The popularity of YouTube marketing has grown massively among brands in recent years.

With over 1.9bn monthly users and a greater reach than many TV networks, that’s hardly a surprise.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how SME owners can make YouTube marketing a valuable part of their overall strategy.

The basics of effective YouTube marketing

Here’s how you can get started with YouTube marketing:

1) Creating videos

First, decide on the type of videos you want to produce by thinking about why the customers you’re targeting might want to watch a video relating to your product/service.

The most effective types of YouTube marketing video are:

  • YouTube Live Event videos
  • Explainer/product description/Q&A videos
  • Trailer or launch videos for new products
  • Un-boxing videos (a new and hugely popular alternative to product reviews)
  • Stats videos (highly shareable – especially for younger folks)
  • Testimonials/case studies
  • Behind-the-scenes manufacturing/employment videos
  • Blooper videos (think SpaceX)

Next, create a style guide for composing your videos. Unlike other platforms, YouTube has no maximum video length.

Although Google rates longer videos as more relevant, research suggests the sweet spot for audiences is around two minutes. Whatever length you choose, set out to capture the audience’s attention within five seconds or less.

In terms of branding, you might want to consider adding your logo and keeping a consistent colour palette (both in the thumbnail and throughout the video itself).

But, be careful about being overly aggressive when it comes to promoting your brand.  If it looks like you’re just trying to get your logo or company name seen and heard as many times as possible without saying anything of substance, your audience might see your video as insincere and quickly move on.

Another advantage of YouTube marketing is the quality of video you can upload.

There’s nothing wrong with filming on your phone or basic camera; it’ll save cash up-front and help the video look authentic. But it might also be worth investing in some decent video equipment – even something as simple as a GoPro can produce amazing results!

That said, as a general rule of thumb, it’s the quality of your content and message that counts, so don’t spend big unless you really want to!

Pair your video up with an audio track to add an extra layer of interest. Don’t have one to hand? Check out the YouTube audio library for free stock examples, or take a look at the options on (a favourite of ours). Just remember to credit them!

2) Promoting videos

The key to promoting YouTube marketing videos is to make them as accessible and interconnected as possible.

So, make sure your YouTube channel name matches up with your company name and website URL as far as possible. Also, add some promotional copy for the channel in your company’s preferred tone, and include links to related resources (e.g. product/service page).

Link your YouTube videos to your company website via the YouTube Partner Programme. That way, viewers can click right through, and your company site’s SEO will receive a boost.

Google can’t scan videos in the same way as text, so you’ll need to optimise the video’s title, description and tags to ensure it ranks well, and can appear as a ‘related video’ at the end of other clips on a similar theme.

Embed the video in one or more locations on your company website. And, be sure to share widely on social media ­– ­­videos come into their own on these platforms. You might also want to upload some of your videos direct to the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn, as this approach is likely to give them a broader reach.

3) Analysing/improving campaigns

With YouTube, the obvious key metric to look for is the total number of views.

However, you should also track the associated actions viewers have taken (e.g. how long they watched the video for/where they went afterwards), and the eventual impact on your sales rates.

If you want to go all-in, look out for comments on social media that might indicate how the video has been received.

Posting regularly should improve your reach and ROI. So, if you’ve got the resources to invest, use your understanding of these metrics to decide how best to approach your next video.

These are just the basics of YouTube marketing, but there’s so much more to learn…