May 13, 2020·12 min read

Unlock a new stream of viewers with a YouTube channel. Learn how to set yours up, what types of videos to use, how to attract subscribers, and best practices for every step along the way.

Setting up a YouTube Channel for business is as easy as creating an account, but using it to attract subscribers, gather leads, or drive downloads? That takes work, strategy, and a sense for the right formats and video lengths. But given YouTube’s size and potential reach, it can be worth it.

Like ancient Rome, all roads eventually lead to YouTube. It’s the gateway for 11.4% of the internet’s video traffic and boasts 2 billion users. It’s the world’s second-largest social network and the only one where video is the primary mode of communication.

Marketing on YouTube revolves around the channel, which is like a mini-website for your business. It’s the place you get to curate the videos, images, and descriptions visitors see. If they discover your videos elsewhere and like them, this is where they’ll wind up.

  1. Contents
  2. 1.What Are the Benefits of YouTube Video?
  3. 2.How Do I Create a YouTube Channel for Business? 5 Top Tips
  4. 3.What Types of Videos Can I Put on YouTube?
  5. 3.1 YouTube In-Channel Videos
  6. 3.1.1Specs, Size, and Orientation
  7. 3.1.2Best Practices for In-Channel YouTube Videos
  8. 3.1.3How to Share YouTube Videos
  9. 3.1.4YouTube Video Metrics and Measuring Your YouTube Channel
  10. 3.2 YouTube Live (a.k.a. YouTube Live Streaming)
  11. 3.2.1Specs, Size, and Orientation
  12. 3.2.2Best Practices for YouTube Live
  13. 3.2.3How to Live Stream on YouTube
  14. 3.2.4YouTube Live Metrics
  15. 3.3 YouTube Video Ads
  16. 3.3.1Specs, Size, and Orientation
  17. 3.3.2Best Practices for YouTube Ads
  18. 3.3.3YouTube Ad Metrics
  19. 4.How Do I Get Started with YouTube for Business?

Here’s the key: To be effective, your channel needs a purpose. Are you trying to accumulate subscribers? Drive traffic back to videos on your site? Generate leads for direct sales or follow-up?

As marketing author Ryan Holiday writes, “Nothing has sunk more creators than this: Our inherently human tendency to pursue a strategy aimed at accomplishing one goal while simultaneously expecting to achieve other goals entirely unrelated.”

On YouTube, it pays to pick one thing and do it really well.

What Are the Benefits of YouTube Video?

YouTube’s ubiquity in consumer life can lead many B2B marketers to wonder: Is YouTube the right home for my videos?

The answer is, with exception, yes—as part of a dual strategy. You should have a video platform to keep everything organized, but use YouTube to promote your video content.

YouTube excels at earning eyeballs thanks to what’s known as the long-tail effect. Big social networks use powerful algorithms to cater to niche interests just as well as mainstream ones.

YouTube is as good a home for the hit kids song “Baby Shark” (it’s so catchy we won’t link to it) as it is for how-to videos on setting up your company’s HR software. Whatever your niche, YouTube has users who’re interested.

Take the AI-powered search technology LucidWorks, for example. It has a highly successful niche YouTube channel where hosts explain arcane topics like “NLP vs. NLU” and “Clustering vs. Classification”—some of which have been viewed 2,600 times.

Some stats for thought:

In short, if social media video matters to your company, you should think about having a presence on YouTube.

How Do I Create a YouTube Channel for Business? 5 Top Tips

Ready to create a YouTube channel for your business, but aren’t sure where to begin. These five steps will help you get set up and ready to go.

  1. Decide its primary purpose: Leads? Subscribers? Downloads? Traffic to your full-length videos? Pick one primary goal.
  2. Give your company its own Brand Channel: User channels and Brand Channels are different, but often confused. If someone on your team sets up the business’s YouTube as a user channel under their personal email, it’s theirs if they ever leave.
  3. Brand it like you would your website: Consistency matters. You can’t go wrong giving your channel the same header image as your website.
  4. Actively manage it: Hide, add, and edit videos to create an engaging experience. Use tags on your channel and on your videos. It’ll help you stay organized but also help YouTube recommend them to others.
  5. Promote your work: Post your YouTube videos on other social networks or link to them in your email campaigns to get the flywheel going.

If it sounds like work, it can be. But YouTube for business can also pay off in big and exciting ways—especially for B2B marketers.

Learn From the Pros

Genesys makes call center software human and relatable on their YouTube channel.

What Types of Videos Can I Put on YouTube?

There are three categories of video you can upload to YouTube: In-channel videos, live streams, and ads. Each serves a different purpose.

1. YouTube In-Channel Videos

YouTube in-channel videos are simply the videos you upload to your channel. They’re the workhorse of YouTube—the atomic pieces of content that help you get found, attract an audience, and show up in Google searches.

You can organize them into playlists to give your Brand Channel some structure and to encourage people to watch the entire series.

Learn From the Pros

Search giant Google’s technology channel on YouTube tells people’s personal stories.

Specs, Size, and Orientation

YouTube videos should be roughly 1280×720 pixels. That’s large enough to be viewed on a common desktop or smartphone with enjoyable quality. The largest videos you can upload are 3840×2160 pixels and the smallest, 426×240 pixels.

The YouTube player aspect ratio is 16:9, known as widescreen. You can upload videos in other aspect ratios, like the rather old school-looking 4:3 (used on older TVs) or new school-looking vertical video (taken with a smartphone). If your video doesn’t fit the YouTube player, YouTube will make it fit. It’ll add black bars to the sides so there’s no white space, a process known as pillarboxing.

The default maximum length for YouTube videos is 15 minutes but that’s easy to change in your settings. Click “Increase Limit” and you can get up to 12 hours, or a 128 GB limit—though you may have to verify your YouTube account for business.

cover graphic for Social Video Specs Guide

Get the Social Media Video Specs Guidecover graphic for Social Video Specs GuideEvery different social platform has its own requirements for videos. Every single one is in this guide.Get the Specs