Finally taking the YouTube plunge? You’re one step closer to getting more eyes on your company and connecting with your audience in a new way!
There are a lot of steps between recording a video, uploading that video, and achieving YouTube stardom. How do you even create a channel? Or prepare your existing one for YouTube excellence? Is your channel ready for the challenge of gaining as many views as these adorable dancing twins?
We got you, boo. Let's make sure your YouTube channel is primed for primetime.
Make Your Channel
As long as you have a Google account, you can have your own YouTube channel. Before you create it, though, give a thought to email addresses. If you're starting your own personal YouTube channel, go ahead and use your personal Google account. But if you’re setting one up for your company, consider using an email address that wouldn’t be awkward for someone else (like a colleague or staffer) to use down the road. Create or use a general account that you can use for other social channels too, versus one of your personal addresses, so that it's easy for everyone to access accounts when they need them.
Use the steps on this page to make sure you have a Google account set up, and to create your YouTube account. If you're creating a channel for your business, you can set up a Branded Account, which lets you share ownership with other people (like other members of your staff).
Build Your Channel
Congrats! You have your own YouTube channel! 👏 Before you start uploading videos all willy-nilly, let’s go over some best practices to bring you and your channel up to speed.
- Brand everything. So, like every social media channel in existence, there are some key things you need to fill out on your profile to tell your viewers, “Hey it’s me! Your favorite company!” Make sure your channel has a high-quality logo as the profile image, an awesome cover image, and a filled out channel description. Remember to keep this branding consistent with your existing language! Don't forget to link to your website, too.
- Consistency is key. When you upload videos, keep your titles uniform and your descriptions, well, descriptive. When someone looks at your title and description they should know exactly what they’re getting into before they hit the play button. And these are key areas where the words you choose should reflect what a user is searching for; remember, YouTube is basically a giant search engine. When you're writing a title and description, think about what a user might type into the search bar to find this video, over what you want to call it. If you're already doing that, take it to the next level with these optimization tips.
- Plan it out. Speaking of consistency, try incorporating your YouTube channel into your overall strategy so you regularly release videos! Basically, try not to post five videos in one day, forget that you have a YouTube channel, and then repeat the process again six months later. It’s better to plan to post a video every other day or twice a week, every week, instead of dropping in and dropping out. And use that video content in multiple places; you can post a video on YouTube, then post it on Facebook, then post a clip of it on Instagram, tease that clip on your Instagram story, and write a blog post featuring the video that you send out to your email list. Maximize your content!
- Curate your content. Playlists are awesome tools to master on YouTube. They’re a way to curate your videos around different topics and organize your viewers’ experience (and your cluttered channel)! That way a viewer can have an a-ha moment about something they always wanted to know about your company, click on your playlist, and the videos keep rolling as they finish one video and move onto the next. Learn how to make one here.
- Analyze everything. You probably already know it by now, but we love analytics! And like any good social media channel, YouTube is packed with them. Find yours here. Keep an eye on data like how many views you’re getting and which videos are being watched all the way through to the end, so you can plan even better future content. We promise to go into more detail on YouTube Analytics in a future Slice.
- Value quality. Your YouTube videos don’t have to be a Hollywood production, but shoot for something more complete than a shaky SnapChat clip. Unlike other social channels, you’re not as limited by length as people scroll through their feeds. When your viewers are on your YouTube channel, they want to sit down and watch, so make sure you're telling a story and providing real value. Save the quickie clips for your Instagram Stories.
One of our favorite YouTubers is Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates. She's a Pilates instructor who has been filming workouts on YouTube for years, and she's mastered the art of creating a channel with real value that keeps people coming back. Check out how she organizes her playlists and watch some of her different types of videos to see how she sells clothing, packages, teaching certifications, and all kinds of other products while giving away advice, instruction, and inspirational content for free. Most videos are anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes long, and her early videos (like this one) are definitely NOT professionally filmed, but, as we always say, consistency is the key -- she kept at it and kept uploading, and now she regularly gets millions of views on a single video.
Now that you’ve picked up some handy tips and tricks, check out even more video ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Don't be intimidated to just start filming and seeing what kind of content you can come up with; what can you teach us? What's your story and how can you inspire someone? What's the most important thing someone should know about your work? Pick up a camera or grab a friend with an iPhone and see what happens! At the very least, you can practice speaking on camera, which is a very valuable skill, or you might discover an awesome content marketing idea... or both!
Also, would it really be a Slice about YouTube without another cat gif? Check out the YouTube channel Simon’s Cats for your daily dose of adorable.