Video has never been more critical in the marketing world than it is now.
While short-form video apps like TikTok and Instagram Reels have recently gotten most of the spotlight, YouTube remains the most popular video-sharing platform in the world.
The site receives 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors and over 14 billion total visits each month. Better yet, 62% of users access YouTube daily, and 92% of American users visit the site at least once a month.
With all that traffic, you’re missing out if you’re not sharing content on the platform.
But how do you get started creating YouTube videos?
In this post, you’ll learn how to make YouTube videos to market your business, develop your brand, and make money directly from the site.
A YouTube video is any video uploaded to and shared on the video-streaming platform. These videos can be as long as 15 minutes for unverified accounts and 12 hours (or 256 GB, whichever is less) for verified accounts.
Your videos can be about literally anything, as long as you follow YouTube’s community guidelines.
However, if you want to build a successful YouTube channel, you can’t just make random videos and hope they gain traction.
While this may have worked for a tiny percentage of content creators, you’re much better off coming up with a content strategy before you even create your account. This will allow you to make videos you know people want to watch.
Before you start creating a video, ask yourself:
YouTube videos can be necessary for a variety of reasons. It all depends on what the goal of your YouTube channel is.
If you’re a business owner or marketing manager, sharing videos on YouTube can play a significant role in helping you market a product or service.
For example, look at Copy.ai’s YouTube channel. Some of the videos include:
We provide demos and tutorials of our AI writing software to help customers learn how to use our product. We also upload videos showing potential customers how our product could help them write better content.
Utilizing YouTube is also an excellent way to develop and grow your personal brand. This is especially important for people in the entertainment industry, like musicians and comedians.
For example, Justin Bieber was discovered because of uploading videos to YouTube. In an interview with Good Morning America in 2009, he said,
"It had a hundred views, then a thousand views, then ten thousand views, so I just kept posting more and more videos… Eventually, I got found by my manager, who flew me to Atlanta to meet Usher."
Comedians have also opted to upload videos to YouTube instead of working with networks or streaming services. One advantage is it allows them to retain the ownership and autonomy of their work.
Also noteworthy is that everyone has access to YouTube. In an interview with SPIN, comedian Joe List said,
I got rid of Netflix and Peacock. I have Amazon Prime, but not Hulu. You want to reach everybody. You can break it up with YouTube and then subscribe to your channel.
YouTube allows him to:
Finally, you can make money directly from your YouTube channel. Over 394,000 people are working as full-time YouTubers in the United States!
While it’s unclear exactly how much money each of these creators is making, there’s certainly an opportunity here if you’re willing to do the work.
You can join YouTube’s partner program once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on your videos. Once you become a partner, the platform allows you to place ads on your videos to generate income for your channel.
Remember that YouTube typically takes a 45% share of your ad revenue.
There are a lot of potential benefits to starting a YouTube channel.
While it will take some hard work and consistency, you can start reaping the benefits of making YouTube videos by following the steps below.
Defining your audience is the first and most crucial step in creating YouTube videos. If you’re not making content that’s relevant to your target audience, you won’t be successful.
For example, Copy.ai’s videos are tailored to a specific demographic: marketers, business owners, and people who want to write better copy. Therefore, we make videos that are relevant to this audience.
To do this, we also focus on psychographics, goals, and values. Our videos are typically helpful and teach our audience how to do something. That’s because our audience is looking to learn.
On the other hand, creating educational videos as a comedian looking to develop a larger following likely isn’t a good strategy. This is because their audience is looking for entertainment and laughs.
You should consider creating some buyer personas to better understand the audience you want to make content for so you can create relevant videos.
As you start sharing videos, you’ll better understand what is and isn’t working for your audience. Be sure to ask yourself:
Believe it or not, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world! There are more search queries on the video-sharing platform than Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL combined.
The only search engine that generates more queries is Google (which just so happens to own YouTube).
Just as keyword research is vital to any SEO strategy, it’s just as important for your YouTube strategy. Choosing the right keywords to use in your video title and description is key to getting your videos found.
There are a few ways you can find keywords to target in your YouTube videos.
The first way to find YouTube video keywords is to utilize the platform’s autocomplete feature.
To do this, simply go to YouTube and start typing in the search box. The site will then provide you with some popular searches based on the words you have typed in so far.
For example, if you type in “how to write,” the search box will populate with popular search queries that begin with those words.
You can also scale this autocomplete process by using a tool like keywordtool.io.
Just be aware that you’ll need a subscription to see detailed data.
Another way to find relevant keywords for your videos is to look at your competitors’ top-performing videos.
To see a competitor’s top videos, simply navigate to their channel and click on the Videos tab. From there, click on Sort and Most Popular.
Now that you can see their most popular videos, you can get an idea of what keywords are performing well. You can also click on a video and look at the description to see even more keywords helping the video rank.
Another way to perform keyword research is to look at your YouTube channel’s video analytics. Fortunately, YouTube tells you the search queries people use to find your videos.
This not only helps you track if your YouTube SEO efforts are working but can also present new opportunities for optimization.
For example, suppose your video is showing up for a particular search query, but you aren’t optimizing for all the keywords in that query. In that case, you can add keywords to optimize the video further.
Once you fully optimize, you may be able to rank higher in the search results. Once you rank higher, your video has an even better chance of getting more clicks and views.
The next step in developing your YouTube channel is to create your account. To do this, simply go to YouTube and follow their instructions. They’ll guide you through the process, and it’s pretty simple for the most part.
While this step is pretty straightforward, there are some key considerations you need to make. Some important things to include when setting up your channel are:
You can see all these elements on Copy.ai’s Youtube channel if you need an example.
Once your channel is set up, you’re ready to start recording some YouTube videos!
You may simply use your smartphone to record yourself talking when you start recording. Plenty of screen recording software is available online if you need to demonstrate something on your computer screen.
The equipment and software you need to record your videos will depend on the type of content you’re creating. However, if you’re interested in getting some slightly more advanced equipment, we’ll give you a few tips later in this article.
While recording high-quality video is vital to creating great content, your videos will come together in the editing phase. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent video editing tools available.
Here are some examples of editing software:
While these are some of the most popular video editing tools, there’s no shortage of options. Do a little digging and see which one works for you.
Now that you’ve got some videos edited and recorded, you're ready to share them and start implementing your content strategy.
By using the following tips, you’ll be sure to supply your audience with what they need, organize your content, so it’s easy to find, and keep your viewers engaged with your content:
While your keyword research should help your videos get found organically, sharing your content wherever possible is always a good idea. This will increase the reach of your videos.
If you’re creating high-quality videos and many people see them, your content will surely pay dividends in increased subscribers, better engagement, and higher ROI.
Remember to share your content on similar video-sharing platforms like:
One terrific strategy for sharing your content is to cut up longer videos into short snippets. Then, you can reshare those clips on your channel and social media platforms.
You’ll want to share these snippets on all your social media platforms, but these short videos could be beneficial given the increasing importance of:
While TikTok and Reels are the significant players in short-form videos right now, don’t sleep on YouTube Shorts. More than 1.5 billion logged-in users watch Shorts each month.
Short video content has never been more popular than it is now, so be sure to use that to your advantage!
There are plenty of ways to discover new video ideas and topics for YouTube.
Be sure to utilize all of the suggestions below, and you’ll have a goldmine of content ideas in no time!
As we mentioned, one of the most effective ways to determine great content ideas is through one of the keyword research strategies we discussed earlier.
This allows you to create content you know your audience is already searching for.
Another way to come up with ideas is some good old-fashioned brainstorming! Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down anything that comes to mind.
There will probably be plenty of unusable ideas, but that’s perfectly fine. Simply keep your good ideas, and throw the rest away.
The main goal of creating videos for YouTube is to provide your audience with what they’re looking for. There’s no better way to find out what they want than to ask them directly!
If the videos you’ve already posted have some comments with requests for videos, consider fulfilling those requests. It’s likely the person who commented isn’t the only one who wants that content.
Alternatively, ask your friends for advice if your channel is brand new and you don’t have an audience yet. Ask them to step into the shoes of someone who fits your buyer persona and see what kind of videos they’d want to watch.
Another way to develop ideas for YouTube videos is to use a content idea generator.
Luckily, Copy.ai has just the tool for this!
Type in your niche and the topic you want ideas for, and the tool will do the rest.
We mentioned earlier that uploading your videos to social media and other video-sharing platforms is a great way to expand your videos’ reach.
However, there are several things you should do to improve your content’s visibility on YouTube itself organically.
Use the following tips to get your videos found on YouTube more often.
One of the most important ways to get more views on your videos is to grab people’s attention and stand out from the crowd.
The best way to do this is with your video titles and thumbnails. These are the first things people see when searching for YouTube videos.
Make sure to use attention-grabbing video titles that are rich with relevant keywords.
Also, don’t use the default thumbnail. Put in the extra work to create a custom thumbnail, and you’ll reap the benefits of increased click-through rates!
After all, click-through rates are one of YouTube's key metrics in its search ranking algorithm.
Descriptions and tags are also critical factors in getting your videos more views.
Descriptions not only tell the viewer what your video is about, but they’re also an opportunity to include more keywords. If YouTube sees a lot of relevant keywords in your description, it will be more likely to rank your video higher in its search results.
The longer your description is, the more keywords you can include. More importantly, you’ll provide viewers with more relevant information and help them decide if your video is genuinely relevant to them.
Using tags is also vital for increasing your videos’ reach. Like Instagram hashtags, YouTube tags help viewers find content relevant to their interests.
Using captions and subtitles is essential for your video because it helps hearing-impaired people understand the audio in your video.
It’s also key to remember that many people view videos on the go and can’t always watch with the sound on.
Including subtitles ensures that your video is always accessible and understandable.
Another great way to get videos on your channel found more often is to comment on videos relevant to your niche.
If you can provide valuable insights that the creator of a different video didn’t mention, it can help establish your channel as an authority on the given topic.
The more you help others and provide value, the more others will help you in the form of more video views, engagement, and ROI.
You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to start making YouTube videos. If you own a smartphone, you could start right now!
However, to improve the quality of your videos, it’s a good idea to have the following tools.
As we just mentioned, using the camera on your smartphone is more than acceptable to record videos for YouTube.
However, there are other options you can utilize. For example, you could purchase a DSLR camera. This will likely give you a higher video quality, although the difference may be negligible as smartphone cameras improve.
If you’re a streamer or demonstrating something on your laptop, you can likely just use a built-in webcam. Of course, there are external webcam options if you’d like to go for a higher-quality stream.
Finally, depending on type of the content you’re creating, you may want to use multiple cameras. This will allow you to shoot yourself or your subject at various angles.
Whether you’re using your smartphone or a different camera, it’s always a good idea to use a tripod.
Our hands can be more unsteady than we realize, and you’ll want the camera to be as stable as possible while you record your videos.
Basic tripods are inexpensive, and you can make your own DIY tripod.
While your camera’s built-in microphone should be fine for beginners and those on a tight budget, you can significantly improve your sound quality by purchasing an external microphone.
There are quite a few different microphones for recording videos, so you’ll want to research and determine which is right for you.
For example, a clip-on mic can be a great option if you need something small and highly portable. However, if you want to start creating content like ASMR videos, you’ll enjoy the highest-quality sound possible.
Lighting is incredibly important to the quality of your video. It can be easy to forget just how important lighting is, so make it a priority.
While natural light outside on a sunny day would probably be ideal, the weather can be unpredictable, and you probably don’t want to have to record all your videos outside.
Instead, you should invest in a photography softbox or ring light.
We can’t stress this enough: good lighting is critical to your video quality!
Earlier in this post, we mentioned some options for screen recording and video editing software.
However, audio editing software can be just as important, depending on what type of content you’re making.
For example, if you’re a musician, you’ll want to ensure your audio quality is as good as possible. To achieve that, consider using audio editing software like:
You may even consider running your audio through an external mixer. This way you can get the exact audio quality you’re looking for.
Finally, remember that if you’re using multiple cameras, you’ll need to detach your audio from your video and ensure the audio syncs with the video at all times. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a video with slightly mismatched audio!
The last thing you’ll need for your YouTube channel is a good background. You have a few different options here.
For example, you could opt for a blank wall with a fun poster, bookshelf, or something that displays your personality.
You could also choose to invest in a green screen. This allows you to set any background you want.
One note on green screens, however: ensure your lighting is good. If you have a shadow on the screen behind you, it could create a halo effect.
Test your recording studio setup before diving into your final cuts to ensure everything looks professional.
It takes 1,000 ad views to make $18 on YouTube. Typically, this equates between $3 and $5 per 1,000 total video views.
Remember, not every video view equates to an ad view. This is why the total video view payout is lower than the total ad view payout.
Also, remember that these numbers will vary based on your channel and your audience's value to advertisers.
Of course, ad revenue isn’t the only way to make money on YouTube. For example, you can supplement ad revenue with:
Finally, if you’re using YouTube videos to market your product or service, you may want to forgo focusing on ad revenue at all. Instead, you might want to focus on driving sales to your primary business.
It all depends on your business goals!
The richest YouTuber is Jefree Star.
Star’s net worth is around $200 million, and he has branched out from YouTube into other businesses. For example, he makes a lot of money from a cosmetic line.
However, the YouTuber that made the most money last year is MrBeast. He earned $54 million in 2021, the most of any YouTuber ever.
Collectively, YouTubers earned about $300 million in 2021.
YouTube can potentially impact your business or brand considerably, but only if you create content tailored to your audience and follows an organized plan.
You must remember that your video titles, descriptions, and other copy play a massive role in how often your videos get found and whether or not they get clicked on.
If you’re great on camera but not so confident in your writing ability, then let Copy.ai help you out.
Our AI writing tools can help you write the perfect copy for your next video!
Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.