5. Consider the customer journey. “If you’re just starting out on YouTube and have yet to build a following, chances are your first viewers will find you through search. So before you hit record or start building your video story, think about how you want your customers or viewers to find you. Who are you trying to attract? What are they searching for on Google or YouTube and how can you help them? Figure out which keywords you want your brand to rank for and craft compelling and entertaining video content around those keywords. The key to is to think about what the ideal path for your customer is. Say your company is a photo printing company. Your brand may be interesting to people who are searching for things such as ‘engagement photos,’ ‘scrapbooks,’ etc. If you want to capture those interested folks, your best bet is to create content for what they’re already searching for.” – Amy Copperman, 4 Essential Tips for YouTube Video Success, Adobe Spark; Twitter: @AdobeSpark

For other YouTube creators, ad dollars only go so far, and a significant portion of revenue comes from sponsorships and “affiliate marketing” (when brands offer a commission on any sales or traffic that the creator’s content drives). Affiliates function pretty seamlessly through YouTube; anyone can include links to featured products in their video’s caption, and when audience members click through and buy them, that YouTube channel gets a small kickback. Many YouTubers prefer Amazon’s affiliate program, “Amazon associates,” although there are plenty more to choose from.
Watch time reports the total number of minutes your audience has spent viewing your content on your channel as a whole and by video. This helps you see what pieces of content viewers are actually consuming instead of just clicking on and navigating away. Watch time is important because it’s one of YouTube’s ranking factors. A video with a higher watch time is more likely to rank higher in results. YouTube provides a line item report on watch time, views, average view duration, and average percentage viewed for individual videos, location, publish date, and more. A video’s average percentage viewed, or retention rate, indicates the average percentage of a video your audience watches per view. A higher percentage means there’s a higher chance that your audience will watch that video until the end. Try placing cards and end screens in videos with a higher average percentage viewed rate to improve the number of views your calls-to-action receive.
At the same time you’re creating your storyboard, you’ll also want to decide how long your video you should be. On YouTube, videos under two minutes receive the highest levels of engagement. Your video should be just long enough to deliver the key messages that align with the goal you set in step 1. If you do create a longer video, experiment with how you present content -- the pacing, story arc, and visuals -- to keep viewers interested throughout.
After you upload your channel icon and art, add a channel description, a company email, and links to your company website and other social platforms in the About section. Your description should provide more information on your company and explain what type of video content you plan on sharing. Search engines look at your description when determining how to rank your profile so incorporate relevant keywords in your overview. We’ll talk more about how to optimize your YouTube channel description below.
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