YouTube Channel Management | Professional Marketing Version
Your YouTube channel strategy deserves more than being a video repository. Professional B2B marketers empower, service and share mission-driven videos to harness global audiences.
You might have seen the classic 30 Rock episode and / or subsequent meme featuring Steve Buscemi saying “hello, fellow kids.”
The mere YouTube mention can sometimes feel like that to seasoned B2B marketing professionals. As if someone is about to get “OK, Boomer’ed” for sliding-in where the cool kids hang out.
The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth – done right.
Unfortunately, far too many businesses use YouTube as a dumping ground for B2B video productions that were either primarily produced for TV, or for their own website.
The following are please do, and please don’t tips to share.
Step 1: Mission and Purpose
Many an “ultimate guide,” “5 steps to dominate,” or otherwise grandiose YouTube title will tell you “step 1: research keywords.”
As a creative marketing executive, you know what a soul-crushing exercise that can be.
The real step 1 is: start grounded, centered, and confident your company has great, mission-driven stories to tell.
Let’s be clear – “mission” does not mean recycling your corporate mission statement (queue the melatonin) to re-purpose online.
We are talking about your online, connected mission – the stories you want to share with others connected anywhere, anytime, on virtually any device (toasters presently excluded).
As B2B marketing professionals, we’re purpose-driven storytellers.
Many a “killer YouTube strategy” guide will tell you to start with SEO hacks, then look to reverse engineer keywords, apply algorithms, and “voila!” – you have the ultimate YouTube video.
Yes, SEO and keywords matter, but we’ll get to that later.
Your true purpose drives your motivation.
Your purpose is your guiding voice to make decisions towards what videos to produce, about what, how, when, and in what order. And, you are going to need motivation when we do go through the research.
Video is powerful. Video allows us to see, hear, and feel. Real, authentic, relatable stories connect in ways people want to share.
YouTube by definition is a social media platform. Too often, the social element is dropped, and posters regress to unilateral, broadcast communication.
Many a busy, marketing executive might have had the (honest) thought: “Why can’t I just post my commercials to my YouTube channel and call it a day?”
For starters, we like free. Earned media is ROI and budget friendly. Engagement and interaction are key drivers towards earned media.
And watching those earned-media stats accrue can feel like a sweet, gift bag from a fancy, red-carpet event.
Social interaction encourages audience engagement. Viewers want to share your thought leadership, advance discussions, and help shape product’s stories.
Another potential pitfall is the fear that we might be over-sharing – as if our service or product features somehow amount to missile codes that our competitors are hitting refresh on our videos to glean.
Trust building requires not just a willingness to share, but also a sense of transparency, openness and vulnerability.
While I don’t recommend creating how-to videos describing trade secrets, I have yet to come across a marketing video that fits that description.
And, if you are not leading discussions with your videos, there either is, or soon will be, a video by a direct or indirect competitor that does. And, by the way, that video will likely have an end card leading them away from your site, to their site.
Your organic video strategy lays the foundation to develop a quality-earned audience, and score earned media.
Then, you will love banging pots-and-pans to call attention to your good work through paid media. Upon a solid foundation, your paid media multiplies O&O efforts, and accelerates message outreach.
Step 2: Audience – Is this thing on?
If you’ve ever gone to a comedy open mic night, you’ve likely seen a struggling comic respond to crickets in the audience by tapping the mic, and offering, “testing, testing, is this thing on?”
Social media video interactivity is more like stand-up comedy than broadcast TV video. Your YouTube channel videos have an audience that is live, listening, responding, and interacting.
Your YouTube channel videos might get an audience one day, and different audience another day. Inquisitive searches, search engine propagation, and attention span competition take time to playout online.
A high-performing video is responsive to audience signals, adapts core messaging to the right audiences, and builds a tested-material video arsenal that works.
Base research and intuition inform likely viewer passion points to connect with in videos. Thinking ahead to the punchline informs how best to deliver and try out new material. New YouTube video material is discovered by continually taking calculated risks, and listening to audience feedback.
Google’s Creator Academy does offer useful basic generic frameworks to explore. Directionally, entertaining, educational, or inspirational are good sky-level buckets. Additionally, hero, hub, or help buckets help set priorities, determine promotional emphasis, and guide a programming calendar.
The professional marketing executive is generally savvy enough to know viral video dreams are generally the realm of cat videos, and spontaneous memes.
Before embarking on such lightning-in-a-bottle fancies, apply at least this one filter: is this video in-line with the professional brand that I want to amplify to my connected audience?
For a satirical YouTube Channel desperation example, read this Onion article: Obama Volunteers To Inject Vaccine, Eat Ghost Pepper, Get Bitten By Tarantula Live On New YouTube Channel
Avoid the temptation to follow the “ultimate guides” keyword stuffing advice, and trying to out-game AI.
Your core video audience are professional buyers, not server racks. Keep your video messaging human, and let the machines figure out how best to connect that message with fellow humans.
You also want your messages to reach high-quality leads across diverse backgrounds.
Captions not only serve those best suited to read the video audio, but also reflect an understanding of mobile executives on the go.
To be truly global, consider offering multiple languages to reach International multi-lingual audiences. Dubbing and sub-titling costs have come down tremendously. Hero moments with major messaging might be a good opportunity to start investing in these services.
And yes, Google’s AI loves data, so including captions and translations have the added benefit of boosting your SEM. Do the right thing first, however, and let the data-munching bots follow.
Step 3: Discovery
Eureka, online gold!
Surefooted with a story in-line with your mission, as told from one human to another human, you will truly want your video to be discovered and shared.
The key here is to consider what your perspective, quality lead might be searching when in need of your service. Think through the eyes of your quality lead vs. the internet et all.
Google has a simple concept to help connect your videos with those that will “EAT” your videos up. E.A.T. stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
As a marketing professional versed in business-to-business communications, this is where you will shine and white marketing practices are rewarded.
Make your aim to have a YouTube Channel voice that speaks to fellow buying professionals.
Resist the temptation to evaluate success by the singular metric views. You and your videos are not to be compared with top-line stats for squirrels waterskiing, or evil cat behaviors.
Aim to connect with connected, quality leads in a voice that resonates with those leads.
To be certain, light, appropriate humor can do wonders to drive engagement. Reverting to the stand-up analogy though, please do try out humor with several different audiences before blasting it out to the globe.
Here’s a humorous, YouTuber wanna-be video example: Certified Young Person Paul Rudd Wants You To Wear A Mask
Good YouTube practices will boost SEO and engagement, IF you have a solid video to share.
The same level of care and professionalism that goes into discovering and telling a great story needs to go into your YouTube Channel assets.
YouTube is a media outlet, and deserves a media kit and style guide.
Regularly review the following:
- Channel Icon
- Channel Banner
- Call to Actions (CTAs)
- Custom Thumbnails
- Channel Trailer
As a marketing professional, think of these as company resume assets.
If certain items are outdated, no longer up to current quality standards, or otherwise no longer on the mark, replace them or remove them altogether.
Google’s web crawlers are hungry beasties ever on the hunt for fresh, trending content.
Commit to regular, quality channel updates with ever improving sophistication.
You want a mix of hero e.g. Super Bowl aspirational spots, videos, and niche, expertise-driven, long-tail videos.
Don’t get hung up on major updates only. Do the small updates well, and the big updates will benefit from what you are learning along the way.
Ultimately, you want to develop toolkits:
- Style guide – specific to YouTube specs including paid assets.
- Media kit – treat this as you would other media kits
- Curated playlists – revisit your customer personas and journey stages to evaluate needs.
- Communication plan – both internally across departments, and externally across paid and social media.
As a part of regularly iterating best practices, here is a checklist to keep handy:
- Existing asset reviews
- Production resources (and needs)
- Sustainability – on demand, and on-going
- Capture matrix – across personas and journey stages
- Story arc(s) – episodic and objections overcome
- Calendar – fluid but committed and communicated
- Creative – stay creative and keep your mission top of mind.
Step 4: Research
Research and data-insights are indeed absolutely essential to learning.
And you knew it had to be in here somewhere. To get here though, remind your creative self of the joy of storytelling before crunching the numbers.
In brief, you want to know what’s working both on a channel level and individual video level.
More importantly, you need to learn from each experience, iterate, and evolve forward.
To truly learn, iterate and advance, keep these in mind when reviewing the data:
- Hypothesis – What were we thinking when the video was posted, and what have we learned since
- A / B testing learnings – not just which version is “better,” but also which version works better with different audiences
- Format learnings – can the framework be replicated, do we need to explore new story arc formats
- Messaging – what are the drop-off points, can they be polished
- Trends – is it really us, or has the school of fish gone to another sea (and if so, let’s catch the current fast!)
- KPIs – beyond the top-line stats, what are data telling us (even if we don’t want to hear it)
- Stay human – What does qualitative data including surveys, sales conversations, customer feedback, and other real people insights tell us we ought to be doing
Sound like a lot?
Well it is!
- you are a mission-driven, creative marketing professional,
- you can do this “fellow young people,” and,
- you have the potential to reach 1.9B YouTube users!
We can make the video production, strategy, and channel management fun and easy for you.
We’re here to help. Contact us today.