Not so long ago I was attending a seminar which was lectured by a pretty smart but funny young geek. We were discussing new technologies and in one moment he said “well, we all thought that in 2020 we’ll have flying cars, but instead we are watching cute cats at YouTube”. I considered that to be truthful, extremely funny, and one of the things I might never forget. Although we are mostly using YouTube for stuff like watching cats, finding new cooking recipes, or listening to music, it is much more than that. It can be a great marketing tool, especially for sending users to your social media channels, or your web page. This YouTube marketing guide for beginners will discover another side of YouTube to you.
It may seem that social media marketers aren’t using it as much as they should, though. The most commons excuse is that it isn’t the right channel for their audience. But statistics show that almost half of them are planning to use it, and that’s a good start. YouTube has more than one billion active users, it is translated into 76 languages, and we spent more of one third our online time watching videos. So, do you have a good reason why your videos shouldn’t be out there?
YouTube marketing is a little bit different than other channels, so we came up with this post to help you get started. It is adjusted to beginners, and easy to follow.
What should you know before you start
If you are still not convinced why you should add a YouTube to your marketing plan, you should read this. It is always good to start with the basics.
Video is a must at the moment. It is convincible dominating in the marketing world, and it is proven that the posts with videos are more liked and shared. They seem to be engaging users in a whole different way. You can upload your videos from YouTube channels easily to your posts and all the other platforms.
If you optimize your videos well, with the right keywords, they will rank higher in search engines. That will reach your audience much easier than social media ads. Long story short, your videos will appear in Google and also in YouTube search. And that are the first and the second most used search engines.
How to approach
I already said that YouTube is a little bit different than other channels, so it needs a different approach. Social media platforms are built around creating and sharing engaging content. Their purpose is to build communication. In other words, socializing. YouTube, on the other hand, is more like creating posts that are to be seen but not inevitably commented.
Users will find your videos by searching, by recommendation from a friend, or by recommendation from a YouTube when they watch similar content. From the beginning, their intention is different – as I said, not to socialize, but to look for some serious content. They are not pushed to comment, but they could share your video if they really like it.
By acknowledging that, you can create stronger content.
How to create a YouTube channel
If you already came so far to decide to create one, I don’t want to discourage you, but be ready to find out that managing a YouTube channel takes a lot of time and strategy. It is all about videos, so you can not upload just one and wait for something to happen. And creating videos takes time, and a strong will.
Since this is “YouTube marketing for beginners”, we will start from the very beginning.
Create a Google account
First of all, you’ll need a Google account, because Google owns YouTube. I will assume you already have one but don’t use your personal account if you plan to host business videos on your channel. So, you can go to Google and create a new one, and you can choose the option “to manage my business” during setup.
Since this is a basic procedure, I will not guide you through the process, considering if you are reading the post about YouTube marketing you will know how to open a Google account. 🙂
Create a YouTube brand account
A YouTube brand account allows you to manage editing permissions and customize your presence.
Go to YouTube and click on your profile icon in the upper right corner. (You are probably already logged in your Google account.)
In the drop-down menu click on the “create a channel” section.
After that, you will get an option to start.
The next step will be to choose between your existing Google account or to use a custom name. Do not click on your Google account, because we want to create a brand account here, so choose the right option, as shown on the picture:
Next thing is to choose and enter your channel name. It can have up to 100 characters. Don’t worry if you are not sure about it, you can change it at any time.
After you check that you understand, and click “create”, your channel is ready. YouTube then offers you to fill in the basic information about it, but you can skip it and come back to that later.
Customizing (and optimizing) your new channel
Customizing and optimizing your channel before you even post your first video is extremely important. First of all, choose your name wisely. Of course, you can change it anytime, but the point is that people recognize you, so once you choose a name connected to your business, stick to it. Make it memorable and catchy.
When you are ready to spruce your channel up a little more, you can log in the same way: click the icon in the upper right corner, click “your channel” and it will take you to a dashboard. The “customize channel” button is really easy to find here.
Let’s start by adding a channel icon and channel art. These are the first things a user will see when visiting your channel, similar to a Facebook page e.g. So, make sure your images are recognizable and that they fit into your brand.
Your channel icon should be something that is tightly connected to your business, preferably your logo. Or, if you are a celebrity or an influencer, your photo. Try to match it with your photos on your social media accounts, so it’ll be easier to remember it. This is more important than you may think because it works in a much deeper way in the user’s mind and behavior. The more time one sees your logo, the more likely it will remember it, and choose it the next time.
To set up (or change) your icon click on the upper right corner of the square where it should be and the pop-up window for editing will appear. It will redirect you to a Google page where you can upload your photo. After uploading, it will take some time before you’ll be able to see it.
Next, add your channel art. You can check template and size guidelines here.
Choose something that will represent your business or brand, and that will fit in nicely. There are a lot of editing programs that can help you with the premade templates. Try to match colors, fonts, and style with the other social media accounts as well. You can add some text also, like a tagline.
When you click on the “add channel art” it will open a window where you can upload your photo.
Add some more info
After that, it is time to add your channel description, email, and links to your web page and social media accounts. Under the “customize channel”, go to the “about” tab.
Give some thought about your channel description, because this is where you need to express why would a user want to watch your channel, or even subscribe. This is your chance to tell what your business is about, the things that may not show in your videos. Explain what they will get by following you.
At the same place, add your business email, your web page link, and your social media links. Remember that you can add up to 5 links (including your web page), which will show at the right corner of your channel art. This part is very important in YouTube marketing because the main goal of it is to send users to other social channels and/or to your page.
Add a channel trailer
This is the video that will be placed at the top and in the center of your channel, and everybody who wants to use YouTube for marketing should inevitably have a channel trailer/featured video, which is auto-playing. This is how you will introduce yourself to users because your channel description does not appear on the first page.
First, go to your channel customization and click the gear icon in the upper right corner. You’ll want to make sure that “customize the layout of your channel” is turned on.
It should be turned on already, but if it is not, move the blue button and click “save”. Also, take note that you have to have at least one video uploaded before you can access this option.
Go to “customize channel”, under the tab “home”, and it should look like the picture below. (To be honest, I was struggling a bit following the internet instructions, and my “home” tab was constantly empty, so I couldn’t approach to featured video option. Since I created a new channel just for the purpose of this post, there were no videos. After I uploaded a video, everything sorted out.)
Add “feature content” for returning subscribers, and then click on the “for new visitors” tab, and do the same. Remember to add keywords to your trailer name and description.
One of the things you will have to do for your YouTube brand account is to decide who will have access to it. This is especially important for businesses that have more team members. Granting access to other team members will enable them to access the channel through their Google accounts.
There are three options:
- Owner – full editing power over everything. He can add or remove managers, edit business information, respond to reviews, etc.
- Manager – same editing power as owner, but he can not add and remove account roles.
- Communications manager – can respond to reviews and do a few more activities, but he can not upload videos and view analytics.
To add your team members, click on your icon, and go to “settings”.
Go to “add or remove managers”:
A pop-up window will open, where you can set and manage your permissions. You need to enter a Gmail address of a person you want to add.
How to upload a video
Now when your channel is all set, it is time to upload some videos. No matter where you are at your channel pages, you will be able to see the small camera icon on the right upper side of your page.
When you click on it, you will be asked to select or drop a video file, and it will start uploading. You need to edit basic video information, such as its name, description, privacy settings, and which playlist you would like to add it on. Optimize your description, and add relevant tags, so your video will appear in searches.
You can add text translations if you have a business that requires it. It is very easy to add the desired languages. This is an excellent option for everyone who wants to use YouTube for marketing.
Choose your video thumbnail once the video uploads. Here you can choose the one YouTube suggests, but it is better if you make your own, the one that fits your brand.
You can edit your video a little bit more. If you go to the creator studio and select your video, press edit, and you will be able to enhance and edit your image, add end screens to it (no longer than 25 seconds), place additional audio in the file, create captions and a few things more. This will take some of your time, but it will make your video more accessible, and this could be relevant to your YouTube marketing.
Often forgot about by most businesses, and considered a platform for songs and funny videos, YouTube is highly underestimated. But it is a serious marketing platform which enables you to promote engagingly and interestingly. I sincerely hope you will use it to your advantage, and looking forward to writing more about its optimization and YouTube SEO, to help you improve what we just learned here.