Engaging on YouTube


In the next 60 seconds, 300 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube. For small businesses, this means that sharing content is only the first step to getting noticed. The second step is engaging with viewers. This post will offer an overview of how to better engage with viewers.

  1. Use YouTube Analytics

It is crucial that brands use the data available through YouTube Analytics. This tool can help uncover trends regarding your channel. The information available can be extremely powerful because it can help you better engage with your audience. Some of the reports available include watch time, traffic sources and demographic reports.

One way to improve engagement is by examining the traffic sources of your viewers to find out which websites they are coming from. The image below is an example of what this metric looks like on YouTube Analytics.

Once you identify which websites and communities your viewers are coming from, you can start you improve your marketing strategy based on this information. For example if a significant amount of viewers are coming from Twitter, you can start focusing on improving your presence on Twitter to better connect with that specific audience. This information can also be used to figure out where you want to see improvements. Really analyze all of the data for each video and find out what types of content work with specific audiences. Find out more about using this tool on YouTube’s help center.



  1. Respond to Comments

It is just as important for brands on YouTube share relevant content as it is to engage with viewers and commenters. Although this takes time and personalization, it is a great way to build relationships on YouTube. Old Spice is a great example demonstrating that sharing good content and having a strong response strategy can lead to outstanding results. Old Spice proved their commitment to engaged viewers by creating 180 individual video responses to people who commented on their commercials. After one month, their sales increased by 107%, demonstrating the importance of responding to viewers. As a small business, you don’t necessarily have to go to such lengths but a simply responding to comments will make your viewers feel appreciated.

  1. Reach Out to Other Channels

A great way to build rapport and get noticed by other channels is by linking and commenting on other videos as a brand. A simple comment on a video can go very far. The channel owner’s curiosity may be sparked and will most likely take a look at your channel to know who you are. Most importantly, other commenters may see your insight and be curious about your brand as well. This is a great opportunity to increase brand awareness.

Every day, nearly 500,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. By implementing these strategies to better engage with your audience, your YouTube channel will be sure to stand out from your competition.

5 Tips for Small Businesses on YouTube

With over 1 billion unique visitors each month, it is no surprise that YouTube is the second most-used search engine. As a small business, it is important to realize that YouTube is a great network to reach audiences. Today’s blog will offer several tips to help small businesses stand out from the endless amount of content on YouTube.

Similar to Google, YouTube has its own algorithm that determines the order of how videos are displayed in response to each search query. Some of these key factors include average visitor watch time, keyword relevance, number of subscribers, customer engagement and video length. By focusing on these criteria, brands will be more easily discovered and will stand out among other channels on YouTube.

  1. Share Relevant Content

YouTube’s algorithm for video search results and suggestion prioritizes videos that have a longer “watch time” over videos that receive more clicks. For this reason, the best way to optimize for this metric is by creating and sharing content that is relevant to viewers and will keep their attention. Videos that are too promotional or do not make sense to people who are unfamiliar with your brand will most likely cause viewers to move on to the next video.

YouTube users search for video content based on their needs. As a small business it is important to create content that addresses these needs. Many viewers on this platform are searching for educational information. Whether they are looking for a tutorial on applying a “Smokey Eye Shadow” or on how to bake “The Best Apple Pie”, viewers want a video that will give them clear step-by-step instructions. A great example of a company that does this is Birchbox. This monthly subscription service offers their consumers value by sharing useful content such as makeup and hair tutorials. By positioning themselves as a source for beauty and lifestyle tips, Birchbox is ready to be there for customers during their Zero Moment of Truth as discussed in last week’s post.

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Quick fact: Most top videos on YouTube are about three minutes long so make sure your videos are not too long.

  1. Optimize Your YouTube Homepage

Treat your YouTube channel as if it were your own website. Take advantage of every opportunity available to brand your page. Here are a few key opportunities:

  • YouTube allows for channel icon and cover photo customization. Make sure to select quality visuals that are a good representation of your brand.
  • At the top of every YouTube channel there is space highlight a video. This is a great opportunity to introduce a new audience to your channel. YouTube offers great tips on effective trailers here.
  • Complete the “about” section of your channel and include a strong call to action. A good CTA could ask views to subscribe to your channel or to visit you company website by offering a link.
  • Offer visitors links to your other social media channels.

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  1. Use Keywords

YouTube’s algorithm for video search result prioritization relies on the information you provide. This means that the titles, tags and descriptions you write are crucial. Video titles should be concise and include major keywords. Make sure to use as many relevant tags as possible. Similarly, video descriptions should use plenty of relevant keywords, convey key points from your video and highlight the value this video offers viewers.

Uploading a transcript will also help make your videos more search friendly because it lets YouTube know what your video is about. A transcript appears on your video similarly to closed captioning on TV. Therefore it adds convenience to viewers who are hard of hearing or those who are in a noisy situation. Uploading a transcript to YouTube is very simple, find instructions here.

  1. Make a Call To Action

When someone is viewing your video, ads and suggested videos can be very distracting and cause your viewer to click away from your content. Once you have a visitors attention, you should make a call to action encouraging them to visit your website, blog, subscribe to your channel etc. YouTube annotations offer a great opportunity for a CTA. Annotations should be carefully placed so they are relevant to viewers as they watch your video. Find instructions on how to add annotations here.

Video descriptions are also a great place to add a CTA. Below is a an example of how Birchbox uses their video descriptions to invite viewers to their website and other content streams.
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  1. Create Playlists

Use playlists to keep related videos organized. Once you have shared several videos, your content will appear messy and will become hard to find. Organizing related videos into specific categories will allow visitor to find exactly what they are looking for. The best thing about playlists is that they appear in search results and will keep visitors watching your content.

Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube. By practicing these tips your YouTube channel will be sure to stand out from your competition.

3 Brands With Successful Youtube Channels

The Internet has changed the way consumers decide what to buy. This phenomenon is known as the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT, which happens once a consumer is exposed to a brand message but before a purchase is made. This is the moment when a consumer goes online to learn more about a product and begins to form their decision based on their research.

As a small business owner, it is important to provide consumers with relevant and beneficial content when they need it most. According to Invodo, consumers who view video content are 1.7x more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers. Offering useful information about your brand or product during consumers Zero Moment of Truth should be a top priority for every business. Fortunately, YouTube is an ideal platform to deliver this information since it has over a billion users.

Here are a few examples of brands that have effectively used YouTube to reach consumers in relevant and beneficial ways.

  1. The Home Depot

The Home Depot is a great example within their brand category because they share content that is relevant to their viewers. One way Home Depot offers consumers value is by sharing educational and how-to videos about their products. This strategy goes a long way because it establishes the brand as a credible resource for home repairs and renovations, while promoting their products and tools. These online tutorials also help humanize the brand, making viewers feel they are capable of taking on almost any home repair or renovation project by offering knowledge and money saving tips!

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  1. Target Corporation

As a big brand, Target has brilliantly divided their YouTube channel into different categories. This way the company can reach different audiences based on their needs or interests. As seen in the image below beauty, style and healthy living are some of the categories featured on Target’s YouTube channel. This strategy is effective because it caters to several audiences instead of one general audience. In addition, this helps improve user experience so visitors can find the information they need with ease.

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  1. Blendtec

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As a manufacturer of high-quality kitchen blenders, Blendtec found a creative way to effectively market their brand. In 2007, the brand became well known for their “Will it Blend?” campaign. The objective of this campaign was to demonstrate the power of their blenders by blending unusual items such as iPhone’s or Bic lighters. Their very first video received over 5 million views within 30 days. Today these videos still drive most of the brand’s marketing and have even made the CEO the face of the campaign.

The key takeaway for any small business using YouTube is to:

  • Create relevant content that is useful for your followers.
  • Demonstrate how durable or unique your product is.
  • Create a positive user experience by organizing your YouTube channel by category.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post to learn about how to optimize your YouTube channel!

A Guide to YouTube Ad Options

As a business owner it is important to align your overall objectives with your advertising strategy. Whether your objective is to increase brand awareness, sales, or even followers, YouTube offers different advertising options to help you achieve your business goals by reaching the right audience at the right moment.

There are two advertisement options available on YouTube.

Ad Option 1: In-Stream Ads

Why bother viewers with ads they don’t want to see? With the In-Stream ad option, only viewers who are genuinely interested in your video ad will receive your message. These types of video advertisements are placed before a specific YouTube video is watched. Your ad will be played for 5 seconds then viewers have to decide whether they would like to continue watching your ad or click the “Skip Ad” button and continue watching Beyoncé’s latest music video.

The brilliant thing about this advertisement option is that you will only pay when someone chooses to continue watching your video ad for at least 30 seconds or interacts with your video by clicking on call-to-action overlays, cards, or companion banners. As a result, only viewers who are interested and engaged will watch your video ad.


Be creative when writing your script to grab your viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds. It is important to do this since viewers can skip your ad after 5 seconds.

These ads can be used to target viewers, who are searching for specific keywords on YouTube, watching videos on specific YouTube channels, have visited specific web page, or who have viewed similar content.

Ad Option 2: In-Display Ads

The In-Display ad option stands out because it offers a handful of placement opportunities. In-Display ads can be placed in response to YouTube search results, on the YouTube homepage, at the top of the recommended content list, and can catch users attention as they are viewing other content. Below are a few examples of where In-Display ads could be placed. These types of ads are designed to invite users to click on the thumbnail and watch your video ad.

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In-Display ads do not direct viewers to a landing page but instead sends viewers to your YouTube channel. These types of ads are intended to blend in with organic search results or recommended videos by strategically targeting your audience and delivering content relevant to what viewers are currently watching or searching. Similarly to the In-Stream ad option, you will only pay when a viewer clicks on your ad and begins watching your video.


Since In-Display ads do not direct viewers to your website or landing page, it is important that you include a call to action in your video content that moves viewers from your YouTube channel to a landing page. One way to do this is by providing links to different landing pages in your videos descriptions.

Create an eye-catching thumbnail image and a strong headline for your video to entice clicks. Images with bright colored borders or large visible text with a call to action are a good way to do this.

This ad option is great if you want to drive more traffic to your YouTube channel and increase your following. Since this ad option places your content near organic results, try to tailor your ad to relevant search queries of your target audience.

How to Measure Success?

YouTube is unique from other social media platforms because it incorporates sight, sound and motion, which helps create emotional connections with viewers. YouTube’s combination of video access, sharing, and community makes it an ideal place to engage with your audience.


The best way to track the success of your video ads is through YouTube Analytics. As shown in the image above, this measurement tool can help you track your audience demographic, levels of engagement, performance compared to similar videos, among other insights Studying insights from your video ads is important because it can help you improve you video advertisement strategy to better reach your audience.

Why YouTube?

As the second largest online search engine in the world, YouTube is a great platform to communicate with your target audience. YouTube offers many ways to strategically target your audience whether it is by demographic, geographic location, age or search history. Through insights on YouTube Analytics, you can better tailor your ads to effectively communicate with your viewers.

Throughout this post, I pulled information from YouTube’s Help Center. Feel free to refer to this resource for further guidance!



Selecting a Target Audience on YouTube

By Marisol Ledezma

    When starting up a business, advertising may not always be top-of-mind. Mike Rhodes, co-author of Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, says that YouTube’s enormous traffic and cheap pay-per-click rates are two factors that make YouTube an effective method to reach a target audience. Advertising through YouTube is ideal for small businesses on a tight budget because advertisers don’t get charged unless users view at least 30 seconds of the content.

    One of the most important steps when starting a YouTube advertising campaign is identifying a target audience. Without a target audience, the advertisement does not reach the right people at the right time, and therefore isn’t as effective as possible.

    Fortunately, YouTube offers a variety of methods for advertisers to zero in on their target audience. One of these methods is to select your target audience based on demographic groups. This method requires advertisers to choose the age, gender and parental status of the target audience.

    Advertisers can also select their target audience based on the viewer’s past interactions on the advertisers channel or previous videos. This method is effective because brands are able to reinforce their message with people who have already been exposed to your videos. This method is known as “video remarketing”.

    Another targeting method allows advertisers to chose websites, videos, and apps that are part of the Google Display Network to run their ads. This method is known as “managed placements”. In contrast to other targeting methods where ads are placed automatically, manage placements enables advertisers to select managed placements.

    A target audience can also be selected based on specific topics on YouTube. This method is known as “topic targeting”. Topic targeting lets advertisers reach viewers based on the topics of the videos they watched. For example if an advertiser selects the “beauty” topic, then someone watching makeup tutorials would be selected to view the advertiser’s ad.

    The final targeting method is based on words or phrases that are used during a video search on YouTube. When using this method, the ad will only appear when those exact words or phrases are searched on YouTube.

    YouTube’s large selection of targeting methods is one of the reasons why it is an effective tool. Advertisers can find instructions on how to activate these targeting methods by visiting YouTube’s help center here.