How to Build a YouTube Video Marketing Strategy (Brand Guide)

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How to Build a YouTube Video Marketing Strategy (Brand Guide)

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Written by Houston
June 25, 2020
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Video marketing is an effective way to promote the product and services of your business. 

Part of an integrated marketing plan, effective use of videos can help your business reach new audiences, educate them, and help increase the engagement of your digital channels. 

The use of video marketing at the forefront of a business strategy is also quickly becoming a trend. 

Dollar Shave Club, NordVPN, GetQuip, and many others are building successful startups on the foundation of YouTube marketing. 

What's interesting about them? 

All of those businesses have actively pursued Partnerships with YouTube influencers, instead of building their own channels. 

Now, going more in-depth about the intricacies of influencer partnerships is something that we’ll tackle later down the line.

Make sure you join the BAMF Facebook Group or sign up for the BAMF newsletter to get notified when it comes out. 

And I’ve already shared how to kickstart your YouTube SEO efforts for an effective tactical video push on the platform. 

So with this article, I would instead focus more on where to start with your video marketing strategy, specifically on YouTube, and how to effectively use video tactics to boost the growth of your business.  

Now, there are quite a few of you that will ask me this question. 

Is YouTube Effective for Marketing? 

And my answer is YES.

In fact, let's take a look at the data.

YouTube Statistics and Data (for 2020)

There are dozens of data-backed reasons on why YouTube is effective for marketing.  

Just by checking a quick snapshot of YouTube's use in the US and around the world, we can already note the potential.

  • There are Over 2 Billion Users on the Platform (YouTube)
  • YouTube is the Second Largest Search Engine in the World, just Behind Google (SearchEngineJournal)
  • People Watch more than 1 BILLION hours PER DAY on YouTube (TechCrunch)
  • 80% of People 18-49-year-olds Visit YouTube when they want to watch videos online (Google)
  • A huge percentage of the content consumed by viewers is generated by a handful of popular channels (PewResearchCenter)
  • 28% of U.S. Adults say that they get their NEWS from YouTube (PewResearchCenter)

And the above are just a handful of helpful stats. There's a ton more analytics that YouTube is growing and that its growth doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

In fact, YouTube is the MOST popular online platform among U.S. adults in 2019.  

So considering the numbers, you would wonder, WHY are brands jumping on Instagram and Facebook, instead of YouTube?

Well, the reason boils down to the difficulty of execution.

Videos are quickly becoming a main source of information, entertainment and education online. 

In fact, 85% of Americans said they watched online video content on their devices on a monthly basis. 

However, videos are difficult to manage and optimize.

The process of writing, shooting, editing and optimizing is difficult to execute and often requires a huge amount of resources just to get into it.

So YouTube, isn't the perfect choice for every brand.

However, with the advance of technology and the perpetual movement towards the ease of use of software, we are at a point where the cost of getting into video marketing is the lowest it has ever been.

In fact, today, you can just take out your phone, start shooting video and chances are it would be good enough to upload to YouTube.

Granted, you shouldn't do that, if you want your channel to grow.

This Cat is working Hard on its YouTube Strategy

You should have a solid strategy and understand the basic principles of what works and what doesn't on the platform and analyze what will work for you, your brand and the message you want to send.

Now, I know you are quite pumped to get going.

But often, you don’t know where to start. 

So that’s where I come in. 

Without further ado, here’s the YouTube planning checklist for StartUps for 2020 and a guide on how to kickstart your video marketing efforts to build out a successful strategy. 

Starting a YouTube Channel with a Strategy

Thinking about starting a YouTube channel for your business, but don’t know how? Don’t worry. 

You are at the right place. 

In this short guide, we’ll go over the resources and planning stages that will help you build out an effective video marketing process for your business. 

Once the process I give you is implemented, you’ll be able to quickly come up with the right video ideas, select the right tools, shoot and edit your videos and publish them to get great results. 

Utilizing the lessons I’ve learned on LinkedIn and consulting with other thought leaders in the growth marketing industry, I’ve built out the most effective process to kickstart the video strategy efforts of your brand. 

What you are reading right now is a streamlined version of an effective marketing process that revolves around simplicity and direct execution. 

Understanding The Video Platform 

The first step you need to take if you want to think like a marketer is understanding the platform.

To be successful on ANY digital platform, you need to understand WHY it works, HOW it works, WHY people use it, HOW people use it and WHAT they expect from your business on the platform.

We already talked about the basic analytics for YouTube marketing, but let's get more in-depth on the demographics of the platform.

  • 78% Male compared to 68% Female
  • 91% of People Between 18-29 say they use the platform regularly
  • 87% of People Between 30-49 say they use the platform often
  • 70% of People Between 50-64 say they use the platform often
  • 38% of People 65+ say they use the platform often

Among the income demographics, you also have some differences in the percentages of people who use the platform.

An Image Showing YouTube Demographics Information and Data

The source of the data is PewResearchCenter

How you should use the data to align it with your business efforts?

  1. Make sure your buyer's persona fits the YouTube demographics range
  2. Perform a meta-analysis of your buyer's persona habits to find the specific type of videos your audience would watch
  3. Understand whether your audience seeks more informational or educational content and note how often they use the platform

Now, it's time to think about the key factors that would make or break your YouTube video success.

To do so, we need to look at the most popular type of content that YouTube has to offer and understand why it works.

The Structure of a YouTube Video (Video Genres) 

What most brands think about when starting a YouTube video channel is the educational value.

Other social media networks, especially LinkedIn, are allowing for powerful storytelling and educational content to thrive.

And YouTube is definitely in the same space.

However, you need to consider the differences between short-form and long-form video content.

YouTube helps long-form video content to thrive. 

And this often means that you need something that's both educational and driven by a certain amount of entertainment value.

Ultimately, it is a social media platform.

Just like you would want to check out my books that have actionable content examples and analysis on LinkedIn, prior to publishing a LinkedIn post, you want to have an idea about what type of content works on the platform.

So let's check it out.

Let's look at what others are doing on the platform.

ALL of the popular channels on YouTube, regardless of interests, HAVE a particular style or set of styles of videos they make.

The Top YouTube Channels By Subscribers
Source: SocialBlade YouTube Analytics and Data

So much so, that almost every viewer that has watched a few YouTube videos here and there will tell you the simple fact.

YouTube is a hub for creativity and new genres have made the platform what it is today.

The video marketing search engine has helped users develop and create unique interpretations of popular video styles.

The Genres of YouTube Videos (Marketing)

There are more than a few genres of videos that you might not have heard about.

  • Gaming Playthroughs (Let's Plays) - People Sitting in front of a webcam, playing a game and broadcasting it to their viewers
  • Makeup Tutorials - People putting makeup on themselves and teaching their audience about how and why they do so
  • Daily Vlogs - People sharing their daily experiences in a story-driven matter
  • Video Essays - A video-driven presentation on a subject matter, with a narrated script written in an essay form (revolving around a certain point)
  • Tech Reviews - A video-driven presentation of a tech product

In fact, here's a list of ALL 16 popular types of videos on the platform, as shared by MediaKix, a YouTube influencer agency that specializes in what people do on the platform.

  • Commentary
  • Product Reviews
  • How-Tos/Tutorials
  • Top Lists
  • Comedy
  • Challenges
  • Reactions
  • Q&A
  • Interview
  • Docuseries
  • Educational
  • Music Videos
  • Narratives
  • Gaming
  • ASMR
  • Sports

ALL of these content categories have one thing in common. They fit a particular style or genre, specific to the platform.

Before starting a YouTube channel, you need to understand the genres. 

Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't innovate. In fact, the video platform thrives on innovations and reinventions of different genres of videos.

You just need to make sure that your content will fit within what's expected for videos in your industry on the platform.

NOTE: YouTube and Educational Content

Wondering why you need to understand the genres through the lens of YouTube content?

Let's take a look at the example of YOUTUBE and EDUCATIONAL content.

YouTube is both a platform for education and entertainment.

With most businesses understanding that educational content helps them thrive on other platforms, it's easy to forget that YouTube is quite different.

If you create a video for your brand trying to educate your customers on something you know they are interested in, it might not be easy to keep grab their attention on YouTube.

They might not stick around and watch your video if it doesn't have certain entertainment aspects they would expect.

The rise of Educational Content on YouTube (What about Entertainment?) 

On the surface, it's easy to think that YouTube is THE platform for education.

And it is. The stats show it.

However, we need to also consider the experience of the user.

Let's compare YouTube with Udemy. We'll focus on the use cases for both platforms.

Let's take a look at them.

When and why do you visit YouTube for education?

  • To find out a video tutorial of something that you want to make
  • To watch a video and learn something new on a subject you are interested in
  • Because you've stumbled upon (or YouTube recommended to you) an educational video

This pretty much sums it up, right?

Now, while there are people out there who watch lectures and debates, only a small portion of them go there for in-depth learning of a subject matter.

So, let's think about when and why you would visit Udemy or LinkedIn Learning. (Or visit our LinkedIn Academy for that matter)

  • To understand a topic and a complex idea in-depth
  • To follow through a series of educational videos that will give you a deeper understanding of a subject matter
  • To grow your knowledge and potentially earn a certificate while doing so
  • To expand your professional portfolio

I hope by now, you've understood the difference. YouTube is great for education and we learn a ton from watching YouTube videos.

It's not that far off to say that educational videos on YouTube are thriving.

However, this shouldn't confuse you about the matter in WHICH educational videos differ across platforms.

It's about the delivery. 

Perform a quick search on your favorite educational topic on YouTube and on Udemy. Let's say you are into SEO.

YouTube Results for the Phrase SEO in relation to video marketing

One of the top videos that rank is an amazing tutorial from Ahrefs.

Ahrefs SEO Video on YouTube

On Udemy it's a nice course on the matter.

Udemy Results for the Phrase SEO in relation to video marketing

The course itself is well-structured and has the clearly defined goal to teach you everything about SEO and ranking on Google as a whole.

Udemy SEO Video Course

Now, if you watch both videos, in most cases you will note that both look similar at first.

  • Both Videos feature nice animations and transitions
  • Both Videos feature highly educational content

But there are also a few key differences.

  • The delivery of the presenter on UDemy is more relaxed and serious
  • The delivery of the presenter on YouTube is more snappy, activated and driven

This is true for almost all educational subject matters.

In addition, the videos are structured in a different matter.

  • The Udemy video focuses on the course structure and a specific topic in context of the course structure. It's an online lecture.
  • The YouTube video has an introduction that explains the topic and why it's important and then gets down to business, usually with continuous jokes, snappy transitions and engagement-driven questions to the audience.

So before you go into the bigger picture, you need to understand the specific style of video that would work for YouTube.

This stands true for any genre you select.

Of course, we will explain more on the competitor research process in a moment.

YouTube Thumbnails, Tags and Descriptions

When it comes to YouTube video marketing, you should also understand how the platform works.

, How to Build a YouTube Video Marketing Strategy (Brand Guide)

YouTube utilizes features, such as Thumbnails, Tags and Descriptions to help rank your videos better.

In addition, these features allow users to understand what your video is about and helps them decide whether to watch it or not.

Now, as mentioned in the beginning, I already have an in-depth article on this.

It's called YouTube SEO.

Make sure you check it out, if you want to understand these features better and learn more about how  your videos are ranked by the video search engine platform.

Once you have a grasp on the basics of YouTube, it's time to start building your strategy.

Building your Strategy

Entrepreneurs, founders and marketers alike often get sidetracked when they start building a YouTube strategy.

They think about THE CONTENT.

What type of content should you post on YouTube? 

What type of content will rank well on YouTube? 

And while these are important questions and WILL make or break your strategy, CONTENT is usually THE LAST step of the strategy process.

You shouldn't head into making a strategy, thinking about ideas, and brainstorming related to content.

The video marketing strategy is a way to shape up the process and boundaries that will allow you to streamline your idea and brainstorming process.

You shouldn't expect that you'll have THIS amazing IDEA and that it will work. 

Instead, STRATEGY is about setting the right foundation for you to TRY OUT many WONDERFUL ideas that you might come up with in the process.

It will allow you to experiment, iterate and develop your content in a matter that both fits your audience, but also helps you achieve better success.

The Basics of Your Strategy

There are two ways to tackle a video marketing strategy, you can either start with available resources and budget things from there.

Or you can start with the research and analysis and build your budgeting around the expected results.

If you are in a startup phase, I usually suggest going with the first method.

The way I've structured this process will allow you to build out your YouTube strategy in a way that's most suitable to your current situation in terms of resources.

It should also help you address everything with a bit more creativity, rather than just the basic numbers.

Of course, we'll also talk about your goals and the analytics you'll need to take into account, but first, let's dive into the research and resource alignment.

Select your Industry Keywords

The first step is to define the keywords that you would want to target.

A YouTube keyword is basically a term that both reflects the videos you want to put out, but would also be used as part of a search term that users type in YouTube's search bar.

If you don't know where to start, make sure to get familiar with keyword planning tools.

I have an amazing piece on some of the top free keyword planning tools. 

Make sure you target keywords with relatively low competition.

However, don't forget to consider the user's keyword search intent also.

Once you do that, you should have a nice set of keywords to start your journey into YouTube video marketing.

Do the Research on the Video Genres (for your Keywords)

Now, to define the genre of your videos, you'll need to do a bit of research.

Don't worry, it will mostly be revolving around watching videos. 

To start, you'll need to type every keyword from your list into YouTube's search bar.

Make sure you do that on an empty account because YouTube's results are highly personalized.

Let's say the keyword you plan to use is social media planning.

YouTube Results for Video Marketing Showcase

After you type it, you'll be able to go through the most popular videos for that search term.

Go through the videos and list down notes on the following items.

  • Video Length - How long is the video? 
  • Video Style - In what style is this video produced? 
  • Video Structure - How does the video start, what's in the middle, how does the video end? 
  • Video Transitions and Effects - Are there any notable transitions and effects used in the video? 
  • Videos Likes, Dislikes and Comments - What's the sentiment of the audience about the video? 

In our example, we can note that the videos are fairly different in terms of style

YouTube Results Analysis

We have 2 videos, which are in a presentation style. (Red)

One video is in a talking head style. (Green)

And one of the videos is delivered in a lifestyle type video. (Yellow)

Once we note all of the items on the list, we'll have a pretty clear picture of the insights we need.

  • What's the style of the video that the audience prefers for this keyword?
  • What does the audience expect?
  • What's the audience's sentiment?

These items will help us decide the genre of our video.

List Down your Competitors

When people think "competitors" in the context of marketing, they often think about the "closest competitor" in terms of business.

However, especially when it comes to content, you should also expand your zone to brands/influencers in your market that you aspire to in terms of social media standing.

This step is perfectly aligned with the keyword research, so make sure to also list down any competitors you find in the search results.

Having a list of competitors and channels that inspire you will help you have a clear picture of how well your videos are performing in the future.

Defining Your Genre

As we have listed the information we need, it's time to define our genre.

In this particular case, we have three distinct styles, each with their pros and cons.

  • Presentations - not as authentic, but highly visual and informative 
  • Lifestyle - extremely authentic, but not as informative 
  • Talking head - relatively authentic, relatively informative 

For the purpose of this example, it's obvious that for social media planning pursuing an authentic style that's relatively informative will fit our example brand.

So, we'll be doing a Talking Head style of videos.

It's worth noting that your style of videos might be different and might change in the future. However, delivering videos OF THE SAME style will ensure that your audience will know what to expect from your channel.

This is helpful, as it will allow your audience and newcomers to go through your list of videos knowing what they will receive.

It's similar to how if you are writing books on business, you wouldn't necessarily want to suddenly start writing romance novels.

People might watch a multitude of genres, but you would want them to associate your brand with a particular style.

Hence, while your videos and style might change, it's important to have a more defined genre from the start of your channel.

Select a Buyer's Persona and Research Their Habits

If you've done content marketing strategies for your business before, you would probably already have a buyer's persona.

However, if you don't, you need to define it.

A Buyer's Persona is basically an ideal representation of your perfect customer.

To build it, you can use available data or research and analyze people who might be interested in your product.

Performing surveys is also a nice way to come with a pretty strong buyer's persona definition.

Usually, you'll list each important detail about their demographics, lifestyle, interests, and the way they would use your product.

A common checklist for a buyer's persona 

  • Age: What is the age range of this person? 
  • Sex/Gender: How does this person define themselves?
  • Occupation: What's the common occupation for this person?
  • Salary: How much does this person earn per year? 
  • Key Interests: What are the interests of this person? 
  • Key Challenges: What challenges does this person face? 
  • Key Pursuits: What does this person want to achieve? 
  • Key Influences: What influences the purchasing decisions of this customer? 
  • Key Habits: What does this person usually do? 

After you have your buyer's persona, it would be nice to check their digital habits related to watching videos, primarily on YouTube.

  • What does this person watch? 
  • How much time does this person spend on YouTube? 
  • What does this person like the most about videos? 

Having this will help you understand both what the person might search for, but also what might be the videos that they would prefer to watch if you present it to them.

Align with your Resources

By now, you should already have a clear picture of the keywords you will be targeting, what your audience expects and the type of videos they would want to watch.

Now it's time to do the hard calculations. What will you need to start shooting videos for the platform?

NOTE: Based on the genre of the video, you'll need to do some research on the equipment you need and the process of work that is related with the delivery of a quality video product. 

In our example, for a talking head video for YouTube, we'll need these basics:

  • A place to shoot the video, such as a place with a nice background that reflects our branding or a white/green wall
  • Video camera
  • Quality mic
  • Lighting (to ensure the quality of our video)

However, we must also consider the end-product in terms of editing. You might want to consult with a video editor on this one. 

For a talking head for YouTube, you would usually need a few elements:

  • Logo Opening Transition
  • Transitions between screens
  • Typography animations
  • Lower, Upper Thirds
  • End Card Animation and Design

You also need to consider the process of creating the video and the human resources involved.

  • A presenter
  • A video editor
  • A researcher
  • A screenwriter
  • A designer

List down the hours and costs associated with the making of ONE video.

Make sure to note which items are one-time costs and which would be required every time you shoot a video.

Depending on your budgets, you can expand or streamline your resources to fit your general expectancy.

Once you have aligned the resources with your expectancy, it's time to talk process.

Creating a Work Process

A process is always a must if you want to achieve consistency in your content and results.

The same is true for YouTube video marketing.

Thus, as part of your business strategy, you should build out a process of work for video creation and delivery.

Example Process:

YouTube Video Marketing Process Example

The process can be as simple as the one showcased above or as complex as you want to make it.

Make sure that your video making process is streamlined. 

What you need to consider:

  • The resources you have at your disposal
  • The resource cost
  • The continuous delivery of content
  • The optimized video process
  • The editing stages

Ultimately, at the end of the day, you will need consistency to achieve the right results.

Creating a Content Calendar

Last, but not least, you will need to build out a content calendar.

Once your process is in place, the content calendar will help you keep track of your ideas, adjust for trendy new topics and solidify your consistency of delivery.

Usually, it's best to have a person responsible for the content calendar, as the job can quickly get overwhelming.

However, this depends on your costs.

A simple content calendar for YouTube will help you schedule your content at the right times, track and analyze your results, organize your ideas and ultimately optimize your videos for success.

Make sure to create a consistent content strategy flow 

  • Consistency is Key
  • Be open to new ideas (that fit your existing style)
  • Keep up with the latest trends
  • Employ new tactics that work

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to churn out a ton of videos from the start. What's important is to build out a consistent flow that works. A content calendar will help you do that.

Select Goals and Analytics for Tracking

Last, but not least, to have a complete strategy you also need to set goals.

There are a lot of ways founders and marketers set goals in business.

Infographic Showcasing a Smart Goal and How to Set It

However, for video marketing, it's best to stick to the basics.

Employ a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Smart is an acronym that basically means something that is easily trackable, quite specific, and actionable enough for you to be able to optimize it.

When it comes to timing, usually it's best to have iterative processes for your goals and check them regularly i.e. weekly, monthly or yearly. 

For a video marketing strategy, it's also nice to have multiple goals.

Set one for the first month, the first three months and the first year.

Make sure your goals are realistic, but motivational enough to get you going.

Sometimes it's best to have BOTH realistic goals, but also HIGH goals that are hyper-motivational.

Just make sure to find the sweet spot that truly works for you.

Now that you have your YouTube video marketing strategy, it's time to shoot for success.

PRO TIP 

I've found that it's easiest to think about creating a YouTube channel in a similar manner to how you would create a TV show.

Yes, the content can and needs to be topic-specific, but you also need to consider engaging users that might just stumble upon your video.

What to do once you have your plan in place? 

Just keep moving. 

In the marketing world, we live in, I often stumble upon marketers that spend MONTHS on building out a strategy. 

But as you probably already know, it’s best to start moving, iterate and keep going rather than sit and wait until the perfect idea comes to mind.

The Ultimate Video Marketing Lesson: START MOVING. 

Of course, it’s also premature to start posting videos at random, expecting results. 

There are more than a few examples of why this doesn't work. 

You've probably seen them as well. 

You can find channels with thousands of videos with arguably AMAZING content that just don’t seem to grow as much as they deserve. 

I hope I was able to help you answer ALL of the questions that need to be answered to kickstart your efforts right. 

What's more, the plan you've just created also helps to remove the bottleneck that can be created from overanalysis and not knowing where to start with your YouTube marketing strategy. 

So what you are waiting for?

Go shoot some videos!

The best part? 

You are going to be able to use the amazing content that you’ve created to boost your engagement on other social media platforms, to update your website and blog or even use it as promotional material.  

[NEXT STEPS 

Already know how to kickstart your video efforts, but want to optimize them? Check out my other articles on the topic. 

YouTube SEO, YouTube Analytics and the 9 Steps to Use Vlogging for B2B Marketing

About the Author

The name’s Houston Golden. I’m the Founder & CEO of BAMF ― a company I’ve grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $4M in revenue over a span of 3 years.
How did I do it? Well, it’s quite simple, really. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win). I tell you how on this blog.
Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.

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