How to Use YouTube for Your Business

YouTubeBy now, most business owners understand the importance of social media. They create business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but they often forget about one more important platform. YouTube has more than 1 billion active users who generate billions of views each day. A small business without a YouTube account is missing out on prime real estate for getting their product or service noticed. It’s not enough to create an account and add a video, though. As with any online presence, it must have substance.

Customize Your Channel

Obviously, YouTube is about the visual experience for users. If a potential viewer comes across your channel only to find the default icons and banners, they aren’t likely to stick around, so begin by customizing these two areas. For branding purposes, you should ensure the customizations match those on your website and other social media accounts.

It is also important to ensure your custom icon and banner looks good with YouTube’s specifications. YouTube recommends uploading a picture that is 800 pixels on each side, but keep in mind that they will shrink it down to 98 pixels on each side. While JPGs, GIFs, BMPs, and PNGs are all acceptable, a PNG image is recommended because it is usually the clearest.

When it comes to your banner, be sure the colors match your icon because your icon will be overset on it. Your banner should be a clear image of a recommended 2560 x 1440 pixels and be in PNG format. Use a logo, a picture of your product or service, or something else relevant to the business.

The last step of customization is to create a channel trailer. This video only shows up to people who aren’t yet subscribed to your videos, so avoid using a traditional advertisement, but do consider the type of audience you hope to attract. It can be informative, entertaining, or a combination of both.

Upload Videos Consistently

The last thing you want to do after customizing your channel is leave it to die in the YouTube graveyard. Create a schedule for uploading your videos and stick to it. Some smaller businesses choose only to upload once or twice per month. Others do so once or twice per week. Still others upload once per day. Whichever schedule you choose, keep in mind that, just like other social media sites, you don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers. Avoid posting multiple videos per day.

Vary Your Content

Nobody wants to watch the same thing repeatedly, so be sure to vary the types of content you post, changing up themes and topics. You could demonstrate your products or services, create how-to videos, or upload entertaining interviews with people who help run the company. Consider creating videos based on current events, but be careful not to use offensive humor if you are talking about something tragic or controversial. It’s one of the quickest ways to alienate people and lose subscribers.

Fill Out All of the Information for Your Video

When you upload your video, YouTube will prompt you to fill out certain information. Create an informative title that uses your most important keyword, fill out the category and tags, and be sure to include a description of the video. The description should use keywords, give credit to those involved with making the video, and if necessary, include timestamps to different sections.

Share Your Content

Once you’ve uploaded your video, it’s time to get the word out. Create a blog post for your website, share it on your Facebook account, link to it on Twitter, and create a shorter snippet to add to Instagram, letting your followers know they can view it in full on your YouTube channel.

Analyze the Results

Finally, be sure to keep track of your metrics. YouTube has its own built-in analytics that shows you how many views your video gets in addition to other important information. This will help you keep track of which types of videos are most popular and which could probably be avoided in the future. Hampton Creek has a gorgeous YouTube channel that shows how they’ve used their analytics to figure out what their audience wants and give it to them.

Of course, when it comes to having a popular YouTube channel, there is no magical recipe. Like many other aspects of building a business, it’s trial and error. If you don’t get the results you want right away, don’t be discouraged. If you remain diligent and keep trying new things, eventually you’ll find your niche in the video world.

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