Monday 30 January 2017

Optimising and Monetizing YouTube-

Optimising and Monetizing YouTube-

Earning from Social Media – YouTube

Nearly all businesses today are waking up to the fact that using Social Media can benefit their bottom line in many ways, but the issue is how to use that Social media to its best advantage.  The modern, young businessman living in a first world country has grown up with exposure to all forms of social media and is extremely comfortable using the various platforms, and they understand the ramifications of using those platforms.  Unfortunately, older generation business people and many that have grown up in third world countries have not had the exposure to social media that their counterparts have and thus are not fully appreciative of what opportunities these platforms can offer their businesses.

This article is designed to try and assist the businessman that is not conversant with YouTube, on what it is, and how it can assist the bottom line.   Before covering how you can use it, a little of the site’s history.

History of YouTube

YouTube was developed by three young men, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all employed by PayPal at the time.  The site went live on the 14th February 2005.  It was designed to allow people to share videos that they had made and it proved to be wildly popular.  Like many dot-com start-ups, YouTube started from a nondescript office in a garage with $3.5 million in start-up capital from Sequoia Capital. Within months it had outgrown its premises, and its infrastructure and a further $8 million was invested as the capital market started to take note of the company. By the middle of 2006, it was one of the most popular sites on the Net with 65,000 new videos being posted daily and a viewership of around 100 million views per day.  Toward the end of 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for the sum of US$1, 65 billion.  This sale was in response to copyright issues that were raising their heads as YouTube does not censor anything uploaded.  It would be impossible to view the millions of clips that are uploaded each day, and often users include film, music and other copyrighted material which causes problems around that copyright.  The popularity of YouTube has continued to grow, and now there are several additional features that make the site very popular for business people.

Statistics for 2016/2017

To give some idea of how important this social media outlet can be to your business and how you will have to bring a great deal of creativity to your use of this platform, here are some statistics from 2016/2017 for you to consider:

·        The estimated number of people that use this platform – 1,3 billion

·        Each minute of the day approximately 300 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube

·        Every day, 30 million viewers worldwide watch 5 billion video clips

·        It is estimated that 8 out of 10 young people (18-49 years) watch YouTube each month

·        Male viewers account for 62% of the audience and females 38%

·        Viewers by age category: 18-34 – 34%, 35-54 – 42%, Over 55 – 24% .

·        Of the billions of clips on YouTube, just over 10,000 generated over a billion views

·        Viewers from outside of the US account for more than 80% of daily visitors

·        YouTube’s mobile platform accounts for 1 billion views every day, and each visit lasts, on average, 40 minutes

·        Approximately 20% of viewers will click out of a video after the first 10 seconds making a good introduction mandatory

·        Mobile revenue is up double year on year

·        YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network

·        YouTube is now available in 76 different languages covering more than 95% of the population of the internet

·        In 2015 PewDiePie was the most successful YouTube channel earning US$12 million.

·        Year on year, the number of channels earning six figure dollar amounts is up by 50%

·        The number of advertisers on YouTube has risen over 40% year on year, and the top 100 advertisers have increased their spend by over 60% year on year

·        YouTube presumably generates most of its revenue via advertsements

YouTube Terminology


Every entity that intends to upload content to YouTube must have a unique account.  This account identifies you.


A channel on YouTube is the ‘homepage’ for a YouTube account.  It will reflect the background color that you choose along with information about the channel.  It will also show the videos that have been uploaded by the account holder as well as comments, subscribers, a discussion forum and most of the common social network features.


Any item such as a video, podcast or blog needs somewhere to live on the net.  Many companies store their information on their own servers, but there are many companies that offer web hosting services, but for specific items such as video, it is best to use a dedicated storage entity such as YouTube.


A hashtag is a means to annotate a message, and it is always preceded by the hash sign (#).  All social media networks use these hashtags as a means of allowing users to easily search for messages related to one reference.


A podcast is a digital file that is created and stored for later downloading, usually to a portable device, for later viewing.   It can also refer to a series in which several episodes are amalgamated into one file.  Most podcasts will allow you to register and automatically get notifications of updates.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

This is a means of advertisers to pay for advertising on-line and is based on the number of times that viewers click on a particular advertisement.

Social Capital

This is the social goodwill and positive reputation that stems from any organization’s relationship with other entities on the internet.


A webinar is an online seminar. Webinars can be hosted by individuals or companies, but most ask you to register before granting access to the data stream.


A vlog is a blog entry that uses video to tell the story instead of words.

What must I have to access YouTube?

YouTube can be accessed through almost any form of personal digital hardware; desktop PC’s, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices such a smartphones.  You will also need a fairly high-speed internet connection.

Getting started on YouTube

The first thing that you need to do, should you wish to upload content to YouTube, is to create an account.  It makes no difference if you are an individual or a business, you must start with an account.  There are several things that you need to consider when creating your account:

·        Google owns YouTube so you must be in possession of a Google account before you start.  If this is for business purposes, it is not recommended that you use a personal account in this link, rather set up a new Google account specifically for the business.  It can be managed by one individual but do not allow an individual to use his/her account to set up your business account on YouTube.

·        When selecting a name for the Google Account, choose wisely.  Use your brand or company name as it will be used to access Google+ and monitor your statistics etc., so be wise.

·        Try to select an account name that is short and sweet and simple to remember.  Long, complex names with numbers or special characters will not be remembered by the on-line community, and you will run the risk of losing your viewers.

·        Remember that Google will automatically create a YouTube Channel for you

·        Click on the My Channel button, and at the bottom of the screen, you will see a link asking if you want to appear on YouTube as a different name.  If you follow this link, you will be able to type in your company name or the brand name that you want to use.

Costs of using YouTube

Setting up a normal YouTube account will cost you nothing. Uploading and sharing video content is also free of charge.

Should you want to advertise on YouTube, you can upgrade your account to be a ‘branded account’ and you will then pay each time a user clicks on your advert.

How will YouTube benefit my business?

YouTube can be of great benefit to your business but like any social media channel it must be managed properly, and care must be taken of the viewers that visit your channel.

Don’t think that YouTube will only be useful for promoting or advertising your products.   The comments below your video content are linked to Google+ making YouTube an influential social platform.  Using this channel wisely will definitely promote the visibility of your small business.

Content, content, content

YouTube like any social media platform relies upon fresh content on a regular basis.  Ensure that you load new content frequently otherwise your viewers will lose interest.

You can use webinars and webcasts to add content to your channel.  Break them up into easily managed bites and post them one day after the next, almost like a serial on television, to draw your viewers back every day.

Design and video short tutorials or product demonstrations and seriously consider the production of a company profile for your small business.  Arrange to have the premises and staff filmed and give your viewers an idea of who they will be dealing with.  Often customers only know a voice on the telephone, and it would be helpful if they could put a face to that voice.

Video Length

YouTube’s default length for video is 15 minutes and for most of what you want to do that should be plenty of time.  Viewers will rarely spend a long time on any one video so make it short, snappy and attractive, so you keep their interest.

You can extend the default length via the video upload page on YouTube.

Don’t forget to include a Call to Action

Do not just post a video; make sure you include some form of a call to action.  A call to action could be an invitation to subscribe to your e-mail list, subscribe to your YouTube channel, telephoning you for more information, or sharing your video on some other social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter.

Interact with your viewers

Viewers will leave comments after viewing your video.  Make sure that you check these comments on a very regular basis and answer them! Do not be tempted to simply put a dry answer such as ‘Thank you for your interest’ as a response to every comment.  This type of ‘cookie cutter’ response will lose you viewers at an ever increasing rate.  Take the time to personalize the response; you will find that your viewers will respond in a similarly warm manner.

Think about your titles

An understanding of how people search will stand you in good stead when you are considering a title for your video.  People do not search for ‘product demonstration,' they will search as they do on Google so when capturing a title for your video make sure that it reflects the product and not simply the fact that it is a product demo.  For example, if you are marketing knives and you have a video showing how they are used, do not title the video ‘Product Demo’ but rather use something along the lines of ‘Prepare food like a professional chef with XYZ Knives.'  This will give you far more hits via a search engine than simply saying product demo.

Pay attention to the Category and Tags

Remember the statistics quoted earlier in the article?  If you want your video to be found amongst the thousands uploaded each day, pay attention to the means that people use to find them.  When you upload video content to YouTube, you will be asked to assign a category and keywords to use as tags.  Pay special attention to these.  There are several categories to choose from and try to use as many of the tags suggested by YouTube before adding your own.  These tags are suggested based on actual searches done so they are popular keywords and you do want to have your video found!  If we go back to our example of knives, don’t just put knife, add chef’s knife, paring knife, fish knife, bread knife, vegetable knife, steak knife, etc.

Spend time on your description

Spend time and think carefully about putting together a clear, concise and attractive description for your video.  Add a link back to your website or to your blog, if people want more information.

Don’t advertise rather entertain

If you want to advertise on the YouTube platform, it may be better to go to Google Adwords and set up advertisements that will be focused on specified demographics.  On your channel, rather aim to entertain than advertise, people will return again and again if you can make your channel entertaining 

Try a collaborative effort

Collaborations are an excellent way of promoting your small business.  Viewers enjoy them, and they can attract an entirely new crop of followers.  Look around for a business that complements your business (not a competitor!) and pitch an idea to them for a collaborative effort.  Again, going back to our example about knives, try finding a popular cooking channel and suggest that you collaborate on a piece that features them cooking and using your knives.

Customer testimonials

Check the comments section very carefully and if there is a customer or viewer that seems particularly complimentary, try and get them to produce a short piece for you.   Ask your repeat customers to also produce a short piece or ask them to pop in, and you arrange for someone to film a piece for you, even better would be to go to their premises and see the products in action with the customer providing the commentary.   Remember the old adage that a picture is better than a thousand words; well let the video picture take the place of those thousand words that few people will read.

Say yes to subtitles and no to annotations

Turn on the subtitle functionality on your YouTube video.  Not only will hearing disadvantaged people thank you but also those people whose home language is not the same as yours will be able to work out what is being said rather than just looking at the pictures.  Subtitles are optional so those that do not want to see them, never will but those that can make use of them will.

Pop-up annotations are exceedingly irritating, and you will find few viewers who appreciate them.  If you do have information that you want to share, place it in the comments or description sections.

Company Profile to be in tip top condition

Ensure that your YouTube and Google+ profiles are filled in completely and that all the information is accurate.  Brief staff that phone calls and comments are to be dealt with immediately so that customers feel welcome to your business.

Don’t forget to market your YouTube presence

It is highly likely that your YouTube channel is only one of your social media personas.  If you are on Facebook or Twitter, market your videos via those channels as well to provide a holistic view of your company.

Copyright – obey the rules

Do not, under any circumstance, break the copyright rules. You cannot use music or content created by other people without their permission and paying for the privilege.  It may seem simple to take a favorite piece of music and use it on your video but that is not permitted, and you may find your clip being removed and you may be barred from the site for subsequent infringements.

If you are uncertain, do not use it.  Make sure you check if something is copyright protected or not before you use it.   You can search the internet for copyright free music so be careful with what you choose to include.

YouTube Terms and Conditions

Like all on-line sites, YouTube also has pages and pages of terms and conditions couched in legal language.  Here are some of the major terms and conditions that have been simplified somewhat.  Please note that these are the usage terms and conditions appropriate for using this site to enhance your business.

·        Visiting YouTube automatically binds you to their terms, conditions and privacy policy.

·        If you embed a YouTube player into your own website, you may not use it to create a site that is in competition to YouTube (i.e. you cannot use their software against them).

·        You are required to supply accurate information when completing your account details and you are responsible for keeping those account details secure.

·        YouTube is not accountable for any damage caused by the unauthorized use of your account by a third party.

·        You will be held accountable for any damage your account causes YouTube.

·        You are not permitted to trawl YouTube for information using an electronic application (i.e. a spider)

·        If material is downloaded from YouTube, any copyright information may not be changed

·        YouTube does not guarantee the confidentiality of any material on its site

·        You are the copyright holder of any material uploaded to YouTube

·        You are responsible for ensuring that all material you upload is your own property or you have the right to use it

·        Once uploaded YouTube has the right to use any material in any way they see fit until you physically remove it from their site.

·        You may not submit anything false that could damage a third party or YouTube itself.

·        You cannot upload any material deemed to be unlawful, defamatory, obscene or objectionable.

·        You cannot sue YouTube for any material that you find objectionable, obscene, inaccurate or inflammatory.

·        YouTube will not guarantee that material uploaded is not objectionable in other countries.

·        YouTube has the right to remove any such material

·        YouTube will also remove any material that violates copyright, and if you contravene this policy more than once, you can be barred from uploading anything to YouTube.

·        The use of YouTube is at your own risk, and they will not be held liable for any virus you get from content on their site

·        You guarantee that you are over 18 to hold an account or you must have a parent’s consent if you are over 13 and under 18.

·        You cannot use this site if you are under 13 years of age

·        You may not transfer your account to someone else

·        The domicile for any legal action is San Mateo County in California

·        You may only sue YouTube for any infraction within 12 months of that infraction.


If you feel the need to place a disclaimer on your channel, there are several that you can use free of charge.  This disclaimer covers copyright and fair use issues.

What can I upload to YouTube?

You can upload anything that you have created that does not contravene YouTube’s terms and conditions. 

For the small businessman who is trying to promote his business, you can create ‘how-to’ clips showing uses for your products, teaching videos, originally composed music; in fact anything that can easily be transferred to video.

Some hints for creating an entertaining video

Creating an entertaining video is a skill, like any other, that needs to be learned and then practiced.  Here are a few hints to get you started, but there are many sites on the internet that will give you far more detailed information.  When you start out, preparing a video will not be a five-minute process so allow yourself plenty of time to get it right. 

·        Look at other videos on channels that you like and see what structure is used.  For example, for a ‘how-to’ video you could have a short introduction with a photograph of your finished product, you could speak over this or simply find a nice piece of music and use that, followed by a few minutes of ‘doing’ and then a short conclusion.  As with anything, planning is the key to success so spend the time working out what you would like to do.

·        A good idea is to find a catchy piece of music that is copyright free or free to use and always use it at the start of your videos – it will become your company’s song.

·        If you are uncertain of being able to maintain an entertaining patter whilst filming, shoot the video with no sound and add a voice over later by using YouTube’s editing application.  In that way, you can record your sound as many times as you wish until you are satisfied with the result.

·        Remember to add subtitles and use them as prompts for your voice over.

·        Smile – you are on camera!  A friendly face will be far more beneficial than a somber one so remember to smile at your audience.

·        Watch where you place your subject, the light, and the camera.  If the light is behind you, you will end up shooting a silhouette.

·        Take into account any noise around where you are shooting.  Don’t make the video in your workshop whilst people are working unless you cut the sound.  Banging and loud engine noise can kill your sound completely.

·        Use a good quality camera.  Don’t be tempted to try and use a webcam if your webcam is more than a couple of years old, as the result will, in all probability, be very grainy.  Invest in a reasonable quality camera, but a recent smartphone will give you excellent results.

Monetizing YouTube

 It makes sense that if you are uploading video to YouTube, the next logical step is to try and ensure that this makes a difference to your bottom line and for this to happen you need to start earning from your channel.

Do not believe that this will be an overnight success as earning money from your channel depends on you attracting thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of viewers to your channel.

If you do have thousands of people visiting your channel, then the time is probably right for you to attempt to earn money from the channel; so how do you go about this?

YouTube Partnership

In order to become a YouTube Partner, you will have to meet certain criteria:

·        Find out if the partnership program is available in the country where you live

·        Are your videos, original and of a high enough quality to be advertiser friendly?  YouTube is unlikely to grant you partner status unless you have 10,000 or more viewers and in the past year your videos have accumulated around 10,000 hours of watch time.

·        Are your videos completely legal in terms of YouTube terms and conditions?

If you answer yes to all of these, then you can apply to become a YouTube partner.  Before becoming a partner, you will need to set up an AdSense account which is linked to either a bank account or a PayPal account, into which your earnings will be paid.  Once you have all these setup, you can select which of the videos in your channel you wish to monetize.

Earning hard cold cash from monetizing your videos is a tough way to earn money using YouTube.  You will need many thousands of followers, and you will need them to watch hundreds of hours of video.  Perhaps you can consider some alternative ways of earning money with YouTube?

Sell your products through an on-line retail environment such as Shopify

Understand that YouTube is probably the largest search engine available after Google, so don’t ignore it.  If you set up an on-line shop with one of the bespoke retail sites (i.e. Shopify), and you create top class videos around your products and their uses, you can then link the video back to your shop and drive customers, that may not find you otherwise, to your on-line retail environment.

Sell your video content via a site such as Yondo

If your aim is to eventually sell your videos, then look to a site such as Yondo which allows the sale of video content.  Build up your following using YouTube and then drive the customer from YouTube to Yondo where you can prove premium content at a cost.   Yondo and similar sites sell pay-per-view, subscriptions or the complete video, so you have choices on how to sell your content.

Use your channel to send customers to affiliate sites

Affiliate arrangements are agreements whereby a retailer will pay a commission to another website for each customer that the external site either refers to the retailer or for each purchase made by a customer that is referred via the external website.

If your videos have a popular following, perhaps a retailer will be happy to have customers referred from your site.

Find a sponsor

Sponsorship is when you find your own advertisers and incorporate their adverts into your videos. 

These ideas will give you somewhere to start with regard to using YouTube as a means of marketing your small business.  Any business person, living anywhere in the world, can use this platform to start getting his/her product out to the global population. 


This article is a brief overview and the writer’s opinion.



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