YouTube: 10 Best Practices

May 2015

For a small business that would like to add a personal feel to their branding, there is no better medium than YouTube. With more than a billion users, YouTube is an incredibly effective way of reaching the masses.

Photo Credit: @jpl335
Photo Credit: @jpl335

Still, creating quality video content can be intimidating, especially if you are unsure where and how to start. Let us walk you through the ten best practices to keep in mind when starting a YouTube channel for a small business.

  1. Adjust to the ecosystem: YouTube is a social space with its own organic environment. Before starting your channel, take some time to explore the space and take note of what seems to be working for users similar to yourself. How long is their average video, do they include a lower third bar (a graphic appearing on the lower third of the screen, similar to a news media format), and how are the videos being shot?
  1. Stage for success: lights, camera, invest! A high definition video camera, sound equipment, and lighting really make a difference in the quality  (and therefore, the credibility and share-ability) of your content. It may mean  a small investment up front, but it’s essential for long-term success.
  1. Keep consistent: branding across all platforms is key, including YouTube. Everything from the “about me” section to your profile picture should match your website and other social media channels. Keeping these consistent allows your customers to identify your brand and confirm that the account is yours. You should also release videos on a scheduled basis, which will help your subscribers anticipate and stay current with your content.
  1. Spare the sell: YouTube is a channel for content, not ads. Leave sales tactics for your e-commerce site or physical location, they will only irritate your subscribers and bore your potential viewers.
  1. Put your best face forward: choose a spokesperson and stick with  them. Subscribers love a “behind the scenes” look at your business. However, in keeping with point number 2, first impressions really do matter. Follow these tips on how to look great on camera.
  1. Start somewhere: don’t lose faith if your channel has a slow start; everyone begins at zero.  All the more reason to share, share, share. Posting content across platforms guarantees you will reach a wider audience. This generates more views, lending credibility to your video.
  1. Direct your demographic: at the end of the day, you want your channel to drive traffic back to your website. Make sure to include a link to your site in your about section, as well as in the description of every video you create.
  1. Spice up your SEO: other than Google, YouTube is the largest online search engine, and the language you use to describe your videos can play a big role in your SEO status. Relevant title, description, and tags are all important when maximizing your SEO.
  1. Analyze insights: YouTube analytics can help you  identify who is watching, at what times, and for how long. These insights will allow you to create content that is better suited for your audience.
  1. Include a call to action: every video should have one. Period. If you are going to spend the time and dollars it takes to produce quality, entertaining content for your audience, you should receive something from your viewers in return, even if all that means is an extra like on Facebook or a positive Yelp review.

For more advice on YouTube,  check out our channel. We post a social media tip every Tuesday! 

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