YouTube 101

Bethany Sterzer

August 26, 2013

Have you seen the Gangnam Style music video? How about Justin Beiber’s song “Baby” with Ludacris? No? Then you probably have been living in YouTube oblivion and must read on.

Both videos are two of the most watched of all time on YouTube. If you’ve been ignoring the social media giant it’s time to get familiar because today YouTube is the second largest search engine, right behind Google. As a marketer, you can’t afford to turn a blind eye.

Why use YouTube

Video can be a powerful engine for delivering your company message in an entertaining way. Case in point: The Dollar Shave Club, which became an overnight success with this YouTube video:

With more than 1 billion unique visitors watching more than 6 billion hours of video every month, you can see why YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. But before you start hyperventilating from being overwhelmed, take a deep breath and read on. I’ll share the when and how (to get started) of YouTube.

When to use YouTube

YouTube videos are an excellent tool for:

–       Demonstrating a service or a product

–       Promoting testimonials

–       Showing company culture

–       Educating with helpful tips or information

–       Providing industry expertise

How to get started

Have an objective

Do you want to sell a product or service? Create brand awareness? Entertain your target audience? Whatever your objective, you want to make sure it fits strategically into your marketing plan. Creating a video just for the sake of creating video will get your brand nowhere.

Use a well-branded and appealing design

Highlight your brand in the best light possible by utilizing the design effectively. Communicate to the viewer who you are: fun, serious, intellectual, etc. Make your personality known through your design—brand yourself appropriately.

Leverage YouTube’s new One Channel layout:

1)    Create branded channel art

–       With the new design, your channel will be responsive to any screen size (mobile, TV, desktop, etc.)

–       Use a 2560 x 1440 image, though only part of that will be visible on a desktop

2)    Create a video trailer that tells your audience who you are

Add website and social media links

Connecting your assets will not only help your Google ranking, it will improve the user’s experience in engaging with your brand.

Deep breaths. Still with me? See, that wasn’t so bad. You can now consider yourself a YouTube 101 graduate. Congratulations! Take a minute to celebrate.

But, if you feel like you may be preempting your graduation and celebrating a bit too soon, stay tuned. In our next YouTube 101 blog post we’ll go into depth on how to engage on YouTube.