Do you use YouTube to market yourself or your business? Chances are low that you do. Like most people, you might assume that video is too hard to produce and you may feel as though you lack the necessary resources. However, these are all false assumptions since smartphones today have the capability to take incredible HD videos with great sound. This is really all you need to get started!
Next to Google, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world (kind of). Individuals, as well as businesses, are quickly moving to this network as a new source of income and a way to market their brand. With the growth of online video consumption, making money with YouTube is a lot easier than you think.
In this post, we’ve outlined the 6 steps you can take to set-up a profitable YouTube channel.
1. Brand Your Channel for Success
If you look at all the successful channels on YouTube, they all have one thing in common: branding. Even if your channel is brand new, you should take the appropriate steps to create a properly branded channel.
The first step in this process is to create a compelling description for your channel. Let the viewer know what they’re in store for and make sure you use the same taglines and slogans that are found on your website.
Next, you’ll want to update your profile picture and create professional looking channel art. This way, visitors who stumble upon your channel will have a better sense of what your YouTube channel is all about and they’ll begin to familiarize themselves with your branding.
2. Generate Engaging and Valuable Content
As the saying goes… content is king. No matter how nice your YouTube account may look, if your channel does not have quality content, then your visitors won’t come back.
When it comes to creating engaging content, your content must be either actionable or shareable. Some YouTubers have grown their channel by making funny videos which increase the shareability of their content. On the other hand, many businesses have invested heavily into creating actionable pieces of content. For example, the Lowes YouTube channel has tons of actionable content on DIY home improvement. The goal is to educate viewers on how to use the products they sell.
Just like anything marketing related, the best way to learn what your audience finds valuable is to test and tweak. If you put out 3 pieces of content and realize that one is doing much better than the other two, then you should focus your time on creating the most sought after content.
3. Create a Strong First Impression
Discovery within YouTube is a huge part of attracting new viewers to your videos. You’re likely to get a larger percentage of new viewers from “suggested videos” within the YouTube platform.
When a video is suggested by the platform, a thumbnail and the headline is shown to preview what the video is about. An interesting headline can attract a significant amount of clicks to your video. Just like dating, you always want to create a good first impression.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to create nice thumbnails for your videos. You can use free tools like Snappa to create eye-catching thumbnails. This will ensure your thumbnail captures the attention it deserves.
If you’re looking to write a killer headline, you can use Co-Schedule’s headline analyzer.
4. Optimize Your Videos
YouTube’s goal is to keep people on their site for as long as possible. To do so, they’ve developed algorithms that determine which videos to suggest to people based off similar content and tags.
Knowing this, you have the ability to optimize your content on YouTube so that it can be seen more often. There are a few factors to look at when discussing YouTube video optimization.
- Tags -Tags basically give YouTube a better idea of what the video includes and what it is about. A video about travelling Canada might have tags such as ‘travel’, ‘Canada’, ‘Vancouver’, ‘explorecanada’, ‘tourists’, etc…
- Title and Description – YouTube uses keywords from the title of your video and the description of your video for their internal search engine. Providing a strong title that includes keywords which are highly searched, can lead to more views and click-throughs on your video. Do not keyword stuff your titles and descriptions, but make a valiant effort to include a mini synopsis of your video within the description box.
- Analytics – This cannot be stressed enough. Analyze your content and improve based on analytics. YouTube gives pretty solid analytics about viewership, so if you have a look and see that most of your viewers are males, it might be a good idea to stick with male oriented content. Another example could be the concept of the video. If you talk about technology in your videos and notice that the one video with the tech review performed the best, then you should probably think about doing more reviews. Finally, pay close attention to engagement and retention. The better your video retention, the more likely YouTube will show your video to others.
5. Share, Encourage Share, and Collaborate
Creating content is half the battle. Now your job is to spread it. Use your network and spread your content across other social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Video consumption is growing across the internet and is very effective on most of these social websites.
Within your video and description it is also important to create some type of call-to-action. You want to make sure that your viewers come back, but also grow your YouTube channel, so encourage them to like, comment, subscribe, and share the content if they enjoyed it.
YouTubers and businesses do very well by doing things such as holding contests through social engagement (likes, shares) or even asking engaging questions at the end of the video and encourage comments. All of these shares will help grow your channel and hopefully your business.
Additionally, collaboration is a large part of the YouTube community and is key for growing your channel. Do some research and look at similar or complementary YouTubers to collaborate on video content with you. This way you can create videos and share them across both of your networks. Collaboration doesn’t need to be with YouTubers as well. Bringing in influencers related to your industry can hold many benefits and will allow you to cross promote with the influencer audience in the same way.
6. Monetize Content
Now that you have quality content which is being watched, you can begin to monetize your YouTube channel. If you’re selling products, add call to actions within your video content to drive traffic back to your product pages. If you’re selling a service, drive traffic to a landing page instead and try to set up a call with your prospects.
Not selling a product or service yet? No worries! You can beginning monetizing your content by creating a Google AdSense account and linking the account within your YouTube settings. In order for your content to be monetized, the music needs to be non-copyright and Google needs to approve your channel. Once this is all set-up, you can begin making money off the advertisements that are displayed on your videos.
Making money with YouTube is a process that takes time. The key is to have a strong overall YouTube channel which consists of quality content, a professional overall look, and optimized content that users are searching for.
Despite the investment, the benefits of a large subscriber base and high viewership are huge. You will be able to make residual income off of your video content forever and you will have more opportunity to make money off of affiliate products, selling merchandise, and brand deals when you hit a certain scale on your YouTube channel.