If it’s time to think about your business’s growth and marketing strategy, there’s no better place to begin than YouTube.

Video marketing is one of the most effective tools in a business’s arsenal. Approximately 86% of businesses currently use video as a marketing tool and, for 92% of marketers, video marketing is an essential part of their marketing strategy.

As a platform, YouTube is synonymous with video. In addition to being the second-largest search engine after Google, more than 2.3 billion people worldwide use YouTube at least once per month.

Key Takeaways

  • For small businesses with ambitious growth goals, YouTube is an essential asset, it presents your business with a blank canvas for you to drive growth via video content.
  • The process of creating YouTube content begins even before the cameras are rolling, creating a video and hitting the publish button without a plan is a huge waste of time and resources.
  • Once you start putting your video content strategy into practice, you’ll need to monitor what’s working well and not so well for your business’s channel with YouTube’s analytics tool ― suitably named YouTube analytics ― it monitors your content and helps you refine your channel strategy.
YouTube logo in the phone
Source: Pexels

Why Is YouTube Useful for Small Businesses?

The potential for your small business to connect and engage with a huge audience isn’t YouTube’s only draw. For small businesses with ambitious growth goals, YouTube is an essential asset.

Here are just a few reasons why small businesses need to break into video content via YouTube:

  • The YouTube platform is free to use: Unlike traditional media advertising, such as radio and TV commercials, YouTube doesn’t charge businesses to upload video content.
  • Boost your website’s visibility in search results: Optimizing keywords and utilizing YouTube tags correctly gives you more opportunities to capture search engine results page (SERP) real estate and rank higher on Google.
  • Build authority and trust in your industry: Whether you want to demonstrate how your products and services work, showcase customer success stories or solve a potential customer’s problem, YouTube is a great place to feature visual content that sticks around in the viewer’s mind. Plus, YouTube’s comments section is a great place to answer questions and connect with your audience.

How To Grow Your Business With YouTube

Whatever your small business strategy, YouTube presents your business with a blank canvas for you to drive growth via video content.

However, if this is your first foray into video marketing on YouTube, building an entirely new platform from scratch may feel a little overwhelming.

Let’s go through how exactly you can begin creating your own YouTube channel and content, and how to master YouTube SEO and analytics.

How To Create Your YouTube Channel

Even as a newcomer, creating a YouTube account and channel couldn’t be easier. Follow these four easy steps to get your account up and running in no time:

  1. Create or use an existing Google account to create and sign in to your new YouTube account. We recommend creating a new login account, especially if multiple people are accessing the account.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, create a Brand Account and channel.
  3. Click on the Customize Channel link to fill out your channel’s information, including the “About” section for your business’s details and what viewers can expect to find, a channel “header” image and profile picture, and any social media or website links.
  4. Add a business email contact for any customer inquiries.

How To Create Content for Your YouTube Channel

The process of creating YouTube content begins even before the cameras are rolling. Creating a video and hitting the publish button without a plan is a huge waste of time and resources.

Before you get started with creating video content, you’ll need to think carefully about what you’re trying to achieve and how you want to achieve it.

For example, promotional videos are great for capturing the attention of potential new customers, but you’ll also need to create compelling content that your existing customers want to watch too.

Tips for Creating Your First Youtube Video

Here are our top tips for getting started with the YouTube video content creation process:

  1. Creating YouTube video content is a process with multiple steps and separate process owners. Use project management software to help manage the production workflow from start to finish.
  2. Although it’s not necessary to plan a year’s worth of video content in advance when you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to come up with a rough plan that covers the direction you want to move in over a period of time. You should also align this plan with your overall business outlook and goals. For example, launching a new product or reaching a company milestone are great opportunities to create video content.
  3. Consider multiple content types. From customer testimonials and product demonstrations to live streams and screencasts, there are a wealth of content types that draw in different viewers and potential customers.
  4. Think about the assets you already have at your disposal. For example, if you’ve recently held a webinar think about how can you repurpose the footage into a valuable customer resource. Similarly, if your design team has already produced great visual assets ― infographics, social media assets, and e-books ― consider using these assets in video form with a simple voiceover.

Although you might be itching to get started with the video creation process, thinking about what you want to achieve beforehand helps steer your YouTube channel in the right direction.

YouTube SEO 101

YouTube video content, as well as boosting your online presence and brand awareness, can also be an extremely valuable SEO asset. YouTube is the most popular source of video content, yet many forget that YouTube is a search engine too.

Just like with other types of content marketing, if you don’t put effort into SEO when creating video content, it won’t reach your target audience. In short, YouTube SEO should form a part of your larger SEO strategy.

7 Tips About YouTube SEO

Here’s what you need to know about YouTube SEO:

  1. Keyword research isn’t just for written content. Make sure that you conduct as much keyword research for your YouTube content as you do for any other type of content.
  2. It’s vital that your “Channel” details are filled out in full and that any other social media channels and websites are linked.
  3. When creating video file names and titles, remember to add in your target keywords and phrases.
  4. Don’t forget about writing video descriptions! Search engines can crawl text, but they can’t watch videos. Your video descriptions should be as detailed as possible and should contain relevant keywords and phrases to be indexed.
  5. Fill out the category and tag sections. This helps YouTube’s algorithm to categorize your videos and make them discoverable to the right audience.
  6. Replying to any comments you receive in the comments section helps Google know that you’re an active creator.
  7. Being consistent, such as committing to a regular upload schedule, helps you build authority over time.

Pro tip: We recommend using a keyword research tool to help you find the best keywords that match your YouTube content and can boost visibility in search results.

Moz's Keyword tool
Moz’s keyword explorer predicts keyword performance to help you prioritize the best keywords for video content.
Source: Moz

Navigating YouTube Analytics

Once you start putting your video content strategy into practice, you’ll need to monitor what’s working well and not so well for your business’s channel. YouTube’s analytics tool ― suitably named YouTube analytics ― monitors your content and helps you refine your channel strategy.

Its built-in reports provide you with four insight sections: Overview, Reach, Engagement, and Audience, and monitors specific metrics, such as:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Number of views
  • View duration
  • Your most popular videos
  • Impressions
  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • Traffic sources

You can also use the Compare To tab to help you visualize and assess your channel’s performance over periods of time and how individual videos perform against previously uploaded videos.

Although YouTube’s own analytics is ripe with useful metrics, you should also use other marketing analytics tools to assess how your business’s channel is performing alongside your wider marketing activities.

For example, with Hootsuite, you can add your YouTube analytics insights to your Hootsuite dashboard to help you visualize, compare, and analyze your channel’s performance against other social media channels.

Hootsuite's Illustration
Hootsuite helps you instantly visualize how each social media channel is performing.
Source: Hootsuite

YouTube for Small Businesses: What To Do Next

Using YouTube for video content marketing isn’t ― and shouldn’t be ― a one-and-done strategy. Like any other social media channel, it’ll take some time to learn and ease into what works best for your business’s growth goals.

As with any other marketing activity, it takes patience and a willingness to adapt to see returns. However, effectively managing and optimizing your YouTube performance is best done with the right social media management tool.