YouTube Marketing in 2021
YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform in the world. It has transformed the ways videos are distributed online, the way viewers consume content, and how businesses market their products.
After Google acquired YouTube back in 2006, it has constantly tweaked its algorithm so that it delivers the content users want to see. If you are looking to market your videos on YouTube, it’s crucial that you understand how to use this to your advantage (even if you are running ad campaigns).
After all, 1.9 billion logged-in users come to YouTube every month to consume billions of hours of video content. That is nearly half of the entire internet population coming to one place to find entertainment and education through videos.
In this article, we will go over some of the different stats and trends over the last year, and how you can utilize them in your strategy for 2021. We will also go over how to use YouTube’s algorithm to work for you, not against you.
How to properly set up your videos on YouTube
YouTube has solidified itself as the top video-sharing platform around the world. The problem with this is that there are thousands of hours of video posted every day.
It can be hard to break through and show YouTube that the content you are creating is high-quality, entertaining, and engaging.
In order to do this, we need to first know how to set up and properly optimize a video for YouTube.
Put your Keyword in the Title and Description of the Video
Just like if you were optimizing a webpage for a target keyword, we need to do the same with our videos.
Make sure to include the target keyword that you want your video to rank for in the title.
You also should include an in-depth description of your video, and include your keyword in there as well. Make sure not to stuff it with keywords or to over-optimize it.
This will also help your video rank in search alongside Google’s search results pages, allowing your video to get much higher exposure.
Create an Interesting Thumbnail
Your thumbnail should have one goal— to spark curiosity.
This is the image that will draw in users and create interest in your video. It is the cover of your story, that first impression of your content.
Many beginner YouTubers and marketers fail to recognize this. They either use YouTube’s built-in screenshot thumbnail generator or make thumbnails that clearly miss the mark.
Sometimes the images are too large (or too small), or they are lazy and don’t include enough exciting imagery to captivate the user into clicking on their video.
Thumbnails are such an important part of your video marketing strategy that they can’t be left at the back of your mind to sit and rot.
Carefully think out and plan your thumbnails as you are creating your videos. Many people find the perfect thumbnail for their videos on accident, noticing a certain shot that would work perfectly for what they are trying to do.
Keep a keen eye out through your footage, and think about what would make the most interesting thumbnails. Decide which shot will work best, include some large text and bright colours. Draw the eye in and give the user a reason to click on your video.
Here are some thumbnail tips that are taken from YouTube:
- Make sure your thumbnail is 1280 x 720 pixels in size.
- Use an aspect ratio of 16:9
- Keep the file under 2MB
- Export the image in the following formats: JPG, PNG, or GIF
A custom thumbnail can go a long way in the initial first impression of your video.
Ways to market your Video on YouTube in 2021
YouTube is constantly evolving as time goes on. They implemented one new crucial change to their platform that is creating a ton of explosive opportunities for creators.
We are going to take a look at what this change is and how you can utilize it to help market your videos and channel better.
How YouTube Shorts is Changing the Game
YouTube Shorts is the platform’s version of Tiktok’s vertical video format for short-form content. They created this to compete with apps like TikTok and stay as the frontrunner for video content online.
The content can be viewed by anyone (specifically, people on Mobile, which >70% of watch time is done on), and is curated by the YouTube Short ‘Shelf’.
Any creator with just a tiny amount of engagement can end up on the YouTube Short Shelf, gaining exposure to millions of different people that may want to watch their content.
How do Shorts work though? And how can you utilize them to help grow your channel or market your products? Well, we’re getting to that…
Channels are gaining Hundreds of Thousands of Followers in just a few months
Because of the absolutely absurd explosion of Short’s popularity, many channels that remained stagnant for years are suddenly jumping up by over 500,000 to 1,000,000 subscribers in less than 3 months (and in some cases only 1 month).
Here is an example of one YouTube creator that is absolutely exploding due to the Short’s algorithm:
Jake Fellman skyrocketed to nearly 4 million subscribers in less than 5 months
Throughout most of 2020, Jake Fellman had very few subscribers gained until he started posting his videos in the Shorts beta that started late 2020.
He has been growing exponentially since then, reaching almost 4 million subscribers in less than half a year.
Why did Jake Fellman’s channel do so well with Shorts you might say?
He created content that worked perfectly within the beta. His channel is focused on the game “Among Us” and creates animated shorts to depict different pop culture topics taken from the community.
As there is a low-supply for this type of content and high demand for it, his videos were quickly put on the Short Shelf, and it started a tremendous effect that took his channel from nothing to getting more views per month than Pewdiepie (the second-largest channel on YouTube).
How do I make YouTube Shorts?
Creating a YouTube Short is relatively easy.
Here is a list of things you need to do to make sure you can get placed on the Short Shelf:
- The video needs to be in portrait format (1080x1920)
- You need to include #Shorts in your video description
- The video needs to be less than 60 seconds in length
How do I market my products with YouTube Shorts?
Currently, creators on YouTube aren’t paid much money for creating Shorts. This leaves a wide-open door for marketers to entice channels to showcase their products within their videos.
Now, Shorts can only be 60 seconds long or shorter, so the content needs to be quick on its feet and captivate the user instantly.
You also need to figure out innovative ways to slip your products or brand into these videos so that it doesn’t deter the user from skipping to the next video.
This means you need to hyper-target your audience through the Shorts creator. Only select the most highly-relevant content that is related to your products.
In other words, you need to make sure that your product is being used within the Shorts video, rather than a traditional YouTube ad that is built into the video that creators can take a minute or two to talk about your product.
Let’s take Jake Fellman again as an example. If you were a video animation software and wanted to be showcased in one of Jake’s shorts, he could include a snippet at the end or during the video that it was created in said software.
Other examples of how you could potentially insert your products into Shorts videos include:
Sports gear > Sports Shorts
Gaming gear > Gaming Shorts
Software > Quick How-To Shorts
Makeup & Beauty Products > Tutorial Shorts
And the list goes on!
The main thing here is that YouTube hasn’t created any sort of monetary value for Shorts. So the creators that are focused on making them, will eventually start looking for financial incentives to keep creating content.
Influencer marketing on YouTube has taken a huge turn with these things. If done right, you can market your product to millions of people for less money than ever before.
But what are some of the other ways that you can market your brand on YouTube? Let’s take a look.
What are other ways I can market my products on YouTube if I don’t want to make videos?
What if you don’t want to make any videos on YouTube and want to solely market your products on the platform? Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can use YouTube to do this.
This is one of the tried-and-true ways of marketing products on YouTube without actually creating any videos yourself to pump our ads with.
Influencer marketing is similar to the process we described within YouTube Shorts. Basically, you would reach out to YouTube creators and ask to purchase a sponsored ad within one of their upcoming videos.
This is a tactic used by many different brands across thousands of channels. NordVPN for example has used this tactic with hundreds of YouTubers, spending thousands of dollars to get their ads placed within videos.
This can be relatively expensive, but if you can find a channel that is relevant to your niche, that has a dedicated following of subscribers, it can be quite fruitful.
Here are a few ways you can market your products on YouTube channels through influencer marketing:
Introductory campaigns aim to release a new product into the market. Many brands will seek out YouTube channels with strong followings to advertise their product as it hits the market, so millions of people know about it right away.
This can cause an instant rise in sales, sign-ups, or subscriptions. The number of subscribers that love and follow their creators can lead to some crazy engagement, allowing your product to instantly end up in front of the eyes of your target audience.
Maintenance campaigns are used to continually keep their products in the minds of their audience.
Brands need to always keep their image and recognition at the forefront of their marketing strategies. They need to demonstrate themselves as a leader in their industry and prove that through great products and smart marketing strategies.
One of the best ways to do this is through a maintenance campaign.
By displaying their products and brand wisely through YouTube and other platforms on social media, they are able to keep their brands at the top of the mind of their audience when they think of a product similar to what that brand is selling.
The best marketing strategy to use with these campaigns is to show viewers how to fix a problem using their product. This gives the YouTube channel something to build off of, and maybe even make a few smart remarks about through the ad.
Live Streaming Campaigns
Live Streaming is one of the internet’s favorite past times and is growing exponentially every year.
YouTube got into the livestreaming game to compete with Twitch, and is currently second in the number of concurrent viewers and watch time with over 1.6 billion people tuning into Live Streams throughout 2020.
This leaves a ton of opportunities for advertisers looking to get product placements in front of their audience through livestreams.
This can be done pretty easily too. Most streamers will simply include a logo or blip about your product on their screen or include it in the description of their video or comments.
If influencer marketing and shorts aren’t your fancies, then you can start dedicating a budget to creating ads and running campaigns on YouTube.
This can require a large budget as YouTube can be a little expensive depending on what you are marketing, and you also have to create the videos yourself.
This can often lead to employing a company like us here at Vek Labs to help create this content for you with extremely high production value.
But high production value doesn’t always lead to major gains on the platform. The way you set up your ads, must align with your goals, and the purpose of the video has to be valuable first and foremost.
This means you need to understand your target audience and know what they want (or need) and market your videos to them in a way that makes them want to watch your ad.
After all, you are impeding their ability to watch the content they came to YouTube for in the first place.
Here are a few tips for creating magnificent YouTube ads so that your videos won’t be left unwatched and your ad spend dwindling away to the wind.
Target your Audience Effectively
When you start creating your ads whether it be a display or video ad, you need to properly target your audience demographics.
This can be a location, gender, or age group. You can even go as deep to select the interests of your demographics so you can hyper-target the type of consumer you are going for.
Create your own Goals
Google tends to give many recommendations as to how your ad should be set up. As enticing as this may sound, Google just wants you to spend more money and will do a terrible job of setting this up for you.
Create your own campaigns and set up each of the settings yourself in a way that works best for you, your product, and your audience.
Google loves to spam ads on low-quality websites and your ads will most likely show up on here if you use some of the recommended settings from Google, so stay away from this.
Create Valuable Content that is Useful
If you want to truly make an impact on your viewer then you need to make high-quality content that is extremely useful and relevant to the consumer.
This can seem hard at times, but if you have the budget, using a production team can create a ton of content for you to use over the course of many months by splitting up the content into different segments.
One studio session with a company such as ours can lead to the creation of some wicked content that can be used for months or even years after the initial production has taken place.
This will give your audience some stunning visuals and proper storytelling techniques to use in your ads that can be truly captivating.
YouTube is a monster that nearly any company can benefit from if done correctly. From the new YouTube Short Shelf to influencer marketing and YouTube ads, there are many different routes to go about marketing your products on the platform.
Even if you don’t have the production budget to do so, you can still create high-performing ads that can make you a few dollars. However, if you are looking for a company to help you produce stunning visuals for your advertisements, the team here at Vek Labs can help out with that.
We have lots of experience creating videos for companies that want their products to look their best throughout their campaigns. From photography to video production and editing, we will give you the assets you need to make the competition pale in comparison. For more information, contact us today to see how we can help transform your brand’s image online.
Managing DirectorCinematography, Audio Production
Andrew founded Vek Labs December 2017 with a clear mandate to bring cinematic visuals to the corporate and documentary space. Prior to Vek Labs, Andrew worked as a designer for over 10 years focusing on UX/UI, branding, editorial and audio production, Andrew lived in Rome, Italy, working as a marketing consultant for a variety of non-profits and institutions; including the Holy See. He is most passionate about seeing video productions and musical scores synthesize into unique stories.