- YouTube’s popularity has made it the second most popular search engine after Google.
- For marketers trying to market their products and services to new audiences, YouTube needs to become a priority.
- Venngage’s Ronita Mohan outlines everything you need to know about YouTube product marketing in the ultimate guide below.
- From deciding your target audience and goals to creating great, targeted content, YouTube SEO, metrics to analyze and more material that will add value to your video marketing efforts.
YouTube marketing has fast taken over the world, not just because of the popularity of online videos but because of the accessibility of the platform.
This has led to YouTube becoming the second most popular search engine after Google. Users are heading directly to YouTube for detailed visual answers to their questions, instead of googling their queries.
For marketers trying to market their products and services to new audiences, YouTube needs to become a priority.
We outline everything you need to know about YouTube product marketing in the ultimate guide below.
Outlining YouTube marketing goals
No marketing strategy would be complete without setting out specific, measurable goals—the same goes for YouTube.
What do you want from your YouTube channel? Do you want to spread brand awareness? Increase conversions? Educate the community?
Accordingly, you will have to design your content and share it with your audience.
You also need to understand the people who use YouTube. Yes, it is a very popular platform, but you aren’t aiming for every single YouTube user.
The goals you set for the channel will also translate into the kind of audience you are aiming to reach—people who want to be educated about a subject, or who want to purchase items that will improve their lives. Or others who just want answers or troubleshooting assistance.
Once you decide on your target audience and your goals, you can create content that specifically caters to them.
Try creating a calendar for your YouTube content—you should aim to post every day, if possible—so that you have clear deadlines for sending out content.
Your videos don’t have to be very long—five minutes at the most—but the channel should be updated frequently so you can improve engagement rates.
Creating a YouTube business channel
According to the latest visual content marketing statistics, video used by marketers has increased by 7% from previous years—and this rise is expected to continue.
When you make a personal Google account, you will be able to sign into YouTube—however, this is not the same as having a business account on the platform.
For one, if you want to upload videos, you need to create a channel—this channel can be specifically for you to upload business videos.
YouTube does offer an option to create an account solely to manage your business—the Brand Account option allows multiple people to use the same login to manage the account and gives you access to analytics.
You still need to create a channel for the Brand Account if you want to upload videos, leave comments, and make playlists.
Once you create your channel, it is imperative that you add your brand logo as the profile image, in the right dimensions—800 x 800 pixels.
You also need to add a YouTube banner (like the Lego channel example above)—2,560 x 1,440 pixels is the recommended size from Google. Check the cropping across devices and finalize the art.
With the channel art uploaded, you should add your associated brand accounts—your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.
The links you add will appear on your channel as icons that users can then click through to.
You will also need to add a brief description of your company, and you have the option of creating a welcome video that will introduce visitors to your channel.
These are the basics of setting up your business channel. Then, it’s onto content creation.
YouTube marketing video types
There are a number of video types that you can explore when creating content for your YouTube channel. We look at seven of the most popular varieties below.
1. Behind the scenes
Take users into the life and times of your brand and your company culture with behind-the-scenes videos. Tours of your office space, Q&As with staff members, highlights from office events—these all make for excellent social content.
The Lush behind-the-scenes video is a great example of how engaging this content is—two employees share how a product is made, intercut with visuals of the actual process.
It’s soothing, calming, fun, and it gives the company a more personal outlook.
2. “Best of” videos
Most YouTube channels round off the year with ‘best of’ videos—of the year, the decade, the season, best tools, or best strategies. And this is something that you can collate for your brand, or collaborate with someone to create.
“Best of” videos are also great gateway content—someone searching for videos on a particular topic could find yours and be interested enough in your content to watch more.
3. Explainer videos
These are very popular types of videos—people are constantly looking for solutions to their problems. This is why YouTube has become a favourite search engine in its own right.
Make life easier for users by creating explainer videos that showcase how to use a product, how to troubleshoot an issue, or how to understand a concept or industry.
Google Small Business’ video on taking high-quality photos is a simple but effective explainer—it features someone who has had success in the area alongside clear and easy-to-follow steps.
Note the friendly and comforting tone that makes the video more accessible to users who may be at the beginner stage of business photography. This helps make content more relatable and engaging.
Interviews with professionals in your field, in your company, or in an area of interest to your audience also make for popular content.
Akin to explainer videos, interviews also place your brand as a thought leader in the field—it tells people that you don’t just create content, you are an expert on it.
This interview from Inc with a leading CEO in the field makes for great content. The light and personal tone, the choice of the interviewee, and the message all place the brand as a thought leader trying to improve the knowledge of their audience.
Lists make for very popular content online—whether in blogs, infographics, or videos, lists about a topic are eye-catching and easy to consume.
Listicles are the most popular kind of content online. The Ahrefs video here is short, snappy, and to the point.
But the reason why listicles work is that they are finite—the audience knows there are 3 points and they can also go back to the point that is more relevant to them.
When attention spans are low, it helps to make your content more bite-sized, as exemplified in listicles.
6. Product demos
Make your product readily usable for customers by creating a product demo—that you can then use on your website. A demo will answer a lot of questions about the way a product should be used, while also acting as a sales pitch to buyers who are still on the fence.
Oracle Netsuite’s product demo has a simple set up—two people discussing the product with shots of the product in use. It gives users a visual guide to follow and refer to when they’re using the product themselves.
The internet may be a bastion of content, but it also has a propensity for spewing information that is patently untrue. If you want users to engage with you, you need to be real.
And what better way to do that than to feature testimonials with real people—staff and customers—on your YouTube channel?
These make for convincing videos that will make your brand look more human.
Omada’s testimonial video shows the importance of giving brands a human face—these are real people who were helped by a company and that makes the brand more attractive to potential customers.
Creating YouTube videos
Now that you know what kind of videos you should be creating, it is time to make your videos.
The content you create should be brand-conscious—ensure your logo is visible but that it doesn’t overwhelm the screen.
You should always include a call-to-action—asking people to subscribe to the channel, to like your video, visit your website, or to use a promo code.
Adding a strong and relevant CTA will help users stay engaged with your brand beyond viewing a single video.
Also, though many think that YouTube videos need to be highly stylized and have great production values, that isn’t always the case.
Focus less on how your video looks, and more on the content of your video.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What story are you trying to tell?
- Who are you telling it to?
- What do you want in return?
Answer these questions when you are making your videos—that will help you generate interest in your audience much more than expensive visuals.
Remember that video marketing on channels like YouTube is less about making sales, and more about making connections.
Don’t put content out there and hope for the best. You need to engage with the audience—ask people to comment and then reply to them. Look out for trolls and report them immediately.
Promote your content on social media channels. Add a link to your YouTube channel on your website and newsletter.
SEO isn’t just for written content—it has a huge role to play in video marketing, and eventually in how well your channel is received.
There are a number of SEO tools that you can use to make this process easier. But first, you need to know the key aspects of YouTube SEO that you need to work on.
If you want your audience to find your content, your channel and videos need to have the tags that are relevant to them.
The VidIQ extension is a good tool for checking tags that would be relevant to your content and are more effective in reaching your target audience.
As with tags, when creating videos, ensure you choose the keywords that not only describe the content but also appeal to your audience.
Use a mind map to brainstorm your keywords and keep track of which ones are most effective for your audience.
You will have spent time optimizing blog headlines. The same goes for YouTube videos. The headlines you choose should be extremely relevant to your topic.
Keep the headline to 60 characters—as you would do with a blog headline—so it isn’t cut off on search engines.
You should keep the primary keywords to the beginning of the headline—another important way to boost organic SEO.
Don’t use obscure keywords as this will make it harder for your videos to be found—and will negatively impact your ranking.
Looking for inspiration?
Here are some headlines that earned brands 1000s of views:
Short, sharp, and focused headlines will improve clicks and engagement.
The type of thumbnail that appears beside your video has an impact on how many people click on it—thus improving your ranking. According to YouTube, 90% of the top viewed videos feature custom thumbnails.
When you upload a video to YouTube, you will be able to choose a frame from your video. While this makes the process easier, it doesn’t actually tell the audience much about the video.
Instead, create a customized frame to use as the thumbnail—this can include visuals from the video, alongside the headline and a tagline.
Customized thumbnails will share more information than a random screenshot from the video, and make your content more attractive.
5. Video descriptions
Your video headline can only share so much information—to make your video more compelling to the audience, and for YouTube SEO rankings, write a detailed video description.
As with titles, ensure your primary keywords are kept in the front of the description. Include bullet points about the key areas you are discussing—if you can include timestamps for when in the video you will be discussing these points, even better.
Add a bit of levity by including links to the music you’re using in the video. And you should definitely include your CTA in the description.
To break it down, here are the essential elements of a great video description:
- To-the-point introduction, written in brand tone, explaining exactly what viewers will see in the video
- Keywords, used at the beginning of your description and sprinkled throughout. Avoid keyword stuffing, as you would do with a blog
- Include your CTA below the description—a link to subscribe to your channel, visit your website, or use a code
- Below the CTA, add links to related content
- Add timestamps to important moments in the video
People don’t realize that hashtags on YouTube are definitely a thing—and they can be massively helpful for your organic SEO.
YouTube allows a maximum of 15 hashtags, which can be used in the titles and descriptions of your videos.
These hashtags are clickable—users can see all content related to those hashtags. This also means you need to be judicious in your use of hashtags.
For one, they need to be relevant to your topic. They also need to be popular—obscure hashtags, like rarely-used keywords, won’t be clicked on.
Use hashtags to make your content more easily discoverable but choose them wisely.
The discussion around which YouTube metrics you should be focusing on has been raging for years. There are a large number of metrics available but they aren’t all made equal.
Here are some of the metrics that you should examine when trying to determine how well your content is performing:
- Bounce Rates – The rate at which people are leaving your video before completing it
- Click Rates – The number of times your video is being clicked on
- Completion Rates – How many times your video has been watched to completion
- Comments – The number of comments your video received
- Conversion Rates – How often users viewed a video and then acted on the CTA
- Likes and Dislikes – The number of likes or dislikes your video received
- Recurrence Rates – How often viewers watched the same video multiple times
- Referrals – Where users are finding your videos from
- Sharing – How often people are sharing your videos
- Subscribers – The number of subscribers your channel has
- Video Views – How many people watched a video in total
Those are a lot of metrics but you don’t have to study each one to decide whether your content is a success.
Go back to the goals that we mentioned in the first point of this blog—what are you trying to achieve with your YouTube marketing strategy?
- If you want more conversions from your videos examining the completion rates and conversion rates of your videos will tell you whether your content is engaging enough for people to act on your CTA.
- If creating a wholesome YouTube channel is your goal, study the referrals to find out where people are finding your content—so you can optimize those channels further.
Though you will want to grow your subscriber base, the number of subscribers you have may not be indicative of how good your content is.
- If your videos are being viewed despite low subscriber numbers, it may be a sign that your content is good but isn’t catering to repeat customers.
- In general, bounce rates and completion rates are good indicators of the success of your content.
When people leave your video without completing it, that means it didn’t hold their interest. If most people are leaving around the same point in the video, that gives you an idea of what you need to improve in the content itself.
Videos with low completion rates could be indicative of the fact that your videos are too long. Try creating shorter videos to see the impact on completion rates.
Focus on the metrics that align with the goals of your video marketing strategy instead of looking at every single one of them.
YouTube advertising is an option that brands can explore once they have become more comfortable with the platform.
According to PPCHero, 48% of marketers are investing in YouTube advertising, making it the third most popular advertising platform, after Facebook and Instagram.
There are a number of YouTube ad formats that you can use to reach your target audience.
Some YouTube video ad formats:
- Bumper ads: Six-second long unskippable ads that play before, during, and after videos. These cannot be skipped.
- In-stream ads: These 15 second-long ads come in skippable and non-skippable forms and appear before, during, and after videos across YouTube and other Google-affiliated videos.
- Masthead ads: The masthead ads appear muted at the top of the YouTube search page. These ads can be 30 seconds long.
- Outstream ads: Optimized for mobile marketing only, Outstream ads appear on mobile websites associated with Google, not on YouTube mobile.
- Video discovery ads: Much like banner ads, the video discovery ads appear on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and alongside related videos.
Depending on your needs, you can create ads that will improve your brand awareness and reach.
Bumper ads have the best chance of being seen because they are unskippable—but they are also only six-seconds long. If you can create strong messaging within that time, you can reach your target audience.
For a start, it makes more sense to create in-stream ads. You have more length to play with—15 seconds—and you can have them placed during a variety of relevant videos.
If you are unfamiliar with the platform, it’s always best to test out a few options so you know how which direction to go.
Video marketing on YouTube can feel like a challenge at first—but by following the above steps, you can start to build a following on the platform and improve your conversions.
Now that you have these basics in the bag, you can launch a YouTube channel to market your brand and products and let it grow into a successful marketing platform.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.