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How to promote your startup on Youtube
Reading time: 8 minutes
Updated 29 January 2024

How to promote your startup on YouTube: tips and strategies

Everyone knows Youtube, but perhaps not everyone knows that this platform, owned by Google, can also be a valuable tool for the purposes of marketing. If you too need to learn more about the link between Youtube and businesses, you really can’t ignore this guide, which will explain how to promote your startup on the world’s most widely used video-sharing platform (as well as the second most visited site in the world).


YouTube as a marketing platform

The wide global reach and popularity of the video format (compared to other formats) make Youtube extremely attractive to companies that want to promote their products or services online. Let us delve deeper into these two aspects.


Why companies should invest in YouTube

As noted above, Youtube is the second most visited site globally. WeAreSocial’s Digital 2023 report also revealed that globally, Youtube is the app with the most active users, not only in the social media sphere. And that’s not all: among the world’s most widely used social media apps, Youtube recorded the second-highest average monthly usage per user during 2022 (users of the video-sharing platform spent an average of 23 hours and 9 minutes per month using the app between January 2023 and December 2022, slightly less than TikTok).

YouTube itself has also provided some very interesting numbers: viewers of the platform say they are 2 times more likely to buy something they have seen on YouTube. More than 70% of viewers also say that YouTube helps them discover new brands. And again: viewers are 4 times more likely than other platforms to use YouTube to find information about brands, products or services.

Moving on to the video chapter: it has already been several years since marketing experts, based on multiple statistics, agreed that videos are powerful marketing tools. A study conducted by NogenTech, for example, revealed that 91 percent of marketers will use video content in 2023. Another study conducted by Statista in November 2022, on the other hand, revealed that YouTube itself is the platform of choice for marketers (90%).

Video marketing has changed dramatically over the past two decades: whereas until a few years ago, advertising through video was carried out almost exclusively by large companies, now, thanks precisely to social media and video-sharing platforms, even startups, small businesses, and individuals can make and share high-quality videos for promotional purposes.

But what can startups do on Youtube? This question was answered before us by marketing expert Ann Handley, who explained:

With YouTube, startups can build a unique visual identity and create an emotional connection with their audience through the power of moving images.


Creating and optimizing your YouTube channel

Obviously, the popularity of Youtube and the power of the video format are not enough to guarantee the success of a Social Media Marketing strategy on this platform. If you really want to effectively promote your startup’s products or services on Youtube, you need to know how this site works.


First steps to set up an enterprise channel

Youtube, it is useful to remember, is owned by Google. To access the video-sharing platform, you need to create a Google Account. Go to YouTube and, in the upper right-hand corner, click on “Sign In” and then on “Create Account.” At that point, you can select “For myself” or “To manage my business.”

You should know that, with a Google account, you can “only” watch videos, like and subscribe to channels. To upload your videos, in fact, you have to create a YouTube channel.

You can choose between creating a personal channel and creating a channel under the name of a business (which may have more than one manager or owner): in the latter case you can make a new channel or link the channel to a brand account you already manage.


The importance of graphics and brand identity

The video format, to be truly effective, requires high standards at the graphic level and a 360-degree strategy that also considers header and preview content.

In this regard, you should know that, in order to more effectively promote brand identity and build a stronger bond with users, you should consider associating a face (your face) with your startup and have it appear in video as much as possible, including, indeed, in the header and preview. More than just watching a brand’s promotional video, in this way, YouTube users will be able to listen to and interact with a real person and learn more about their story (even, perhaps, through some “behind-the-scenes” video).


Video content: regularity and quality

Many of those who decide to use Youtube for marketing make the mistake of uploading a couple of pieces of content and then giving up as soon as they see that the goals they set for themselves have not been met. Don’t do this yourself: for Youtube to truly be a valuable ally for your startup, you need patience and time. Don’t get discouraged in the face of early disappointments in terms of views and subscriptions, and regularly publish valuable content at the highest level of quality you are able to achieve. By promoting your channel on blog, on other social networks or through the mailing list, you will see that results will come.


Choosing the right format for your audience

Publishing valuable content also means choosing the right format to win over your audience on Youtube. Those that are usually most successful include video tutorials (useful for showing the full potential of a product) and reviews (to show what consumers who have already purchased the product think about it), but also video interviews, vlogs and, of course, corporate videos (useful for telling the story of the company, its history and its values).


The ideal length of videos and the importance of the first few seconds

On the format chosen also depends the length of the video: there is, in fact, no standard length that is always valid and always effective. What can be established a priori is that some formats, such as reviews, for example, require longer videos (but don’t overdo it!). Whatever the length of the video, keep in mind that on Youtube it is the first few seconds that are decisive in capturing the user’s attention and convincing them to continue with the viewing.


Promotion and sponsorship strategies on YouTube

We have seen so far how to increase views on Youtube organically. Obviously, however, Youtube also provides for the possibility of promoting and sponsoring paid brands and products within the platform, through the ad hoc service called Youtube Advertising.


How to Leverage YouTube Advertising

Don’t forget that YouTube is owned by Google: Youtube Advertising is managed by Google Ads . Not only that, YouTube ads use Google’s own data to match your chosen message to the right users at the right time, and they work similarly to what you may have already seen on Google. This also means that, to sponsor a YouTube video, you have to choose the ad format, segment your target audience, and set the budget you want to invest in advertising.

Among the advertising formats on Youtube you can choose from, for example:

  • skippable video ads (which can be skipped by the user after 5 seconds);
  • non- skippable video ads (lasting 15, 20 or 30 seconds, which must be watched in full before the user’s chosen video can be viewed);
  • bumper ads (lasting up to 6 seconds, which cannot be ignored).


Youtube advertising formats

Youtube advertising formats


The importance of keywords and optimized descriptions

The close relationship between Youtube and Google also means that a video posted on the video-sharing platform, if optimized in terms of keywords and descriptions, can gain a prime position on Google’s search page.

The advice for you, in this case, is to study the Google Ads keyword planning tool so you can discover the most popular ones among the users that make up your target audience and use them for your video content (in the title, tags and descriptions).


Audience interaction and involvement

Interacting with users on Youtube is very important because it conveys the image of a company that is alive and attentive to the input it receives and because it allows users to be part of the brand narrative.


Responding to comments and creating engagement

Responding to comments that come in under a video allows you to keep the conversation going even after the video is published and create additional engagement. Not only that, it also allows you to clarify any unclear points in your message and provide additional information that you were unable to include in the video.


Collaborations and partnerships with other channels

Another way to increase the visibility of your startup’s channel on Youtube is to partner with other channels, perhaps from a creator who is already established and has a high number of subscribers. Obviously, this requires a financial investment and, even before that, a thorough analysis to arrive at the choice of the best partner.

At the content level, there are several options available to you: you can host the Youtuber on your channel, you can have him create a video based on your specifications, or you can ask him to talk about your product or brand in one of his videos.


Monitoring results and analyzing metrics

Also on Youtube, as on any channel that makes up your Social Media Marketing strategy, it is essential to monitor the results of your efforts at the advertising level. For this purpose the platform provides Youtube Analytics.


How to use YouTube Analytics

On Youtube Analytics you can observe a large number of statistics related to your channel: among them, the number of new subscribers to the channel in a given period of time, the most viewed videos and the interactions users have with them stand out.


Adjust strategy based on feedback

Analyzing channel numbers, of course, is not an end in itself: it serves to understand what mistakes have been made and where it is appropriate to intervene, but also to understand what is working the most. Your Youtube marketing strategy, therefore, must be guided by the feedback you receive, which is the only evidence that can certify the goodness of your insights.


The Rise of YouTube Shorts

A separate mention should be made of Youtube Shorts: following in the footsteps of TikTok and the Reels of Instagram, Youtube has also launched its own short videos (with a maximum duration of 60 seconds). Youtube Shorts have very similar characteristics to their predecessors on other social media, and among them is the high potential for virality. The advantage is that this privileged visibility can also be used to bring new subscribers to the channel: the Shorts, in fact, are linked to the channel that publishes them and users can easily reach it to see other content within it.


Your next steps on YouTube

Now that you know how Youtube advertising works for businesses, all that remains is to move from theory to practice. Remember to keep yourself constantly updated on the evolution of this platform because, as the Shorts just mentioned show, there are always new opportunities for those who want to promote their products or services on this site.

Nicola Zanetti

Founder B-PlanNow® | Startup mentor | Startup consulting & marketing strategist | Leading startup to scaleup | Private angel investor | Ecommerce Manager | Professional trainer | Book writer

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