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Youtube marketing

A comprehensive guide to creating, marketing, and optimizing video content.
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Youtube marketing

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There is hardly anyone who has never heard of YouTube – or has never spent an afternoon watching one cat video at a time. YouTube is a great source of fun, entertaining content. But the platform is also becoming more and more interesting for marketers. The current “State of Marketing” report shows that almost half (48 percent) of all marketers plan to include YouTube in their marketing strategy within twelve months (from the time of the survey).

You may doubt whether your target audience is active on YouTube too. But are you quite sure about that? Statistics show that the majority of internet users watch videos online. And YouTube has more than 1 billion active users. The platform is so extensive that it includes content in 76 languages, covering 95% of the world’s population. If you are still unsure, take a look at these statistics:

  • 1 Billion hours of video content is viewed on YouTube every day
  • On mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more people aged 18-34 Years in the US than any TV broadcaster
  • For more than 91 Countries already have localized versions of YouTube

For one thing, it is very likely that your target audience is using YouTube. On the other hand, the platform is also the second largest search engine, so it is an excellent opportunity for search engine optimization and the general strengthening of your brand presence. On YouTube, marketers can present content in a unique format that is also quite easy to consume and share.

Since the concept of YouTube marketing may seem a little intimidating at first glance, we’ve created a comprehensive guide with lots of helpful information – for YouTube professionals and newcomers alike. We explain step by step how to set up a YouTube channel, optimize videos for search engines, start an advertising campaign on YouTube and interpret key figures for your videos.

If you don’t have time right now to read the guide in full, you can bookmark it to read later, or just jump to the section that interests you most:

  • Create a YouTube channel
  • Optimize videos for search engines
  • Create videos for YouTube
  • Promote a YouTube channel and YouTube videos
  • An introduction to YouTube Analytics
  • Run a YouTube advertising campaign

Create a YouTube channel

First of all, we would like to point out that having your own YouTube channel means a lot of administrative and planning effort.

Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube only hosts videos. If you only create your YouTube channel so that you can upload a specific video, but do not plan to continue maintaining your channel, we advise you not to do so. Having your own YouTube channel requires that you take the time necessary to plan, create, edit, market, and analyze your content – on an ongoing basis. You also need to be clear about the goals you are pursuing with your brand and then figure out how you can better achieve them with video content. But if you’re ready to go to the lengths, you’ll be rewarded with attractive, shareable content and a growing number of viewers and returning subscribers.

Create an account

Your first step is to set up a YouTube channel. And that’s not that straightforward. As you probably know, YouTube is owned by Google. Therefore, in the course of creating a Gmail account, you also have the option of setting up a YouTube account or a Google+ account, etc. Depending on the nature of your business, it is more or less advisable to link your email account to your business’s YouTube channel. This is especially true if you give your employees or agency partners access to your account. We recommend that you create a general email account that multiple people can easily use.

Set up a company or brand account on YouTube

Before you can publish your first content on YouTube after creating your Google account, you must first set up a so-called YouTube Brand account. You need this account to manage editing rights and optimize your online presence.

Call the YouTube.com. If you see a person icon in the upper right, you are already signed in. If this is not the case, the “Login” button is displayed in the same place. Click on this and enter the username and password of your Google account.

Then click on your account in the upper right corner and click the “Create Channel” button in the channel menu that opens.

In the subsequent selection, you can choose whether you want to create a personal account or an account for your brand. To create a channel for your company, click “With a Custom Name,” enter your Brand Account name and click “Create”.

Note: You can always change the name of your channel later through your account settings.

Next, you’ll adjust your Brand Account settings.

First, select a profile picture. This is the first element that users see when they go to your YouTube channel. So be sure to choose an image that your target audience recognizes and that fits your brand.

The channel icon is similar to the Facebook profile photo. The company logo is ideal for companies and a professional portrait for public figures. Google recommends a square format to use 800 × 800 pixels or around the image. Note that it may take a few minutes for your uploaded channel icon to appear.

The next step is to add a channel description for your content. The channel description is used to introduce your company and explain what type of video content you want to provide on YouTube. Since the channel description is search engine relevant and you can use it to influence your search engine ranking, you should definitely include relevant keywords. Below are more detailed tips on how to optimize your channel description.

Finally, add your business email address, links to your company website, and your social media profiles to your channel.

Next, add a banner image. To do this, click on the blue “Adjust channel” button in the top center of your channel.

Note: By clicking the “Customize Channel” button, you will be taken to your YouTube studio. There you will find all the tools you need to customize your channel and your video content.

Select “Branding” in the navigation menu and use the “Upload” button next to the banner image lettering to upload your own banner image for your channel. 

Here it is advisable to choose an image in the format 2560 × 1440 pixels, which is suitable for all display modes and is therefore optimally displayed on desktop PCs, tablets, and smartphones as well as on televisions. If you are unsure about the design of your channel art, you can use the templates provided by YouTube as a guide.

In the next step, you can further customize your account. One important piece of information beforehand: YouTube gives you the option of setting up two different views of your channel – one for your subscribers and another for non-subscribers. This means that viewers who have not yet subscribed to your channel will be recommended different content than your subscribers. Quite a handy feature!

One of the biggest advantages of this feature is that you can create a channel trailer – the video version of your channel description – that will only be shown to non-subscribers. Your trailer should be short (30 to 60 seconds) and meaningful. It is used to acquire new subscribers and to show people what your channel is about and what content they can expect there. Trailers are generally not interrupted by advertisements in order not to distract the audience from their actual purpose.

To select or upload a channel trailer, click the “Customize” button in the YouTube menu. Under the automatically selected item “Layout” you can now easily add a channel trailer for users who have not yet subscribed to your channel. Then click on “Save”.

You have now set up a channel trailer and further completed your YouTube profile.

Note: If your channel has more than 100 subscribers, was created more than 30 days ago, and you’ve already added a channel icon and banner image, you may be able to create a custom URL. For more information on custom, YouTube URLs find here.

Before you begin further implementing your YouTube marketing strategy, you should first determine which of your team members will need access to your YouTube account. If you give employees to access, you can use their own Google accounts to help them manage your YouTube account.

There are three different roles available to you that you can assign to other people in your Google account.

  • Owner:  Owners have unlimited rights to manage all of your Google Accounts on all Google services. You can add and remove administrators, edit company information, reply to comments, and more.
  • Administrator:  Administrators have the same permissions as owners, with the exception of rights to delete entries and to manage access. Only owners and administrators are allowed to manage your YouTube channel.
  • Communication administrator:  Communication administrators can reply to comments and take some other actions. You have no access to the video manager and can neither upload content nor view analytics data.

To add more people to your account, click on “Settings” in the YouTube menu and select the “Permissions” field. There you select “Manage permissions”. 

In the next step, you will be redirected to a Google page where you select “Manage permissions” again.

On this page, you can finally see who has what permissions for the YouTube account. Here you can also enter the Gmail addresses of the users to whom you want to grant permission to manage the YouTube account. The invited users can then be assigned a role.

YouTube SEO: Channel optimization for search engines

So your YouTube channel is fully set up and you are ready to start posting content. Then all you have to do is make sure that it is found. As already mentioned, YouTube is the second largest search engine and while it is undoubtedly crucial to provide attractive content, other success factors for video marketing with YouTube must also be considered. You have various YouTube SEO options to optimize your videos so that they appear as high as possible in the search results on both YouTube and Google.

The first step on the way to professional YouTube marketing is to edit and optimize your metadata. Metadata basically provides users with additional information about your videos. Examples would be video title, description, tags, categories, thumbnails and subtitles. The data you enter here is important, as videos are indexed on the basis of the metadata and listed in the search results. The metadata, therefore, determines whether people can actually find your videos. Always formulate metadata as briefly and concisely as possible. And be aware that if you choose keywords that aren’t really relevant to your content, your content may be removed. Check out the video below for more tips on video search engine optimization.


As with on-page SEO, the formulation of the title and description is crucial for videos. When users scroll through a list of videos, the first thing they read is their titles. Therefore, they should be meaningful and interesting. A title should either arouse interest or convey at first glance that users will find a solution to their problem here. Do some research on keywords to get a better idea of ​​which keywords are used in search queries. Put the most important information and keywords at the beginning of titles and only use around 60 characters so that titles in search results are displayed in full and not cut off.


Note that only the first two to three lines (about 100 characters) of the video description are initially displayed on YouTube. In order to read the entire description, people must first click on “show more”. Therefore, you should definitely include important links and CTAs at the beginning of the description. You should formulate the text itself in such a way that your video is viewed and interacted with your content as often as possible. You can insert the transcript below the description. This makes sense because videos generally contain a lot of keywords and you can improve your ranking with them. You also have the option to include a standard channel description with links to your social media profiles, information about contributors and times. Video titles and descriptions can also contain hashtags. 


Once you have your keywords in the title and video description, you can use tags to highlight the most important keywords. Tags are used to link videos with similar videos and thus increase their reach. Be sure to tag the most important keywords first, using both generic keywords and specific long-tail keywords. 


After you have uploaded a video to YouTube, you can assign a category to it using the advanced settings. Video categories are used to relate your content to other, similar YouTube content. You can choose one of the following categories: Film & Animation, Cars & Vehicles, Music, Animals, Sports, Travel & Events, Games, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, Practical Tips & Styling, Education, Science & Technology and social commitment.


A video thumbnail is the preview image of a video, the image that users see when scrolling through a list of videos. Which image is displayed here can have a huge impact on the number of times your video is viewed. While YouTube will automatically suggest a few thumbnail options for you, we encourage you to create and upload your own. According to reports from YouTube, 90 percent of the most successful YouTube videos have a custom thumbnail. So make sure when you shoot the video that you have some high-quality and meaningful recordings for the thumbnail later on. According to YouTube, it is best to choose an image in the format 1280 × 720 pixels to ensure that it is displayed optimally on every screen or display. 

Note: You will need to verify your YouTube account in order to upload a custom thumbnail. To do this, simply go to youtube.com/verify, have a confirmation code sent to you, and enter it.

SRT files (subtitles)

Subtitles are not only helpful to the audience, but also to you. They give you another opportunity to add important keywords and help you optimize your videos for search engines. To add subtitles to a YouTube video, simply upload a file with the subtitles, including time codes if necessary, in one of the supported file formats. You can also upload the complete transcript and set the timing to take place automatically, enter the subtitles or their translation while the video is playing, or you can hire a specialist to transcribe or translate your video.

To add subtitles to a video, open the  Video Manager and select Subtitles from the menu on the left. Find the video in question and open the drop-down menu by clicking the little arrow next to Languages. With the option “Set video language,” you can now choose which type of subtitle you want to add.

Info cards and credits (notes)

In May 2017, YouTube discontinued the annotation editor. Instead, info cards and credits are to be used to survey the audience and to link external websites and other videos. But don’t worry! Adding cards and credits to a video is just as easy as adding notes. Info cards are messages in a small rectangular format that are displayed in the upper right corner on both desktop and mobile devices. You can add up to five cards to each video. However, when doing this, be sure to position them so that your audience has enough time to take the action they want.

To add an info card, select “Videos” from the menu on the left, click on the video you want to edit, and add an info card to the menu on the right.

Click on “Info Cards” and select the type of card you want: Video or Playlist Info Card, Channel Info Card, or Link Info Card.

After you’ve created the info card, you can simply drag it to where you want it in the video. Your changes will be saved automatically.

youtube video cards
YouTube: Video Info Cards

End credits give you the opportunity to extend your video by five to 20 seconds and use this additional time to draw viewers’ attention to other YouTube videos or channels and to insert external links, such as to your website. End credits encourage people to continue interacting with your content or brand.

To add credits, do the following: Open the Video Manager and then the “Edit” drop-down menu. Select the option for credits and notes here.

Then select the items that you want to add to your credits. You can either import the credits of another video, use a YouTube template, or manually create up to four elements. Please note that YouTube’s guidelines require that you link to at least one other YouTube video or playlist in the credits.


If your videos are mostly about a few topics, then playlists are for you. Because these allow you to combine different videos on the same topic, including videos from other channels, in a playlist. With playlists, you can organize your videos clearly and suggest a new video to users at the end of the term. And best of all, playlists are listed separately in the search results. Creating playlists will help find your content faster.

To create a new playlist, go to the “Contents” of your channel in your YouTube menu. Click on the video that you want to add to your playlist and then create a playlist under “Playlists” in which you want to save the video. You can also add videos to existing playlists.

Create videos for YouTube

As soon as you have set up your channel, you can publish your first content. This section tells you what to keep in mind when recording videos, how to edit videos, and the different types of videos you can post on YouTube. If you’re not sure where to start, it will definitely help to check out some examples of great promotional videos and video campaigns. Maybe these will give you a few ideas for your next project.

8 different types of videos

Before you start recording video, consider the type of video that will be most effective in achieving your goal. Note that the different types of video have different levels of importance and effectiveness. The most successful YouTube marketers rank the types of videos as follows:

1. Testimonials from customers

These are short interviews with satisfied customers. You strengthen the viewers’ trust in your company and your product.

2. On-demand product presentations

Demo videos are used to briefly introduce the functions and benefits of a product.

3. Informative videos and tutorials

Videos of this type explain in detail to users how to use a particular product or various components of a product or service. Tutorials are great for answering customer questions or introducing a new feature of a product. 

4. Interviews with thought leaders

Interviews with professionals thought leaders or influencers can help you make a name for yourself in your industry. 

5. Project evaluations and case studies

Successful campaigns or projects are presented in project reviews or case studies, often using statistics and results.

6. YouTube Live

As the name suggests, YouTube Live is used to broadcast content live. With live streaming, you can easily share special moments with your target audience and also give the audience the opportunity to comment on your content in real-time and to interact with you. Live videos are also recorded and added to your uploaded videos. 

youtube live
YouTube Live

7. Video blogs 

Video blogs are used to share videos with which you document your everyday life or certain events. These videos are usually published daily or weekly. You can also use this type of video to e.g. B. to briefly summarize the most important points and tips of a blog post and make this information accessible to your target group in a further format. 

8. Event videos

With this type of video, you record a conference, trade fair, or event from the perspective of the participants. These videos are great for capturing the mood of this one. 

Create a video script

Goal setting

As with all other campaigns and content, it is crucial that you first determine what results you want to achieve. For example, would you like to increase the awareness of your brand, increase the inbound traffic of your website, attract more subscribers to your channel or achieve that your content is shared more often? Make sure to set a primary goal for your video at the beginning of your production process so that you can align the script and your strategy with it. While you can set yourself different goals for your YouTube channel, such as increasing brand awareness and gaining additional followers, you should limit yourself to a single goal with videos. 

Create the storyboard and write the text

Once you’ve decided on a goal, it’s time to start creating your storyboard. A storyboard visualizes the script and is used to plan the individual scenes of a video. You may even have seen one before. Storyboards are similar to comics: they contain rough sketches of the planned scenes, including brief descriptions, and information about dialogue and camera position and movement. Which details you include in your storyboard is of course up to you. However, we strongly recommend that you include the following:

  • A frame – that is, an image section – for every important scene and every new location
  • A rough description of each scene (time of day, weather, mood of the performers, etc.)
  • The text of each scene
  • Information about the camera work and the proximity from which the film should be filmed 

Plan additional multimedia elements

If you plan to incorporate multimedia elements such as diagrams, a cover picture, or the like into your video, plan these from the beginning. Include them on your storyboard to ensure that the individual content elements flow seamlessly into one another. 

Set the length of the video

In the course of creating your storyboard, determine the length of your video. The following applies here: Videos with a length of fewer than two minutes are the most popular on YouTube. Limit yourself to the most important points that you need to mention in order to achieve the goal set in step 1. With longer videos, you should be careful not to lose your audience’s interest. To do this, just experiment a little with the pace, story arc, and visual elements.

Choosing the right location (s)

Now that you’ve set the goal and length of your video and finalized the storyboard, it’s time to start thinking about the location. In the film industry, this step is known as location scouting, and just like any other step, your choice will have a decisive impact on the success of your video. In order to choose the right location, the first thing to do is to take your storyboard and make a list of all the locations that appear in it. How many locations you need depends on your concept and can vary from one location per video to one location per scene. 

When looking for the right location, acquaintances, colleagues, or family members can be of great help. Note that some filming locations (such as companies and other privately owned buildings) require permission to film. Especially with your first productions, we recommend that you do not make your life unnecessarily difficult and therefore limit yourself to filming locations that can be conveyed to you through your circle of friends.

Be sure to visit the planned locations in advance of the recording and check whether the planned recordings are really possible there. It is usually an advantage if you have as much space as possible so that you can flexibly adjust the camera position. Also, be aware of noisy streets or other noises such as air conditioning, etc. that may interfere with your recording. Also, check the lighting conditions and don’t forget to take into account the time of day. Because, for example, a room may be bright enough in the morning, but you need additional electrical lighting in the afternoon or evening.

6 tips for recording professional video

Nowadays, recording professional video no longer requires an expensive camera or a large budget. The technology of smartphone cameras is now so advanced that its quality is completely sufficient. If you are recording a video with your smartphone, however, you should be careful to hold it sideways. Since YouTube shows videos in landscape format by default, you avoid inconvenient cropping or framing of the video when uploading to YouTube. Regardless of the camera, you’re using, these tips will help you create professional and engaging new videos:

1. Use a tripod

After all, you want viewers to focus on the content of the video rather than the shaky camera work. For static recordings, it is better to use a tripod or place the camera on a flat surface.

2. Activate manual mode

If possible, avoid any automatic settings so that you can control the focus, exposure, and other settings yourself. 

3. Shoot from different angles and distances

Film each scene from multiple perspectives so that you can choose from different clips later as you edit. For interviews or other recordings in which only one person is in the picture, you can, for example, switch from the frontal view to the 45-degree view. You can also add a little variety to your recordings by increasing or decreasing the distance between the person and the camera, or by zooming in or out. Switching between different angles and distances keeps the video interesting and engaging. 

4. Film more material than you really need

Cutting out scenes afterward is no problem. However, you do not always have the option of returning to the location for further recordings. So collect enough material by making multiple takes of each scene. Also, count to five after you start recording and after the scene ends to make sure you have everything you need on tape. 

5. Use tracking shots

If you have a slider or Steadicam at your disposal, you can bring a little movement into the game. It is sufficient to pan the camera slightly from left to right or to bring the object closer for a short time to make your video more interesting. 

6. Use a good quality microphone

If you have people talking on your video, be sure to use a good quality microphone. A variety of microphones are available that can be used to separately record audio when recording video. There are even microphones that can be plugged into smartphones to improve their audio quality. 

Prepare videos


There is a large selection of editing tools and software. Depending on your operating system, free editing software such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker may already be preinstalled on your computer. These programs provide basic video editing functions. For example, you can use them to trim clips, add titles, and use some limited filter and color correction functions. But you can also use professional video editing software such as Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere CC. These are not exactly cheap but offer numerous editing functions. Alternatively, some editing functions are also available on YouTube. For example, you can merge individual clips into one video there. 

Video thumbnails

When you upload a video to YouTube, you can choose the thumbnail that will appear on your channel, in search results, and in the column on the right. We recommend uploading your own custom thumbnail. 


YouTube gives you the option to add a custom watermark to your videos. This is a custom button that viewers can use to subscribe to your channel while watching one of your videos. 

To do this, click on “Customize” and open the “Branding” menu in which you have already selected your profile and banner image. There you will find the “Watermarks in Video” category, where you can upload a watermark. 

Music and sound effects

The quality of the music and sound effects of a video can determine whether a video is perceived as a professional production or as the work of a layperson. Fortunately, these days, even a small budget is enough for professional sound effects. When choosing the music for a video, you should be guided by the mood in which you want the viewers to be. Music is one of the most effective ways you can influence the emotions a video evokes in its audience. Often even editors, camera teams, and performers orient themselves to the music. If you are presenting your brand to a new target group, for example happy, lively music is recommended. Another very important aspect to consider when choosing music is usage rights. Make sure you only select royalty-free titles. Royalty-free does not mean that you can use the music for free. For these titles, however, you only pay a flat fee once and there are no additional royalties or license fees.

A whole library of sound effects and music tracks is available on YouTube that you can use in your videos for free. Alternatively, you can also find first-class royalty-free music on Pond5, Epidemic Sound, and PremiumBeat. There you can choose from countless professionally recorded and produced titles from a wide variety of genres and with different lengths and tempos. PremiumBeat and Pond5 both offer an extremely comprehensive collection of sound effects to help you add character to your videos. Sometimes a few inconspicuous sound effects in the background are enough to significantly increase the quality of a video and cast a spell over the viewer.

Promote a YouTube channel and YouTube videos

The production of videos and their search engine optimization is not enough. Because now it is time to market your channel and your content. The ideal goal is of course a broad base of subscribers and the best possible position for your content in the search results. But this is not always easy to achieve, especially for newbies. Therefore, it is important that you promote your YouTube channel and videos on other platforms as well. Conveniently, both YouTube and other social media platforms offer functions that make videos easy to share. Here’s the best way to promote your YouTube content on other channels:

Social media

Sharing your YouTube videos on social networks is an easy way to get them noticed and interact with viewers. YouTube makes it very easy for its users to share and promote videos on other channels. Just click the Share button below the video you want to share. You can then choose the platform on which you want to promote the video. YouTube even creates shortened URLs for videos so you can share them even more easily. 

When it comes to marketing your YouTube channel and videos, you should be strategic. There are more effective ways than simply sharing your videos on your timeline or feed. Think about the purpose for which you produced the video. For example, if you created a tutorial because you received a lot of questions about how to use your product, we recommend that you respond to those questions using the link to this tutorial. Videos that you have created as part of a campaign or a global trend should be tagged with relevant hashtags as far as possible in order to increase their reach.

Blog posts and websites

Also, preferably promote your YouTube channel and videos on your website and blog. First, make your YouTube channel easier to find by adding a button to your website and blog that visitors can use to follow your YouTube channel. Then embed relevant videos on your website or blog posts. For example, you can create a YouTube video to accompany a specific blog post or share customer reviews or case studies in video format on your website. Not only do you advertise your YouTube channel and videos, but you also increase your website traffic at the same time.

To share a video on your website or blog, click the Share button below the video and copy the embed code that appears below that video.


Be careful not to neglect your existing customers because of your efforts to attract new customers and leads. Also, promote your videos and YouTube channel using relevant email lists. Encourage your contacts to look at a blog post in which you have embedded a video in order to increase the reach of the video as well as your website traffic. Once you’ve created a playlist that fits the theme, you can draw attention to this too. E-mail newsletters with helpful information and content are an efficient way of promoting customer loyalty.

Questions and Answers websites

If your videos provide answers to specific questions, you can share them on popular Q&A sites like Quora to raise awareness of your business and your content. See what questions are asked there and share videos that help users if necessary.


Do you have connections with a company that is well represented on YouTube? If so, just ask for collaboration, such as creating a video or playlist together. Such cooperation is advantageous for both sides, as the reach of the individual channels is expanded to include the target group of the other. There are many opportunities for creative collaboration with other companies. Just be sure to choose companies whose goals and audiences are similar to your own. Also, the partnership should be in line with your marketing strategy. 

Interact with your audience

It is important that you interact with your audience. Respond to comments, answer questions, ask for feedback, and thank your viewers for their support. Since these are tasks that are easily neglected, we recommend that you regularly take targeted time to go through the comments on your videos and act on them.

An introduction to YouTube Analytics

After you’ve invested so much time and energy into your YouTube channel, creating content, optimizing it for search engines, and marketing it, you probably want to know to what extent these efforts are paying off.

Don’t be disappointed if you can’t do much with YouTube Analytics at first. So many metrics and charts can be confusing at first. The good news: once you dig deeper into it, you will see that the metrics are basically very easy to interpret.

Set a clear goal

First of all, it is important that you understand the importance of targeting video to a specific goal. If you don’t set a goal, you won’t be able to measure results either. Videos should be designed for a specific purpose from start to finish – from shooting to editing to uploading to optimization and publishing.

It is advisable to choose one destination per video. Most often, videos are created to increase brand awareness, get more views or clicks, generate more inbound links, and get more social media shares. Depending on how you incorporate videos into your online marketing, you can use them to increase the open rate of a series of e-mails or the conversion rate of a landing page, for example. YouTube is a great way to increase brand awareness.

As mentioned earlier, YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. Videos that you publish there appear on the one hand in the organic search. On the other hand, you can draw attention to them through paid ads. Videos help you a lot in building a personal relationship with your target group, as you can let your employees, customers, and business contacts have their say. You can also use videos to increase your target audience’s confidence in your business by sharing content that will help them. The type of video you should choose depends on, among other things, whether you are going to promote the video through paid ads or rely on organic search optimization. If the latter is the case, customer reviews are recommended,

Important key figures

Getting started with analyzing the metrics for your YouTube videos can be a bit frustrating. But it is important that you measure your success. On the other hand, it’s also frustrating when one of your videos gets a lot fewer views and attention than expected. You can use YouTube Analytics to determine how your video was found, how long visitors viewed it, and how intensively they interacted with it. So let’s take a look at which metrics are recorded by YouTube Analytics and where you can find them.

Go to youtube.com/analytics. You should now see an analytics dashboard with an overview of the performance of your videos over the past 28 days. You can also select a different time period using the drop-down menu at the top right. The overview report provides key performance metrics, engagement metrics, demographic data, traffic sources, and information about your most successful content.

You can also apply the following filters to the results: content, device type, region or location, all uploaded content or only playlists, subscriber status, playback type, hits by YouTube product, and translations used. In addition, you can view the results in various graphs or even an interactive map.

The metrics you use to measure the success of a campaign depends on many different factors, but there are some that you should definitely keep an eye on:

Playback time and audience retention

The watch time report shows you how much time (in minutes) viewers spent viewing content on your channel, both overall and per video. This allows you to check which videos your audience is actually watching and which are only clicked on and then canceled.

The playback time is an important metric as it is one of YouTube’s ranking factors. The longer the playback time of a video, the higher the likelihood that it will get a good search engine ranking. YouTube also offers the ability to report on specific individual metrics, including watch time, views, average watch time, and the average percentage of the video that was played. You can check these metrics in relation to individual videos, locations, release dates, and more. The average percentage of a video played shows how completely viewers viewed a particular video on average (per view). The higher the percentage, the higher the probability that viewers watch the entire video. Include cards and credits in videos that have this value high to get your calls-to-action clicked more often.

line graph playback time
Example of a line graph at playback time
multiline graph playback time
Example of a multiline graph at playback time

Traffic sources

The traffic sources for views report shows how viewers found your content. It gives you valuable information on where to best promote your YouTube content. You can see from the report, for example, whether viewers found your content on Twitter or using the YouTube search. You can find more detailed information under the general menu item “Access sources”. You can then use this data to optimize your YouTube marketing strategy. Don’t forget to improve your metadata as well.

youtube overview traffic sources
Bar chart example: an overview of traffic sources

youtube barchart external traffic sources
YouTube Bar chart example of external traffic sources

Note: The number of times a video is viewed is one of the most important metrics for measuring the success of your YouTube marketing strategy. But not every click is counted as a full-fledged call by the video platform. The way views are measured on YouTube is vastly different.

Demographic data

The demographics report provides data on the age and gender of your audience and helps you define your target group more precisely. You can filter the data on age groups and gender according to other criteria such as location. With the help of this report, you can tailor your content even more precisely to your YouTube target group and determine how well it is being received by your buyer personas.

YouTube analytics demographic data
YouTube: Example of a demographic bar chart

Interaction reports

These reports provide insight into which content is most popular with your target audience. They contain information about what content is clicked, shared, commented on and recommended. You will also find data on the performance of info cards and brackets here. This data is helpful because it tells you what content your target audience is interacting with. You can then use this information to optimize the CTAs in your future videos.

Run a YouTube advertising campaign

In addition to promoting organic traffic, you can also take advantage of various paid advertising options to promote your YouTube videos. In this section, we will introduce you to the creation of YouTube advertising campaigns.

YouTube ad cost

The cost of YouTube ads depends on the number of views. This means that you will only be charged for actual interactions with the ad. If your ad is skipped, there are no costs. The exact price per click depends on the popularity of your keywords and averages around $ 0.06. After you have set a daily budget for your advertising campaign, your ad will run until this daily budget is exhausted.

The different types of YouTube ads

Video Discovery Ads

TrueView Video Discovery ads appear in related video suggestions on YouTube on the homepage, search results, and watch pages. If you click on such an ad, the associated video is called up.

youtube discovery ads
YouTube: Discover Ads Homepage
YouTube discovery watch ads
YouTube discovery watch ads
discovery ads
YouTube discovery ads

In-stream video ads

In-stream video ads are ads that are embedded in a YouTube video. TrueView in-stream video ads play at the beginning of a video. You can add text overlays or CTAs to them, and users typically have the option to skip the video ad after five seconds. For videos that are over 10 minutes long, in-stream video ads can be placed not only at the beginning of the video but also during the video. The practice has proven itself: Numerous companies have already succeeded in convincing viewers with their short advertisements.

youtube instream video ads
YouTube: In-stream Video Ads

In addition to these sample ads, YouTube also provides a full list of all YouTube adoptions.

Create a video campaign

Advertisements are an effective way to make your target audience aware of your company and your content. With the help of Google Ads, you can create a video campaign on YouTube in just a few steps. You can upload a new promotional video yourself or use a YouTube video that has already been published, thus promoting interaction with your customers. 

The first step is to open your Google Ads account. Click on “Campaigns” in the menu on the left and then select “New Campaign”.

Before creating a video campaign, you must first select a goal. This should be in line with the general goal of your campaign. For example, to create a video campaign, you can select the “Brand Awareness and Reach” field. Then click on “next”. 

When choosing the type of campaign, choose “Video” and click “Next” again. 

In the following selection, you can decide on a campaign sub-type. The subtype depends entirely on your campaign goal and presents your advertising message to your target group in a variety of ways. For each subtype, you will find a brief explanation as well as a link to further information when you select it. For this example, we’ll go for an in-stream skippable ad.

The next step is to choose a name for your campaign, define your bid strategy and decide on an overall budget. With your bid strategy, you can decide for yourself whether your ad should lead to more views, impressions, or conversions. 

You then have the choice between a total budget, which is invested evenly over the specified period, and a daily budget, which is spent per day. Google Ads automatically ensures that the budget for your ad is invested as efficiently as possible. This also includes that the program registers how interactive individual days are in order to be able to flexibly balance fluctuations.

By selecting the advertising network, you can decide on which network your ad should appear. You have the choice between three options:

  • YouTube search results (only for campaigns with video discovery ads)
  • YouTube videos and 
  • Video partner in the display network (Google video partner).

The selection of the advertising network influences where your ad will be published on the video platform and, in the case of the last variant, whether it should also be shown on the Google Display Network via YouTube.

So that your video campaign is only shown to users who understand it, you can also enter the language and the location of your customers.

With exclusionary content, you can ensure that your video campaign is not displayed next to content that is unrelated to your ad or could even harm your business – such as adult-only content.

Now that you’ve finished targeting your campaign, it’s time to create an ad group. With an ad group, you specify your target group and optimize the direction of your video campaign.

To do this, enter the demographic characteristics of your target group or simply select a target group defined by Google itself.

In order to tailor your video campaign even more precisely to the individual search queries of your customers, you can also add relevant keywordstopics, and placements.

After you’ve made all of your campaign targeting settings, create your video ad in this step. To do this, first, upload your video ad or paste the URL of your YouTube video that you want to place as an ad.

In the last step, you enter further information to complete your video campaign. This includes, among other things, an ad title, a call-to-action, and a name for your ad

After you have entered all the necessary information about your video ad, click on “Create campaign”. 

Congratulations! You have successfully created your video ad. This is usually activated within one day. In exceptional cases, however, this can take a little longer. 

Tip: To optimize your ad and other best practices, Google itself provides a lot of additional information

Conclusion: YouTube is more than just a video platform

With more than a billion active users, YouTube is now much more than just a fun, entertaining content platform; YouTube has become a major marketing platform that gives you the ability to promote your brand with visual content and your organic traffic to increase significantly.

Make sure to promote your YouTube channel and videos as part of your inbound marketing strategy. Create content that tells an interesting story and provides helpful information to viewers. Promote this content on all channels, including social networks, by email, on your company blog, and on your website. Optimize your content with info cards, anchoring, and clearly formulated CTAs.

The concept of YouTube marketing may seem a little overwhelming at first glance. Basically, however, it is very easy to share content on the platform. Your target audience is waiting to see and interact with informative and entertaining video content from you. So follow our tips and find your optimal YouTube marketing strategy!

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