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Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing on YouTube

Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing on YouTube

Video marketing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. YouTube, in particular, has become the go-to platform for brands looking to engage with audiences through video content.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube offers an unparalleled opportunity to reach a massive global audience.

However, simply uploading videos to YouTube is not enough.

To capitalise on video marketing, brands need a strategic approach that considers their business goals, target audience, content formats, optimisation best practices, and more.

This comprehensive guide will explore video marketing on YouTube in depth – from understanding the platform to crafting viral videos that convert.

The State of Video Marketing in 2024

Video Marketing Strategy Visual Ads

Video marketing has seen astounding growth, especially on YouTube. Consider these statistics:

  • YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-old viewers in the U.S. than all cable TV networks combined.
  • YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine after Google.
  • Mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.
  • Videos generate 1200% more shares than images and text combined.
  • 90% of the best-performing content marketing includes video.

With this reach and level of engagement, it's no surprise that video has become an indispensable marketing channel. All signs point to continued growth, making it time for brands to refine their YouTube video strategies.

Defining Your Video Marketing Goals

The mistake many brands make is creating videos without clearly defined goals. But failing to identify what you want your videos to achieve will limit their effectiveness. Start by asking specific questions:

  • Who is your target audience? How will you captivate them?
  • What messaging do you want to convey about your brand?
  • Do you aim to increase awareness? Engagement? Website traffic? Sales?
  • How will you track your progress to know what's working?

With defined goals, you can shape content that speaks directly to your ideal viewers and moves them along the buying journey. Measurable objectives also help connect video performance to bottom-line business impact.

Understanding the Many YouTube Video Formats

Youtube Content Creators Best

One significant advantage of YouTube over traditional video platforms is the diverse range of content formats. Each serves a unique purpose, giving brands options to match different goals:

Explainer Videos

Short, animated videos that educate audiences on products, services, or concepts. Explainer videos clarify value propositions in a memorable format that's easy to digest. Use them to onboard customers or introduce complex ideas.

Product Demos

Showcase how your product works with demo videos. By seeing it in action, you build trust and address customer questions. Include key features, use cases, and behind-the-scenes functionality.

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Testimonial Videos

Social proof goes a long way, and video testimonials take it to the next level. Have satisfied customers express what they love in their own words. It establishes credibility way more than faceless text reviews.

Case Study Videos

Take customers on the journey to success. Case study videos highlight the problem, process, and positive outcomes from authentic branding using your product/service. The story format makes the content relatable.

Live Streaming Videos

Broadcast live events to engage viewers in real time. Live video allows instant interaction and a you-are-there appeal that traditional video lacks. Use live streams for launches, conferences, Q&As, interviews, etc.

Interactive Videos

Move from passive to active viewing with interactive videos. Use CTAs, links, end screens, cards, and other customisable elements to provide avenues for further engagement.

There are many other options – trailers, OTT content, vlogs, branded entertainment, and more. Align formats to goals and play up the unique strengths of video.

Crafting Viral Video Content

What Are Explainer Videos

While all video formats have their place, brands pursuing awareness goals should also incorporate viral elements:

Tell Stories

Tap into introductory human psychology – we are wired to crave stories. Craft a compelling narrative arc and hero character rather than a soulless product pitch. Good stories elicit emotion and get shared.

Use Humour

Make them laugh, and your video will spread smiles…and link back to your brand. Funny videos break conventions in memorable ways. Just ensure the comedy aligns with your brand identity.

Show Behind the Scenes

Satisfy viewer curiosity with behind-the-scenes footage of products and processes. Let them go into hidden spaces to feel like they are part of something exclusive and intriguing.

Feature Influencers

Collaborations, guest stars, testimonials. Getting influencer talent in videos taps into their followers and exponentially expands their reach.

Inspire and Teach

Help people grow. Videos that motivate, impart skills, or showcase achievers resonate deeply. Package your brand as enabling self-actualisation.

Spot Trends

Tie into the broader culture with videos speaking to current trends. Ride the momentum of what is capturing attention now – challenges, dance crazes, news events, etc.

Viral formulas exist, but the emotional response determines whether people will hit share. Define your brand's personality and craft videos aligned with it.

Optimising Your YouTube Presence

How To Use Youtube Tags For Marketing

Simply having a YouTube channel is not enough. You need to optimise the key elements to enhance content visibility:

Compelling Channel Art

Your channel art banner visually introduces the brand. Use brand elements but customise further to tell the channel's unique story. Strong visuals attract more subscribers.


Tease upcoming videos with snappy, compelling trailers to build anticipation. Share them as posts across other platforms to maximise reach.


Organise videos into segmented playlists centred around topics, series, etc. Make it easy for viewers who enjoy one video to continue with similar content.

Captivating Thumbnails

Thumbnails are your video's first impression. Create customised thumbnails with vibrant colours/imagery that have been proven to drive more clicks.

Metadata Rich Descriptions

Accentuate videos with packed descriptions using engaging copy and target keywords. Well-written descriptions signal relevancy to YouTube's algorithm.

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Cards and End Screens

Insert customisable elements like cards and end screens to present viewers with suggested videos to watch following or helpful links – keeping them on your channel versus leaving YouTube.

Community Interaction

Respond to comments, ask questions, and nurture community relationships. Engaged channel owners have higher placements in suggested videos and searches.

Promoting Your YouTube Videos

Get More Youtube Views Thumbnail

Creating fantastic video content means little without promotion to put it in front of people. An integrated YouTube marketing strategy requires amplifying your videos across multiple channels:

Incorporate Into Other Marketing

Repurpose video content throughout websites, ads, emails, social posts, etc. Insert playable YouTube clips to expand reach.

Collaborate with Influencers

Get influencer talent from your niche to endorse videos through shares, reactions, etc. Their established followers offer a ready viewership.

Use YouTube Advertising

YouTube ads like bumper ads, TrueView ads, and discovery ads promote videos to hyper-targeted segments on and off YouTube.

Pitch to Media Outlets

Earned media through coverage on entertainment/lifestyle outlets presents opportunities for viral spikes and brand lift.

Promote via Owned Channels

Share new videos proactively across owned platforms like email lists, website banners, and social media channels using video clips.

YouTube SEO Best Practices

Optimising videos for YouTube searches delivers “free” promotions to interested viewers seeking related content.

Consistent promotion across multiple channels ensures a steady stream of new viewers and allows videos to build momentum over long periods. Do not expect instant virality without amplification.

Tracking YouTube Video Performance

Know Your Audience Youtube Analytics

To determine if video marketing goals are being met, brands must actively track key performance indicators (KPIs). Monitor YouTube's native analytics and third-party software to uncover the full scope of impact and refine approaches accordingly. Metrics to track include:


The number of times a video is watched. Analyse trends over time, traffic sources, platforms driving views, audience retention, etc.

Watch Time

The total number of hours or minutes viewers spent watching your content. Shows depth beyond just clicks.

Audience Retention

The average percentage viewed of total video length. Indicates whether you are keeping the viewer's attention throughout.

Impressions Click-Through-Rate

Impressions measure how often your video thumbnails are shown. Compare to clicks to see click appeal.

Traffic Sources

Understand where views originate: YouTube search, suggested videos, external sites, etc. Reflects content positioning.

Subscribers Gained

A key indicator of channel appeal and intent to return. The goal is to convert one-time views into channel subscribers.

Engagement Rate

Calculate using total likes, dislikes, comments, etc, divided by views to quantify the quality of the response.


Site traffic leads and sales are driven by calls-to-action in videos and descriptions—the key ROI metric.

Consistently analysing performance data allows for optimisation, from targeting underperforming videos to better promoting top content. Measure what matters most to your video strategy goals.

Risks to Consider

While YouTube offers unmatched video marketing upside, brands should be aware of the associated risks:

YouTube Algorithm Changes

YouTube frequently evolves the algorithm that determines video visibility. Strategies must remain flexible to account for volatility.

Ad Restrictions

YouTube Advertising is subject to strict content policies. Understand guidelines to avoid demonetisation and limit ads.

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Intellectual Property Issues

Copyright claims or reuse of content without permission opens brands to legal vulnerabilities. Tread carefully.

Influencer Relationships

Scandals, loss of fame, or other issues with influencers promoting videos can damage credibility through association.

The platform's massive size also means standing out presents an ongoing obstacle. But ultimately, the rewards outweigh the potential drawbacks of the world's second-largest search platform.

YouTube Video Marketing Best Practices

Youtube Suggested Video

By now, the vast potential of YouTube video marketing is clear. But brands still need to avoid significant pitfalls to maximise success:

Know Your Audience

Analyse viewer demographics, interests, pain points, etc. Tailor content specifically to who you want to reach based on data.

Strive For Consistency

Post new videos often following a reliable schedule viewers can expect. Irregular uploads see views fluctuate dramatically.

Keep Videos Concise

Respect the modern, mobile attention span. Videos under two minutes perform best at driving engagement and sharing.

Spot Trends Early

Always stay tapped into the cultural pulse. What viral factors or platform shifts can you incorporate into content?

Respond To Comments

Pay attention to your community. Reply often to build subscriber loyalty and position your brand as responsive.

Collaborate With Creators

Look beyond just the top influencers in your niche. Mid-tier and micro-influencers often drive higher engagement with dedicated followings.

Make Content Evergreen

Ideally, videos should provide value indefinitely, not just for a short hype cycle. Evergreen traction lasts over more extended periods.

Following these best practices separates the good from the great on YouTube. However, every brand must also continually test and refine approaches as the platform landscape evolves.


YouTube has cemented itself as the epicentre of video marketing, offering brand reach, creative formats, and tracking capabilities unmatched by traditional outlets. As over half of viewers turn to YouTube for product research, maintaining an optimised presence is now a requirement, not an option.

However, video marketing on the platform is also complex. From standing out among over 500 hours of new content uploaded every minute to leveraging specific content and promotion strategies, success requires research, focus and adaptability.

Brands willing to dive deep into YouTube's features and culture will gain actionable, data-driven insights to improve performance continually. Pair this with a long-term perspective, and the potential to drive business metrics through video content is limitless – no matter how crowded the platform may be.

It is time to start building your YouTube video marketing foundations and viewer base.

Video Marketing On YouTube FAQs

What types of videos perform best on YouTube?

Short, entertaining videos under 2 minutes have the highest engagement and sharing. Helpful “how-to” videos also attract tons of searches. Videos should convey value fast before drop-off.

How much should brands invest in video production?

Devote 10-30% of your marketing budget to video creation. Build studios with a dedicated video team if revenue goals depend heavily on YouTube. Quality drives results.

What YouTube tools help increase visibility?

YouTube Studio provides native analytics, while tools like TubeBuddy, VidIQ, and SimilarWeb deliver enhanced keyword research, competitor analysis and platform optimisation features.

Should every video link back to my site to drive conversions?

Don't just focus on conversions from every video. Awareness and engagement goals matter, too. Monitor which videos deliver clicks to gauge interest levels.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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