How To Promote Your YouTube Channel & Video (2020 guide)
Hello and welcome to Avada channel, today, we are going to talk about promoting on YouTube. Sounds familiar huh? Probably because we all have spent a lot of time on this platform watching silly cat videos. But more than just a source for entertainment, YouTube is also an essential tool for marketers everywhere.
But you may wonder if your audience is even on YouTube or not. Well, with over two billion active users in 80+ different languages, there is a high chance that they are. Not only that, YouTube is also a search engine that can help improve your brand’s SEO and social presence.
YouTube channels and videos can be a powerful promotional tool for businesses. That is why I’ve created this guide so you can learn step by step about marketing on Youtube efficiently. Whether you are a YouTube guru or newbie, you will have a good overview of how to start. Now, let’s start filming!
Table of contents:
- What is YouTube?
- YouTube channel benefits
- How to make high quality videos for your channel
- How to promote your YouTube channel & video
- Tips to increase viewers and subscribers
- Ready to action!
What is YouTube?
YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform on the planet founded in 2005. According to the official YouTube statistics, over two billion users visit the platform each month and one billion hours are watched daily. The videos uploaded are in all kinds, from Hollywood movie trailers, music videos to self-shooting vlogs, and, of course, cat videos.
The platform is driven by two types of users: Video creators (who upload videos to their channels) and Video viewers (who watch, interact, and subscribe to the creator content). Anyone with access to the internet on a computer or mobile device can watch YouTube content for free.
Although there are users from young to old, YouTube is more popular among younger people from 18 - 34, who prefer the wide variety of content, instant gratification, and interactive elements. They use the platform to watch tutorials, keep up with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, and much more.
Besides that, YouTube is the internet’s second largest search engine, just behind Google. Which means it depends heavily on keywords to distribute content and directly link to SEO practice. It also has advertising tools for brands to promote their content. So it comes as no surprise that more and more companies are having YouTube as an important part of their marketing strategy.
YouTube channel benefits
If you are still not sure if YouTube can help you, here are some benefits that the platform can provide.
For individuals, the increase of vlogging culture has resulted in millions uploading their own videos. These were mainly for personal purpose - as a way of self video journal. But then people started watching them more, and approximately 86% of vlog content on YouTube are from YouTube creators nowadays. And they are not for fun, people have earned millions of dollars through ads and collaborations by making these videos.
You can see why even your dad may start talking in front of a camera now? So, if you have something interesting, funny, worth-sharing, you can start making a vlog on your own YouTube channel to earn income. Or you can simply do it to connect with people through your interest.
Just look at Pewdiepie, the guy has his fun streaming game, talking to people, messing around, and earning millions. And if you don’t make that much, it is still a fun experience to upload all those videos of your cats.
To the business part, having a YouTube channel can be a cost-effective way to grow your brand and promote your products. According to Think With Google, 68% of YouTube users watch videos to help make a purchase decision.
Here are some great benefits of having a YouTube channel for your company:
- It creates a connection with the audience: You can reach people around the globe with more than 80 languages through your content. And video content is easier to consume than words, books, or papers because viewers can see you directly. This leads to more prospects and customers.
- It can demonstrate your product: No need for expensive ads on television, you can shoot all the beautiful angles of your products and upload to a YouTube channel. Tutorial videos and video tips are also great for that purpose and can show your expertise.
- It can increase your traffic: You can create videos and advertise the brand to billions of people; and like those videos to other social channels, websites, blogs.
- It helps improve SEO: YouTube is owned by Google, so having your videos on the first page of search engines can leap-fog your website to the top of results page too. With a popular YouTube channel, you are allowing more authority for your website, and higher search results come along.
- It makes ever-green content: Unleashing your creativity and creating quality video content is the way to engage with audiences on YouTube. These videos are there forever and you can create them based on blog post ideas, presentation, customer reviews, and much more.
There are just a few examples of YouTube channel benefits for your brand. And there is no denying that YouTube is a very effective and efficient marketing tool for businesses. But, it is not an untapped market, big brands have jumped into the pool with many high budget videos just to get a handful of views. The competition is fierce.
In order to succeed with YouTube, you need to have a winning strategy, great videos, and the right approach to optimize performance. These are what we will see in the next section.
How to make high quality videos for your channel
Even though YouTube has billions of videos, only few of them actually catch viewers’ attention. Why is that? Because people only want to watch quality content. The standard level of video content has gotten to a higher level through the years, so a low definition video without much value will be ignored right the way.
So what is a high quality video? It is proved in how good the video is. It looks professional, has high definition, and provides value for the viewers. Here are some ways you can optimize your video quality for your channel:
- Have good recording equipment: If you are producing high quality content, shoot your videos in HD, have a white background, and invest in a good quality microphone.
- Follow YouTube’s video specifications: Your video footage should be optimized for Youtube with video specifications that suit a variety of needs. The recommended size for 1080 p is 1920 x 1080 pixel, maximum file size is 128gb, and maximum length is 12 hours long. Your video file should be in the recommended format of MP4, AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, or WEBM.
- Think about mobile: More than 70% of YouTube watchtime is from mobile devices, so you should record content optimized for this format. Do this by making your videos watchable with or without audio, include vertical versions, and record some short videos (less than three minutes) to be enjoyed on the go.
- Grab the viewer’s attention early: Your video has about 15 seconds to make viewers stay, so start big! Have a teaser to pique curiosity, ask a question to start, open with a summary to keep engagement, or make an opening theme to keep things interesting.
- Add end screens: To expand your viewership, add calls-to-action to the end screen to make the audience visit other videos, playlists, subscribe, or visit your website.
On top of filming high quality videos, you will also need to edit them. Good editing will keep the videos flow nicely and keep the viewers’ attention. If you don’t have the time or skills, you can hire a freelancer video editor or form your own in-house video team.
How to promote your YouTube channel and video
So, you’ve set up your gears and decided to start a YouTube channel to promote your brand. But, you need to be wise about your videos. If you are merely uploading content without a clear intention for the platform, you won’t get much result from it. You will need to spend time planning, filming, editing, marketing, and analyzing on a consistent basis.
You will also have to define your brand’s goals and how your videos can help you achieve them. If all work, you will have an engaging YouTube channel with valuable content and growing audience. Let’s see the steps to do that.
1. Create a YouTube channel
Before your film starts rolling, you need to set up a YouTube channel. What you need here is a Google account, because YouTube is owned by Google. Since you will need to share access to your account with team members or agency partners, I recommend you use a common email account that multiple people can use.
Now, use that account to login to YouTube, you shouldn’t have any trouble with this process. While your account is already able to publish video content, you would want to set up a YouTube Brand Account. This allows you to manage editing permissions and create a professional online presence.
First, visit YouTube. Tap on your account logo in the upper right corner and click “Create a channel”
Click on “Get Started”.
Select “Use a custom name”.
You will be taken to a page to create your channel name. Enter your Brand Account name and click on “Create”. You can always update or change this later, so don’t worry if you are not sure about your brand’s name yet. Here, I am creating an AVADA YouTube channel.
And done, now you have a channel to upload video, change avatar, add channel art, and other notable information. One more thing to do is setting permissions for your YouTube Brand Account. Granting access to involved team members will allow them to manage your channel through their Google accounts.
There are three options for roles:
- Owner: which is you with full editing power over all properties. You can add or remove managers, edit company information, respond to viewers, and more.
- Manager: This has the same editing power as the Owner, but cannot add or remove page roles. They can’t remove listings either.
- Communication Manager: This can respond to viewers and take other actions but they can’t manage videos, upload content, or view analytics.
To do this, tap on the “Setting” section from the drop down menu on your account icon, then click “Add or remove managers” and “Manage Permissions”. Here, you can select people icons and invite new users by entering their Gmail addresses, then indicate their roles.
With that, your channel is ready for the next step.
2. Optimize your channel’s info
Your YouTube brand channels are an extension of the brand, so it should be treated as such. As you customize your channel, follow these guidelines to optimize your channel’s information and attract subscribers with your professionalism.
- Channel name: The channel name is associated with every single video or information you publish. So make sure it’s correct and consistent with other social media sites and overall branding.
- Channel description: You should provide more information on your company and describe what type of video the channel plans on sharing. Search engines look at this too so incorporate relevant keywords in your description.
- Channel icon: Upload an 800 x 800 px square or round image like a Facebook profile image. This will be used across Gmail and Google+ too. Your company logo should fit the best.
- Channel art: A 2560 x 1440 px image will scale well across desktops, moviles, tablets, and TVs. It can look the same as your Facebook cover image.
- Channel trailer: It is the first video to autoplay when someone visits your channel. It should be short (around 30 to 60 seconds) and show what your channel is about or what they can expect to see. Don’t forget to encourage them to subscribe to your channel.
- Channel URL: Your channel can have a custom URL if you have more than 100 subscribers, is more than 30 days old, and has a channel icon as well as channel art.
- Channel links: From the “About” section, link to your other social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
3. Apply SEO thinking to optimize videos
Remember that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? Which means there are SEO practices that you can do for your video to rank highly on YouTube and Google Search. By providing the right information with keywords, your channel videos will be properly indexed by YouTube and appear on search results. Here are what you can optimize:
- Title: Your video title needs to be clear and compelling, while making searchers curious about the content or showing that it can obviously help them solve a problem. Include the most important information and relevant keywords in the beginning of the title. Keep in mind that your title needs to be around 60 characters to not get cut off in the results page.
- Description: Only the first two or three lines of the description will be shown, so include important links or CTAs in the start of your copy. Write your description in the way that drives views and engagement.
- Tags: Highlight your main keywords in your tags. These tags link your videos with similar videos so your channel can broaden reach. Try to include a good mix of common keywords and long-tail keywords.
- Category: After you upload a video, you can choose a video category under “Advanced settings.” Select one of the following categories: Educations, Film & Animation, Music, Autos & Vehicles, Travel & Events, Gaming, Entertainment, People & Blogs, Comedy, How-to & Style, News & Politics, Science & Technology, Activism, and Nonprofit.
- Thumbnail: This is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video search results. When customized right (like including keywords), it can have a large impact on the amount of clicks and views. YouTube recommends using a 1280 x 720 px size image to have a great thumbnail on all screen sizes.
- SRT Files (Subtitles & Closed Captions): subtitles and closed captions not only help viewers but also help optimize your video for search by including important keywords. When people see that your videos have subtitles, they can reach a wider audience.
- End screens: When uploading a video, you are allowed to poll viewers, direct viewers to other videos or channels, promote external links, or encourage viewers to subscribe. It is useful to increase viewer engagement with your brand and content.
- Playlist: If you have a bunch of videos about a specific theme, include them in a playlist. You can curate a collection of videos from your channel and other YouTube channels. This helps you organize the channels and encourage viewers to watch similar content.
4. Organize your videos
Once you’ve created well-optimized content, it is time to upload them on your channel. To keep things organized, find the best way to schedule your YouTube videos. As many subscribers will treat your channel as a main source for entertainment or knowledge (like television), treat it like one.
Share your content on a regular basis like a professional. If you plan to upload new video every Saturday afternoon, do exactly that and let the viewers know about your schedule. Make sure you’ve got several episodes ready to schedule ahead of time.
Automation can help. Upload and schedule your videos in advance with the Creator Studio, so you don’t have to wait or miss your timetable.
5. Market your YouTube channel and video
Now, let’s talk about how you can market your YouTube channel and videos. It is important that you spread the word about your channel and its content. Below are some useful channels to do that
- Social Media: This is an easy way to add more views and insights to your videos across social networks. Just click the “Share” button and you can share your content on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, or have a shortened URL for convenient posting. You can include relevant hashtags if your video is a part of a global trend. To create more awareness of your brand, you can include the video link in the profile bios.
- Blog posts or website: On your site, you can add a YouTube follow icon so the audience can find your channel. If the videos are relevant to the blog content, you can embed them to be watchable right on the site. Vice versa, you can make videos about a specific blog post or case study.
- Email: With the contact you already have, share your channel and content in their newsletter. If they find your videos valuable, they wouldn’t mind spending a few minutes watching them.
- Collaboration: You can create videos with other companies or influencers in the field. This partnership is a win-win situation if you have similar audience or goals. And it is fun too!
- Q&A sites: It may get a bit saturated now, but you can still share helpful videos on popular Q&A sites such as Quora to gain more exposure.
- Engage with viewers: Finally, respond to viewers’ comments, answer their questions, ask for feedback, and thank them for their support. This is simple yet useful to keep a consistent fan base.
6. Use YouTube advertising
If you have the budget, you can pay for YouTube Advertising to promote your YouTube channel and videos. YouTube uses a cost per view (CPV) modeld, so you will only pay when viewers engage with your video ad. If your ad is skipped, you won’t be charged. On average, cost per click on a keyword is around $0.06. The more popular keywords, the higher the price is.
There are six variations of YouTube ads, which are:
- Skippable video ads ( > 6 seconds)
- Non-skippable video ads ( < 6 seconds)
- Overlay ads
- Display ads
- Bumper ads
- Sponsored ads
Depending on your budget and campaign, you can choose showing ads for your videos, website links, or both. The key here is to produce relevant and engaging content so viewers will forget they are watching ads. So try to keep it short, hyper-targeted, and entertaining.
7. Analyze and adjust
The last step for promoting and maintaining your YouTube channel is to constantly monitor. When you done uploading videos, set some times to look at YouTube Analytics for:
- Watch time and Audience retention
- New or changing audience demographics
- Traffic sources and video playback locations
- Significant changes in subscriber count
- Device reports (desktop, mobile, smart TVs, etc.)
Besides the analytic, read the viewers’ comments. This is the most direct way to know what your audience thinks of the videos and channel. You may even find suggestions for new videos to make.
Tips to increase viewers and subscribers
With the steps above, your channel should already get a decent amount of subscribers and viewers. But wait, there are some more tips that I would recommend to promote your YouTube channel and videos!
#Make your videos suitable for social media
When you include your YouTube link on Facebook, you get a little snippet with a bunch of words like this.
Your post won’t get much attention with that. It looks bland, uninteresting, and not friendly. So what you want to do is grab a short clip from your YouTube video and make it into a new Facebook video. This clip should be about a single point in the long video, and you can leave the video link in the comments section.
This way, if people are interested, they can easily watch the full YouTube video. Your Facebook clip stays interesting too!.
#Try Live videos
There is a whole livestream community, so your brand can try that too. It is perfect for brand building because you can interact with your audience closely. You can take questions, respond to comments, do giveaways, and more for your creativity. It is definitely something you would want to try if you haven’t done it.
If you want to live stream on mobile, you would need at least 1,000 subscribers on your channel. But less than that, you can still live stream through webcam or desktop.
#Be active in the community
To grow your channel, you need to find your niche and build your followers within it too. So subscribe to similar channels in the field. Watch, like, and share their content with honest thoughts or comments.
Not only will this give you an overview of the competitive landscape, you can also reach new viewers and find friends through this.
When you are on YouTube for a while, you will notice that negative comments are unavoidable. There will always be criticism and random hate comments. Try to handle them nicely so your brand keeps a positive image with all viewers and followers. This is really important for a good video experience, because people tend to read comments while watching YouTube videos.
Ready to action!
As one of the most known marketing platforms on the planet, YouTube is a great tool to build your brand. You can build an audience, create an unique experience, and promote your brand in a way that no competitors can replicate. But like any famous platform, it can get hard at first to build a channel from the ground up. The key is consistency.
When you keep uploading, optimizing, and creating engaging content, you will be able to promote your YouTube channel and videos to the fullest. So set up your camera and start shooting some videos now! If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments section below. Best of luck!
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