Businesses of all shapes and sizes benefit from a comprehensive YouTube marketing strategy. According to Hootsuite, YouTube has more than 1.7 billion unique visitors each month. The social media site gets more than 14 billion visits monthly, making it more popular than Facebook, Instagram, and even Amazon. YouTube also reaches more adults in the 18 to 49 age range than network and cable television. Despite the potential for massive reach, many companies often neglect their YouTube channels. Marketing on YouTube will help reinvigorate your digital video campaigns.

Importance of YouTube marketing

Visitors spend an average of 19 minutes daily on YouTube and view eight different videos. Except for Google, YouTube receives the most search queries daily. According to Mushroom Networks, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, and AOL don’t come close to the three billion searches performed on YouTube monthly. To keep a firm hold as the top search platform, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion.

Despite the popularity of YouTube, the social media site is underused by marketers. As of January 2021, YouTube was ranked fifth by marketers as the most used site behind Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Only a tiny percentage of small businesses have any type of YouTube marketing. In 2021, only nine percent of small businesses had a YouTube channel or marketing plan.

YouTube and buyer intent

Having a YouTube strategy helps you take advantage of the large percentage of users that visit the site for research purposes. For example, more than 50 percent of business-to-business (B2B) companies rely on YouTube to help them make purchasing decisions.

Consumers are streaming close to 700,000 minutes of content each minute on YouTube. With so much time spent online, users can find new brands consistently. Surveys conducted by Google in 2020 stated that 70 percent of respondents had bought an item they had first seen on YouTube. Video marketing helps build trust and improves brand recognition. Video advertising offers more authority than other types of ads. Marketers can engage more and communicate their messages better through video.

A YouTube marketing strategy allows your business not only to show your products but also to demonstrate how to use them. Companies can provide tips and also any troubleshooting advice. YouTube channels show that buyers can trust the brand to provide exceptional customer service. As buyers view your videos, they start to identify your brand as an industry expert. 

Improved Google rankings

With Google’s link to YouTube, you can also help improve your SEO strategy by planning video content. When typing in search queries on Google, users receive video links at the top of the page before any text results. High-quality videos with targeted keywords can get placement at the top of Google’s search engines. The more authoritative your YouTube channel becomes, the higher you will likely rank.

To improve Google rankings, part of your YouTube marketing strategy should involve cementing the brand’s authority. You could reach out to affiliates and embed your YouTube videos on their websites. On your company website, share links or embed the videos within high-quality and relevant blog posts. Share videos through social media to help boost visibility. 

Build leads on YouTube

A common misconception is that YouTube limits engagement between the user and the brand. However, you can build a contact list as part of your marketing strategy. Software programs make it simple for companies to add a contact form at the end of a video. You could request emails and other contact information to follow up on leads.

Lead generation will also involve you testing out different video types and styles. There are dozens of YouTube video types, including:

  • Video tutorials. Video tutorials are instructional videos that follow a how-to format or give tips and tricks. 
  • Educational video. An educational video gives a generalized overview of a topic. An example could be discussing 4K televisions if you’re an electronics brand.
  • Listicle. A listicle will feature a “best of…” or “top 10…” format. For instance, you could create a video of the top 10 accessories for your Jeep if you’re an auto parts retailer.
  • Product reviews. A product review can feature a collaboration between your brand and a YouTube influencer.
  • Behind-the-scenes videos. You could allow viewers a peek behind the curtain to see how your business operates. A live recording is a fun way to share a behind-the-scenes video.
  • Ask me anything. An ask me anything video could help the brand answer frequently asked questions from consumers.

Engaging consumers will make them more likely to visit your website or follow your YouTube channel. Keep the content engaging and use humor when appropriate. 

Repurpose marketing materials

Over the years, established businesses may have built up an extensive digital marketing library. You may have produced countless podcasts, blogs, and whiteboard presentations. Instead of limiting your audience, repurpose other marketing materials into a YouTube video series. Many individuals are visual learners and will prefer watching a video over reading text. Also, repurposing allows you to share updated information with your client base.

Once you start making YouTube videos, you can have a large video library to share with prospective clients. Instead of sharing a manual, you can point your clients to your YouTube channel to get more information about your products or services.

YouTube marketing options

Mixing tactics will garner the best results when launching a YouTube campaign. Organic promotional videos should be part of your strategy, since they appeal to those who want to learn something. Organic promotional videos don’t play like a traditional commercial. Instead, the videos add credibility and value to a brand. Traditional-style commercials could also appear on YouTube when you set up an advertising account with the platform.

Another marketing option will involve creating partnerships with other creators. Influencer marketing will likely work well if you find someone representing your brand’s core goals and values. You want the collaboration to feel authentic, not a paid product review ad. 

Getting started with YouTube marketing

As part of developing your strategy, you’ll want to spend some time on YouTube watching content. View trending videos and look for any consistencies. Consider the following questions as you watch:

  • What was the average video length?
  • Were captions provided?
  • Did the video have special effects?
  • Who is the creator’s target audience?

While reviewing content, you especially want to visit competitors’ channels. These videos should give you the motivation to improve upon their reach. Look at the brand’s most popular videos to gain insight into what’s connecting with audiences. Note the following features of the videos:

  • How is the overall video quality?
  • How often does the brand share new videos?
  • What are the comments saying about the brand?
  • How many subscribe to the channel?

Brand the YouTube channel

Creating a YouTube channel is only a small part of your marketing strategy. It would help if you customized the channel to make a lasting impact on your viewers. Your profile picture and banner should look professional, with logos seen in the images. Create a channel description using keywords associated with your brand’s most notable products and services. Opt for a custom URL to make the channel easy to share.

Once you have YouTube videos on the channel, take the time to optimize them. Make sure thumbnails feature short but catchy text and have an aesthetically pleasing image. Include keywords in your video titles and descriptions but remain professional. Don’t keyword stuff since the video may be mistaken for spam. Organize videos into playlists to make it easy for consumers to find the information they need.

YouTube paid ads

Along with curating your YouTube channel, a marketing strategy can involve participating in paid ad opportunities. Paid YouTube ads on mobile devices are 84 percent more likely to capture viewer attention than TV commercials. YouTube offers different format options for advertisements, including:

  • Display ads. Display ads usually only appear on desktop devices at the top or to the right of your current video.
  • Bumper ads. A bumper ad isn’t skippable and appears before a video plays. The ad type is supported on mobile and desktop.
  • Skippable ads. A skippable ad will play for approximately five seconds before the user can skip the rest. The remainder of the video will average three minutes long. The ad may play before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Non-skippable ads. The non-skippable ad will also have a broadcast option before, during, or after a video. Ad lengths will have a maximum playtime of 20 seconds.    

Once your ads go live, use analytics to gauge reach and ROI. YouTube provides analytics tools, or you can invest in third-party software to get more detailed information. View reach to see how many unique visitors are viewing your content and what type of devices they watch your videos on. Metrics can also detail the number of impressions, clicks, comments, and likes. Viewership numbers will give you the number of people who watched 25 percent, 50 percent, or 100 percent of your ad.

Target your current customers and grow your audience with a robust YouTube marketing strategy. Consumers can search for your videos through Google search engines and even audio searches. Investing time in building your YouTube channel will pay off in the long term.