How to create a winning YouTube content strategy for your business
Creating the right YouTube content plan
In a world that values instant access to information and visual media consumption, you no longer have a choice as to whether video content should be a part of your overall content strategy. Video is now the primary way people want to learn and interact online – not to mention it’s the best way to get your message across. Video viewers retain 95% of your message when it’s consumed via video versus 10% when it’s read in text.
As with all content, a solid messaging and content strategy is key to identifying the topics you want to share with your audiences. While it can feel overwhelming to add another layer to your already robust content strategy, it doesn’t have to be. You can always repurpose content across channels (i.e., your blog, social media, newsletters, etc.) to maximize efficiency and reach rather than developing a fresh new idea for each video.
Not sure where to start? Here are 4 steps you can use to develop a winning YouTube content strategy that propels your business goals.
Step 1: Understand your audience and competitors
As with any content plan, the framework of your strategy should be built on an in-depth understanding of who you’re competing against and what factors make up your target audience. These are the people whose attention you want to attract and hold.
All content must be created for audience appeal. You also want to understand your competitors’ strategies and what they are doing to appeal to your audiences.
When defining your audience, consider the following characteristics:
- Demographics: This includes statistical data such as gender, age, income, location and ethnicity, among others.
- Psychographics: Your audience should also be classified according to psychological attitudes, such as core values, lifestyles, hobbies, insecurities and aspirations.
- Online Behavior: What kind of online entertainment does your audience consume? What channels do they subscribe to? What social media platforms do they use, and how much time do they spend on them?
- Status relative to your business: Are you targeting prospects, employees, current clients, thought leaders or other businesses? If you’re in the B2B space, you should also consider the position, title and industry of your target audience members.
Be sure to review and identify competitive trends, content and topics. You don’t want to duplicate what your competitors have and look like a carbon copy of them. Instead, you want to identify strategic opportunity gaps to help you stand out. This understanding of your competition comes through:
- Researching competitors on YouTube
- Viewing and subscribing to competitors’ YouTube channels for insight into their content type and posting frequency
- Watching videos in your content niche and diving into the comments section
- Analyzing competitive YouTube channels for measurements such as video views and subscriber count
- And don’t forget to see who’s advertising on your prized keywords
Step 2: Define your goals and measures of success
Once you have a solid understanding of who you want to reach, the next step is to define your main objective(s) for your video content. A great place to start is with the takeaway message you want your audience to remember, and then build backwards from that.
“Every webpage, every video, every piece of content should have a job,” said TruStar Marketing’s Senior Analytics Manager Edwin Acevedo. “That job is to drive attention, traffic and engagement toward your business goal, whatever that may be.”
To start, ask yourself:
- Are my goals centered on developing brand awareness or generating new leads?
- How do I need to measure ROI?
- How much of the benefit is about building a collaborative network online with my industry partners and/or clients?
- Should my video content be an extension of my existing copy?
- Is the focus to help educate and inform others via thought leadership?
It can be one, some or all of these types of objectives. Everyone has different goals, and they also have different measures for success. So, your second task will be defining what success looks like for your business.
Step 3: Choose the content type that best suits the topics you want to focus on
Armed with your goals, audience and competitive information, it’s time to determine which video approach will best communicate your messages. Consider the following types of videos.
- Opinion videos: Opinion videos give you the opportunity to comment on hot topics in your industry by sharing your thoughts and predictions on current affairs. This allows you to tap into topics that are already trending in your field. These types of videos depend heavily on your industry, but if used correctly, they can be some of your most successful videos, as many people look to thought leaders to express their views on a current and relevant issue or situation.
- Informative/educational videos: Educational videos are created with the goal of educating or informing your viewers about your company, products/services or industry. This will likely be your most common type of video. Regularly publishing informative content helps to establish you as a credible authority and leader.
- Livestreams: A newer type of video content, livestreams are good for when you have breaking news, want to share something that requires immediate attention or want to engage your audience in the conversation. After the livestream, you can repurpose the recorded version as a video on demand (VOD) on your channel so viewers who missed it can go back and watch it.
- Reaction videos: Reaction videos are usually used for product reviews or when you want to make a video of someone watching someone else’s content. Like opinion videos, the success rate of these videos depends heavily on your industry, and they may not be a good fit for every field.
- Company culture videos: These types of videos display who you are and what you stand for. This allows you to put a face to your brand, enabling viewers to connect with you on a deeper level. Content focused on company culture often receives the most engagement.
- Branded videos: Branded videos focus on the company’s differentiators and strengths to increase awareness and credibility.
When producing a video for YouTube, it’s best to aim for a benchmark length of 10 minutes. This gives you enough footage to pull out shorts for social media and also enables YouTube to place ad breaks within the video. While this may seem undesirable, YouTube will organically boost your video ranking if it can place ads within the content. Essentially, it’s a free way to get your content ranking higher.
Step 4: Develop your content calendar
A content calendar is a publishing schedule that outlines what, when and how often you’ll be posting content. You may already have a content calendar for channels like your blog and/or social posts that you may want to align your video content with.
To develop your video content calendar:
- Come up with 10 or so topic ideas and begin planning them out on your calendar. Think about the timing of each video and whether it makes sense to publish them in a specific order. Be sure to account for a realistic production time.
- Decide on which day of every week you plan to upload content. This will help you establish consistency and retain your audience by having them anticipate your content at a certain time every week.
- Also make sure to have ideas for YouTube shorts, Instagram reels and TikToks. Not only are they super popular – they’ll also help you cross-promote and drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
Keep in mind that if videos are similar in topic or part of a series, you can create playlists that will keep viewers on your channel for longer. Also be sure to leave your content calendar flexible in case you have something newsworthy come up that takes precedence over your planned topic or you come up with a better idea.
Your winning YouTube content strategy starts here.
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of developing a strategy for an entirely new content platform, it can be helpful to consult with a digital marketing agency like TruStar Marketing to help get your channel up and running according to best practices. Contact us now to discuss your YouTube content strategy needs.