How to Start a YouTube Channel from Scratch

How to start a YouTube channel from scratch-01

As the digital landscape evolves, so does the way we consume digital content. Now with faster connectivity, it’s become much easier for internet users to tune into video content. So it’s no surprise that video is delivering impressive results for marketers. Wyzowl found that video has increased user understanding of the product/service for 95% of video marketers, increased traffic for 87%, and generated leads for 83%.

80% have even seen an increase in sales as a direct benefit of videos. This proves just how crucial a role video plays in your marketing efforts. Interestingly, video seems to play an even bigger role in B2B marketing than in B2C marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more B2B marketers (71%) than B2C marketers (66%) use video in their content marketing efforts.

With all this considered, it’s about time that you turn your attention towards YouTube, as it’s the go-to platform for video content. You might have shied away from the platform before because you’ve never used it for content marketing and you’re not sure how to start a successful channel. So, check out this guide on how to start a YouTube channel from scratch and use it to grow your brand.

Step 1: Creating a Google account

If your company already has a dedicated Google account, you can skip this step and move on to the next. If not, your first move is to create one.

Since Google won’t publicly link your account details with your YouTube account, the name and email address don’t have to be associated with your brand. However, it’s better to use a dedicated company account so you can keep your private and business communications separate. This will also make it easier to organize your YouTube messages and notifications in one place.

First, go to the “Create Your Google Account” page. You can either use your existing company email or create a new one. Enter the necessary details then click on “Next” and that’s it.

Create a google account - how to start a youtube channel

Step 2: Creating a brand channel

Although you automatically get a personal YouTube account when you set up your Google account, it’s crucial that you create a brand account. This will make it easier to customize your channel with your brand name and info, share access with others, etc.

First, log in to YouTube using your new Google account. Click on the user icon at the top right corner of your screen and choose “Settings.”

Start a brand channel - how to start a youtube channel

Then click on “Create a new channel” and this will give you the option to create a brand account. Enter the business name or the name that you’d like to use for your official YouTube channel and click on “Create.”

Create a new channel - how to start a youtube channel

Having a brand YouTube account will give you access to critical YouTube analytics data so you can keep track of how your channel and videos are performing. You can then use these insights to fuel your video marketing efforts.

Step 3: Branding your channel

YouTube is just like any other social media platform in that your brand identity needs to be consistent and prominently visible. When people watch your videos or visit your channel, they should instantly know who your brand is and what it’s about. The best way to do that is by optimizing your channel artwork.

For the sake of consistency, you can use the same cover image and profile photo as you use on other social media platforms. But even if you plan on creating dedicated channel art just for YouTube, make sure it aligns with your brand colors and visual identity.

National Geographic uses the brand’s recognizable yellow rectangle logo as their profile picture. And although they’ve used the channel cover art to promote new episodes of their “Cosmos” show, they’ve still branded it with a logo at the bottom.

NatGeo - how to start a youtube channel

Step 4: Planning your content

One of the most challenging steps to start a YouTube channel is the process of brainstorming content ideas. Your YouTube content theme will largely depend on the type of product you’re selling and the type of audience you’re targeting. But in general, informative and educational videos should take center stage.

According to the Wyzowl study we looked at earlier, people were most keen on seeing educational and explainer-style videos from brands, with 36% of respondents voting for them. 14% said that they wanted to see more product demos.

As for the most popularly-used types of content in marketing, explainer videos got the top vote, with 72% of marketers creating them. 49% created presentation videos and 48% created testimonial videos. So your main focus should be on educating and informing your audience, teaching them to do something, and reassuring them through testimonial videos.

Chewy, the pet product retailer uses its brand YouTube channel to share informative videos that are highly valuable to pet owners. Besides showcasing their products, they also share tips on how to install a pet gate, how to brush your dog’s teeth, pet-friendly recipes, and more. They even share videos of Q&A sessions with vets from time to time. 

Chewy.com - how to start a youtube channel

Once your channel becomes more established and you’ve published different types of videos, see which ones get the most success. In addition, you should also consider running a poll to see what your subscribers want to see from you.

Step 5: Investing in the right equipment

Just like with other social media platforms, you need quality content to gain credibility on YouTube. This doesn’t just end at developing ideas that your viewers will love. You should also invest in equipment and tools that will help you turn those ideas into reality. The basics will include a DSLR or mirrorless camera and a decent microphone, but you should also consider studio lighting and tripods if your budget allows for it.

In addition, you’ll also need simple video editing software for basic edits. This will allow you to cut out unnecessary scenes and bloopers, minimize background noises, etc. If you’re just starting out, experiment with simple programs like Apple iMovie or Windows Movie Maker before you decide to invest in advanced tools.

Step 6: Optimizing for YouTube SEO

It’s not enough to start a YouTube channel and hope for the best; you also have to work on growing your network and gaining more subscribers. And for that, you need to improve your chances of getting discovered by the right people.

This means optimizing your videos and channel for YouTube SEO so that when people search for relevant content, they have a better chance of finding you. Here are a few key tips to help you do that:

  • Use relevant keywords in your channel and video description. Popular keyword tools like Ahrefs and Keywordtool.io can give you keyword suggestions specifically for the platform.
    Keyword tool - how to start a youtube channel
  • Tag your YouTube videos to further improve your chances of discovery. When you add relevant tags to your video, the YouTube search engine can better understand its content and when to display it in search results. Use tools like the Tubics YouTube Tag Generator to get tag recommendations.
  • Use attractive thumbnails that will get people to click on your video and increase video views. The more views you get, the better your chances of discovery. Choose the most appealing images and add text overlays or graphics to make your thumbnails pop. See how the top search results for “DIY home decor” have eye-catching thumbnails.
    DIY - how to start a youtube channel

Step 7: Creating a channel trailer

Another way to engage people when they visit your channel is by adding a trailer video about what they can expect from you. Explain what your brand is about and what kind of videos you create so that people will instantly realize why they should subscribe to your channel. This trailer video will auto-play when people visit your channel and engage them immediately.

Other than explaining what your channel is about, you can also use this section of your channel to explain what your product does and how it adds value to people’s lives. Hello Fresh greets people with a video that highlights stories from real customers.

HelloFresh - how to start a youtube channel

Step 8: Growing your network

Once you’ve followed the basic steps to start a YouTube channel, you should work towards growing your network so you can truly leverage the platform. This will involve a lot of promotion efforts such as sharing your videos through other social media channels, displaying your channel link everywhere, and more.

You can also run ads within the platform to reach people whose interests align with your products. Additionally, reach people outside of the platform through retargeting ads. Keep track of people who’ve shown an interest in your brand by visiting your site and retarget them with social ads that promote your YouTube channel. Use Rebrandly’s link retargeting tool to pull this off.

The bottom line

If you’ve been planning to start a YouTube channel to grow your video marketing efforts, this guide should help you understand all the necessary steps to get started. But remember that it’s not enough to learn how to start a YouTube channel, you should be equally invested in developing high-quality content and promoting your channel.

For this, consider investing in high-quality equipment that will strengthen your efforts. And don’t forget to promote your channel through both paid and organic methods.

Got any tips on starting a YouTube channel? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Further reading:

This article is about:

  • How to start a YouTube channel
  • Tips on starting a YouTube channel
  • YouTube SEO
Angelo Rosati
Growth Marketing Manager at Rebrandly. +10 years in digital marketing, MBA, Volunteer, Team Leader.