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Now that video has taken over the Internet, it’s perhaps not surprising that brands and small business owners are constantly looking for new ways to use YouTube as part of their overall digital marketing campaign. In order to get your YouTube channel up and running, here is a quick four-step plan.
Step 1: Decide on your overall content strategy
Before you ever set up a Brand Account on YouTube, it’s worth taking some time to map out an overall content strategy. Here’s where it can really pay to do a little due diligence about your competitors. See what types of content they are creating, what topics they are using, and what types of YouTube videos are getting the most engagement (i.e. the most “likes” and views). This will help you decide on the best type of content to create for your brand
Step 2: Get a handle on YouTube analytics
YouTube offers a very powerful back end for content creators that makes it possible to put together a very detailed analysis of what’s working, and what types of people you are reaching with your videos. Within the Analytics tab, for example, you can check out view counts, average watch time, and interaction rates. And within the Demographics tab, you can check out the geographic location, age, and gender of your audience. Spending even 30 minutes a week poring over this data can help you tweak your content. For example, if you’re a brand selling to a millennial audience, and your YouTube viewers are skewing much older, then you’ll need to think of ways to make your content more relatable to a younger audience.
Step 3: Optimize for SEO
One important insight here is that YouTube is actually the world’s second largest search engine (trailing only Google). So naturally, SEO is going to be a major factor in getting your videos to pop in YouTube search queries. There are a few basic ways to optimize your videos – such as by choosing the right titles, keywords, hashtags and video descriptions. Moreover, the better that you can make your thumbnail images for each video, the higher the likelihood that people will be clicking on your videos.
Step 4: Continually fine-tune and tweak your content
On YouTube, you have to be creative in order to stay ahead of the competition. That’s why many content creators will spend a lot of time elsewhere on YouTube, seeing what top creators are doing, and how they are finding new ways to engage viewers. There’s always something new that you can be doing to improve your overall YouTube video content creation strategy. So think of this as a continual, iterative cycle as you adopt best practices.
In many ways, setting up and operating a YouTube channel is not unlike setting up any other content platform on the web. It’s all about choosing the right content for the right audience, and then using all the powerful tools on the back end of YouTube in order to maximize your overall reach and engagement.