Tips for Creating Great YouTube Content: Part 1 – Planning

11 mins read
hand holding cellphone with YouTube on the screen

This article is designed to provide some tips on creating great content for your business’s YouTube channel, and to discuss the 1st step in creating that content: Planning.

YouTube is the world’s leading video website and is the second most visited website worldwide. With 2.3 billion active users every month, and increasingly more people using YouTube as a search engine for entertainment, news, information, instructions, and more, now is the time for you to create a YouTube channel for your business! Digital advertising is the least-expensive form of advertising available to you, having outpaced television, print, and broadcast. YouTube is free to use and is the easiest way to dive into the world of digital advertising, as it is easily linked to and from your business’s other social media accounts or websites.

Previously, we published a series on The Benefits of YouTube for Your Business, and now that you know how YouTube can be incredibly beneficial to your business, it’s time to figure out how to create great content to engage with your audience and promote your brand to its BIGgest potential!

First, it is important to recognize the difference between your content and your channel, and to establish how you want the two to interact. It’s one thing to create individual videos, upload them to the same channel, and leave it at that. It’s another to really consider your channel and its identity, which will allow you to establish a following and maintain branding. By placing your emphasis on creating content for your channel you will always remember the greater picture and greater puzzle that each video will fit into. As a collective, the content you publish to your channel should emphasize your company’s personality and values. That is not to say your content should all follow one formula, as you want to keep things fresh and creative, but maintaining that baseline of your company’s core identity, establishing channel branding practices, and working to create a cohesive channel are the first steps in becoming a great content creator on YouTube.

There are 2 main steps to creating great YouTube content, and focusing energy on both will ensure your content will be interesting, engaging, and well-targeted to your audience. In this article, we will discuss the 1st step: Planning.

1. Planning

While getting in front of a camera and just starting to film can be exciting, you always want to spend quality time planning and preparing to create your content. By taking the time to evaluate your audience, market, scripts, and more, the actual filming and creating step of this process will run smoothly and effectively. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

    1. Who is my audience?
    2. What does my brand represent for my audience?
    3. How can I best engage with my audience?

Taking the time to evaluate your audience, their needs, and the best ways to engage with them will enable you to target your content much more effectively than creating videos for a general, mass audience. This is the time to do some market research into your target audience and establish what your viewers are interested in, what they want, and who they are. There are many sources for doing this kind of market research, and the more sources you use, the more complete your information will be! Some recommended places to start your research are the Stats Canada, Stats Canada Business and Consumer, Living in Saskatchewan, and Tourism Saskatchewan websites. You can also go direct to the source and speak with people in the demographic/audience you are trying to reach.

Pro Tip: Enabling subtitles and translations in the publishing process will make your video content more accessible and will open your video to a broader market and audience.

Once you understand your audience, it’s time to plan what your video will look like and say. If anyone will be in front of a camera, it is fundamental to begin with a script for your video, detailing what will be said, how it will be framed, and how you will approach the information/material/message you are imparting. When it comes to filming, don’t wing it! Always take time beforehand to prepare, plan, and practice.

Think back on the business or advertisement videos that stick out in your memory. We can almost guarantee that all of them impacted your emotions in some way, and most of them were funny! This is because humour is the number 1 seller in advertising. It entertains, engages, and ultimately convinces viewers of your message. Taking a humorous angle in your video will make sure your audience remembers your video, your brand, and the fun they can have with it. Even if you want to create serious instructional videos, how-to videos, professional story-oriented videos, or onscreen presentations which showcase your professionalism and expertise, injecting humour into these videos even at small levels will keep viewers interested and listening to whatever you have to say. It is especially important to include humour in the first minute of your video, as this will hook your audience into listening and learning all you have to offer.

After you have established your audience, your script, and your video plan, it’s time to prepare the nitty-gritty details. This includes the title of your video, the thumbnail, and the description box. Creating a title that is attractive, snappy or interesting will help your video stand out from the crowd and bring viewers in. Be sure that the tone of your title matches that of the video, and try using a bit of marketing lingo to draw viewers in. Don’t be afraid to get creative, YouTube is an excellent stage for your creativity to shine!

Your thumbnail is also great place to show that creativity, to draw people’s eyes, and get them excited about clicking through for more. While YouTube offers a feature during the publishing process where you can select a thumbnail from a still frame in your video, instead create a thumbnail in a photo editing software. Uploading a good quality, eye-catching thumbnail is crucial, as this will encourage or discourage viewers to seek more of your content. Keep the thumbnail bright and interesting, including some text to intrigue your viewer. Be sure to also include your logo in each of your thumbnails, that way even if someone does not watch your video this time, your brand is still being represented!

Pro Tip: When creating thumbnails for your channel, try varying their appearance! Using the same formula to create thumbnails might be the easiest route, but after a while your audience will stop being able to or even be interested in differentiating the videos. Keeping your video thumbnails varied will lead to more interest from your audience.

Finally, the last step in your planning process is to create a description box. It’s best to keep your description simple, as YouTube is a video platform and your audience will not likely want to read several paragraphs below the video. If there is any information you need to impart in the description box, keep it simple, and be sure to include links to your business’s other social media accounts and website.

Well done! You’ve finished all of your planning, and now it’s time to get to the fun stuff: creating your content! Where to begin? How can you create a video from your planning that will keep your audience engaged, excited, and wanting to learn more about you, your brand, your products, or your services?

Join us in the next instalment of this series, Tips for Creating Great YouTube Content: Production, when we will answer all of these questions and more!

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