YouTube Marketing 101

With videos seemingly taking over the world, we decided to lend a helping hand to brands and individuals that don’t have so much experience with YouTube. What videos should you make? How do you get started with an account? How do you advertise videos? Today, we’re going to answer all of these questions and more.

Step #1: Opening an Account

With more than one billion active users, YouTube is the place to be for videos, but it also means you need to work hard to stand out and make an impression. As with most social media platforms, getting signed up is easy enough because you can follow the on-screen instructions from the home page.

Since Google owns YouTube, your account will come under the same umbrella as Google+. Once you’ve entered your details and agreed to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, the next step is to create a YouTube Brand account.

If you visit ‘My Channel’, click ‘Use a business or other name’. (Many go wrong here and instead click ‘Create Channel’.) From here, you can enter your brand name, add an icon that serves as a profile picture, and upload Channel Art. Since you want visitors to learn all about your brand and click through to your website, we highly recommend filling out as much information as you can.

As well as completing the ‘About’ and other sections, we also suggest creating a Channel Trailer for all new visitors. In a short video, you can introduce yourself, your brand, what you do, and what they can expect from your channel. To activate the Channel Trailer, you might need to head into the Channel Settings and ‘Customize the layout of your channel’.

Granting Access

Before we head into the more exciting topics, we also recommend granting access to your team. Thankfully, Google has simplified this process and there are three roles ‘Owner’, ‘Manager’, and ‘Communications Manager’. While Owners have control of everything, Managers can’t adjust listings or page roles. Finally, the main role of a Communication Manager is to respond to comments and reviews.

Step #2: Creating Content

Now your profile has been set up, we reach the biggest question of all — what content should you produce? Ultimately, this depends on your brand, audience, what you’re trying to achieve, and more. However, we’ve listed some ideas below!


If your product or service can be tough to use, why not create a tutorial video to help all customers? Not only will this inform your audience, it could introduce them to features they didn’t know existed and it could even reduce the pressure on your customer support team. Suddenly, you can point customers having trouble in the direction of the in-depth tutorial.

Customer Testimonials

Why shout about your own product when you can get your customers to do it instead? Whether an interview or just a simple camera on a happy customer, those considering your product/service will enjoy the insight.

Live Videos

Are you holding a special event, like launching a new product? With a live video, you allow your audience a behind-the-scenes view. Alternatively, you can do a live Q&A where an expert from your company answers the live questions that come in from viewers. Once the live stream is over, it will be available for those who missed it in the form of a video afterwards.

Interviews with Industry Leaders

If you don’t want viewers to get bored, or you want to attract new viewers, having thought leaders and industry experts on as a guest will work wonders.

Anything You Want

Finally, we felt the need to include this one because we find many brands overthinking their videos. In truth, consumers enjoy seeing different sides to a business so feel free to let the creative juices flow and try video blogs, event videos, project reviews, case studies, and even funny little clips of your staff in the office.

Step #3: Recording the Video

What about the recording process itself? Well, there are some things you can do to ensure a high-quality final result.

Tripod and Manual Mode

Firstly, don’t record your video while holding the camera in your hands because the only response it will yield from an audience will be nausea. While on this note, full manual mode is a setting that adjusts the focus of the shot and this can be advantageous.

Invest in a Microphone

We’ve mentioned two pieces of equipment, a tripod and a microphone, but don’t panic because both are affordable these days. With a simple clip-on or lapel microphone, the audio won’t sound tinny or as though the speaker is at the bottom of a deep well. If your audio is poor, the viewer will click away in a matter of seconds, so don’t forget this step.

Keep Filming

Even if you think you nailed an introduction first time, film it again; there’s nothing worse than getting into the editing phase and realizing that the shot was blurry or that the audio was muffled. Always shoot more than you think you need.

Test Different Distances and Angles

Did you know that editing will be much easier if you film from different positions? What’s more, using different distances and angles can spruce up an interview and keep the viewer engaged.

Use a Smartphone

These days, smartphones have brilliant cameras so don’t be afraid to start with these devices if your budget is small (or non-existent). Don’t use your lack of budget as an excuse to omit YouTube from your marketing strategy.


Although we’re not going to go too deeply into editing, we recommend the following;

  • Feel free to add professional music and sound effects, but don’t go over the top
  • Take advantage of free software like Windows Movie Maker and iMovie
  • Create a video thumbnail
  • Add a watermark of your brand logo or name
Read More: 12 Best Video Editing Apps

Step #4: Optimizing for SEO

Now you’ve created a fantastic video, you want it to shine as brightly as possible and this is where video SEO comes in!

Title and Description

Of course, the title and your thumbnail will be the first things people see so make it count. Much like writing a blog post, do some keyword research and keep it under 60 characters so the full title is visible in results pages.

In the same regard, the first two/three lines of your description will show in results pages without having to click ‘Show more’. As well as briefly describing what the video contains and links to your social media channels, you could also add a transcript of the video which is likely to contain plenty of keywords.


Yes, YouTube will generate thumbnails from your video itself, but better results will come from a specially designed thumbnail. According to YouTube, 90% of the videos that perform strongly have a custom thumbnail. With a 1280 x 720px image, it will thrive on all devices and the viewer should understand EXACTLY what the video will contain.

Other Tips

  • Use tags for keywords and this will tie your video to similar videos and make sure it’s recommended alongside others, which will lead to more views.
  • Choose a ‘Category’ that accurately represents your video, so it becomes easier to find.
  • Differentiate all your videos into playlists so viewers can follow a series and similar videos easily.
  • Even with videos, you can add a CTA in the shape of an outro and with cards. With annotations no longer available for videos, you can encourage viewers to take action with ‘cards’ that pop up in a similar way.
  • Finally, add closed captions and subtitles to your video through SRT files. As well as helping viewers to follow the video, these two tools will also give you an opportunity to use keywords.

Step #5: Share Your Video

With your brilliant creation finished, you don’t want to wait for people to stumble across it. Luckily, there are lots of ways to share your YouTube videos including;

  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Quora
  • Blog posts
Read More: Adding Quora to Your Marketing Strategy

To improve your standing in the industry and really garner a positive reputation, we also recommend collaborating with others. For example, some influencers will have a channel built around products like yours. Furthermore, take advantage of the wonderful engagement opportunities. Reply to comments, talk on social media, encourage them to share your video, etc.

Over time, you can watch the analytics, see which videos have the most success, and continually improve your content. Does the audience prefer interviews or video blogs? Do they stay tuned for shorter or longer videos? Which posts on social media lead to the most clicks?

Of course, you can also set up a YouTube advertising campaign. If you already have Google AdWords set up, paste the link into the video ad box to get started. As long as you’re willing to put time and effort into your videos, there’s no reason to steer away from YouTube marketing.