A Guide to YouTube Marketing in 2021

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Table of Contents

YouTube was launched in the year 2005 – In 2021, it is now one of the biggest video streaming platforms in the world and is considered a major marketing tool by digital marketers and social media influencers. Since YouTube’s inception, it has now had a user count of more than 1 billion users, with over 11% of the world’s video traffic being generated from YouTube – and according to Statista, YouTube saw a market reach of about 90% percent in the US alone. 

With a global pandemic still very much present in the world, video content has made a massive surge this year alone. Businesses big and small, from all corners of the world, are seizing opportunities to promote their brand in the online landscape because that’s just where it’s at right now. Video content is now the ‘new norm’ in digital content marketing and a one-way ticket for your business to dominate the industry – but only if executed well. It is easier said than done. Garnering attention for your business or brand comes with its own challenges. The content marketing landscape is ever-growing, and trends change every day; that is where it becomes difficult for you, as an entrepreneur, to leave a mark. 

While the title says “guide,” what this really is, is a non-linear collection of important information on ways that you can execute your YouTube marketing campaign in the most effective way. 

So, where should you start?


Creating a YouTube Channel


Account and Channel Roles


For starters, you’ll need a YouTube channel for your business. When creating a YouTube channel, we don’t recommend using a basic Google Account. Instead, create your channel using a Google Brand Account. If you use your personal google account to create a YouTube channel for your business, only you will have access to the channel. Through a Brand Account, you can give access to other members of your team as long as they also hold Google accounts. This way, they can access your YouTube channel without having access to your personal Google account. 

You can also give your team members different roles based on how they would be using the channel for your brand. There are 3 roles on YouTube – Owners, Managers and Communication Managers. Quite self-explanatory, but in layman’s terms: Owners get complete editing rights over the YouTube channel’s Google account. Managers get the same kind of access as the owners, but they will not be able to delegate page roles and listings the way the owner can. And finally, the communication managers are responsible for community engagement i.e responding to comments, reviews, any questions subscribers have left on the video. 


Channel Optimization


Once you create your YouTube channel and delegate your roles, the next most important thing to do is to customize your channel. Personalization is an important aspect of YouTube channel marketing and is a step in the right direction for creating an online presence for your brand. You can start with adding a channel icon and channel art (banner). Most businesses incorporate their logo either into their channel icon or banner as a way to embed their brand’s identity into the channel. 

To make your channel stand out, incorporate images that relate to your brand message. They can be original images taken by you/your team or royalty-free imagery, which are readily available on various websites. Choosing the right image is just as important as the message or emotion you are trying to inculcate through it. 

The next step would be to update the “About” section. This section should contain information like your channel description, email address, links to social media and your business website. Now it’s down to customizing your YouTube channel, which will determine how your channel will appear to people who have subscribed and to those who haven’t. The ‘customization’ option is located near the subscribe button on your screen’s top-right section. 

If you want to add more vitality to your channel and overall brand image, a channel trailer is a good way to go. As the name suggests, a channel trailer is a short video introduction to your YouTube channel, which will help both subscribers and non-subscribers learn what your channel is about in the quickest manner. Your channel trailer will always be displayed at the top of your YouTube channel and should encapsulate your brand message to attract your target audience in under a minute. The shorter and more precise the trailer, the better the impression. 


Meta Descriptions and Tags


Once your YouTube channel is created and you begin uploading video content to your channel, your campaign doesn’t end there. Your video alone can’t garner attention on its own. There is no guarantee that your videos will get the clout that you are anticipating. 

Optimizing your video content with the addition of meta tags and descriptions is the best way to go. A little keyword research goes a long way. Dive a little into what similar channels are doing in terms of the keywords they are using that are currently trending relating to your brand. Based on that, incorporate those keywords into your video title, video description, and video tags – but it is also important they can make sense and don’t sound forced. You can employ professional scriptwriters’ expertise to help put together meta descriptions for your channel using relevant keywords. You should also read your titles out loud to yourself and test how natural or unnatural it sounds to help you determine how to make it sound organic. After all, you’re trying to attract humans and not robots. 


Understanding Your Audience


Making any marketing campaign a success requires a little research – specifically into your prospective audience. But before diving into that, it is important to note that YouTube currently has over a billion active monthly users, which means there are massive pools of potential leads for your business. To develop a relationship with your target audience, you have to earn their trust.

YouTube Analytics can handle this quite well for you. YouTube analytics can simplify your market research thoroughly and in a short amount of time as compared to if you were to handle the research on your own. A business YouTube channel affords you several statistics and insights into your potential market and your audience behavior.


Competitor Analysis


Market research aside, you must also gain insight into what your competitors do to succeed in their campaigns in order to build a proper YouTube Marketing strategy. Getting a sense of the competition around you will help you develop an idea about where your business stands in marketing and how you can develop a competitive advantage over the rest if you do not already have one. Luckily for you, YouTube is well-equipped with ample tools for competitor analysis. 

You need only visit your competitor’s YouTube channel and go through the content they have on their channel. The comment section is ideal for getting a sense of what their audiences like or don’t like about their content. YouTube subscribers are very vocal about this in the comment section. 

Go back to business and marketing basics and conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Using this framework, you’ll be able to identify what works and what doesn’t and how your niche can navigate its way through a sea of businesses. 

Also, take note of the keywords your competitors are using in their titles, tags, and descriptions to get a sense of how they are using them to boost their online visibility. 


Branding


Cnet reports that algorithms generate 70% of the video recommendations on YouTube.

Active users are always on the lookout for fresher content and new channels. Hence, your YouTube channel’s branding is so significant to your online presence; for a successful YouTube marketing campaign, use your business logo as your channel icon.

Once you’ve added an informative bio for your business, optimized your titles and descriptions, and created a visually appealing thumbnail for your video, here are more ways you can enhance your YouTube marketing campaign: 

  • Create engaging call-to-actions
  • Schedule your video in advance
  • Keep your videos short and precise but informative
  • Consider adding closed captions or translating your video
  • Create a playlist to pool similar videos together
  • Advertise

Consistency is a big part of running a successful YouTube marketing campaign. It doesn’t stop after creating a channel. You have to be consistent with your content and posting so that your subscribers stay loyal and are in constant anticipation of what you will put out next. This will give way for more subscribers to come your way as well. YouTube is about “constantly creating content”. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of creating a YouTube channel for your business and how you can use the many features that YouTube provides to customize and optimize your brand. Let’s move on to the actual ‘Strategizing’. 


Coming Up With A Strategy


After Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. As we mentioned above, YouTube has over 1 billion users – some consumers, some producers, some prosumers. (an amalgamation of both producer and consumer). There’s no denying the windows of opportunities YouTube affords for digital marketers looking to get their businesses discovered and recognized online. Many businesses have succeeded in this landscape but only with an effective YouTube marketing strategy in their arsenal. 

According to statistics provided by FortuneLords – the results of video marketing are unparalleled. A whopping 52% of marketing professionals worldwide claim that video is the type of content with the best ROI. For most businesses, it’s a no-brainer that the best place to post a video is YouTube. 

When it comes to digital content marketing, video is undoubtedly a promising prospect. Now more than ever, consumers are developing a desire to learn and want to connect with businesses through their video content – and businesses everywhere are listening. 

However, even with all the benefits that video marketing affords, only a small percentage of businesses are on YouTube. One reason for this is the lack of understanding of producing content for YouTube and then coming up with an effective marketing strategy to help market it. So how can your business have that same impact on your target audience? How can your brand leave an impression on consumers of your niche? How can your strategy stand out?

Here are some ways to go about creating a successful YouTube marketing strategy:


Creative and Original Content


Consumers interact with video content more than any other time of content because they relate to videos more and find them to be more personal and easier to engage with. So what can you as an entrepreneur do with this information when creating content for your YouTube channel?

The most obvious direction to take is to make sure that your content is, first and foremost, interesting. That is what will get your audience through the door. There is an endless variety of topics to choose from, but you would need to first need to research based on your business, the services you offer and the brand image you want to maintain, the kind of video content you want to create for your YouTube channel. 

If you offer a product, you could create video content on how to use that product, the benefits of that product, and its components. You can hire social media influencers who dabble in YouTube content to review your product (you can provide incentive by sending them samples or prototypes of your product for free and request that they review it or provide a testimonial that you can use in your own video). As long as it can be executed in a creative and informational way, it’s a feat worth exploring. 


Partnerships and Collaborations


To further expand on the point mentioned before, employing social media influencers’ help is immensely downplayed in the world of digital content marketing. Nobody understands the video content marketing landscape better than an influencer who has started their career creating content from nothing and turning it into something. Before getting famous on Instagram, they started as ‘YouTubers.’ 

There is a common misconception that YouTubers only produce content for Gen Z-ers or Millenials. A myriad of popular content and creators create solely for older individuals as they are an entire market on their own – a niche. The typical YouTuber creates video content about fashion, beauty, or video gaming. Many other YouTubers create video content about DIY projects, quick recipes, home organization, self-help, and many other interesting topics that could interest consumers. 

You can reach out to YouTubers that make video content that aligns with your brand image and industry or a YouTuber with an audience that resonates with your prospective audience. This is a smart way for your business to garner attention online and win-win for both you and the YouTuber who helps you employ. Cross-exposure from collaborations is always organic therefore encouraged in the YouTube community as well. 


Consistency


Maintaining consistency with content and posting is probably the number one reason why businesses abandon the idea of YouTube marketing altogether. It is a discipline worth maintaining because the benefits are exceptional. Although, understandably, maintaining a YouTube channel is hard – but if you are consistent with your content and posting, you’re very unlikely to see the results you want. 

YouTube should be treated just like you would any other aspect of your content strategy. Consistency does not start and end with the frequency of video posting. You also have to be consistent with your business’s narrative through your content. Starting with well-thought-out and quality-produced content but then gradually moves towards poor quality content that lacks effort, your subscribers will notice and start to move on because they are no longer interested. After you post your first video, make sure subsequent videos maintain that initial premium feel and quality for your followers to stick around. 


Conclusion


In conclusion, running a successful YouTube marketing campaign requires time and effort. A lot of effort. Don’t exhaust your ideas and avoid rotating between the same few topics for your videos instead of conducting research, evaluating your competitor’s strategies, and seeing what you’re missing. Keep experimenting with your content fresh and evergreen on the internet. 

As an entrepreneur now exploring the YouTube landscape, you should also keep an eye out for trending so you can use that to your advantage and see how you can relate them to your business and create video content accordingly. But it’s important not to lose sight of your brand image and make sure any content you produce still aligns with your business’s ideology. 


Author’s Bio:
Ian Haynes is a professional content writer, providing SEO article writing services to a clientele spread across the United States and Europe. He is a strong believer in content marketing, having witnessed how excellent content can allow your business to increase conversions. When he’s not occupied with work, you can find him reading or playing with his golden retriever, Fluffy.

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