When YouTube was launched in 2005, it largely served as an online library of videos created mainly by individual users who delighted in showing the world the antics of their children and pets, with little thought of making a profit or establishing a brand.

Today, YouTube can be viewed in nearly 100 countries in 80 languages, clocking nearly two billion logged-in users every month. As YouTube has grown, a world of marketing possibilities has opened up for a small business to create brand-focused videos for its own YouTube channel.

Why take on a YouTube channel? Here are just a few of the things it can do for you:

  • Promote your business
  • Help you reach a wider audience
  • Position you up as an industry expert, thus creating trust in your brand
  • Turn you into a social media influencer within your industry

Still, statistics have shown that less than 10 percent of small businesses are on YouTube. The top reason for not having a YouTube content strategy, according to business owners? They don’t understand how to produce video content.

Here’s a primer to get you started on the road to YouTube success.

The First Steps Before Making a Video
As a business, you want to make sure the video properly reflects who you are and how you do business. So, before the red light comes on, outline what your video will be about so it resonates with the audience you want to target.

  • Write a script to give the video structure and keep you focused.
  • It’s wise to purchase a high-end video camera, which will have premium display quality, and a tripod to hold the camera steady.
  • Audio quality is critical. You’ll lose viewers if they have trouble hearing you. Some cameras come with high-end microphones; in some instances a clip-on mic will solve this problem.
  • You’ll also need editing software. Don’t panic. There are many easy-to-use products that require no previous editing skills.

When You’re Ready to Record
Here are some important tips to give your videos professional quality.

  • Whenever possible, film in natural daylight. But whether inside or outside, always position the camera facing away from the light.
  • Dress appropriately. For example, don’t wear the same color clothing as your background and avoid busy patterns.
  • Keep the background tidy and clutter-free. Not only is it less distracting, but a messy, unorganized background might make a statement to viewers about your business.
  • Record more than you need. You can edit out the fluff later.

How to Make a Splash
A YouTube channel doesn’t require a high financial investment, but it does demand an investment of your time. In order to keep traffic flowing, be content-driven, innovative and have an eye on promotional opportunities.

  • Post videos on a consistent schedule. But don’t set the schedule in stone. You want to respond to timely topics.
  • Be efficient. You can simplify your production schedule by creating content in bulk and then space out when you post.
  • Extend the reach of your video with social posts involving multiple angles.
  • Create buzz by commenting on your own videos or by replying to other comments.
  • Build lists that encourage viewers to check out more of your content.
  • Add end screens to all your videos to encourage people to continue watching.

According to Hubspot, 97 percent of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, while 85 percent of people say they’d like to see more brand-focused video. Those are figures that should open the eyes and ignite the imagination of every owner and marketing director of a small business seeking a strategic destination to develop their brand.