YouTube has over 1.3 billion users and is used as the second largest search engine. A YouTube channel can help your business to reach a larger audience in a more engaging and direct manner than other social media platforms.
Investing in video can see an increase in not only click-throughs and lead generation but also sales. After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (source: HubSpot).
Here are the first steps you should be taking when starting up a YouTube channel.
Just like when starting any social media strategy – or marketing strategy for that matter – research is vital to success.
Know your audience
The audience for your YouTube channel may be more niche than your wider social media audience. This is as YouTube is used more regularly by a younger audience with 60% of viewers aged between 11-35 and 11% of viewers being aged 50+.
These demographics may mean that your content strategy for YouTube may be slightly different to your Facebook content. This article goes further in-depth into how to identify and market to your target audience.
Know your niche
Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube daily with over 30 million visitors a day. This makes it extremely important to understand your niche so you are able to tailor your content to meet the needs of your specific audience.
Your niche will be determined by the following:
- Tone of voice
- Video editing style
- Video filming style
- Whether your videos are hosted, animations, interviews etc.
Create and brand your YouTube channel
Once you know what type of content you will be posting on your channel, and who will be targeting, it’s time to create your channel.
After you have created your channel it is important to brand your channel so that it is unique to your business. To brand your business you should:
- Create a branded URL
- Update your channel art
- Update your bio and description
- Link to your other social media channels
Video quality and planning
YouTube has become a hub for high quality, high production videos. When starting a new YouTube channel, we recommend steering away from handheld phone camera videos and focusing on using a tripod to set up shots. Not to say you can not record video on a phone with a high quality camera, however, having a shaky screen can come across as unprofessional and amateur for a business.
Good production and quality
Like we mentioned, you do not need to go out and buy a camera worth thousands of dollars to create videos for YouTube, nor do you have to spend thousands of dollars in production. You do, however, need to use a camera that will render good quality if a video was to be cast to a TV screen, test your sound so that it is clear and unmuffled, and invest in a tripod to avoid a shaky hand.
When editing your videos, ensure to use text and colours that align with your brand. When using music or sound, ensure that it is also in-line with your brand personality and that the sound is balanced with the rest of the video. This will avoid viewers having to turn their volume up or down to adjust to what they are hearing (especially if listening with earphones).
Plan your upload schedule
A YouTube schedule will create an expectation amongst your viewers for when they can expect new videos from you, and also keep you accountable to be uploading regularly. Ideally, you would be posting a video once a week to keep your audience engaged in your channel.
It helps to film multiple videos in one day so that you have content lined up a few months in advance. This will give you time to edit your videos and also save time so that you are not spending a day a week working solely on one YouTube video.
Now that you have created your YouTube channel and planned your schedule, it is time to think about how you are going to get people to watch your videos.
Have other social media channels
Drive traffic from your other social media platforms towards YouTube. You already have a loyal following on these other channels, so utilise them. Post onto your channels whenever you have just posted a new video, as well as teasers in the lead up to the video release.
You can also post after the video has been made live, asking for feedback from your followers.
A collaboration with a well-known business brand or persona on YouTube will increase the chances of your YouTube videos being watched. When choosing a channel to collaborate with, make sure that they align with your brand values and service or product.
Be prepared to spend
YouTube is an extremely competitive platform. You will need to be prepared to spend some money on your YouTube channel in the initial stages. This budget should be used to run awareness ads for your channel.
It is highly unlikely that you will have a large number of views on your initial videos without pay. The only exception is if your video was to go viral, or your social media channels have a large following.