YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and home to over 1 billion users. Collectively, this audience is watching a total of 5 billion videos per day. Those are staggering numbers, and yet so many businesses fail to maintain a consistent presence on the massive media platform. It’s a crucial mistake during a time when video marketing is more important than ever. Nearly every brand worth its salt can and should be taking advantage of this traffic.

Whether you’re looking to add to your current strategy or develop a strong new approach to marketing your brand, you’ve come to the right place. Consider this source to be your ultimate YouTube marketing guide packed with industry agnostic tips for creators and entrepreneurs.

We’re going to unpack eight proven strategies that will help market your business on YouTube.

1. Brand your channel.

Don’t let your YouTube channel get lost in the sea of businesses trying to promote on YouTube. Stand out by personalizing your channel and keeping all elements aligned with your brand. This includes your logo, header image, color schemes, custom tags, and video titles.

Make sure the description inside your About Me contains a clear and in-depth explanation of your business. Your YouTube channel should include all relevant social media links. Think of this page as an extension of your website and an information kiosk for those who have yet to visit.

2. Create a business overview video.

A great way to kick things off on your new channel is creating a 2-3 minute introduction video highlighting the main services and culture of your brand. This is a quick and highly effective way to provide key information to potential customers on YouTube.

Have your CEO introduce themselves or get creative with a fun and exciting animated video. Whatever you decide, the goal is to craft a compelling visual story that builds interest in your product and draws users back to the home site.

3. Use attention-grabbing thumbnails.

YouTube’s creators will be the first to tell you that a good thumbnail can give an average video some above average viewership. It’s such a key component to the branding of certain channels that YouTube caused an uproar while testing auto-generated thumbnails.

What makes a video thumbnail great? For starters, use an image that showcases the most exciting action of the video. This can be a close up of a featured product or ideally part of a screenshot from the video itself. Adding a thin colorful border around your thumbnail can also help grab viewers’ attention. Just make sure you’re using the updated thumbnail dimensions.

4. Customer testimonials.

Build your reputation and gain the trust of viewers by posting video testimonials from customers who have used your products or services. This will establish your brand as a reliable source of information and service. It’s important to focus on this area of business not only to keep customers but to ensure bad reviews are more than just a few keystrokes away.

We’ve all seen 5-star quotes from customers listed on a company’s website, but a solid video review allows people to see a relatable smiling face and in some cases even the final results of your work. Include a heartfelt moment or funny story to connect with your audience and show the human side of your business. A quick and honest example of how your team’s work improved someone’s life can go a long way.

5. YouTube influencers.

If you’re not afraid to invest time or money into influencer marketing, another great option for promotion on YouTube is seeking brand placement with YouTube Stars. Partner up with an influencer whose voice and demographic aligns with your brand. Successful YouTubers have massive audiences and cult followings that have already established a sense of trust. If your brand fits into that relationship, it’s a proven method of attracting new customers.

There are countless ways your brand and the influencer can both benefit from the partnership. The most effective approach is to integrate your product or service into the content they’re already creating. Invite YouTube to take part in a collaborative video, become an advertiser on their channel, send them products to be reviewed, written into skits, or as a part of a sponsorship. It’s a hands-off approach that can maximize your influence on various channels.

6. YouTube ads.

YouTube Ads are the new commercial for this generation of buyers. Set a budget and put your brand right in front of the videos users are going to YouTube for in the first place. Industry experts are finding that no other media compares to how quickly we digest information from a video. Companies are wasting no time at creating short video ads showcasing products, celebrity endorsements, how to videos, and more.

The best part is you don’t necessarily need to break the bank for this. Most businesses are starting with at least $10 per day for local campaigns. Highly customizable campaigns with in-depth tracking make YouTube Ads a force to be reckoned with.

7. Create a viral video.

This is the golden ticket of video marketing. It’s hard to track exactly what’s going to go viral in the ever-changing world of social media. It might be something funny. It might be something inspiring. It’s unpredictable. You’re probably going to fail more than you succeed while reaching for this goal especially if your content feels more corporate than organic. One thing, however, is certain- trying to create viral content is worth a shot.

iHop broke the internet when they shared a video teasing a name change to announce they were adding burgers to the menu. There’s a slew of other examples in which companies tripled their traffic through clever marketing videos intentionally or unintentionally. The best practice for this style of content is to know your brand, the way people perceive it, and staying up-to-date to capitalize on current or upcoming trends.

8. Be consistent.

It initially reads as fluff, but it’s probably one of the most important rules on this list for developing a viable Youtube channel in the long term. Consistency is the only way to build an active and engaged audience. Schedule a time to release valuable content that is meaningful to your demographic, then stick to the schedule. Nothing kills an audience faster than inconsistency (assuming your content doesn’t put them to sleep).

You’re finally up to speed and ready to start growing your YouTube following. Remember, YouTube has an audience that can smell phony marketing tactics a mile away. Keep things transparent, creative, and fun for the best results. Go get em’.