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YouTube for Business & Branding

YouTube, the social media platform owned by Google, is an important part of the marketing mix. Use the following primer to gain a better understanding of how to leverage the power of YouTube to build your brand and business.

100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. ~YouTube Press

YouTube logo


YouTube is a social media powerhouse with more than a billion unique viewers per month watching nearly six billion hours of video. $5.6 billion in ad revenue was spent on YouTube in 2013. Almost 70% of Fortune 500 companies are active on YouTube along with 97% of nonprofits and charities.

  • YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine online today.
  • YouTube videos also appear in other search engine results.

The marketers’ goal of YouTube is to convert viewers into website visitors by:

  1. Creating strategic website landing pages to increase conversions on your website.
  2. Engaging the viewer with quality videos that offer value.
  3. Enticing viewers to visit your website through a compelling call-to-action.

Websites offer an additional way to increase exposure to your videos. Embed topic-worthy videos within appropriate web pages. Video can enrich site visitors’ experience. Relevant, descriptive copy can also improve the accuracy of search bot’s indexing of video content.

YouTube logo

Channel It

Creating a YouTube channel allows you to brand it and link it to your other social media networks. YouTube’s “One Channel” design strives to unify viewers’ experiences across platforms. The idea is to have the design of a channel adapt to any type of device and screen size.

Channel art should be 2560 px by 1440 px for maximum screen size. Viewers with smaller screens will see a portion of the channel art.

YouTube channel art guidelines

Adding a Channel Trailer Video, showcasing what your channel offers, can be used to entice new visitors to subscribe and become followers.

Before They Can Press Play

When developing content for your YouTube Channel, follow the four “Ps” for powerful results – Plan, Produce, Publish, and Promote.

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1. Plan

Develop a plan for your video with clear goals and strong calls-to-action.

  • Write your script, revise it, and practice it.
  • Add visuals to underscore particular points and stoke interest.

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2. Produce

Lighting and audio are important to producing well-crafted videos.

  • Use bright, ambient light or set up classic 3-point lighting. Avoid bright, single-directional light that will cast dark shadows.
  • Test & adjust your audio recording. Note, quality microphones are available for less than $100.

Connect with your audience through light humor or personal stories. Educate them with your expertise. Within the video, encourage viewers to rate, comment on, and share your video. End all of your videos with a compelling call-to-action by plainly stating to your viewers what they should do, how they can do it, and why it will benefit them.

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3. Publish

To take advantage of the search capabilities of your videos, use transcripts, descriptions, captions, and relevant tags to identify the content of your video. They boost accessibility and optimize your video content, making it easier for search bots to understand what you videos are about.

  • Descriptions should include a brief call-to-action with a prominent link to your website, service, or product. Since the description is visible below your YouTube video, the call-to-action and link to your website will be very visible.
  • Always include an accurate summary of your video’s content in the description box. You want viewers to watch as much of your video as possible. A high bounce rate tells YouTube your video isn’t worth watching, so it won’t be as visible in search results.

Publish at the best quality possible, 720 minimum to 1080 preferable. Other considerations for publishing include:

  1. Annotations – YouTube annotations allow text and links to be added to YouTube videos. This can increase viewer engagement. However, be aware that annotations are not visible on YouTube mobile, tablet, or TV.
  2. Overlay – A YouTube call-to-action overlay with a link can be added to videos. It requires setting up a YouTube ad account with minimal investment for each overlay link click. This could be set up for as little a dollar a day at a penny per click. The call-to-action overlay option won’t be available until the ad account is active. Once it is, find your video, select edit, and the call-to-action overlay option will be available.

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4. Promote

Send viewers to watch your videos on YouTube to increase traffic and visibility. Greater viewership and social interaction on YouTube will make your video rank better in the platform’s search results.

  • Use all social media channels to share your video with a teaser, a benefit, and a direct YouTube link. Share your video with your email list. Ask for comments and shares.
  • Embed your video in your website-relevant content to get other search engines to index your video content. Adding a descriptive paragraph introducing the video will help get it accurately indexed.

Your YouTube channel will be directly connected to your Google+ account, which allows your YouTube updates appear on Google+. Also, since YouTube easily integrates with other social media networks – especially Google+, Facebook, and Twitter – you can promote your site with all of your followers, build your audience, create value, and increase business.

And if you absolutely insist on making videos of your cats, make sure they’re cute or funny. 😉

youtube business branding graphic

Jon Whitbeck

As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.

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