Home How to Use YouTube to Market Your Business

How to Use YouTube to Market Your Business

If you aren’t getting enough customers in the door for your business, it might be time to try a new marketing strategy. Tapping into the growing trend of video is a great place to start. YouTube is the second largest website on the internet by monthly web traffic, according to data from Ahrefs. This makes it an awesome place to get into video and potentially drive a ton of business your way.

How to Use YouTube to Market Your Business

Start a YouTube Channel

In case you don’t have money to invest in paying for advertisements, you can still do something with the potential to be just as effective. The great thing about starting a YouTube channel is that there are no barriers to entry.

Contributing content to any website typically involves an application process. You can’t always get feedback if they don’t think your content is a fit, either.

To start a channel, all you really need is an email address. We will get to the other things required to grow it, but, the most important step besides signing up is deciding what your channel will be about.

Pick a Topic

You will need to pick a topic for your channel to focus on. It usually makes sense to go with one related to your business, so you can promote it in each video and include links to a website in the description.

Staying focused on your topic is important – it wouldn’t work very well for building an audience if you had a finance YouTube channel where every third video upload was cooking-related. Maintaining consistency will also make creating each video a little easier and faster.

Set Up a Filming Space

Depending on the types of videos you plan on making, you might want to set up a consistent filming space. This can be as simple as using your office and filming at your desk. It should be somewhere that’s blocked off from a lot of noise and interruptions.

That may just mean coordinating with your assistant (if you have one) to hold calls and avoid coming into your office while you are filming. The same goes for the family if you work from home.

Get Filming Equipment

The nice thing about today is that you probably already have a nice camera. A lot of phones have been able to film in HD and even 4K for a couple of years already. In addition to a camera, you will want a tripod, lights, and probably a decent microphone.

The tripod is crucial and you can pick one of those up for around $20 or $30 on Amazon. If your filming space has reliable natural light through a window, you could stick with that in the beginning.

The phone’s microphone should also work, at least at first. If you decide to stick with this marketing strategy, you can get all of the other equipment for under $200 later on.

Get Video Editing Software

Depending on your computer, you may already have some video editing software installed. If you use an Apple, iMovie is free and a powerful program for editing. PC users also have a variety of free options that can make high-quality videos.

I use Lightworks for our YouTube channel and it works pretty well on my older laptop. OpenShot is another free, open-source program that works well and can create videos up to 4K in resolution.

Get Comfortable on Camera

It’s pretty normal if you feel a little uncomfortable getting on camera. Pretending to talk to someone when you’re really talking at a tripod will always feel a little weird. One strategy that I’ve found works pretty well for dealing with that is to have an audience.

As long as they don’t make a ton of background noise, having someone sit behind the camera can help you focus more on making the video sound conversational. If you really can’t see yourself on-screen, consider working with someone who already has an established channel.

Work with YouTube Influencers

Working with an influential YouTube personality could be big for your business. When some of them command audiences in the hundreds of thousands, one shoutout on a popular video could (maybe) pay for itself many times over.

Every social platform has influencers, but ones on YouTube are especially powerful. Instead of written posts or pictures, they routinely speak directly to the people you want as customers.

Make A List of Relevant Influencers

There are going to be at least a few influencers you could approach that cater to your market. They will have a pretty wide range of subscribers and a number of views on their videos.

You can make a list in an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet and organize them in order of highest to lowest subscriber count (or vice versa). It also can’t hurt for you to watch a few of their videos. That will help you make sure there isn’t any content you would want to avoid associating your brand name with.

Costs of Paying for Mentions

The cost for influencer marketing will vary depending on the number of followers someone has. Everything will still be negotiable, but data from eMarketer shows a few standard rates.

If you approach someone with 500 to 5,000 subscribers, expect to pay around $315 per video. The costs can go all the way up to $3,857 for channels with 500K + subscribers.

Measure ROI Before Spending a Ton

If you’re not careful, you could end up putting a lot of money into influencer marketing without seeing much in the way of results. Just look at the story of the Instagram star with 2 million followers who couldn’t sell 36 t-shirts.

Depending on your budget, you should take caution in paying for videos ahead of time or anything like that. Additionally, consider starting with a smaller YouTube personality.

Data from this study shows that micro-influencers are actually more effective along with being less expensive. In case influencers seem too risky, you can always look at the old-fashioned (but still effective) way of getting your business’s name out there: advertising.

Getting into Advertising on YouTube

There are a handful of different types of advertisements you can run on YouTube. If you get everything ready for starting a channel and decide you don’t want to do that, you will still be in a great position for making video ads. In addition to video ads, you have the option of display ads, overlay ads (ads that show at the bottom of a video), and sponsored cards.

The Video Ads

Most of the other social platforms offer video ads now. However, on YouTube, people are expecting to be watching a video so it’s a lot more likely that someone will already be engaged when your ad pops up.

There are a lot of marketers out there that you can look at for low-budget video ad ideas. Take the Dollar Shave Club’s video from a few years ago, for example. They just filmed their founder walking around the warehouse saying funny things and it was wildly successful.

This and other low-budget videos helped propel the 2011 startup to unprecedented (couldn’t help using the word!) growth and being acquired for $1 billion in 2016.

Different Types of Video Ads

There are a few different types of video ads to consider using. You will need to decide which one makes the most sense and structure your video around the way it functions for optimal results.

The ones you might be most familiar with are skippable video ads, which allow users to skip to their video after the first five seconds. These can be inserted at the beginning, middle, and end of videos. Then there are non-skippable ads, which can go up to 15 or 20 seconds in length, according to Google.

The third ones to consider are called “Bumper ads” and are non-skippable, running for up to 6 seconds. All of these are compatible with desktop and mobile devices, maximizing your reach.

Tying it all Together

YouTube is not showing any signs of slowing down, especially with the current stay-at-home state of the world. You can leverage a few different strategies to get your business known on the platform.

It’s worth dabbling in all of them a bit to see if one really stands out as effective. Consider starting your own channel, working with influencers, and making video ads to reach the masses.


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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Bob Buckley

Bob is the Founder of This College Life. He's done a ton of different things - everything from food blogging (his banana bread recipe is great) to building a tip calculator and many things in between. He also reviews various products like which company has the best floor mat cleaner to keep your car looking good. He's also the Founder of Your Weather Connection, a simple weather website that provides forecast data for most of the cities and towns in the United States.

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