With all these new fancy apps and platforms popping up everywhere, it’s easy to get distracted from the godfather of video content, YouTube. Guilty as charged, friends.
Reels, Threads, TikTok – all the places where we spend our time as business owners are important. But none of those trending platforms hold a candle to the long-form, evergreen search engine that is Google’s video library, YouTube.
The red play button giant processes over 3 billion searches a month and has more than 1 billion unique monthly visitors with over 6 billion hours of video viewed monthly. Even a minuscule piece of this pie could have a significant impact on your business.
Content that lives here has a longer shelf life and is easily repurposed as blog content, email newsletters, or Instagram Reels. Not to mention that as the platform owner, Google actively promotes YouTube content on search engine results pages as part of the video carousel.
I recently whipped myself into shape and dove head-first back into long-form video content and I thought I’d share with you my channel-building strategy.
Content Planning & Creation
This is the most critical element of a successful channel. Always talk about what you know and niche down. Don’t try to be a video influencer on topics that are outside your wheelhouse. Stick with what you know and what is highly specific to those you want to reach. The people you want to work with can tell if you’re trying too hard or have gone off-track.
The purpose of your channel is two-fold.
- Educate your target audience and increase your authority in their estimation.
- Promote your other content, your brand, and your offers.
Never lose sight of both of these objectives or focus more on one than the other when planning and filming your content.
Create A Snowballing Content Calendar
Create a content calendar that builds on itself from one topic to the next. This gets viewers to watch more content and stay on the platform longer. Create follow-up videos, the next steps in whatever process you’re sharing, hacks and tips to do it better or faster, etc.
If you’re really planning smart, you’ll try to align your content calendar with your business promotions. If you’re doing a live launch in September, all of your August content should be directed at the foundational concepts and questions that your audience may have to queue them up for your launch.
Leave room in your posting schedule to post lives and Q&A-style videos. Reach out to industry content creators and schedule a collaboration.
Use Flexible Video Scripts or Outlines
Don’t read from a teleprompter if you can help it. Create an outline focusing on the big ideas and bullet points to help keep you on track but avoid anything that will cause you to sound robotic.
A Call To Action In Every Video
Always include calls to action in your videos that ask your viewers to like, subscribe, or click. Remind them of how you can help them specifically and to take action aligned with that goal. This will push them farther along in your sales funnel and offers a high-quality, organic, intention-based lead generation opportunity.
If possible, create long-form video content in batches of two to five at a time. This allows you to stay “in the zone” and churn out as much as possible. Don’t forget to capture thumbnail shots and native, short-form content aligned with each topic to promote on Shorts, Reels, or TikTok too.
If you’re sticking to an organic marketing schedule, upload at least two videos a week in the early weeks of your channel, or if you need to reactivate your audience. This gives the YouTube algorithm more content to work with and gives you more data to track and see how your content performs. Once you’ve leveled out, once a week should be sufficient.
The Anatomy of Your Channel
The title of your channel should be as relevant as possible to what you do or what your target audience will search for. To access more settings, ensure the “Customize The Layout Of Your Channel” option is enabled.
Your channel icon should be easy to read and connect with and match the branding of your channel. The banner art should clearly communicate what you do and who you want to reach. You can also include links to your top offer and other social media channels or landing pages.
Include a channel description (the “About” tab) that shares more about who you are, who you serve, what you do, and how new subscribers can connect with you or take advantage of your offers.
Always organize your videos into playlists. This will contribute to the snowball effect that keeps viewers on your channel longer and makes YouTube happy.
Always Leverage Your Branding
All of your channel art should be cohesive and beautifully click-worthy. From your banner photo to thumbnails and end screen images, use consistent branding, colors, and imagery.
Here are the must-have channel assets you need to create:
- A banner photo with a description and your top offer
- Thumbnails (several different versions but consistent branding)
- Intro cards (include the name of your channel and maybe a music clip)
- End screen cards (refer viewers to other videos or links)
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for your creative channel assets. Canva and Etsy are brimming with beautiful designs and templates you can easily plug and play.
Promoting Your Content
Just making a video is only part of the equation. You want it to get found and get watched. Conduct SEO keyword research and use this to inform your video titles, descriptions, and tags.
Alert your email or social media audience of new video content and redirect existing connections to your channel. Video views are great, but don’t forget to ASK for the subscription. You want them to be notified automatically when you post new content.
Consistently engage with your audience and other content creators on the platform. This generates buzz and tells the algorithm that you’re active and keeping people engaged on the platform.
Keep a consistent posting schedule, especially if you’re already reactivating a dormant channel. This is the hardest part, but batch-creating your content will help.
Don’t Give Up!
It takes time to awaken the algorithm and ignite traction on YouTube. But it CAN be done. I’m diving back in, and so can you. Let’s do it together! Subscribe to my channel HERE >>>