YouTube for Business: 5 rules for posting successful videos

21st September 2021

As a small business, YouTube can be the perfect place to showcase your products or services. The long-form style of video that YouTube offers enables you to go into great detail about your business and how it can help the potential customers who are watching.

YouTube seems like the perfect opportunity to grow your business by generating more leads and sales, but there is a knack to getting it right.

There are steps you can consider if you want to see success on YouTube.

Here are five small business video tips for YouTube to maximise reach and optimise your success…

1. Pay attention to the algorithm when using YouTube for business

The YouTube algorithm is what decides which videos are placed in front of viewers. Around 70% of the videos watched on YouTube are decided by the algorithm, and many people choose to watch the videos that are recommended to them by the algorithm.

This is why as a small business, it’s essential that you become familiar with the YouTube algorithm.

The algorithm has changes drastically since YouTube’s creation in 2005. Currently, in 2021, the algorithm is a complex system that takes into account a number of factors, and constantly changing. It looks closely at people’s viewing habits so it can recommend the best videos to the right kinds of people who are going to be interested in them, and engage with them the most.

To ensure you stay on the ‘good side’ of the YouTube algorithm, you need to avoid talking about any sensitive topics within your videos, as this can lead to demonetization of your videos, and can cause them to be supressed.

Ultimately, the algorithm favours videos that cover widely-accepted topics, and those that a lot of people are clicking on and staying on for the duration of the video.

2. Consider the length of your videos

The length of your YouTube videos depends on how much content you need to cover. Some small businesses can say everything they need to within five minutes, but others may need half an hour.

When creating videos for your small business on YouTube, you need to consider the possible ad placements within the video in order for you to make money from it.

Ads can be played at the start (pre-rolls) or end (post-rolls) of the video, as well as in the middle of it (mid-rolls). In order for you to place mid-rolls within your videos, the video needs to be at least 10 minutes long.

YouTube allows you to manually add as many mid-rolls as you like, and place them wherever you like in the video. Although this sounds great, and it’s tempting to add in as many mid-rolls as possible to maximise the monetary outcome of the video, you need to think about how this will look to the viewer. It’s unlikely people will sit and watch a full 10-minute video disrupted by 15 ad breaks.

3. Add chapters and time codes on your videos

The ability to add chapters to your YouTube videos is fairly new. You can now add timestamps and chapters to your videos, so that viewers can see what’s coming up, and add context to the video. Chapters help to break up the video into sections, with an individual preview. Viewers can skip to certain topics of this video if there are parts that interest them the most.

By adding timestamps into the description of your video, YouTube will automatically generate chapters that appear in the progress bar at the bottom of the video. This makes it easier for viewers to navigate through your video or skip to certain chapters with the click of a button.

4. Make sure your YouTube video thumbnails are effective

The thumbnail of your YouTube videos is one of the most important things to consider when uploading new content. You can have the best video in the world full of incredible and inspiring content, but if the thumbnail is subpar, you’ll limit the chances of it being clicked on.

There are several websites you can use to create thumbnails, many of which are completely free. Alternatively, you can outsource this job to a graphic designer to make sure your brand’s style is featured in the thumbnail.

However, if you wish to create your own thumbnails, here are some top tips to take into account.

  • Include yourself if possible
  • Include the title of the video
  • Use stylish fonts and colours
  • Make sure the photo is bright and clear
  • Stay consistent with the design across all of your videos
  • Use relevant images and pictures

5. Use the correct tags for your YouTube videos

The tags are the words or phrases you add to your videos that help YouTube know what your video is about. They are an important factor when it comes to ranking your video within the YouTube algorithm. In particular, the first few tags are important for the search engine optimisation of your video. For this reason, the first tag should always be the exact, word-for-word keyword phrase that you want your video to rank for. 

When choosing tags for your videos, make sure they are relevant to the content of the video. This ensures that when people are searching for particular keywords, your video will show up only when it is relevant to that viewer.

It’s a good idea to choose a mixture of short and long tags, ranging from broad topics to very specific phrases. Remember that they should all be relevant to the video content. This increases the chances of your videos appearing near the top when people search for these terms in the YouTube search bar.

Make sure to spellcheck and proofread all of your tags. Accidentally typing one wrong letter completely changes the word in the tag, and could result in YouTube not knowing where to rank your video.

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