Crafting a strong presence on YouTube is a must for brands that want to have a video component to their social media strategy. While networks with short clips are on the rise, the opportunity to create and share longer videos is still a vital part of developing your company’s voice.

If you’ve put off creating a YouTube account for your business because you’re not sure where to start — don’t worry, you’re not alone. But it’s all a lot easier than you think. Your first step is to set up a YouTube account so that it’s ready when you finally have videos to upload.

From there, you can upload your video, market your channel, and tweak all sorts of settings to make your channel appear in people’s searches. Keep reading, and we’ll show how to get started, how to configure your account, how to add your first videos, and how to stake a claim and promote your business on YouTube.

Get With Google

youtube account

In order to make a new profile in YouTube, you’ll need to have a Google account. Since creating a YouTube account will automatically link it with a Google+ account, it’s best to use the same email address for videos as for the social media network.

After you’ve logged in with a Gmail address, you’ll have the option to rename your channel. This is important, especially if you’re creating the account from an individual person’s address rather than a general company account. Click on the text that reads “To use a business or other name, click here.” It will take you to a screen to update your channel’s basic information. Enter your brand’s name as the channel name, and be sure to select an accurate category.

Fill Out the Details

YouTube Channel editsOnce you have your account up and running, you’ll need to add all the basic information to your channel. The profile photo will default to the one you’re using on the related Google+ account, so make sure it accurately reflects your company. Also, remember that YouTube now has cover photos in its One Channel layout. To upload your photo, click the “Add channel art” button in the middle of the cover photo area. Alternatively, mouse-over the photo space to reveal an edit button in the upper right corner to open a drop-down menu. Select “Edit channel art” and then either drag or upload the image you want. The recommended file size is 2560 by 1440 pixels, but keep in mind that not all of that file will appear on your profile.

After getting the visuals in place, click the “About” tab on your channel’s home page. Three buttons will appear in this section to guide the further development of your YouTube account. First, click “Channel description.” In this text box, enter a punchy description of your brand. The “Links” section helps you connect YouTube to your other online profiles. You can select whether to display links overlaid on the cover photo and how many links will appear there. It also lets you decide whether or not to show how many views your channel has, and when you created the account.

The final button in the About section is “Feature other channels.” Use this area to highlight your partners, your different departments, or your individual employees. If you don’t know of any other YouTube channels you want to feature, you can leave this section blank and update it after you’ve gotten acquainted with the platform. If you need to update any of these features after creating the channel, go to the Dashboard. You can find it in the drop-down menu attached to the Upload button in the top right corner of the screen.

Start Uploading Videos

video camera

The first clip you’ll want to upload to the network is a trailer for your channel. Depending on your industry or the specific focus of your channel, this trailer could take many different forms. If it’s your main brand account, then the trailer can be a general look at what your company, product, or services are all about. If you’ve created a dedicated account for a special promotion or a unique purpose, then it might be a more specific or unusual video to convey the details of the program.

At this point, you’re ready to start using your YouTube account. As you upload more and more videos, be sure to take advantage of the ability to create playlists. Navigate to the Video Manager, which is in the same drop-down menu as the Dashboard. In the Video Manager, mark the uploads you want to include and then click on the “Playlists” button. In this menu, you can opt to create a new playlist or add on to an existing one.

Be sure that as your YouTube activity grows, you nurture the conversations that your brand has with other people on the network. Creating the account is just the first step to being successful.
Want more ideas on how to promote your YouTube channel? YouTube has three social features that help businesses and brands, so there’s more to learn!

Does your business have a YouTube channel? Have any promotional tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

[Image Credits: Rego - d4u.hu, micmol , Nic's events, , PistoCasero cdw9, Marc Wathieu BlueRobot]