YouTube is more than just a website or social media platform. It’s one of the most popular search engines in the world, and it boasts nearly 2 billion users across every imaginable demographic. This makes it the ideal place to introduce an effective video content strategy for your small business.
Video content is immensely popular with consumers. In a 2021 Wyzowl survey, more than 80% of marketers said video is directly responsible for increasing leads and generating more sales. You can reap the same benefits for your small business by starting a YouTube channel.
- Video is the fastest-growing content type, with 73% of consumers preferring to learn about a service or product by watching a video.
- It’s essential to plan your content ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss any marketing opportunities, such as a holiday-themed video by knowing what you want your video to include, who creates the content, and when it is published.
- Take advantage of the many different ways YouTube allows you to customize your channel, be sure to add a photo and banner image, choose a video to highlight, and add links to your website and social media.
How Can a YouTube Channel Help Your Small Business?
Small businesses often underutilize video because of the assumption that it’s expensive to produce. This was true years ago, but today’s average smartphone can create quality videos at no cost. You can use free or inexpensive video editing software to add professional polish to the videos before publishing them to your channel.
Video is the fastest-growing content type, with 73% of consumers preferring to learn about a service or product by watching a video. Explainer videos are very popular for business channels, and these can help lower the number of customer service calls your team has to take. Fewer support calls means your team can focus on tasks that bring in new leads or sales.
Videos get an incredible amount of engagement and shares, and your small business can take advantage of this trend with a YouTube channel. Regularly posting videos that highlight a product, feature a customer testimonial, or show your behind-the-scenes process increases customer engagement and improves brand awareness.
There are many channels available for sharing brand videos. TikTok and Instagram are popular choices, but they have a much narrower demographic than YouTube. YouTube has an engaged audience that includes almost every imaginable marketing demographic.
This means no matter what type of small business you have, you can find your target audience on YouTube.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Starting a YouTube Business Channel
- Sign in to YouTube
- Create your channel
- Customize your account
- Upload a video
Starting a YouTube channel for your small business is simple. Follow these steps to create a channel and post your first video in minutes.
1. Sign Into YouTube
Google owns YouTube, so your Google account details are all you need to sign in. We strongly recommend using a business Gmail account and not your personal email. This way, you can share the login credentials with your team without worrying about making your personal email public.
2. Create Your Channel
- Click your avatar in the upper right-hand corner of the YouTube homepage.
- Click “Create a Channel.”
- Upload your brand’s logo and add your company’s name.
- Click “Create Channel” to continue, although it may take a minute or so to generate this channel.
3. Customize Your YouTube Channel
- Click the “layout” tab
- Click the “branding” tab
- Click the “basic info” tab
- Click “Publish”
Click “Customize Channel” to go to the YouTube Creator Studio where you can set up your channel information and preferences.
Below is a selection of features you can add or customize for your channel. Adding these help your channel appear active and complete to viewers, although it’s not necessary to do it when you first make your channel.
Click the “Layout” tab
- Create a channel trailer so new viewers can get a feel for what to expect from your brand.
- Select a video to be featured on your channel. You can update this periodically, and it’s a great place to feature videos for upcoming sales or promotions.
- Customize your channel’s homepage layout with featured sections, such as the most popular uploads or playlists that you’ve created from your videos.
Click the “Branding” tab
- Add a banner image that appears across the top of your channel. This is a great opportunity to highlight a popular product, display contact information, or feature your team. YouTube recommends using an image that’s at least 2048 x 1152 pixels and 6 MB or less.
- Add a watermark to your videos. Typically, a watermark is used to prevent the theft of creative content but, in this case, it’s more about increasing brand awareness. Use your brand’s logo as the watermark so it appears on your videos always.
Click the “Basic Info” tab
- Add a description of your channel. You have 1,000 characters to explain the purpose and value of your business.
- Enter your business email address so viewers ― your potential customers ― can get in touch with your team easily.
- Add links to your business website and any specific pages you want to highlight such as a popular product page. You can also add links to your social media channels.
- You’ll find your channel’s URL under this tab. You can use it to link to your channel from other locations such as your email signature.
Click “Publish” to make these changes live.
4. Upload a Video
After publishing your changes, click the “Go to Channel” option that pops up. This takes you back to your channel’s dashboard where you can upload your first video:
- Select a file to upload.
- Add your video title and description.
- Select a thumbnail that gives viewers a sense of what your video is about.
- Optional: Add your video to a playlist to help viewers find similar content.
- Identify whether your video is made for kids. This is required by YouTube.
- Click “Next.”
- Optional: Add subtitles or an end screen that appears at the end of the video to promote related content. You can also add “cards” which are related videos or playlists.
- Click “Next” twice.
- Publish your video now or schedule it to publish on a certain date.
- Click “Publish” or “Save” to finalize your video upload.
Tips for Making Your Business YouTube Channel a Success
- Plan your video content
- Include keywords in your video titles
- Post regularly
- Review your YouTube channel analytics
- Respond to comments
- Promote your videos on other platforms
- Fully customize your channel
Creating a successful YouTube channel for your small business involves more than simply uploading videos. However, the effort you put into your channel is repaid with potential new leads, sales, and business growth:
Plan Your Video Content
Great YouTube channels don’t happen by accident. It’s essential to plan your content ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss any marketing opportunities, such as a holiday-themed video. Know what you want your video to include, who creates the content, and when it is published.
Include Keywords in Your Video Titles
SEO is just as important on YouTube as it is in a Google search. Include your brand’s target keywords in your video titles and descriptions.
The more often you post on your channel, the more attention you’ll generate for your business.
Review Your Channel Analytics
YouTube provides data about your video views in your YouTube Creator Studio. You can review analytics at the channel or video level. Learn how many views a video has gotten, how many subscribers you have, average watch time, demographic information, and much more. Use this data to tweak your video content to serve your audience more effectively.
Respond to Comments
Engage with your viewers by responding to comments and answering questions. This type of direct interaction fosters brand loyalty.
Promote Your Videos on Other Platforms
Be sure to share your videos on your social media channels and on your website to increase awareness of your YouTube channel.
Fully Customize Your Channel
Added: Take advantage of the many different ways YouTube allows you to customize your channel. At the very least, be sure to add a photo and banner image, choose a video to highlight, and add links to your website and social media.
What To Do Next
Creating a YouTube channel is a free and easy way to promote your business. Video content doesn’t have to be elaborate or professionally shot to provide value to your customers. Make the highest-quality videos you can with editing software.
By regularly posting good content on your channel, engaging with viewers, and analyzing your channel data, you can use YouTube to grow your business.
After you’re happy with your YouTube channel and start producing videos, you’ll want to learn more about growing your business with YouTube.