Guide to YouTube for business start-ups

As ever, we’ll run with the statistics first.  400 hours of video is said to be uploaded every single minute on YouTube.  With over one billion users, more than a third of the entire internet population uses the website.  Many viewers spend as much as 40 minutes using YouTube each time they open the app.

So, needless to say, for a start-up looking to reach new audiences via social media marketing, YouTube is a great option.

But, how to get going when you don’t really know where to start?  Well, that’s where we come in:

Business YouTube means doing what works

The most popular videos on YouTube do one of three things: they entertain, they shock or they educate.

So, a good starting point is to take a look at all the videos in your industry that are getting the best results – they’ll probably be educational, given you’re a business – and work on doing the same thing, but better.

If you take the time to offer the best videos in your space, you WILL get views – and lots of them.

Don’t just create random videos just because you enjoy making them: that might work for consumers, but successful business videos usually require much more purpose behind them.

You’ll need to ensure your videos are found – this means keywords

When writing your video’s description, you’ll need to include potential keywords that visitors are likely to search for.  So, if you’re creating a video on the latest winter fashion lines (for example), you might want to include phrases like:

  • Winter outfits
  • Winter outfit ideas
  • Winter clothes
  • Winter fashion
  • Dressing well in winter

And so on.  The key is to include the keywords naturally.  Ensure you write a description that’s engaging that happens to include your target phrases.

(Unsure which phrases you should use? Here’s how to cheat: find the most popular video on the same topic and see which ones they’ve used!)

YouTube business accounts should stick to a schedule

This doesn’t, of course, mean that you should churn out poor videos each and every day just to say that you post daily.  All businesses using YouTube for social media marketing will require different posting schedules: the important thing is simply having one!

It might be that you post once a week, or on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or three times a week.

Whatever it is, though, make sure you stick to it.  If fans of your YouTube channel know when you’re going to upload, they’ll know when to come back.  (And they may well bring friends with them too!)

If you’re unsure when to post, keep in mind when your audience is likely to have free time.  If you’re not sure, then commuting times – 7-10am and 4-7pm are always a good idea, as plenty of people will be on the move and looking for something to help them kill time on the bus or train home.

Accept feedback and engage with your audience

The point of social media marketing as a whole is to build online relationships, so make sure you do so!  If customers are choosing to give you their attention, make them feel it’s worth it: reply as soon as you can.

Get into conversations with your users: ask them which types of content they like and what they think of each video.  Remember, you should be looking to give the viewers what they want and the more you do that the more responses and feedback – and views – you’ll get as a result.

Ensure you give genuine, meaningful responses too.  As a start-up, it’s unlikely you’re going to be so bombarded with engagement early on, so don’t give cookie-cutter answers that show a lack of interest in your user base.

Give your business YouTube channel a unique look

This is an under-estimated tool, given how much value online consumers place on visuals.  YouTube channel pages are pretty customisable, so take advantage of this.  Change the colours to bring the page in-line with your brand; include images of your business and make sure all text is in-keeping with your tone of voice.

Make sure you point your YouTube fans to your website

Remember, YouTube is there to help you spread the word about your growing start-up.  So make sure users can find you when they need to.  Your YouTube page – and each of your video descriptions – should include links to:

  • Your website
  • Your Facebook, Twitter and any other social media channels you run
  • Any other videos you’ve made that are relevant to this particular one
  • Your channel page (in the individual video descriptions)

We recommend you encourage viewers to engage with the post, whether that’s through leaving comments, rating the video, sharing it or simply checking out other videos within your channel.  This is more important than you might think, as YouTube uses engagement to rank videos: the more attention a video gets, the more people it’ll subsequently be shown to and so on.  Make use of this snowball effect and you’ll consistently have more viewers.

If you want to know more about operating your business’ YouTube channel or any other social media channel to market your business then you should check out our mini masterclass on all aspects of social media for business, which you can find out more about here.

In addition, if you’d like to read some of our other guides on using different social media networks for business, you can visit our main hub page here.

See also

Plan to start your business

Plan to grow your business

Protecting your ideas