18 Best Practices for YouTube Marketing

Posted on February 16, 2017 by in Tips & Tricks | 14 comments

18 Best Practices for YouTube Marketing

YouTube Marketing gives you access to an enormous audience. Every minute there are 300 hours of videos published on YouTube – ranging in every subject from saving lives to selling cat bibs. Google has plenty of concise, easy-to-follow guides and tutorials to help you market your channels.

The problem is that there is so much information available, it can be hard to know where to start. Before you know it, you have fallen down a YouTube wormhole of Paul Lynde videos, three hours have passed, and you burnt your oven pizza. That’s why we have collected 18 best practices for YouTube marketing you can use to improve your channel.

Come Up With a YouTube Marketing Content Strategy

eMarketer estimated that YouTube had 180.1 million US users in 2016, and showed no signs of slowing down in the future. So, before you hit the record button you may want to figure out how you are going to fit in to that ecosystem.

OTT Video Service Users according to eMarketer

While your approach will vary based on your niche, it’s useful to have a general idea of what you want to do and how you are going to do it. This heavy saturation of content makes it hard to get noticed. Viewer expectations and production standards can change in an instant.

1. Find Your Niche

If the distribution model of the internet has shown us anything, it’s that niche players fair well in the new digital landscape. Even large companies like Nike and Apple partner with local businesses to reach niche audiences as part of their YouTube marketing efforts.

2. Create Multiple Channels

Many successful YouTube accounts have multiple channels that address different topics.

3. Use YouTube Analytics

That which can be measured can be improved, and YouTube has a full suite of tools to help you analyze your traffic. Use it to gain insight on:

  • How your channel is doing.
  • Who is watching your videos and how they found them.
  • Audience participation and engagement level.
  • How much money you are making from your videos.

For more information, take the official YouTube course on how to Measure Your Success with YouTube Analytics.

YouTube Marketing and Branding

Your brand is the face of you or your company. Many times, the finer points of branding can have a subconscious effect on our audience. How you manage your brand will set the tone for the way people respond to your channel. Let’s try a thought experiment…think of a brand you trust vs. one you don’t.

There are drastically different feelings that should come to mind when you compare products like moonshine vs. aged whiskey – or brands such as Motel 6 vs. The Hilton. Aligning your brand identity with your ethos can help tailor your image. Below are some best practices for branding and YouTube marketing.

4. Stay Consistent

Try to keep your branding consistent across different media. Learn more by visiting the Brand Identity at the YouTube Creator Academy.

5. Customize the Channel Layout

Customizing your channel layout opens up features, such as the ability to add links to social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter in the channel art section.


6. Choose an Effective Channel Trailer

A good trailer helps to pique the interest of visitors to your channel and lets people know what kind of content they can expect.

7. Add Custom Subscribe Button

You can add a custom subscribe watermark to your channel and decide when it pops up.

8. Change the Channel Art

You can easily change the channel art for your channel.

9. Change Your Channel Icon

You can manage your channel icon from your Google account.

10. Use Cards for Your YouTube Marketing Campaigns

Cards are notifications that appear on the screen. There are a variety of types you can use for different purposes. They work great as incentives to get your viewers to click. Visit the YouTube Creator Academy’s Section on Cards to find out how to get the most out of them.

Optimize Your Videos for Accessibility

Below are tips to help you produce and optimize shareable content on your channel. Part of getting your videos seen is making them easy to find from the YouTube search bar, and from the Google search engine. One way to make your content more accessible is to follow YouTube’s Best Practices for Metadata. YouTube Metadata includes information about a video, such as the title, tags, and description.

11. Use YouTube’s Video Editor Tools

YouTube has a built-in set of video editor tools to help you add audio, create mashups, and more.

12. Optimize for the Mobile App

Data from ComScore’s 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report showed that digital media has continued to increase by 50% in the past 3 years. 90% of that growth is from mobile app usage. So, be certain to create and upload videos with mobile in mind.

13. Craft Effective Titles

Create titles that are help people find your videos from the YouTube search bar. This includes
Writing titles that are easy to search for.

  • Use Google Trends to identify strong keywords.
  • Create titles that are short and sweet.
  • Choose a thumbnail that helps you tell an interesting story.

14. Create Smart Descriptions

This can include helpful things below the fold, such as lyrics to a song or helpful links. Checkout this video on YouTube descriptions to learn more.

Engage with Your Audience

YouTube is a social network after all. You get the chance to engage with your audience with live streams, comments, and discussions. The following actions can help you drive engagement and connect with the community.

15. Create a Story Driven Narrative

Since YouTube is social, you should take advantage of that fact to foster greater human connections. Sharing your story can help you relate to others and build your community.

16. Target Your Demographic

Marketers call this listening to your audience. Your viewers are your greatest asset. Many times they offer support, insight, and inspiration. Whether you are using analytics or asking your audience directly, you can design your strategy by getting honest feedback.

17. Create Playlists

Create playlists to keep people interested. Below is an example of Crash Course’s YouTube channel playlists, which are very well organized, and consistently branded.

18. Syndicate Your Content

It’s easier than ever to syndicate your content and send it out into the multitudes. Share your videos on Facebook, Twitter, or embed them in your WordPress posts

Wrapping Up

We hope these best practices for YouTube marketing help you gain more viewers, connect with your target audience, and build a community around your content. The YouTube Creator Academy has an incredible amount of helpful information and tips from successful YouTubers.

Have any tips or examples that have helped you rock this YouTube marketing thing? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Article thumbnail image by Kunturtle / shutterstock.com 

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  1. Another awesome post great tips! Thanks for sharing. YouTube is definitely a thing of future and the best way to promote your content and sell your skills right now!

  2. Brenda, thank you for this excellent list of things we can do for our YouTube channels.

    It seems all the items you list here would make an excellent starting point for a much more extensive blog or how-to posting, maybe on your own website, that includes not just the WHAT TO DO (as in this post) but also the HOW TO DO IT, complete with screen shots and examples.

    If you do this, please let us know, as I would love to see that.

  3. Fantastic post! I’m a mixed media artist and instructor, using YouTube to offer free tutorials. Your post came it at the right time as I’m changing up the description template.. thank and I agree with David in Mississippi, a more extensive blog post would be great!

    Thank you again.

  4. I truly believe the Elegant Themes blog alone can give the skills it takes to have a full blown career in web design without schooling. One quick tip for this is to add your keyword or targeted phrase before the closing iframe bracket to give the video anchor text.

  5. Hi, Brenda – You don’t need #12 by default youtube use html5 web player, therefore, anyone can watch videos on any devices.

    I have been noticing that most youtube users or almost all of them like eleganthemes don’t customise their channel name, and it’s easy to do so, just need to do #s: 5 – 8 – 9 and a minimum of 100 subscribe, to people is much easier to remember youtube.com/user/elegantthemes than this one that uses ET https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuasRuWliU48RwnKXf9GesA


  6. Really good post!

  7. Just starting out planning our YouTube page. This list was great!! Thanks for all the great tips!

  8. Another simple thing to do, which is left off by a surprising number of serious YouTubers is to put the full URL in the Description box. This creates a clickable ‘live’ link back to a website, blog etc. It needs to have the ‘http’ part or it wont be live.

  9. Very useful , thanks! I’ll promote my website by YouTube.

  10. hi…one more think, i want to ask, how to connection between G+ and Youtube when upload the video? its very important to get backlink from G+ so the target keywords will be achieve in search engine.

  11. Wonderful article,Your YouTube practice article is very helpful and after read this article my all doubts clear.Thanks for sharing these Advanced YouTube practices.Bravo for a great site.

  12. Awesome Post With Nice Tricks. Not Thought Of Such Tips. Thanks

  13. woo Thank You 🙂 I Think HelpFul YouTube Related Problem Solved in Every Beginner Level YouTuber.

  14. Hey thanks for the guide, this will help me alot for several marketing class projects and my own Youtube channel. I’m definitely going to shift from random videos to a more story driven narrative!

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