As a small business owner, you’re probably looking for as many ways to expand your business as possible. One way to find new customers is by creating a YouTube channel for your business.
When running a YouTube channel for a business, you’ll need to operate differently than an entertainment channel would. Using the wrong YouTube technique can harm your business.
If you think starting a YouTube channel is the next step for your small business, you’ll be most successful if you follow the steps outlined below.
Set-up Your Business Channel
First things first, you need a channel to post your small business’ videos on. To do this, you will need a Google/YouTube account. Once logged into YouTube, click on the profile circle in the top right corner. A drop-down menu will appear. Select settings from the menu. This section is labeled with a small gear icon.
Your YouTube settings will appear. Under the section “Your YouTube Channel,” find and click “Create a new channel.” A page will appear prompting you to name your new channel. In most cases, it would make sense to use your business’s name for your channel name. However, if you want to go in a different direction, there are some things you should know.
Watch the following video from YouTube Creators to learn more about naming your YouTube channel.
If the purpose of a business YouTube channel is to promote more sales, it would make sense to use some variation of the company’s title. However, if this is your personal account for the business (as in, each employee has a different channel), incorporate your name (or nickname) into the channel title.
As you learned in the video, you can always change your channel name later, but what happens when people go looking for your old name? Unfortunately, they won’t be able to find it and will lose viewer traffic. Take some time to brainstorm with your business associates before choosing a channel name. In the meantime, move on to the next applicable step.
Now that your business’ YouTube channel is up and running, it’s time to start designing it. Chances are, you already have a unique look and style for your business. This style should translate to the YouTube channel. It will only confuse viewers if your website, your channel, and your place of business all look different. Cohesiveness matters! Use your business logo for the profile picture or banner.
If you don’t have a business website, you need one. Since your YouTube channel is so new, viewers need a way to learn more about who you are and what you do. Include a link to your website on your channel. You can do this on the about page of your channel under the “links” section.
On the About page, include important information such as your business location and a way for customers to contact you. It’s a good idea to use a business account for this rather than a personal one.
Do you utilize other social media platforms for your business? If not, you should. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to easily make announcements and engage with people. Link your social media accounts to your YouTube channel and vice versa.
Even your social media accounts need to match the design style used for your channel. Remember, if the accounts look different, people will assume that they are. This could drastically impact the success of your business online.
Last but not least, you need to add a description! The description explains who you are, your credibility, and why people should subscribe/watch your videos. Don’t be afraid of the description. This area should show a bit of your personality. If you run a nail salon, put some sass into the description. However, if you run a financial firm, use a more professional tone.
No matter what business you have, always double-check the description for spelling and grammar errors.
Set Goals & Define Your Audience
Professional YouTubers all agree that you shouldn’t base your content on the audience you have acquired. Instead, you shape your audience with the type of content you post. To do this, you need to determine your target demographic.
If you’re a pastry baker, then you probably want a young, playful audience with average incomes. However, if your business is centered around luxury hot tubs, your target demographic is older, wealthier people. Keep this in mind when you produce video content for your YouTube channel.
Once you define your target audience, consider the goals you have for the channel. Is the purpose of this channel to increase online sales? Or do you want to monetize the channel to create another income stream for your small business? The goals you have are extremely important as they will influence how you run your channel.
Before YouTube will start paying you for creating content, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and your videos’ collective watch time needs to be at least 4,000 hours. In other words, monetizing a YouTube channel takes time.
Believe it or not, creating content for a specific audience helps you reach those metrics. Watch the following video to learn more about the best strategy to get 4,000 watch hours on your small business’ YouTube channel.
While making content for your audience is important, if your videos don’t work with the YouTube algorithm, your audience will never expand beyond your current subscriber base.
If you want your video to do well with YouTube’s algorithm, then you need to capture unique content. If there are thousands of videos of cupcakes rising in the oven, your cupcake rising video needs to stand out. That, or you should focus on a more unique video topic.
You may need to do some market research to find out what types of content are appealing to your target audience. Learn more about producing content for your audience and the YouTube algorithm on your business’s YouTube channel from the video below.
Now that you have these content creation factors in mind, you’ll need to add things like a channel trailer or a feature video. These videos will greet those who visit your business’ channel, immediately engaging them in your content.
Use the tactics you learned above–uniqueness, audience-driven, and consistency–to create the most successful featured content for your page.
Those who aren’t subscribed to your channel will see a trailer while those who do subscribe will see a featured video of your choosing.
Watch the following video from YouTube Creators to learn how to add this crucial element to your business’ channel. This video will also cover topics such as customizing the layout of your channel. Follow the helpful tips and tricks in this video to produce a professional-looking YouTube channel.
Now that your channel is set up, it’s time to start filling it with content. We’ve already discussed some of the criteria for video content. However, let’s give a quick summary before moving on to the other elements of your videos.
If your business provides a unique experience or circumstances, the videos you create need to capture that. For example, a hot air balloon company should have plenty of unique experiences to share with its viewers. The type of experience your business provides may even fulfill the second content criterion: aspiring viewers. As you can imagine, very few people have the opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon. Wear a GoPro on your next flight and capture the first-person experience for YouTube viewers.
Additionally, if a specific video topic is extremely popular at the moment, produce something that meets the search criteria. This is referred to as appealing searches. Producing content that appeals to your audience’s searches will require extensive market research. When you see a trend start to appear, jump on board! You don’t want to be the last person producing that type of video.
Your content should fit into a niche topic. Going back to the hot air balloon company example, you should only be posting videos related to hot air balloons and your business. Topics such as baking and gaming should not be the content of your videos. Stick to the niche! If you own multiple businesses it is perfectly acceptable to run separate channels for them.
So you’ve got your video made and uploaded to YouTube. Before you publish it, you need to give the video an interesting title and description. You’ll also need to select a video thumbnail.
Let’s start with the video title.
What you title your video will greatly impact how often it appears in the search history. First and foremost, use proper title casing. It is hard to read titles that have some lowercase words and some capitalized words. As a rule of thumb, if the word is important, capitalize it.
For example, “how to bake cookies in less than 30 minutes,” should look like the following: “How to Bake Cookies in Less Than 30 Minutes.”
This title is clear and easy to read. This brings us to our next rule, the title needs to make sense. Were this same video titled “cookies under 30” the viewer wouldn’t know what it was about. While your video title should describe the video accurately, it shouldn’t give away what the viewer wants to know.
For example, the video titled “4 + 4? It equals 8” isn’t going to get many views. It makes sense, but it gives away the answer! Instead, use a title such as “4 + 4 | Solving Simple Addition.” In other words, be vague, but not too vague.
The final thing you should consider is if your video titles are boring. Use descriptive words to catch the viewer’s attention. Going back to the cookie title, try something more like the following: “How to Bake GOOEY Cookies in Less Than 30 Minutes.”
Learn more about making YouTube video titles in the following video.
Now that you have your video titled, it’s time to add a description. Each YouTube video description is limited to 5,000 characters; however, only the first 130 characters or so appear in the search results. These words will play a significant part in your search engine optimization (SEO).
Because these first 130 to 150 characters are so important, they should focus on the video’s content. Briefly describe what you did in the video and why. But remember, don’t give away the answer!
Next, put what you think is most important for your viewers to know. Using our hot air balloon business example, a video capturing the moment someone proposed in a hot air balloon should have a link to where people can book a flight of their own.
This link should go after the brief video description. You could follow this up with a similar video from your channel, such as “How to Plan a ROMANTIC Hot Air Balloon Proposal.”
The description box is also where you will put any relevant hashtags. The hashtags you choose could affect which searches your video appears in. As a business, you should have your own hashtag that you use on every one of your videos. Keep the hashtags to a minimum. Too many hashtags make your videos appear in more search results.
Watch the video below to learn more about creating the perfect YouTube video descriptions.
The thumbnail is arguably the most important part of your YouTube video. What even is a thumbnail? The thumbnail image is the picture that viewers see before they’ve clicked on the video. Videos with low-quality thumbnails don’t get clicked on.
Every thumbnail includes some portion of the title and an interesting image related to the video content. Most of these videos also include a picture of the creator, but this is not necessary.
Remember how we talked about consistent design earlier? This matters when creating thumbnails too. Your YouTube video thumbnails should resemble the design techniques used for your business and website. It’s all about creating a cohesive brand.
Thumbnails also need to be interesting. The most interesting thumbnail tends to win the clicks.
Watch the following video to learn more about creating successful thumbnails. (Before you watch it, take a moment to appreciate the thumbnail image.)
Set a Schedule
It doesn’t matter what social media platform you’re on, staying relevant is extremely important. To do this, you need to post frequently.
However, posting regularly isn’t always possible. Furthermore, you should never produce low-quality videos simply because you want to stay relevant.
Posting frequently doesn’t necessarily mean publishing a new video every day or even every week. As a beginning YouTube channel, this could mean every two weeks or so. Determine the amount of time it takes you to create a high-quality video and stick with it.
Once you have a schedule, don’t stray from it. After all, that’s how your viewers know when they need to engage. However, if you’re posting every week and suddenly jump to every two weeks, viewers are going to wonder where you went and you’ll become irrelevant.
Most importantly, don’t give up. Building a successful YouTube channel is hard, but building a successful YouTube channel while running a successful business is even more challenging.