marketing for that matter. One type of partnership that is especially successful on this platform is influencer marketing. By involving a partner in your YouTube marketing campaign, you will not only receive assistance in promoting your YouTube channel and increasing video views. You will also gain access to an entirely new audience segment.
When engaging in influencer marketing or looking for a partner to assist you with your YouTube marketing efforts, make sure you partner with someone whose values align with yours. Otherwise, as YouTube viewers can see in a glimpse, the entire collaboration will feel fake and forced. The YouTube marketing services provided by the platform are numerous and powerful, but it is critical to use them with a strategy.
7) Try out YouTube live streaming
Look at any social media platform, and you’ll notice a growing preference for live streaming simply because this is what today’s viewers want. People have shown a greater interest in more authentic, less polished videos. This is especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the suspension of massive video production processes and a shift to the DIY video format.
As a result of the pandemic, videos that allow people to connect with your brand on a more human level will be better received than your polished videos. Shooting your videos in an everyday setting like someone’s home will result in videos that seem more familiar and more relatable. Furthermore, a live-streaming session can put a face on your brand, making people feel more connected to that brand.
8) Don’t overlook YouTube ads
Paid advertisements are an essential component of any effective marketing strategy. If you believe that YouTube marketing is the next big step for your company, you should seriously consider investing in paid YouTube ads at some point. Since it is preferable to begin your journey as soon as possible, here is a sneak peek of the YouTube ads available in case you decide to try some paid advertising on YouTube:
- Display ads (also known as video discovery ads): YouTube display ads appear to the right of your video, and above the video. They also show up under suggestions on the desktop version of YouTube.
- Overlay ads: These are semi-transparent ads that appear at the bottom of your video and are also available on a desktop.
- Display ads: A non-skippable video ad inserted before your video – up to six seconds long. It’s also available for mobile devices.
- Skippable video ads: The placement of this YouTube ad type is flexible, with the option of inserting them before, during, or after the video. These ads can last up to three minutes, but viewers can skip them after five seconds.
- Non-skippable video ads: These ads have the same placement as skippable ads. Unlike skippable ads, the non-skippable type will play until the end and can be up to 20 seconds long.
Before you start investing in YouTube ads, you should do some more research. This research should help you determine what types of YouTube videos are most popular. With this information, you can tailor your content for the audience you’re trying to reach.
Although YouTube may appear overwhelming at first, the platform makes it very simple to share and digest content. When marketing your YouTube channel and videos, you must use inbound marketing techniques. Create content that tells an exciting story while also providing valuable information to your audience. You should then market that content on various platforms, such as social media, email, and your company blog or website. Include cards and end screens with clear CTAs to optimize your content. Your audience wants to learn, be entertained, and interact with your brand through video. So make the most of your YouTube marketing strategy by following this guide.