YouTube Marketing: How to Create, Promote and Optimize Video Content

Do you want to get started with YouTube marketing but have no idea where to begin? You’re not alone.

YouTube is an enormous platform with billions of hours of video content already online and 500 hours of video added every minute. With so many videos, how do you make your YouTube content stand out? To help you get noticed on YouTube fast, we’ve created this actionable, in-depth guide to demystify YouTube marketing.

YouTube Marketing: How to Create, Promote and Optimize Video Content:

What Is YouTube Marketing?

YouTube marketing is the act of promoting your business, products, and brand on YouTube, by adding videos to your YouTube channel or running YouTube ads.

Why Is YouTube Marketing Important?

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and the second most popular website worldwide.

With more than 2 billion logged-in users visiting YouTube each month and more than 1 billion hours of video watched every day, YouTube marketing gives your brand an enormous opportunity to get in front of millions of interested users.

So, how do you get your brand on YouTube? Let’s take a look.

How to Create a YouTube Channel for Your Brand

Creating a YouTube channel for your brand is easy. And all you need is a Google account.

Create a Google Account

Even if you already have a Google account, we recommend creating a new one specifically for your brand that can be used by multiple people. To create a Google account, go to and click Sign in in the top right corner of the page:

On the sign-in page, you’ll click Create account and choose To manage my business from the dropdown:

Fill out the form and click Next.

You’ll need to enter your phone number for verification.

On the next screen, you will need to enter your birth date, gender, phone number, and a recovery email address (optional). Click Next.

You’ll be given the option to receive communication from Google via your phone number. We’re going to skip this for now.

Agree to Google’s terms and conditions by clicking I agree and you’re all set!

Create Your YouTube Account

Now that you have a Google account, you’re ready to create your YouTube account. To do that, go to You should be automatically logged in with the Google account you just created.

Click on your account icon and choose Create a channel in the menu:

On the cute little screen that pops up, click Get Started:

Choose Select under Use a custom name:

Enter your channel name, agree to the terms, and click Create:

You’ll get a confirmation message that your channel has been created and be able to immediately jump into customizing your channel by uploading a picture, adding a channel description, and adding links to your other sites.

Fill out the information and click Save and continue.

You’ll be taken to your YouTube channel dashboard where you can further customize your channel by click on the Customize Channel button:

YouTube Channel Art

Channel Art (or “Channel Header Image” or “YouTube Banner”) is a large banner that goes across the top of your channel’s profile page. This is typically used to communicate your brand and personality.

The image you use as your channel art should let people know what your channel is about and why it’s unique.

Channel Name & Description

Your channel name is the official name for your YouTube channel. You should use your name (first, last) or a descriptive name that tells visitors about your channel’s topic.

Your YouTube channel description is basically your About Page on YouTube. It should include a brief summary of the type of content you publish on the channel. This shows up on your channel page and in YouTube’s search results.

Channel Trailer

You also have the option to add a channel trailer to your YouTube page. This is a video that helps people learn more about your YouTube channel. The trailer automatically shows at the top of your YouTube channel page for non-subscribed visitors.

Channel Positioning

Channel positioning is important because it helps you show off what makes your channel different from or better than other YouTube channels with similar topics.

There are several factors that go into channel positioning, but here are some of the things you should focus on when you’re just starting out:

  • Defining your target audience
  • Identifying your unique value proposition
  • Choosing 1–2 video types to focus on
  • Establishing (and stick to!) a publishing schedule
  • Defining your visual style
  • Organizing your content into channel sections

Need more help getting your YouTube channel set up? Check out our guide on how to create a successful YouTube channel.

How to Create Videos for YouTube

Once your YouTube channel is set up, you’re ready to start creating videos! There are several different types of videos you can create for your channel, but here are the 8 categories they typically fall into:

  • Testimonials
  • Product Demonstrations
  • Explainers/Tutorials
  • Interviews
  • Case Studies
  • Live
  • Vlogs
  • Events

While the types of Youtube content you can create vary widely, creating a YouTube video is a pretty standard process. In this section, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to create YouTube content that’s educational and engaging.

Video Keyword Research

Video keyword research is the practice of finding words and phrases that your target audience uses to search for video content online.

Video keyword research is an enormous part of optimizing your video for SEO, but it will impact your planning and outlining, so you should focus on this first.

To find the right keywords for your YouTube videos, there are a couple of ways you can find keyword ideas.

YouTube Autocomplete

YouTube Autocomplete suggests popular keywords that are great to include in your script, titles, tags, and more.

Competitor Videos & Tags

You can find lots of ideas for keywords to target by checking out what your competitors are doing. Just go to a competitor’s channel and click on the Videos tab:

Sort the videos by Most popular:

You can then find the keywords used in the video titles and descriptions.

Competitor tags are a little trickier.

Since YouTube doesn’t show tags publicly, you’ll have to right-click on the video page and choose View Source to bring up the page’s HTML.

Then, just search for keywords:

Planning & Outlining

How much you plan, outline, and script is entirely up to you. Some YouTubers find it easy to just hit start recording and wing it while others write out everything they’ll say, word for word.

However, we strongly recommend that you plan out at least the first 15 seconds of your YouTube video to ensure that you’re creating and engaging video that’s going to maintain viewer interest.

The first 15 seconds is your hook and can include:

  • A summary of what your video’s about
  • Eye-catching visuals
  • A curiosity-piquing headline
  • A teaser of what’s to come

Additionally, we encourage you to create an outline that lists out what you want to cover in your video. You definitely don’t want to be ready to upload your video only to find that you forget an important point.

A great format for YouTube videos is what Backlinko calls the “H.I.C.C.” structure:

H = Hook

This is the 15 seconds at the beginning of your video that grabs viewers’ attention.

I = Intro

Introduce your topic and preview what you’re going to cover.

C = Content

This is the main content of the video.

Call to Action

Close your video with a call to action that tells viewers what they should do next.

Marie Forleo uses this format in most of her videos, and with great success. Here’s an example:

Filming & Editing YouTube Videos

YouTube is a great platform for video because viewers are more concerned that your content matches their interests than they are in production value. Some of the most popular YouTube influencers create videos using just a smartphone and a basic editing tool.

That being said, there are a few best practices to keep in mind to keep your videos visually appealing:

  • Use both ambient and direct lighting sources
  • Choose a setting, wardrobe, props, backgrounds, and music that match your style
  • Frame your video to show only the important stuff
  • Make sure your environment is conducive to good sound quality

For editing YouTube videos, choose a software that offers the features you need but is still easy to use. Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie are some of the more popular video editing tools.

You can also add graphics and B-roll footage to your video to up your production value easily. B-roll footage is footage that enriches the story you’re telling.

Finally, we encourage you to edit out mistakes and dead air to keep only the best and most important content in your video.

Cards & End Screens

Cards are interactive elements you can add to YouTube videos to promote other videos, playlists, websites, merchandise, or other channels. They appear on both desktop and mobile.

Here’s an example of a card using the Poll format:

An end screen shows up in the last 5–20 seconds of a video. You can use end screens to promote the same things as you can with cards, but you can also use your end screen to push traffic to an external website.

Here’s an example of what your end screens could look like:


A thumbnail on a YouTube video is a clickable, visual icon that shows off the content of your video. You should use a custom thumbnail on every YouTube video you create since they play a huge role in click-through rates and views.

Your YouTube video’s thumbnail can mean the difference between a view and someone scrolling by. Here are some best practices for creating thumbnails that stand out:

  • Use a consistent layout and colors
  • Use high-contrast colors
  • Include graphics and text

Marie Forleo has excellent video thumbnails:

How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos for SEO

Creating the perfect YouTube video is about more than production, graphics, and scripting.

Once you’re ready to upload your video, you need to optimize your video for SEO so it comes up in search results on the platform.

We’ve already covered keyword research in the previous section. Here, we’ll show you how and where to use those keywords for YouTube SEO.

YouTube Video Title & Description

Your video title is important for both click-through rates and SEO. We recommend including your keyword in your video title and adding attention-grabbing, emotional words and phrases.

The video description is metadata that helps YouTube understand what your video is about. Well-optimized video descriptions can lead to higher rankings in YouTube searches.

To get the most from your video description, we recommend following these best practices:

  • Write descriptions that are at least 200 words
  • Make sure the first few sentences include your keywords and use attention-grabbing language
  • Use your target keyword 2–3 times throughout your description
  • Include related keywords in your YouTube video description
  • Keep your descriptions conversational

YouTube Tags

YouTube tags are the keywords and phrases that give YouTube info about your video. Tags are an important ranking factor in YouTube’s algorithm.

Building an Effective YouTube Outreach Strategy

So, you’ve created a killer YouTube video that’s optimized for YouTube SEO. That’s great!

Now what?

Follow your YouTube marketing strategy to promote your YouTube videos, of course.

You don’t have a marketing strategy yet? No worries! In this section, we cover 5 ways you can promote your YouTube content to get more subscribers, comments, likes, and shares.

Social Media

YouTube makes it easy to share videos on social media—you literally just click Share under the video and off you go.

But just sharing your videos to social media isn’t likely to do much for views or subscribers.

When you share your YouTube content, you need to tell people why you’re sharing it. Namely, you need to tell them why they should care about it.

Before posting that awesome YouTube video to your social media platforms, take the time to write up a little blurb about the video to let people know what benefit they’ll get from watching.

Website & Blog

In addition to sharing your YouTube videos on social media, you can embed them on your website and blog posts.

A great way to get new content for your YouTube channel, as well as drive traffic to your website, is by creating YouTube videos for specific blog posts.

This adds an additional element to your blog posts that viewers will appreciate.


You spent a lot of time creating great YouTube content, so don’t forget to share it with your email list.


Collaborating with other brands or influencers is a fun way to expand your audience. You can employ a YouTube influencer platform in your strategy.

When considering collaborators, choose someone with an audience and goal similar to yours.

Engage With Users

We get it, you’re busy. But engaging with users is one of the easiest ways to turn your YouTube subscribers into advocates for your brand.

We recommend asking viewers for feedback, comments, and their opinion right in your videos. Then, respond to the comments that are left.

Win Big With YouTube Marketing

YouTube is a powerful platform that is part search engine, part social media. With the right YouTube marketing strategy, you can build an active and engaged audience for your brand.

Want to know what your YouTube presence is worth? Our YouTube Money Calculator can tell you!

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.