So. You wanna start a YouTube channel for your business. And why wouldn’t you? The video platform gets over 1 billion unique monthly visitors who spend an average of 19 minutes a day on the site. Oh, and it’s the second-most visited website after its parent company, Google.
Whether these statistics overwhelm you (“I can’t compete will all these other YouTube channels!”) or motivate you (“Heck, why not go after some of these billions of users?!”), starting a YouTube channel can be a lucrative strategy to grow your business.
Is it a good time for your biz to debut on YouTube, or should you wait? How do you know you should start a channel in the first place? Keep on reading, friends. We have the answers you seek.
Do start a YouTube channel if video is your jam
Tired of writing blog posts? Can’t get the hang of podcasting? Looking for another way to engage your audience that involves less dancing and memes, and more longform content sharing? (No shade, TikTok. You have good qualities, too.)
If you express yourself well on video, and you know your target audience prefers YouTube content, the platform may be a good choice for your business. And if you’ve tried other content formats and still feel “meh” about them, you just might like making YouTube videos most.
Don’t start one just to be trendy
We talked about how popular YouTube is as a platform, but that doesn’t mean you have to start your own channel.
Don’t start a YouTube channel if you’re not sure what you want to achieve with it. Or if you really hate the thought of recording, editing, and publishing videos. What’s right for another biz owner may not be right for you, and that’s okay.
Do think about what you’re offering your audience
Certain content types and topics are extremely popular on YouTube. Music, gaming, and sports content, for example. But that doesn’t mean your business has to be trendy to make an impact on your audience.
What can you offer your audience through YouTube that they may not get through your other content? Your YouTube videos don’t have to be totally different — we’re all about repurposing what you can — but how can you provide something unique that will attract and keep viewers?
One idea is to create tutorials and how-to videos. About 86% of viewers say they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new. Mine the FAQs on your site for video ideas. Get more detailed than your TikTok tutorials or Instagram Reels. Start with the content you already have.
Don’t go all out with recording gear yet
If you’re just testing YouTube out to see if you and your audience like it, hold off on investing in top-of-the-line microphones and editing software and other gear. You can always upgrade your equipment later if you decide to make your YouTube channel a permanent thing.
Our client, Trena Little, has a killer list of recommended tech for you here.
Do use your existing content for research
Repurposing your content should be a regular part of your content strategy. Similarly, you should also use your existing content for research purposes.
What content topics get the most engagement? Does your audience like long or short blog posts? What kind of content drives the most conversions?
See what’s working well on your existing content platforms and try to recreate that success on YouTube. This doesn’t mean you should copy and paste content from one channel to another — that would be a terrible idea — but let your existing content inspire new content for your YouTube channel.
NOTE FROM LATASHA: My recommendation is to take your top-performing content (whether it’s an Instagram post, a blog, an email, etc.) and search YouTube for topics similar to that content. This way, you can get a feel for how people present that information on YouTube and how you can show up differently.
Don’t abandon your YouTube channel too quickly
If you gave your YouTube channel your best shot and didn’t get great results, don’t feel shame about letting it go. Maybe it’s not right for your business, brand, or audience. And we never recommend adopting something for your content strategy just because it “worked” for someone else.
We also encourage you to stick with it. Really give your YouTube videos a decent amount of time to sink in. Like Latasha said in this Reel, just because you didn’t go viral or your offer didn’t go bananas doesn’t mean your approach is wrong.
Don’t jump ship immediately after spending all that brainpower and time and money on launching your YouTube channel! Wait it out. Trust your content and your team, k?
Do engage with your audience
It feels like we’re always yelling “ENGAGEMENT IS KEY” in our blog posts, but it bears repeating. Once your YouTube channel goes live — actually, even before that — hype it up by talking to your audience.
Promote your new channel on social, your blog, your podcasts, your email newsletters. Share a sneak peek of your first video on TikTok. Oh, and talk to people on YouTube! Reply to any comments or messages you get. Connect with other creators like you. Engage, engage, engage.
BONUS: Don’t neglect your other content channels
Is your website looking its best and brightest, or does it need more content? Does your YouTube video content align with what you’re talking about on Instagram and Twitter? Is that freebie you mentioned in your latest video up to date?
When your YouTube channel goes live, make sure that your total online presence is ready to support it. Your goal is to get YouTube viewers to check out your website or download that opt-in or subscribe to your email newsletter. Make sure that your other platforms are ready to receive those viewers.
If you want to really rock your YouTube efforts, we highly recommend checking out Trena Little’s YouTube channel. She’s a client, but we don’t get paid for promoting her — she’s just awesome 😉