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Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has grown in monumental proportions. Today, YouTube has 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors, and 62 percent of its users access the platform daily.
The only site visited more than YouTube? Google. If you’ve been considering starting a YouTube Channel to boost your business, the numbers don’t lie — it could be a rewarding venture.
Getting your channel up and running is simple. Growing your channel and building your viewer base can take time and work, but dedication can have huge benefits. Take a look below for twelve startup steps.
Steps to start a YouTube channel for your business:
- Create the channel with your Google account
- Create the design for your channel
- Complete your profile
- Construct a content plan
- Create a trailer for your channel
- Upload a video
- Maximize your SEO
- Create consistent content
- Promote your channel consistently
- Build your community
- Utilize ads
- Analyze your data
5 reasons you should start a YouTube channel
Starting a successful YouTube Channel does require a fair amount of upkeep. So, is it worth it? YouTube is the second-most visited platform in the world, which means it offers a vast opportunity for growth in your business.
If you’re still unsure about entering the world of YouTube, see below for five core reasons you should start a channel.
1. Brand visibility.
If you are looking for more ways to reach your target audience or expand to a new demographic, starting a YouTube channel can help that goal. With 1.7 billion monthly visitors, a large proportion of your target audience is likely visiting the platform.
In addition, Google owns YouTube, which means optimizing the videos you create can be easier, as YouTube’s parent company is the most used site in the world.
Not sure if your target audience uses YouTube? Take a look at these statistics to find out more.
- Gen Z (born 1997-2012): 96 percent
- Millennials (born 1981-1996): 87 percent
- Gen X (born 1965-1980): 73 percent
- Baby Boomers (1946-1964): 53 percent
2. Lead generation.
Lead generation is part of the full funnel marketing tunnel through which you nurture a prospect’s interest in your business to convert them into customers.
Optimizing your videos can help promote lead generation, as people use key search terms to find what they are looking for. Using your content to reach potential customers and encourage lead generation is a great way to build your business.
3. Customer acquisition and retention.
Once you’ve converted a lead into a customer, it’s your job to keep them returning. YouTube provides you with the platform to do this, as it is an easy way to get your message across and connect with your customers.
Many people prefer watching videos, so take that knowledge and use it as you keep customers in your funnel.
4. Increased credibility.
One of YouTube’s greatest assets is the platform for building a community. YouTube has one of the most expansive user bases in the world, meaning there is a place for everyone.
If you can use your videos to establish an authority in your industry, customers can grow to trust you and become more loyal. There is considerable power in a community that trusts your business.
5. Diversified marketing.
Many businesses use social media, like Facebook and Instagram, to market their business. However, YouTube offers more freedom when it comes to creating videos.
In addition, YouTube is where people seek out information, how-tos, and more. Broaden your marketing by adding YouTube as a tool for your business.
12 steps to start a YouTube channel for your business
Starting a YouTube Channel for your business has many advantages and the potential to take your business to new heights.
If you’re interested in becoming a successful YouTuber, follow the twelve steps below to leverage your business through your own YouTube Channel.
1. Create the channel with your Google account.
To create a YouTube Channel, you need to have a Google account.
To create a Google brand account:
- Launch any web browser on your computer connected to the internet and visit www.youtube.com.
- From the YouTube homepage, click on the “Sign In” link near the screen’s top-right corner.
- When the YouTube “Sign In” screen appears (with the Google logo in the upper-left corner), click on the “Create an Account” button displayed in the upper-right corner. You’ll be prompted first to create a new Google account.
- Fill in the fields at the “Create a New Google Account” screen. You’ll be asked to enter your first and last name. Then you’ll be instructed to choose a unique Google username.
- Next, create and confirm a password for the account, and enter your birthday and gender, as well as your mobile phone number and current email address. If you’re creating a YouTube channel for your business or service, for example, don’t use a personal email address when prompted for your current email address.
Select your location from the pull-down menu and agree to the “Terms of Service” listed on the screen. Click the “Next Step” button to continue.
- The Google username you select will also become your YouTube channel name, and a free Gmail address will be issued to the account. Use your business name as your username, or choose something clever that your intended audience might identify with.
The channel name/username should be easy to spell, and something people will likely remember. If your YouTube channel is promoting a product, consider using the product’s name (assuming it is not copyrighted or trademarked by someone other than you or your business) as your username.
- Next, you’ll need to create your Google Account Profile. This includes uploading an optional profile photo. Click on the “Add Profile Photo” button to do this, then click on the “Next Step” button to continue.
If you’re creating an account for your business or organization, upload a company logo or product photo instead of a personal photo or headshot.
- Once you establish your Google account, click on the “Back to YouTube” button.
- Within a few minutes, you’ll receive two emails from Google. One will ask you to verify your current email address. Simply click on the link provided within the email to do this.
The second email you receive will contain details about your new Gmail account. Save the information within this email for later reference.
If you already have a Google account for your business, follow these steps to create your YouTube account:
- Access www.youtube.com and sign in using your Google account username and password. You’ll see the main YouTube home screen.
- You’ll see your account profile picture near the upper-right corner of the screen. Click on it to reveal the Google Account Menu, which will also be displayed near the top-right corner of the screen.
- Click on the “My Channel” link in the upper-right portion of the screen. You’ll see the “Create Your YouTube channel” screen. From this initial screen, you’ll see your profile photo, username, and first and last name displayed.
Click on the “Edit” link associated with the “From Your Google Profile” option to customize your Google profile, which will be your identity containing public information about you that people will see online.
- Under the “Activities you’ll share on your channel” heading, you’ll see four options labeled “Like a video,” “Comment on a video,” “Favorite a video,” and “Subscribe to a channel.” Add a checkmark to the checkbox that’s associated with each activity you want people who visit your YouTube channel’s page to be able to do.
- Click on the “OK, I’m Ready to Continue” button. Your YouTube Channel has now been created. The next step is to start populating your channel by uploading videos.
2. Create the design for your channel.
Because this is a business account, the channel should reflect your brand’s mission, values, and aesthetic — in other words, it should embody your brand identity.
As you begin to construct the design for your channel, it is vital to create a cohesive design and include images and graphics that align with the proper measurements for YouTube.
When you first created your profile, you may have uploaded your business’ logo as your profile icon. However, it is important to revisit that logo to ensure it is a robust and precise representation of your business and the proper pixel size to ensure image quality.
YouTube profile images are ideal when:
- The channel profile image is 800px by 800px
- The file type is a JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG
Channel banner and channel art
The banner and channel art you include on your channel page should also match the overall aesthetic. It should grab the attention of your visitors, and they should immediately get a feel for your business and its energy.
Because you can view YouTube on so many different devices, there are several different dimension sizes to follow. Luckily, YouTube automatically does this resizing for you as long as your original art is within the proper dimension guidelines.
When creating your channel art, the dimensions should be:
- YouTube Channel art image: 2560px by 1440px
- Logos, text, image focal points: 1546px by 423px
- File types: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG under 6MB
Think of a thumbnail as the cover art of your video. When a customer views your YouTube Channel, having thumbnails makes everything look organized and professional.
Thumbnails also make finding specific videos a much easier process. Thumbnails should provide context to your videos by including titles or episode numbers on the cover.
Thumbnail art dimensions should be:
- 1280px by 720px
- JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG files
The overall aesthetic
Your YouTube Channel’s design should match your brand’s established identity. Your brand identity reflects traits like the tone, mood, and style of your brand. It is the forward-facing personality of your brand that your customers interact with.
Consider these details as you build your channel. Using the same color scheme, fonts, and a similar language tone on your YouTube Channel that your business has already established on other social networks is helpful.
Helpful apps with templates to create channel art include:
3. Complete your profile.
During the original sign-up for your profile, you could cover the basics. Now it’s time to set up further customization for your profile to unlock more opportunities on your channel.
- Click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear) in the top right corner of your channel page.
- Choose “Channel settings,” choose to enable the “Customize the layout of your channel” option, and click “Save.” This can open up a wider variety of options sorted into your tabs.
- Click the “About” tab and under “Description,” give a concise and specific description of your business, its mission, and any essential products you’d like to include. Remember, YouTube operates as a search engine, so use keywords to boost search results when customers are looking for a business in your industry.
This section should also include contact information, social media handles, and links to your eCommerce store. YouTube also has a feature that lets you set links over your channel art, which is a great way to drive traffic.
- Generally, the titles of your links will default; however, YouTube does allow you 30 characters to customize a CTA (call to action) in the favicon (the shortcut icon).
- Lastly, if your business has other YouTube Channels or any trusted partners it often works with, you can add them in the “Featured Channels” section.
4. Construct a content plan.
Once your channel is set up, it’s crucial to prepare a content strategy planned for the future. At the beginning of your content creation process, it can help to set goals.
As you create your goals, ask questions like:
- What do you want this channel to accomplish?
- How are you going to measure growth?
- What type of customers do you want to attract?
- How can you maintain an authentic brand voice?
- What are your business’ strengths?
- How can your business stand out from the competition?
- What kinds of videos do you want to produce?
When it comes to the type of videos you want to produce, they can be about different concepts and topics. One of the most substantial assets of YouTube is that its search volume is not just for one thing — it runs the gamut from school topics and how-to videos to meme compilations and other for-entertainment types of content.
You can diversify your videos with a mix, or you can stick to what you believe is the strength of your business.
Many people use YouTube as a search engine and would rather watch an educational video than read an instruction manual or workbook. How-to videos are YouTube’s highest-viewed content category, outperforming music and gaming.
If your company has a product with any type of learning curve or if you simply want to use educational videos to create your community, it is a solid avenue to take.
Film is a billion-dollar industry year after year. Why? Because stories sell. The more your brand can tell a story, the more opportunity you have to grow a community. Stories bring people together, build relationships, and establish mutual interests.
As you create your YouTube content plan, remember to keep an overall narrative in mind and show your customers through storytelling how your business differs from the others.
Show your customers how your business can help them solve a problem in their life or help them fill a void they might be experiencing.
Stories can be a valuable way to create connections, whether a video of your product in action or an unboxing video of user-generated content (UGC).
Related: YouTube Is Going After TikTok With the Promise of Paying Creators More
Entertainment videos are a bit looser and might not fit every brand’s aesthetic. However, entertainment videos could be a great outlet if your brand likes to make a splash and incorporate humor.
Entertainment videos are full of humor, volume, and action. They often include a business’ product in a hyperbolic light, but if they capture the audience’s attention, it can be a robust sales approach.
5. Create a channel trailer for your channel.
Just like the thumbnails on your YouTube Channel act like cover art or a movie post, think of your YouTube Trailer as the trailer preview to your channel.
The trailer should briefly introduce your business, preview its offerings, and pull in non-subscribers to turn their attention into a subscription and, eventually, a customer.
To create your YouTube trailer:
- Create a video that illustrates who your business is and what it’s all about.
- Access your channel and upload videos to your channel.
- Click “Customize channel.”
- Choose “Home.”
- Click “For new visitors.”
- Choose “Edit.”
- Click “Change trailer” and move your trailer to that section.
Remember, your trailer should capture the viewer’s attention. Encourage that viewer to engage with your channel, including CTAs at the end that urges them to subscribe.
6. Upload a video.
Now it’s time to put your content strategy in motion. Locate the first video you planned to post and upload it to your channel. YouTube will let you make slight edits to the video; however, you can complete the bulk of the editing using other software.
When you upload your video, remember:
- Include a thumbnail
- Create a strong video title
- Write a detailed description
Related: The Tools You Need to Create a YouTube Studio
7. Maximize your SEO (search engineoptimization).
Search EngineOptimization (SEO) refers to the volume of traffic that views specific sites or content and how relevant that content is to viewers. SEO is a tool that, when maximized, can provide tremendous results in growing your audience.
Google is YouTube’s parent company, which means their search engines are linked. While this is convenient, integrating the world’s most significant search engine worldwide also produces immense web traffic.
Every 60 seconds, 500 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube. You should maximize your YouTube SEO to stand out in the algorithm.
Here are a few common strategies to help boost your channel’s SEO:
- Creating quality content that is authentic to your brand
- Posting quality content frequently and consistently
- Using keyword search tools to better understand how to attract your target audience
- Use those keywords in your titles, video descriptions, filenames, and tags
- Organize playlists that group relevant videos together
- Encourage video engagement with calls to action
Related: An Intro Guide to Ecommerce SEO for Beginners
8. Consistently create content.
When building your content strategy, it is wise to construct a content calendar with a schedule for posting videos. The more you post, the more chances you have of growing your credibility, viewership, and subscriptions.
9. Promote your channel consistently.
How you promote your channel will likely depend on your advertising budget. If you have a large marketing budget, paying to advertise can put your business at a considerable advantage in creating a wider reach.
If your marketing budget is limited, use your other social networks to leverage your YouTube Channel through cross-promotion. Drive your pre-existing customer base to your new channel to promote growth.
Related: YouTube Creators Can Now Receive ‘Tips’ Directly From Fans
10. Build your community.
After you upload a new video, you should not simply set it and forget it. In building a community, it is critical to interact with your audience.
Communicate with your audience by:
- “Liking” and responding to comments
- Conducting polls
- Asking questions or collecting feedback
- Conducting Q&As
- Offering fun promotions or friendly contests
Related: How to Get the Audience You Want With This Painless YouTube Strategy
11. Utilize ads.
Whether you have an advertising budget right now or that is one of your goals down the road, utilizing YouTube ads is another reliable way to expand your audience reach.
If you implement this step, ensure you have a clear vision of which customers you want to attract with the ads. YouTube ads should not be your only marketing method but should work in tandem with your original strategy.
12. Analyze your data.
To continue growing your YouTube channel in the right direction, adopt the practice of using YouTube analytics. Data gives insight into video performance, engagement, what’s working, and what needs improvement.
Critical YouTube video data is:
- Watch time
- Traffic source
- Subscriber rate
- Audience retention
How you can start a business YouTube channel
If you’re ready to create a channel, you can follow the 12 steps above to help guide you through the process.
On top of the steps, there are countless step-by-steptutorials on how to create a new YouTube Channel and create video content that is available for beginners, seasoned content creators, and everyone in between.
For more on vlogs, podcasts, video editing software, monetization, and more, visit Entrepreneur.com.