How to create a YouTube channel & playlist

If you have a smartphone, an internet connection, and a Google account, you have everything you need to start a YouTube channel.

If you're wondering what YouTube can do for your small business, consider this: it can boost your brand's visibility in search engines, attract new followers, and give you a new platform to connect with customers. Plus, YouTube is the second largest search engine (after Google) - it's worthwhile to make sure you're showing up in those search results.

You don't need a dedicated studio or professional equipment to make engaging content for your small business - just get ready to show off your expertise in personable, authentic videos. Here, Vistaprint's Senior Video Production Specialist William Eigenmann shares knowledge, insights, and observations from his YouTube experience.

We'll cover how to:

  • Create a YouTube channel and customize it
  • Make a YouTube playlist
  • Create engaging video content
  • Optimize each video
  • Connect with viewers and followers

How do you make a YouTube channel?

Use your Google account to sign in to YouTube. If you have a personal email and a separate one for your business, you should link your professional account with your new YouTube page.

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If you don't have a Google account, create one here.

Next, go to your YouTube account overview and select 'Create a new channel.' Here, you'll be asked to create a brand account - select a name for your channel that reflects your business name.

Use this video from TeamYouTube as a visual guide to creating a channel.

Once you've set up your new channel, it's time to personalize it. William notes that like your website and social media profiles, it's essential to brand your YouTube channel - make sure to include your logo and incorporate on-brand colors.

On your channel dashboard, click 'Customize channel' to add more details about your business. Here, you can upload a profile photo (we suggest using your brand logo), add a location, and enter keywords that will help people find your videos.

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Keywords should tell people more about what industry you're in, or the products and services you offer. If you're a hairdresser in London, consider using keywords like "beauty," "hair salon,"  "Covent Garden," "color specialist"...you get the idea.

Make sure your profile photo displays well at smaller sizes, and fits nicely in a square or circle crop. William adds, "On every YouTube channel, there's a generous amount of space to add a cover photo. This is an excellent opportunity to show off your brand's personality." Use a jpg file that's 2560x1440 pixels and no larger than 4MB.

Next, click the 'About' tab on your dashboard. Here, you can create a channel description (get ready to use those keywords again!) that tells viewers more about your business. You can also use this space to add links to your website and social channels.


What kind of videos should you make?

You know your business better than anyone - make sure your expertise comes across in your videos. William suggests taking your video content in a few different directions...tutorials, announcements, testimonials, or customer shout-outs.

The types of videos you make depend on the industry you're in. If you're a hairdresser, maybe you can show a time-lapse video of someone's appointment, along with a dramatic before-and-after. If you're a landscaper, think about sharing some of your lawn care secrets via a video series. If you're a dog walker, maybe you can do an 'About' video for each of your four-legged clients.

Many of these videos can be shot from a phone - set up your smartphone on a tripod (or against a secure surface!) to record your workout or film a start-to-finish hair appointment. If you want to use video to make an announcement about your business, take it to selfie mode! Use your front-facing camera to speak directly to existing and potential customers.

We love this time-lapse video of a hairdresser at work.

Whether you use on-screen text or a voiceover, you should be personable - don't be afraid to let your personality shine through! If you do decide to talk on-screen (or use a voiceover), you should think about investing in a microphone. As William says, "bad audio is way more distracting than bad video."

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Like any other social platform, it's important to stay active on YouTube - make sure you're publishing videos regularly. Whether you upload a tutorial on the first Tuesday of the month or share new arrivals in your boutique every Saturday, do your best to stick to a schedule.

How do you make a playlist on YouTube?

Once you've created a few videos, turn them into playlists. Follow these steps to create a new playlist:

  1. Click your icon in the top right corner and select 'YouTube Studio.'
  2. On the left side of the screen, select 'Playlists.'
  3. Click 'New playlist.'
  4. Add a title, and make sure the privacy is set to public.
  5. Click 'Create.'

Now that you've created a playlist, add a description and videos - use the button that looks like an ellipses to select 'add videos.' When choosing which videos to add, William recommends making sure "they're similar in terms of content or type of video. For example, if you have a tutorials playlist, the only videos in that playlist should be tutorials."

How can you connect and interact with potential customers?

When people watch your videos, they'll often leave a rating or a comment. Make sure you monitor this feedback and address the positive and negative feedback - and don't use a cookie-cutter response! Take the time to leave an authentic reply...it could help build trust with a potential customer.

In addition to interacting with customers, it's a good idea to 'like,' subscribe, and share videos of like-minded small businesses. This is a great way to build a network on YouTube and beyond, and can open the doors to partnerships, collaborations, and more.

Ready to create your own YouTube channel? Find more information in this guide from Google and YouTube.

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