two people recording themselves on video
From defining your target audience to acquiring various tools, there are several items to plan out and purchase when starting up a YouTube channel. — Getty Images/Tzido

A YouTube channel can provide your small business with an entirely new revenue stream. Follow these tips to launch your channel and enhance your content marketing strategy.

Define your mission statement

A clear focus is essential. Create a definitive mission statement that will guide the progress and planning of your channel. A YouTube channel can fill an overwhelming number of purposes, and it’s easy to find yourself sidetracked. Define the following elements of your mission statement to keep the focus on your primary goal:

  • Target audience. Who will watch your channel? Consider your market segments and buyer personas. Should the channel target members of your audience that your core business struggles to reach, or would you rather focus on your most engaged customers?
  • Motivation. Why would someone watch your channel? Define the value proposition. Have a clear and unique focus that provides viewers with a benefit to engaging with your channel above any competition.
  • Schedule. How often will you release videos, and what sort of content can viewers expect? Consider the viewing habits of your desired customers. When are they most likely to watch your content? Younger demographics will have more free time during the workweek, but older professionals will likely tune in during weekends.
  • Theme. Develop a consistent theme. You can provide product reviews for complementary items in your industry, bring on engaging guests for a visual podcast, or offer tips with visual demonstrations on how to best use and combine your product suite.

Acquire recording and editing tools

The quality of your content is irrelevant if viewers don’t remain on the channel long enough to hear it. Professional video and audio equipment is a necessity. Successful channels feature crisp sound and visuals augmented by proper lighting. A professional-grade camera and tripod will open up filming possibilities, and a specialized microphone ensures your videos won’t push away prospective viewers with poor audio quality.

Renting a studio can also improve the presentation of your video. You can customize a space already designed to facilitate filming. Higher degrees of customization will give viewers more personalization to associate with your content.

Editing software is also needed. Hollywood movies aren’t filmed in one take, and the same is true for your videos. Many editing programs are available for both novices and experts, but basic packages are available for free with most computers. These are often of enough quality to suit simple needs.

If your videos are more complex, consider outsourcing to a professional editor. With so many videos freely available, it is rare that a channel can provide truly original content. It is the editing flair and production value that differentiates channels for viewers who are already inundated with content.

A higher SEO rank, as judged by the YouTube algorithm, will incentivize the platform to promote your video.

Apply SEO principles

Your channel serves no purpose without an audience. Many of the same search engine optimization principles of written content also apply to video. A higher SEO rank, as judged by the YouTube algorithm, will incentivize the platform to promote your video. Better scores will increase the chance that it is featured in the curated recommendations for relevant viewers.

Write a catchy title that either asks a leading question or challenges a preconceived notion without straying too close to “clickbait.” Include your most relevant keywords in that title and craft a description for the video. The description should succinctly explain the video’s purpose while adding additional relevant phrases and tags. Tags can be marked by the pound symbol (a hashtag) in the description to boost the video’s rankings among search results.

Master common practices

Certain standout practices have come to be expected of YouTube videos. These elements include a branded introduction and outro (most often created by a professional video editor or graphic designer), a call to action for viewers to subscribe to the channel and follow other social media handles, and a dedicated conclusion at the end of the video summarizing its content. These professional touches will enhance your entire production. They are all simple additions you can implement from the very first video.

Integrate your marketing campaigns

YouTube can be both your primary business driver and an excellent supplement to your core offering. Combine it with your other marketing efforts. Leverage the built-in integrations with other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to cross-promote all your social accounts.

Videos can also draw attention to real-time business offerings. Highlight discounts and sales, include links to your products and website in the description, and if the channel should grow large enough to amass an independent following, create specialized merchandise specific to the channel. Always find a way to connect your various platforms and campaigns to generate the maximum possible value from each component of your marketing campaigns.

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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