[ Updated Mar 9, 2023 ]
Let’s face it: most B2B brands have the worst YouTube channels.
If you’re unlucky enough to stumble into this wasteland, you’ll probably find 40-minute product demos, uninspired customer case studies, and boring updates for new product features.
In other words: a total snoozefest.
YouTube is and will always be an entertaining educational platform. People go there to learn something new, get questions answered, and explore their curiosities — from content creators who keep them engaged.
Your customers are no different.
So if your B2B brand is only using YouTube as its own product marketing highlight reel, you’re doing it wrong and missing the whole point. You probably have a bunch of video content but zero engagement or traction.
Today, I’ll show you how to do the complete opposite.
You’ll learn how to grow a YouTube channel for business that helps your team convert more.
Let’s get started.
YouTube for business 101
When you decide to grow a YouTube channel for business, you must ensure your content:
Your B2B team can do this by creating content that actually provides value, not just shows off how awesome your product/service is.
Evergreen content that educates, entertains, and inspires has lasting value and power. It’s the type of information that’s helpful now and will be helpful in five or even ten years. Think: how to plant a victory garden or how to keep your cat off your keyboard.
Producing and sharing evergreen content via YouTube positions your brand as a trusted authority in your niche or industry. Deliver the goods, and your audience will appreciate the free advice, subscribe to your channel, and eagerly await your next video.
This chain reaction boosts brand awareness, routes traffic to your website, and increases your chances of conversion or sale.
So now that you know why it’s worth doing, here’s how to grow a YouTube channel for business the right way:
1. Come up with interesting yet trending video topics
At the end of the day, YouTube is a search engine.
So how do you create content for Google? You cater to the way its search algorithms work. And that usually starts with really good keyword research.
To come up with ideas for your YouTube videos, you’ll take a similar approach and:
Think about your target audience first. Use your buyer personas to figure out your customers’ biggest pain points and interests. What are they searching for? What do they need help with?
These answers will give you a starting point for your keyword lists.
Do some keyword research. Keyword tools show you an estimated monthly search volume for keywords on YouTube. Use this rough estimate to determine the search volume for specific keywords and let that guide your video content ideas.
A simple Google search can accomplish the same thing, especially since there are so many different types of SERP features now. So plug in your keyword and check the SERPs for featured video snippets.
For example, if you type in “how does VoIP work” and scroll down, you’ll see video snippets being pulled from YouTube matching that keyword string. If Google’s returning YouTube results on your keyword, that alone tells you that your video may get traction when people search either site.
Repackage proven winners. Check your Google Analytics to see which of your articles or blogs garnered the most traffic. You already had eyes on that content, so you may score similar results if you create videos based on them.
These three paths all lead to the same outcome: finding topics your audience actually cares about. Use these keywords to create educational, fun videos that provide viewers with actionable takeaways to solve complex issues.
That’s how you’ll attract searchers and entice comments, allowing your team to engage with your viewers and spark discussions.
2. Make sure you have the right equipment
In the old days of YouTube, standard definition videos were fine. But there’s no excuse for posting fuzzy, echo-y Zoom conference videos now that we’re in the age of millionaire YouTube streamers.
A quality video tells your brand story and emphasizes that your brand is also of high quality.
So make sure you have the right equipment. Start vetting and pricing everything you need to create high-performing videos, such as a:
High-quality camera. Filming in at least 1080p resolution is a must, and now even the latest smartphones are capable of this. But you’ll probably want to go with a DSLR camera, camcorder, or a really good webcam.
High-quality lapel mic or external microphone. Do not use the built-in microphone on your laptop or desktop. These don’t record high-quality audio and can’t eliminate background noise effectively. If you’re creating videos where someone’s speaking to the camera, get a nice shirt mic. There are also tons of great standing microphones on the market right now that are inexpensive.
Tripod or gimbal stabilizer. Shaky videos are distracting, unprofessional, and may even make viewers dizzy (yikes!). A high-quality tripod or stabilizer instantly raises your videos’ production value, and again, is super affordable.
Lighting, if you can’t get sufficient natural light. Everyone’s got a ring light nowadays, thanks to the remote work revolution. So this is another nice touch for enhancing the visual quality of your videos.
Green screen or a non-gloss background, so your animator/editor can do post-production work more efficiently. This helps during the animation and editing phase if they need to add some coloring in here or there, or whatever they need to do on the technical side.
Don’t rush into scooping up the cheapest equipment you can find. If you want it done right, take your time and do your research. Your equipment is equally important as the SEO side and the post-production side.
3. Create a streamlined production process
Similar to using a content calendar to decide when you’ll be writing and launching emails, blogs, and social media posts, you need to streamline your video production process.
This is how you go from just a one-off idea to an actual strategy that your team can replicate like a well-oiled machine. To do this:
Keep your video creation process organized. Use project management software to track video topics, animations, post-production, target publish dates, etc. Make subtasks for these with deadlines to keep your team on schedule.
Give scripts time for writing and editing. Don’t let your on-camera person just wing it. Come up with a script for them to read from a teleprompter and edit it for clarity and engagement. You’ll avoid lots of unprofessional pauses and dead air.
Stick to a regular posting schedule; it’s one of the most important tactics for improving your channel’s performance. YouTube favors creators who demonstrate consistency. So consider posting a new video every Monday, for example.
Always listen to your team’s suggestions. You probably have a talented production team of editors, producers, and animators. Are you 100% sure you’re using them to their potential? Give them direction and a vision to run with, and then listen to their ideas.
4. Learn how to differentiate your videos
With so many videos added to YouTube every day, you’ll need to devise a game plan to get your videos to stand out, command attention, and become enticing to click.
See what your competition is doing. In our industry, most of our competitors are super dry, so we knew there was an opportunity to create more modern, exciting content. The only way to find your niche is to learn what your competitors aren’t doing or aren’t doing well.
Go back to your keyword research, analyze Google Video SERPs and YouTube Video SERPs, and see the types of videos ranking well right now. What are the first top-five videos? What kind of content do they have? Are they interviews with thought-leaders, animations, 30 seconds of DIY troubleshooting?
Once you have a better understanding of what YouTube is prioritizing, you can replicate that success and find ways to innovate on it. You don’t want to deviate too far from this; just fine-tune your content to make it better.
Choose irresistible thumbnail images for your videos. YouTube’s version of a featured image is the thumbnail image. Have you ever noticed that these thumbnails are always really clickbait and attention-grabbing? It’s no coincidence.
YouTube measures click-through rates when ranking video results. So just getting someone to click on an enticing thumbnail may improve your rankings. Use really good previews and thumbnail images to show searchers that clicking on yours will lead them to high-quality, well-produced videos.
5. Publish your videos with SEO in mind
Again, YouTube is a search engine and you must prioritize SEO to maximize your reach. It’s easy to do this when you:
Fit your target keyword in the video title. Since the YouTube SEO process focuses on click-through rates, your keyword must be somewhere in the title of your video and compel people to click.
Make it interesting and engaging. Titles that look like everyone else’s won’t get clicked on nearly as much as something new and exciting. You never want people to feel as if they’ve already seen what you’re sharing.
Write a keyword-rich video description to provide context. This should explain what viewers can expect to see or learn in the video. Write just enough that if someone didn’t watch the video, they’d still understand what it was about. Video descriptions that are at least 200 to 300 words are a good start.
Add links to your video description. People always click the descriptions, but they might not even watch the video. They might listen to the audio while they click through the description and read the content. So adding links here gives people a way to learn more if they’re interested.
We always link to our pricing page. If someone wants to compare our plans and packages, that’s where they’ll want to go, so why not make it easy to get there? People will click through; our data shows we capture thousands of click-throughs just from YouTube.
We also link free tools or resources we’ve developed, especially if we mention them during the video. For example, if you’re using a VoIP product and want to see if your internet is fast enough, we’ll link a speed test right in the description.
Add timestamps to your description. When someone searches for a keyword like ‘what is VoIP phone’, video SERPs on Google will pull “key moments” from videos on YouTube displaying for that search. These moments are actually timestamps within the video.
So try to manually enter those timestamps in your video description to get a rich result on SERPs. This also works really well for the user experience. Someone who doesn’t want to watch a full video will know exactly where to click and when to watch if you give them the timestamps upfront.
Be smart about video tags. Keep your target keyword in your video tag and add two or three similar ones. Just don’t add more than five keywords here or it will come across as spammy.
6. Get eyes on your video content
Aside from organic views on YouTube, you need to distribute your videos elsewhere as much as possible.
I don’t believe in relying on YouTube, Google, or other search engines for your traffic because their algorithms can be so volatile. Your videos must live somewhere outside of this.
Embed your videos everywhere you can. Embed them from YouTube onto your high-traffic blogs, landing pages, and anywhere else it makes sense. If they can live somewhere on your website, that’s a surefire way to get referral traffic.
You can even ask brands or affiliates you’re friendly with to embed your video on their sites or blogs (and make sure to reciprocate the favor).
Send videos in your email marketing materials. You already know your subscribers are interested in this type of content, so surprise them with a fun video and snatch up that almost guaranteed traffic. According to HubSpot, using “video” in an email subject line increases open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
Distribute your videos in your social posts. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. Create two or three posts per video per social channel to maximize your reach.
Organic views of your content lead to organic growth. And that could help your brand become less reliant on the paid advertising side of YouTube while still capturing traffic and conversions on your site.
7. Always track video performance and improve key metrics
YouTube has an advanced analytics dashboard native to the platform. It will help you analyze your video data and track leading indicators contributing to your channel’s performance.
One super helpful thing YouTube Analytics does is provide benchmarks to compare your video views, subscriber rates, engagement, etc., with your competitors. Each video is measured based on those benchmarks, so you can immediately see what’s working and what needs work. They even have AI that suggests a few ideas to improve your stats.
Basic video metrics like these will help you track video performance and level up your game:
Are people watching your videos most of the way through? Stopping at a certain point? Each video gives you a nice little graph showing you where 50% of the viewers start to fall off, for example.
Using these insights, our team learned short-form content worked really well. So we were able to tweak based on the data. Now we stick to a two- to four-minute mark, and 30% of our viewers stay all the way to the end, which is pretty darn good based on our benchmarks.
Subscriber growth rate
This is how you prove your content is working. You can see how many videos are converting ordinary viewers into subscribers and which one captures the most.
From here, you can figure out how many subscribers are actually watching your videos once they’re published. Do they have notifications turned on? These are all solid indicators of an engaged audience.
This data should give you a better idea of whether your keywords have good volume and how you can expand. When you know people enjoy those types of videos, you can think about where else to embed them to gain additional traction.
Where views are coming from
Are more views coming from organic search (YouTube and Google) or referrals from your website embeds, email marketing, and social posts?
Organic views are a good sign of your performance on YouTube. They’ll even show you where your video ranks in terms of a specific keyword, very similar to Google Search Console. In the backend of the YouTube dashboard, you can also see views coming from Google Video search results.
How are you going to measure conversions? Once you have a few YouTube videos, you want people to click on your website and then, ultimately, make a purchase.
Consider hiring or delegating a Technical Data Analyst to dive in deep here. Ours set up event tracking with a code snippet through Google Analytics to see where people went after clicking a video embedded on one of our landing pages. Did they start a live chat? Fill out a demo form?
These are all valuable insights to not only enhance your videos and grow your YouTube channel, but help your B2B business skyrocket to greatness.
Now that you know how to grow a YouTube channel for business…
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Though you can’t rely solely on one channel to grow your business (even if it is YouTube), 85% of people want to see more videos from brands. And it’s in your best interest to do so because a staggering 86% of creators say videos increase traffic to their website.
Just remember: the purpose of YouTube is to educate, entertain, and inspire viewers. Don’t take a sales or product-first approach here, unless you want to fall flat.
Do your homework on keyword research and equipment comparisons. Create a streamlined production process. Focus on SEO. And figure out what your audience finds most useful.
Once you get eyes on your videos, track their performance, and devise a strategy to keep improving and growing. Follow the tips in today’s guide, and you’ll have a running head start on your competition.
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