YouTube has been a key marketing channel for brands since its inception, and it continues to grow in importance as social entertainment becomes one of the biggest drivers of social media engagement. With the introduction of YouTube Shorts, as well as its strong creator ecosystem, YouTube is primed to lead in this new era defined by entertaining creative strategies.
YouTube marketing encompasses all brand marketing activity on the video platform, including organic content, creator partnerships and paid advertisements. Brands leverage YouTube to distribute their long-form video content, and with the introduction of Shorts, it is also becoming a destination for short-form video content in the same vein as TikTok or Instagram Reels.
YouTube is the second-largest social media platform, with over 2.5 billion users. It remains the largest social platform that revolves around video and is projected to reach over 2.8 billion users by 2025. It owns a significant share of the video advertising market, especially as cord-cutting accelerates and a growing number of consumers only see marketing campaigns online.
As YouTube is owned by Alphabet, it has one of the most mature online advertising and targeting infrastructures, which is important as brands choose the best destination for their organic content, as well as paid media spend.
So, you want to create a YouTube strategy? Here are some steps brands should take when crafting their YouTube strategy.
First, identify your goals and how YouTube could contribute to your business objectives, digital marketing objectives or any other focus your brand has on the horizon. This will help you formulate the rest of your strategy and create a content calendar that supports these goals. From here, your team can create a custom report that outlines the most relevant KPIs that pertain to these goals so you can monitor and track your success.
Once you define your goals, it’s important to define the most relevant audience to target your content to. This could be based on age, but it can also be based on professions, hobbies or other relevant traits. Savvy brands can take this a step further and create personas for the type of audience they want to reach — this persona is helpful to keep in mind when creating all your content and determining whether they would engage with it.
Now that your brand has defined its goals, reporting structure and their audience, it’s time to create a YouTube channel. Creating a YouTube channel involves a few key steps, which include:
YouTube is dominated by content creators who manage their own personal brand. Marketing on YouTube as a corporation is different, however, there are many best practices that can be gleaned by observing what works best in creator marketing.
With the introduction of YouTube Shorts, there are now multiple formats that your brand can leverage as a part of your YouTube strategy. Additionally, you are also able to deliver in-feed posts to your users using your Community tab, which delivers an experience similar to more text and image-based social media channels. When it comes to users playing YouTube through the web vs app, your brand should be conscious of different preferences, and ensure that your content looks great on a monitor or a phone.
The defining trend behind all successful YouTube videos is social entertainment, which consists of content that is fun, relatable, authentic and inspires the user to engage. As entertainment is now a social experience, creating buzz-worthy video that people will want to share with others is the best way to grow your brand on the platform.
YouTube and Google are both Alphabet companies, and as a result, share many similarities in how content is delivered to users by search. Building a strong keyword strategy, including giving your video well-written descriptions and metadata, will help with your discoverability. Additionally, YouTube videos are increasingly being recommended in Google searches, and a strong YouTube keyword strategy will also bolster your business’s SEO strategy.
In order to grow on the platform to better promote on YouTube, you need to make a compelling case for why audiences should subscribe to your channel. The best way to do this is to have a schedule for publishing new content, which lets your audience know when to expect more videos. Don’t be afraid to ask your viewers to subscribe for more content, as a light reminder may be all they need to take action.
There is no right way to market on YouTube, and it really comes down to figuring out what works for your brand, and doing more of that. Keeping a close watch on your YouTube analytics and using a comprehensive insights tool will help you optimize your creative strategy and increase your following.
YouTube is an established platform, and it is a competitive space. Not only do brands compete for impressions, but individual content creators also compete for similar audiences. So, why use YouTube for marketing? The channel has 2.5 billion active users, so your potential audience is enormous. Additionally, video content earns higher engagement and drives higher brand awareness than static imagery. Ensuring your content gets the recognition it deserves requires strong optimization in order to get picked up by YouTube’s algorithm, and leveraging the right insights is of the utmost importance to fine-tune your YouTube strategy. The following tools will help you measure your KPIs and grow your brand on YouTube.
YouTube Studio is the native YouTube analytics tool, and it is available to all users. In YouTube Studio, you can see a dashboard of how your channel performed in the last 28 days, as well as what your top videos are. You are also able to dig deeper into your Analytics, as well as view your Monetization if your brand uses YouTube as a revenue driver.
Social Blade is a database of indexed, publicly available analytics. While you won’t be able to find private analytics on the site, it can be useful for conducting research or performing high-level competitive analysis.
Your video thumbnails are the first impression users have of your content, and you need to make it count. Canva is a free image editing tool that you can use to design your YouTube thumbnails, including adding text and effects that help make your video stand out.
Dash Hudson’s YouTube Insights solution provides a holistic and easy-to-digest view of your YouTube content strategy. Discover competitive insights to unlock opportunities for your YouTube strategy. Quickly analyze your YouTube performance with insights that are easy to understand — from the KPIs on a single video to your entire channel’s impact on your marketing investment.
YouTube is the second-largest social marketing platform, and it has a well-established advertising infrastructure. With audience preferences gravitating further toward video content, there has never been a better time to start using YouTube as a marketing channel.
YouTube video marketing uses content to guide customers through the customer journey, whether it’s used for brand awareness, or sending users directly to e-commerce platforms.
You are able to use YouTube’s ad management system to turn your video into a paid ad that plays before videos. If you wish to promote a video organically, your best option is to incorporate your YouTube videos in your content distribution processes on other social channels in order to drive your followers to your YouTube channel.