A woman shows off a light blue jacket on a video that she films on a smartphone attached to a tripod.
YouTube is a massive platform with millions of users. What better way to expand your business's audience? — Getty Images/goc

While YouTube is one of the most-visited websites in the world, getting started with making videos there can seem like a challenging task for small businesses. But marketing your business on YouTube, even if you’re small, is a great way to put your products or services in front of a much wider audience.

Here are eight tips for making YouTube videos that will help make your business shine.

Create a YouTube business channel

The first thing businesses should do when getting started with YouTube is creating a brand account from an existing Google account. With a brand account, you can assign other people to manage the page and have a few additional features at your disposal as you grow.

Once you’ve started a business-focused YouTube account, you’ll then want to customize your page with artwork and an icon. This will likely come from preexisting art and logos your company already uses. YouTube recommends that channel art be 2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels tall and that your icon be an 800-by-800 pixel square image.

Once created, view your new YouTube channel on various devices (desktops, laptops, iPhones, Android phones, etc.) to see how your page and art render. Following all the above guidelines and art dimensions will give your channel a professional look instead of an amateur one.

Focus on telling a story

As you begin developing YouTube videos, try to play the role of a storyteller. Even if you are using the video to explain your product or service, you want to take the viewer on a short journey.

“Storytelling really is the essence of a great video,” popular business-focused YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi notes in one of her top videos. “On YouTube, there are certain rules for telling a great story.” Two of Lenarduzzi’s most important rules are first, set up a great tease to get the viewer intrigued, and second, provide an early hook that will encourage viewers to stick around for the whole video.

Optimize videos for discovery

Part of being successful at YouTube is ensuring your videos have proper search engine optimization (SEO) so people can find your clips. A few of the most important tips include:

  • Make sure your most important keyword is in your video title.
  • When writing your video description, keep in mind that most viewers will only see the first 100 characters of it and that the same text will also be what shows in search results.
  • Make sure your video is categorized correctly so it will show up with similar types of videos.
  • Upload a custom and purposeful thumbnail image so people see an engaging image when searching for your video.

Storytelling really is the essence of a great video.

Sunny Lenarduzzi, YouTuber

Provide useful information

While sales-focused videos will be important to develop, be sure to create useful videos filled with information tangential to your business. This way, your channel does not feel like a sales tool to viewers, and you can look like an expert in your field. For example, suppose your business builds backyard swimming pools. In that case, you can use your channel to provide tips on fixing common pool problems, teach swimming safety lessons or discuss what chemicals can best balance your pool water.

Start off strong

When you edit your YouTube videos, pay special attention to your introduction and what you show in the first few seconds. You simply don’t have much time to get the viewer hooked.

“It takes people less than three seconds to decide whether they want to watch your video or not,” Mandy Menaker, global head of PR at ClassPass, told Forbes. “If you don't catch their attention, they will scroll to the next thing in their newsfeed. For that reason, make sure the start of your video is engaging, to the point and visual. Be sure to use descriptive and catchy titles to hook viewers.”

Wrap up with a summary

No matter how long your YouTube video is, try to bring everything you talk about or show in the video together at the end. The video’s conclusion can summarize the biggest points you’ve made throughout, why someone should try your product or service or how to find out more about your company.

Think about the mobile viewing experience

As you make your videos, keep in mind that most YouTube visits are from mobile devices. YouTube says more than 70% of watch time comes from mobile, so make sure your content is easily consumed on a small phone screen and not just a desktop or laptop.

Use videos to build up YouTube ads and marketing

After you’ve started making YouTube videos, you may also want to use those same assets to create video ads that can run before or in the middle of other YouTube videos. This is a popular way to get your product or service in front of relevant videos people are already watching.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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