20. Focus on the quality of your content. “Don’t worry about the production quality of your videos—especially when you first start creating video content. The quality of your content is more important than the production quality of your videos. Your first priority should be making videos that are both helpful and entertaining for your target audience.
For channel art, choose something that represents your business while being visually dynamic. I highly recommend using graphic design tool Snappa to create your YouTube channel art. They have pre-made templates that are sized to fit your channel perfectly, all of which are fully customizable. Try to use similar colors, fonts, and stylistic choices that you make on your website and profile picture. You can also add text to help get your point or brand across more quickly. A great example is AdEspresso’s own channel art:
Until last month, pretty much any random person could enable the “monetization” setting on their YouTube account and get ads on their videos, allowing them to earn a fraction of a cent for every time a person viewed or clicked on their content. That all changed in January, however, when Google (YouTube’s owner) announced new standards to merit those ads. Now, to be accepted into the “YouTube Partner Program” and monetize your channel, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch-time over the past 12 months; your videos will also be more closely monitored for inappropriate content. Meanwhile, YouTube also promised that members of “Google Preferred” — a vaunted group of popular channels that make up YouTube’s top 5 percent, and command higher ad dollars because of it — will be more carefully vetted. (These shifts followed the Logan Paul controversy, as well as a brouhaha about ads running on unsavory content, such as sexually explicit or extremist videos.)
YouTube also has a more democratic appeal. Unlike Instagram, where the biggest influencers are mainstream megastars in their own right (Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé), YouTube is dominated by homegrown celebrities, such as Jenna Mourey (a.k.a. Jenna Marbles), Mariand Castrejón Castañeda (a.k.a. Yuya, a Mexican beauty vlogger), and a bunch of gamers that I’ve never heard of but have millions of fans. The world’s highest-paid YouTube star is Daniel Middleton, a British 26-year-old who goes by “DanTDM” and gained his fortune (an estimated annual income of $16.5 million, per Forbes) by posting videos of himself playing Minecraft. Last year, he did an international tour that included four sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House.
48. Use a little humor. “Have you ever wondered why the funny videos on YouTube earn so many hits in such a short time? That’s because people love humor. We all like a good laugh. There are several YouTube channels out there that have had huge success by injecting humor into their videos. You don’t have to make your audience fall on their backs laughing – just flashing a little sense of humor will do the trick.” – Top YouTube Marketing Tips, TechAdvisory.org/Pronto Marketing; Twitter: @prontomarketing
23. Hook non-subscribers with your channel trailer video. “Your channel homepage looks different for subscribers and non-subscribers. Have you adjusted your channel page accordingly? For example, on my channel non-subscribers see the channel trailer video. But subscribers see something different. The trailer is hidden, and instead they see my featured videos.
The online-video unit posted revenue of about $4 billion in 2014, up from $3 billion a year earlier, according to two people familiar with its financials, as advertiser-friendly moves enticed some big brands to spend more. But while YouTube accounted for about 6% of Google’s overall sales last year, it didn’t contribute to earnings. After paying for content, and the equipment to deliver speedy videos, YouTube’s bottom line is “roughly break-even,” according to a person with knowledge of the figure.
"Commodified Internet spaces are always profit-oriented, but the goods they provide are not necessarily exchange-value and market-oriented; in some cases (such as Google, Yahoo, MySpace, YouTube, Netscape), free goods or platforms are provided as gifts in order to drive up the number of users so that high advertisement rates can be charged in order to achieve profit.":181
While you’re on the quest to find and attract new customers and leads, don’t forget about the ones you already have. Share your video content and channel with relevant email lists. Encourage your contacts to check out a blog post you’ve embedded a video in to increase both the video and website traffic or direct them to a relevant playlist you’ve curated. Sending an email newsletter with valuable information and content is a great way to keep your contacts engaged.
“When you create your videos, you should keep this in mind. What is going to be the ad that draws people to the video? If you’re going to draw people in with an offer of information, then the video should get to that information right away. For example, if the link to the video said ‘Weekly market report,’ then the video should begin with the weekly market report, or some information pertaining to it.” – Michael Darmanin, The 4 Essential YouTube Tips, RISMedia; Twitter: @RISMediaUpdates
In 2017, YouTube is predicted to evolve even further, making more changes that will benefit companies who incorporate it into their social media and video marketing strategies. From added profile and socialization features for better audience connection to exploring long-form, television style content, YouTube is expected to make some major upgrades this year.
“With the help of Google Keyword Planner, or other keyword research tools, you can find topically-relevant keywords and phrases based on broader seed keywords, and evaluate the competitiveness of each along the way. For a newer channel, it would be reasonable to start with easier, less-competitive keywords or more specific long-tails, and once you succeed – to try ranking a video for more competitive terms.
A good way to manage your account is to use a tool to help automate the process. Agorapulse lets you pre-moderate your comments, check and respond to comments from your dashboard’s social inbox (which you can do as part of a team + you can assign tasks), as well as monitor YouTube for mentions of your brand in videos and comments. Other useful management features include saved replies (to respond to comments with a few clicks) and a social CRM tool to help keep track of your subscribers and connections.
Once you’ve established the goal for your video, it’s time to put on your creativity hat and start working on your storyboard. A storyboard is like a blueprint for your video and serves as an outline for the shoot. You’ve probably even seen one before. Storyboards look a bit like comic strips and include rough sketches of different scenes paired with short descriptive information about the scene, camera position and motion, and dialogue. They vary in the level of detail included, but your storyboard should, at the very least, include:
38. Brand your content and videos. “If you are the original creator of the content then you should brand it with your name and logo along with a link to your website. Branding is very important because it gives you the credibility. On top of that, if your videos provide value then tons of visitors will share them with others. In this way, if your video is posted or uploaded elsewhere, you will still get the credit and traffic because of your branding.” – Salman Ahsan, Top Five YouTube Marketing Tips that Work, Mastermind Blogger; Twitter: @MMBlogger
Like any good campaign or content generation, it’s important to establish what you want to accomplish with your video before you get into the nuts and bolts of bringing it to life. Do you want to increase awareness for your brand? Drive inbound website traffic? Add subscribers to your channel? Increase social shares? Or do something else entirely? Establishing a singular goal at the start of the production process is key and will allow you to focus the video’s script and strategy on accomplishing it. It’s perfectly OK to have multiple goals for your YouTube channel, like increasing brand awareness and adding subscribers, but the best practice is to focus on one goal per video.
Optimize the watching experience — Improve your search presence and connect with your audience by using optimization tactics for your videos. This includes uploading Featured Content for current subscribers or a Channel Trailer for visitors. You could also curate your videos into appropriate playlists. This will organize your content and encourage viewers to continue watching.
YouTube will only show the first two to three lines (about 100 characters) of your video’s description, then viewers will need to click “show more” to see the rest. For that reason, be sure to include any important links or CTAs in the beginning of your description, and write the copy so it drives views and engagement. Below this, you can include the video transcript. Video transcripts can greatly improve your SEO because your video is usually full of keywords. You can also add a default channel description that includes links to your social channels, video credits, and video specific time stamps. You can also include #hashtags in your video titles and descriptions -- just be sure to use them sparingly.