The YouTube Business Checklist That Could Double Your Sales

Here’s what this article covers

1. Have a clear Purpose on YouTube

There’s dozens of ways a YouTube strategy can fit into your business. Identify those ways and be clear in your goals.

Some businesses are on YouTube to get leads and close deals. Some use it as an “awareness” platform to drive traffic to a website or email list. And some are just on YouTube because they think they’re supposed to.

If you don’t’ have a clear objective with measurable results for creating content on YouTube, you aren’t going to know if you succeeded.

With any YouTube business strategy, you want to lay out your goals, know the metrics for measuring the goals, and invest in the quality of content to make it happen.

2. Have a face for the brand

Whether you’re a solopreneur and there’s nobody but you, or you run the marketing team for a larger corporation, people like to connect with people. This means having a face (or faces) for your YouTube channel.

Whether that be for the YouTube profile picture, thumbnails, channel art, the actual video (ideally, all of the above) you want to show the people behind the brand.

That’s not to say that faceless channels can’t do well… But if your content strategy revolves around the business you run outside of YouTube, having a person makes it easy for the audience to connect with you better.

3. Channel design to match the brand

Similar to the point above, you want to aim for a consistent style and design across the channel. It could be as simple as using certain colors or fonts. It could also be way more personalized to your company values, mission, personality, and style.

It’s good to have a recognizable channel, but this might develop over time and doesn’t need to be a priority when first starting a channel.

4. Have a strategy for content types and traffic sources

The same video concept can have lots of different varieties depending on how it’s executed. Businesses that dominate on YouTube are intentional about how each video is structured. The best videos are made to target one of the three main YouTube traffic sources in a way that provides valuable content and entertainment.

Traffic Source content strategy

Search-oriented videos are designed to match what people are searching for and the intent behind the search. Evergreen content designed to rank in search results can have a powerful compounding effect on your channel.

Browse-oriented videos have more virality potential than search-oriented videos because there is no search query happening. Videos intended for YouTube browse features are typically more attention-grabbing, interesting, or provoking than search videos.

Suggested videos are difficult to target but make up the majority of watch time on YouTube. YouTube suggested videos are like a combination of search and browse. The algorithm recommends videos depending on a person’s search history, watch history, and engagement patterns on YouTube.

Videos that build off one another or have similar themes are likely to be suggested which is why it’s a good idea to make playlists of videos that connect to each other.

5. Understand customer behavior in the context of YouTube

Knowing your target audience is one thing, but the real strategy comes from knowing how they behave on different social media platforms and optimizing for this on YouTube. It’s all contextual.

Do you expect your target customers to be searching for content that will naturally lead to your channel? Or will you need to take a browse-oriented approach to make sure your videos get placed appropriately?

If your core audience is on YouTube but isn’t searching for content related to your business, you’ll want to figure out what they are looking for. It might be more general information within your industry or a parallel industry that isn’t directly the market you serve.

Depending on your industry, you might discover if there isn’t a lot of searchability or viral potential for the content you want to make, another platform might be a smarter move for you than YouTube.

6. Create videos for each stage of the buying process

A content strategy designed to get sales or leads needs to acknowledge where viewers will be in the buying process when they find your content.

If you use YouTube for lead generation, the sales funnel should guide most of your content. The questions, concerns, and needs of your ideal client at each stage of the funnel should be the inspiration for your videos.

Viewers who are just starting their buying journey will be looking for more general types of information to address their problems.

People towards the middle and bottom of the funnel will be looking for more specific content on different solutions and comparisons to make a decision.

You can apply this to growing an audience by thinking about which videos are going to be seen by new viewers and which videos might more seen by a returning viewer.

7. Channel name that reflects the content

Your channel name should make it easy to get a sense of what kinds of videos people should expect. If your goal on YouTube is transactional in nature, you might not want to name the channel after yourself or your company.

If it’s easy for people to watch a video, sign up, or make a purchase without needing to know much about your company beforehand, make the channel name more industry-related.

If your goal is more about building awareness and growing a community flywheel, then you might want to directly name the channel based on your company.

It really depends on the brand image you’re trying to create on YouTube.

8. Include contact information everywhere

If you have a phone number, email address, or social media account that you want viewers to know about, make it easy to find. Put this in your channel profile, video descriptions, beginning and end of videos, and in the comment section.

If you’d rather people send an email instead of call, just include the email. If you’d prefer website traffic, then emphasize the website link.

9. Make your links easy to find

If you want to drive traffic to your website, Facebook page, or a landing page, make the link easy to spot. Put it in your channel profile, video descriptions, and even link it at the top of your channel page on your banner.

If you have a website but your goal isn’t to send YouTube viewers there, then it might be best leave it out if it’s not serving a purpose here.

10. Sell yourself before your product/service

People are good at knowing when they’re being sold. Everybody does it these days. Asking for business should come secondary after providing top-notch content. If you aren’t providing value in some way, your audience won’t convert the way you want them to.

YouTube has way more room for personality than a website or landing page. This can be a really good or a really bad thing, depending on how you use it.

Even if your business is more transactional than relational, being genuine, honest, and transparent on YouTube will work in your favor when building a fanbase that connects with you. This is another reason that #2 on this checklist, having a face for the brand, is important.

11. Use YouTube SEO to your advantage

Understand how search traffic plays a role in your YouTube content strategy. Identify relevant keywords and topics that are part of it. Make sure keywords are in less obvious places.

Obvious places to put keywords:

  • Video title
  • Video tags
  • Video description
  • Channel profile description
  • Channel tags

Less obvious places to put keywords:

  • In the name of the video file
  • Mentioned in video and in auto-generated captions
  • Links in your description
  • Pinned comment on each video

12. Don’t just optimize for search, optimize for search intent

Search intent on YouTube is different than Google. It’s less transactional and more informational. And if a search is informational, the intent on YouTube might be more visually oriented than on Google.

For example, if someone is searching for a suburb of the city where you sell houses… on Google, they might be looking for information on school districts, local government, home prices, and crime rates.

On YouTube, they’re probably looking for that suburb to see footage of what it looks like.

YouTube search is often geared towards answering questions that are easier to answer by showing:

  • What does it look like?
  • How does it work?
  • How to do/use something?

This is why tours, vlogs, tutorials, documentaries, interviews, and reaction videos do well on YouTube. They’re informative and visually engaging.

13. Target all traffic sources

There’s a trade off between high intent and high virality. Videos optimized to rank in search don’t always get the most views, but they’re the highest converting. Videos optimized for browse and suggested can get lots of views quickly but are usually lower intent traffic.

The right content strategy combines YouTube’s traffic sources. Search-based videos are good at converting audiences; browse and suggested videos are good at expanding audiences.

14. Address problems & solutions in your industry

Whatever industry you’re in, there are problems your customers face. Sometimes they don’t know these problems exist.

Your goal is to educate and inform viewers who don’t have your industry expertise, which means you want to explain these issues on a level they will understand.

Resist the temptation to make videos that are promotional in nature to your business. You want to focus on the type of value videos create for the customer, not for your company.

Sometimes that means exposing yourself and your business in these problems. It might feel uncomfortable if a video doesn’t show you in the best light, but it will create a sense of transparency. It tells viewers you care about them.

Talking about problems also lets you talk about solutions to those problems. This is an opportunity to share what you do and how your company can make their lives easier! But don’t talk about solutions that only you can offer.

Give people options by offering comparisons between how you fix people’s problems and how they might be able to fix their own problems if they want.

You want to give them as much information to make the best decision possible, even if it means using an alternative solution to your company.

15. Use calls to action strategically

Tell people what steps they need to take instead of expecting them to guess. If you want your viewers to email you, visit your website, or sign up for your program, tell them exactly how to do it.

The solution might seem obvious to you, the expert, but people can’t read your mind. Have a call to action that is clear, direct, and impossible for people to get wrong.

YouTube calls to action that build community and audience

If there’s a link, email, phone number, or landing page you want people to find, tell them where to find it and exactly what to do when they get there.

Don’t confuse people by having multiple calls to action at the same time. If you want them to email you, say that. If you want them to follow your Instagram, say that. Don’t tell them to do both at the same time. Instead, sprinkle different calls to action throughout your video depending on what you want people to do each time.

16. Engage with the audience and build a community

Don’t aim to just get subscribers or followers. Aim to build an engaged audience that feels like a community.

  • Tell stories about your life that people can connect with and relate to.
  • Ask questions in the video so people can respond in the comments
  • Respond to these comments and ask follow-up questions
  • Make your business one worth talking about
Viewers v Audience v Community

If you do this frequently, you’d be surprised at the emails, comments, and questions you get mentioning some random thing you talked about one time in a video just because you talked about your hobbies, family, weird interests or uncommon point of view.

17. Use YouTube videos in your email list

If you have an email list or a segmented group of customers that you know would enjoy a video you’ve done, send it to them! You could blast out a company-wide email with the latest video, but it’s even better if you can send a certain video to a specific group of people because you know they’d find value in it.

18. Pay attention to your direct and indirect competitors

Watch what big channels are doing in your industry and outside your industry. Whether another channel competes with you at all, it’s still a great way to find inspiration to innovate your content and do things differently.

The Power of Storytelling

Be weird, be quirky, try new things even if it doesn’t make the most sense for your industry. If you notice your direct competitors following a certain trend or new video style, how can you do it better?

19. Offer freebies in your videos

This is a great way to get emails, but it’s also a great way to give your audience something free that might help them in whatever they’re doing.

Some common examples:

  • E-books
  • Resource lists
  • Free trials
  • Product giveaways
  • Private events
  • Case studies
  • Database
  • Templates
  • Guides

20. Embed videos on your site to drive traffic

If your website has a specific article or landing page that connects well with a video, go ahead and embed the video on the webpage. But don’t overdo it.  Some content is meant to do well in a video-based format, and sometimes it just makes sense to have it written as an article.

How much you choose to promote videos on your site really depends: Are you trying to push more website traffic to YouTube? Or is the majority of your site traffic already coming from YouTube if YouTube is your primary marketing channel?

21. Innovate with your content from outside your industry

Stay creative and stay weird. Sometimes that means watching people in different industries, applying that to fit your industry, and seeing if it lands well with your audience.

Even if you run an autoshop that you make videos for, it might not hurt to check out what beauty influencers, bodybuilding channels, and tech gurus are doing on their channels to stay creative with new ways of doing content.

22. Repurpose YouTube videos for your overall marketing strategy

This depends on how you’re doing marketing outside of YouTube. Here are some ideas that might fit your strategy:

  • Transcribe the video and edit the content to go well as an article
  • Take the best clips from the video for 60-second Tiktoks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube shorts
  • If visuals aren’t as important in the video, take the audio and make it a podcast
  • Turn key takeaways from the video into image posts for Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, or just write them out as Tweets

23. Have organized descriptions for your videos

The video description is an underrated part of YouTube. You can add lots of information, but the key is to keep it visually organized and be intentional about where you want people to look first. You can include:

  • A summary of the video and add keywords to it
  • A section for links to websites
  • Contact information & social profiles
  • Add emojis to draw attention where you want

24. Engage across social platforms

This is great for adding depth to relationships with your viewers. If you ask them to follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, or any platform where you actually post, it’ll help them get to know your brand better as long as it’s something they would find interesting.

This opens up more chances for conversation too. Notice who likes, comments, and follows your pages and talk to them! Whether that’s in the comments or starting a DM conversation.

25. Eliminate friction from your process

Using YouTube for business is a waste of time if it’s not easy for people to become customers. This goes hand in hand with #15 use calls to action strategically.

The most strategic call to action is worthless if it’s not easy to fill out the form, find the website, or send an email. Whatever you’re asking people to do, it should be clear and easy to follow.

If a 5 year old can’t follow your call to action and any landing page is not intuitively designed, the process needs to be simpler.