Audiences are seeking out entertaining, passive content more than ever, and YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world (after Google). If brands want to increase reach, increase their share of voice, and build engagement, establishing a YouTube presence and creating videos is a must.
Here’s how to make a YouTube video that represents your brand and breaks through the immense amount of content uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Take a look at Dash Hudson’s tips for creating a successful YouTube video.
Video production can be as simple or complex as you’d like it. The production value used will largely depend on what type of video you’re creating. For example, YouTube Shorts are meant to be casual, concise, and quick — there is no need to spend hours on professional lighting and a studio when a simple ring light and backdrop will do.
So, how do you figure out what’s right for your brand? Before you press ‘record’ and start writing scripts, there’s some research and preparation your team should prepare.
Once you have your YouTube marketing strategy formalized, your team should conduct a social media competitive analysis to gain insight into how competitors use video content on their channels — this will inform which video tactics you’ll use to support your brand’s strategy.
For example, do your competitors use Shorts for quick updates, while full-length videos are reserved for how-tos or interviews? Consider what video mediums perform well before determining how you’ll use each type of YouTube video and develop subject matter to support your business goals.
Now that you understand how competitors use YouTube to support their marketing strategy, it’s time to consider how you’ll optimize your YouTube account and video content.
While YouTube is a visual medium, this doesn’t mean that copy doesn’t matter — quite the opposite. While YouTube is a social platform, it’s also used as a search engine for video content. And how do people find content? Keywords.
To conduct keyword research, starting with an organic search for the terms that coincide with your planned video content is always helpful. For example, a brand hoping to launch a product might search for product reviews or demonstrations of similar product types — keep all of these possibilities in mind when considering how your future audience will find you.
Here’s what marketers should note while conducting keyword research for competitor’s profiles and individual videos:
Aside from research on YouTube, brands should use tools like keyword software, Google Trends, or browser plug-ins to inform which tags could perform best for your content.
The YouTube algorithm is primarily based on how users engage with your content and consider metrics like likes, dislikes, and time spent watching — it’ll be near impossible to get this feedback if you can’t capture viewers’ attention.
Before writing your script, decide on the tone of your video. Will you focus on inspirational, educational, or funny content? If you host interviews with industry leaders, you might aim for an inspirational tone or funny if you plan to partner with a creator known for their humor.
Keep this in mind when writing a script or an outline if you plan to go off-the-cuff — remember, a script for something like a ‘get ready with me’ could sound robotic and unnatural, so there are many times a simple outline is appropriate. However, having an idea of the tone you’d like to use in a given video is helpful, even when drafting an outline over a script.
Decide where to film your videos. Whether you use a studio backdrop or film in different locations, backdrop imagery should remain fairly consistent.
A great example of this consistency is in Vogue’s ‘Guide to’ series, where celebrities and influencers discuss different parts of their makeup routine. Despite being filmed in different locations, the subject of the video is always centered, products aren’t in view except when they’re in use, and the background is typically as neutral as possible — often in a bathroom, from the perspective of the mirror.
One of the main reasons people choose YouTube is to relax — creating a consistent image for different video series (without becoming stale) is a great way to build anticipation and encourage your audience to become repeat viewers of their favorite series.
Tip: Be sure to have the equipment to send to creators if using them to help make the visuals as similar as possible.
Now that you know what tone you'll use in your video and have an idea of the location and backdrop, it's time to create a storyboard. A storyboard includes timestamps with when you'll recite parts of the script or cover different themes and which backdrop you'll use for specific scenes. This is useful before filming but also for editing once filming is complete.
You can create a storyboard on your computer, phone, or pen and paper. A detailed storyboard ensures you'll have a high-quality, cohesive video that gets your message across.
Creating quality content on Youtube is a two-part process — the first step requires planning your YouTube strategy and outlining your video content, and the second is producing the video.
Creating a high-quality video is key to captivating your audience and encouraging views. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a professional camera, but selecting the right equipment will reduce environmental distractions and simplify the editing process.
Here’s the equipment you should consider when creating high-quality videos:
The most important factor that affects video quality is the camera you use, but this also depends on the type of video you make. As we mentioned above, a phone camera is perfect for YouTube shorts and other types of video. However, suppose you want to create visual consistency. In that case, it is convenient to have one or two cameras, like a Sony ZV-1 or Canon PowerShot (both popular among YouTubers), especially if you plan to send equipment to creators in various locations like Vogue does for their ‘Guide to’ series.
Lighting can make or break your videos. This can be one of the most inconsistent factors of video production — even if you have a great outdoor location or spot in your home, natural sunlight plays a big part in how your video looks.
Nature won’t coordinate with your filming schedule, so investing in lighting that mimics natural light is a great way to be able to film anytime.
Make sure to conduct tests of your location setup before you officially film. Lighting that’s too shadowy, bright, or filtered can be distracting, which takes away from the message you want to deliver.
Like lighting, sound is another variable factor that impacts your video in a significant way. Often, good sound production goes unnoticed by the untrained ear — but thoughtless sound production — think sounds from the weather, clanging accessories, background voices, traffic, and more are difficult for even an untrained ear to ignore.
Microphones (even handheld) can contribute to delivering clear vocals and will make removing unwanted noise easier during editing.
Tip: Do an audio test to make sure it sounds good before making the video.
Good equipment is only half the battle, and you’ll likely need to edit your video — whether trimming unwanted clips, adding smoother transitions, or editing the audio.
While many computers come with video editing software, your team should consider purchasing editing software that could make this process more efficient. The type of software you select will depend on whether you have a video editor on your team or if a more inexperienced team member plans to edit.
Once you've created your strategy (which should include a posting schedule), it's time to upload and schedule your video.
YouTube's uploading process is pretty simple but does have a few more steps that can be time-consuming — yet social marketers shouldn't ignore them. These include:
Keep these YouTube tips in mind when posting:
Optimizing video content has never been easier with YouTube Insights. Analytics are essential to finding the best opportunities to improve your video content and find new opportunities to reach your audience.
Here’s how Dash Hudson supports your YouTube account:
End-to-end analytics help boost your overall video strategy by giving you a robust picture of how audiences engage with your content, from how they find you to how many subscribers you receive from each video — plus, insights are easy to access and offer a simple at-a-glance look at your top-performing content.
While ‘free’ is relative (you’ll need some form of equipment and an internet connection or data), it’s possible to make a good quality video with your iPhone or Android phone with a decent camera if you have one. Phones are the preferred way to create YouTube Shorts, so this is a great medium to try before investing in further equipment. Many free editors are also available from app stores to enhance content taken from a mobile device.
Creating a compelling intro will draw viewers in and encourage them to keep watching. Here's how to make a YouTube intro:
YouTube Shorts are meant to be filmed with your phone, which makes posting quick, under 60-second videos a breeze. Tap the ‘record’ button to start and stop while filming to ensure your talking points fit the short timeframe.
Uploading a YouTube Short itself follows a similar format to other short-form video apps — to upload a YouTube Short, follow these steps: