YouTube marketing is often deemed a frivolous, expensive, time-consuming, and complex digital marketing strategy.
Quality videos take money and time to make; ads are universally hated, yelled at, and skipped, and – after all – everybody’s there for the videos of cats viciously punching basically everyone.
But the thing is, promoting and positioning your brand on YouTube can be a powerful, effortless, and cost-effective marketing tactic if done right.
This guide will be helpful to anyone who wishes to endeavor into the world of YouTube marketing and create a foolproof strategy to skyrocket their brand’s YouTube presence. Read on to discover our tried-and-tested best practices and strategies for YouTube marketing.
YouTube in Business: (Why) Should You Care?
Content has always been king in the digital marketing realm. Publishing quality, SEO-friendly blogs helped websites capture valuable traffic, build an enviable backlink profile, and get a high-five from Google in the form of top search engine rankings for targeted keywords.
Yet, lengthy blog posts seemingly experienced their climax some time ago. Today, users prefer more immersive and easily digestible content forms – hence the rise of video content.
Social platforms incessantly transform the way we consume information. Marketing on YouTube may not be an ever-lasting trend in digital advertising – but it is definitely one to leverage now at the height of its popularity.
If you still doubt that the video-sharing platform is the perfect marketing medium for your brand, here are some YouTube marketing benefits to prove otherwise.
Video Content Generates More Engagement
According to Wordstream, videos posted on social media can generate up to 1200% more shares than text- and image-based content combined.
An average of 9 out of 10 marketers reported across-the-board video content marketing benefits, noting it has helped them increase traffic, extend dwell time, improve user understanding of the brand’s products or services, and finally generate quality leads.
Moreover, studies have shown that 54% of consumers want their favorite brand to publish more video content. In 2022, watching online videos is predicted to take up 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
Your Target Audience is on YouTube
You may know someone who has never had a profile on Facebook, never gotten lost scouring a Subreddit, or never filmed themselves dancing to a TikTok challenge. But we’ll bet you don’t know anyone who hasn’t been on YouTube.
The platform has some incredible stats under its belt. It boasts over two billion active users worldwide, is accessible in 76 global languages, and a quarter of internet users spend 10+ hours watching YouTube videos.
In addition, unlike some mainstream social media platforms that heavily rely on, manifest, and reinforce the generational gap, YouTube is a cross-generational platform.
It’s where baby boomers and gen Xers can improve their tech-savviness, Millennials find self-improvement materials, gen Zs discover tutorials for the new hobby they want to take up, and the Alphas revel in their favorite cartoons.
Besides eliminating the generational divide, YouTube offers content on any topic one can think of – cooking, DIYs, traveling, conspiracy theories, product reviews, gaming, parenting, self-help, working out – you name it.
Basically, whoever you are targeting, regardless of their age, gender, behavior, interests, education, location, etc., is on YouTube.
YouTube Affects Consumer Purchasing Decisions
Back in 2019, social video trends suggested YouTube overtook Facebook as the number one platform that affects consumer behavior. YouTube is the second largest search engine, following only its parent company, Google.
With an average of 3 billion monthly searches, the platform’s search volume is greater than that of Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and Ask.com combined.
The change is unsurprising – namely, 83% of survey respondents noted product reviews and unboxing videos – two quite popular YouTube content formats – help them make a buying decision.
Educational topics, e.g., how-to content, tips, or in-depth instructions about your products or services, provide your audience with valuable information upon which they can make data-driven purchases.
Video content partially owes its effectiveness to its power to build a personal connection between brands and followers. They represent a powerful way to get “face-to-face” with customers and share genuine and personalized stories that relate to the audience’s experiences, lifestyle, and concerns.
Our Brains Love Video Content
Information presented as a video is more easily memorable and impactful than the written word. Studies have shown that users retain 95% of a message when they watch it as a video, compared to only 10% when reading it as a text.
Moreover, videos allow you to target traditional learning styles, catering to visual, auditory, and reading/writing learners among your audience.
Add images, texts, a voice-over, or a subtitle to your video and create a cross-medium YouTube content strategy that every user will find satisfactory.
How to Create a Winning YouTube Marketing Strategy
Performing marketing activities without a detailed, data-driven plan, measurable KPIs, and clear, attainable goals will soon dry up your advertising budget, with no ROI to back the efforts up.
Even on YouTube alone, marketing opportunities are endless, making it really easy to misjudge the adequacy and value of your next ad campaign. Therefore, strategy is the key to making intelligent time and money investments in marketing.
In this section, we discuss the vital elements of an effective YouTube marketing strategy.
Set Up Your Business YouTube Account
To set up a YouTube channel, you will need to create a Google account for your business. Make sure to use your business email and ensure constant access to it.
Next, create your channel on YouTube – title your channel using your brand name, upload your business logo as a profile image, add a relevant and professional banner image, and complete your “About” section.
Furthermore, you can create playlists and publish a channel trailer to indicate your presence on the platform and hook the audience.
Define Your Target Audience for YouTube marketing
Suppose you want to expand your reach to YouTube as well – great! But do you know who you wish to market to?
Even for businesses that deal with the most ordinary, day-to-day topics, gaining mass appeal is impossible. Not everyone enjoys reading the news, watching movies, or cooking. Avoid creating content that does not resonate with your audience – instead, consider and research what your prospective leads are passionate about.
Of course, the bottom line is that your business niche should serve as a guide for your YouTube content ideation and creation. Steer clear of posting videos that are unrelated to your products/services simply because the topic is trending or it is something you are keen on.
Identify your target audience by analyzing your website and social media analytics to learn who is engaging with your business.
Use the information to create a customer persona; give it a name, backstory, and personality to better understand your customers’ problems and the reasons why they come to you.
Research Competitors and Find Inspiration Across YouTube
This YouTube marketing strategy is pretty much a no-brainer.
Every good marketing campaign relies on extensive research of competitors’ online activities.
To perform a competitor audit, write down direct competitors and analyze their YouTube presence. Do a social listening check by reading the comments and snooping on their subscribers. Check out the hashtags they use and employ tools to uncover hashtags related to your industry and target market.
Do keyword research and test out the search terms you have found to discover other popular channels in your niche and pinpoint the phrases to include in your videos. For this, you can use industry-leading tools such as Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz.
If you are unsure how to do quality YouTube keyword research, reach out to some of the most popular SEO companies and leverage their expertise.
You can also draw inspiration from other content creators outside your niche. Analyze your favorite YouTubers and ask yourself why you were initially drawn to their channel, why you keep coming back, and what you like about their engagement with the audience.
Create a Content Calendar
Researching and defining content ideas a month or two in advance benefits your YouTube marketing strategy across the board.
First, it helps you keep focus in your creative direction and prevents you from falling into the trap of discussing trending but not so business-related topics. Second, having a pre-defined content calendar is a life saver when you hit a creative block or are on a tight schedule.
Start your YouTube content calendar by brainstorming the general video ideas, and then developing each further by writing down in-depth topics related to the general video subject.
Draw inspiration from issues with a high search volume online, topics that competitors have earlier discussed, or subjects your audience has requested you to create a video about.
Monitor, Assess, and Adapt
As with any marketing activity, tracking and analyzing the results of your YouTube activities helps you understand how successful your efforts have been and sets the direction for future promotions.
Daily campaign monitoring and assessment enables you to make data-driven decisions round the clock, hop on opportunities as soon as they arise, maximize the results of a campaign that performs well, or halt the one that performs poorly.
For more ground-breaking marketing optimizations and modifications, such as redefining goals or content direction, take out a significant amount of time for in-depth research and initial tests before rehauling your entire YouTube brand presence.
Your Ultimate YouTube Marketing Tips and Tricks
The YouTube market is massive – a great thing customer-wise, but a bad one competitor-wise. Even the best data-driven and well-developed strategy might get your YouTube marketing efforts off to a rocky start. Luckily, some YouTube marketing tactics can make your content strategy smooth sailing.
Craft a Clickable YouTube Video Title
During your time on the platform, you have probably seen video titles on both ends of the overtness spectrum – and everything in between.
Some creators prefer out-in-the-open titles that are straightforward as to what the video is about. Others, in contrast, use more clickbaity titles such as I am never doing this again – titles that play on our natural curiosity and the desire to find out more when given a small amount of information.
Each alternative is perfectly acceptable as long as it speaks to your target audience and embodies your brand identity.
Focus on YouTube SEO
Do not forget that YouTube is essentially a search engine. It boasts keyword-based search, organic rankings, paid advertisements, and user-generated content creators. So, why would there not be YouTube SEO as well?
Much like traditional search engines, YouTube optimization entails keyword research and integration, publishing quality content that boosts audience retention and engagement, designing emotional thumbnails, and creating E-A-T content.
Plus, here is a top-secret YouTube SEO trick tested by marketing professionals – get the most value out of your keywords by integrating them into your video file names, titles, descriptions, and video itself.
As of recently, YouTube automatically transcribes videos, so if you mention your target keyword within your video, the algorithm will “hear” it and thus better understand your video is about that topic.
Balance Out the Length and Value of Your Videos
Optimizing video length is vital to good rankings in YouTube searches. However, what is the perfectly optimized video length for a YT video is still under debate.
Generally, the goal is to reach maximum audience retention. Audience retention basically indicates whether viewers are watching all the way through your videos, and the metric is a pretty huge YouTube ranking factor.
Now, some sources, such as the Comscore survey, suggest that the duration of the majority of YouTube videos is roughly 5 minutes, and that this is the optimal length for maximum user engagement.
On the other hand, Backlinko’s analysis finds a correlation between text-based articles on Google and longer videos on YouTube – as both rank better compared to their shorter competitors. In fact, the best-ranking videos on YouTube have an average length of about 15 minutes.
Still, making long videos just for the sake of the length won’t do much good. The point is to create high-quality, engaging, informative, and valuable content in your every YouTube video – may it last 5 or 25 minutes.
Include the Well-Known CTAs in an Innovative Way
“Like, share, subscribe.”
“Click the link in the description.”
“Share your thoughts in the comments.”
If you got a penny for every time you heard any of these phrases – well, you would not have to worry much about strategically allocating your YouTube marketing budget.
Incessant insistence of creators to persuade viewers to act upon the video may urge you to let out a heavy sigh – but would thousands of content creators recite these over and over again to no avail?
For maximum CTA benefits, be clear and concise about the key actions you want viewers to take. Avoid asking people to subscribe, donate, and read your latest blog, all in a single video; rather, focus on a YouTube marketing goal and “sell” it to your audience.
Partner with Other Content Creators
Collaborative videos have become quite popular among YouTube content creators. Similar to influencer partnerships on Instagram, collaborations are a good way to get clout among new audiences, increase subscriber base, and build social proof for your brand in the industry.
Track Your YouTube Metrics with Professional Tools
Monitoring your YouTube marketing performance is vital for assessing and optimizing your strategy for maximum results.
Analyzing the key metrics improves your understanding of the kinds of videos that attract more viewers, helps you specify your target audience, and implement data-driven content ideas into your future social calendar.
An absolute must for precise and transparent performance monitoring is YouTube Analytics, the platform’s own tool that provides deeper insights into views, subscribers, watch time, and more.
For a second opinion, we recommend some of the most feature-packed, reliable, and intuitive YouTube analytics tools, such as Unbox Social, Channel Meter, Socialbakers, and TubeBuddy.
Nevertheless, regardless of which tool you choose to use, make sure to actually implement the findings into your YouTube marketing strategy. These analytics tools collect and present information invaluable to your YouTube marketing success – so do not let this priceless data lie idle.
To Sum Up
A successful YouTube marketing strategy is an endeavor that takes time, dedication, and organization.
At first, establishing your brand presence on YouTube may seem overwhelming. Yet, the video content form makes it easy for you to share and your users to digest the most important information – creating a win-win situation for both sides.
Remember to create content that balances out a bit of everything – the audience’s desire to learn, be entertained, and get inspired into action, but also works towards strengthening your brand and achieving your business goals.
Use the pieces of advice we have shared above to map out a foolproof strategy and spice up your YouTube marketing efforts with our expert tips and tricks to maximize your advertising results.
Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious.
Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.