It’s important that you understand how to build your personal brand on YouTube. YouTube is the second-largest search engine, and it receives a staggering amount of traffic.
In the U.S. alone, 62% of users access YouTube daily. Additionally, YouTube receives 14.3 billion visits per month. This is more than Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon, and Instagram.
Types of YouTube Searches
Most of your YouTube video traffic comes from people searching for videos that:
Although creating video content can be challenging, it is the best way to present your authentic self, build rapport online, and connect with your viewers.
Before you begin creating videos, it’s important to understand the YouTube environment. The goal is to help you create more effective video content. However, there are pros and cons that you must be aware of.
YouTube Pros and Cons
YouTube SEO Strategy to Build your Personal Brand Online
The objective is to optimize both your YouTube channel and individual videos for your brand. Once your brand is topically associated with your niche, you can then rank your videos in a branded Google search as well.
A branded search includes your brand name and desired keyword phrase. For example, “Brand Velocity, how to build your personal brand on YouTube.”
Once your brand and niche are viewed as a trusted entity, you can also rank for the keyword phrase without your brand name. When people search for your brand, your videos can display simultaneously at the top of YouTube, in a Google video search, and possibly in Google’s search results.
Once you begin receiving traffic, your goal is to invite YouTube viewers to your website or landing page to capture their email addresses. Once you have them on your list, you want to continue to provide content via email to turn your list into an attentive audience.
YouTube SEO Best Practices
To succeed with YouTube, you need to be thorough and incorporate YouTube SEO best practices. It’s also important that your videos are engaging and content-rich to help you attract more video viewers.
The following are the sequential tips for how to build your personal brand on YouTube:
Step 1 Understand your niche audience
To be successful with YouTube marketing, you need to understand the problems and educational desires of your target market.
The video content needs to be about your potential customers’ needs and not promoting your product or services. You also need to quickly get to the point. No Fluff.
Your initial YouTube search traffic is referred to as being at the top of the funnel. This is referred to as cold traffic. So, you want your content to be informational.
By providing unique and original content, you can differentiate your personal brand from your competition to gain an advantage.
You can gain YouTube subscribers and traffic to your website if you give your viewers a few “AHA” moments. You want to convert your website traffic to sign up for your list and ultimately buy from you.
Brand Velocity Program
The Brand Velocity Program is designed to help you build a solid personal brand online. It's an actionable program that provides both training and access to third-party vetted technical resources that can build your branding network.
The program helps you to control Google Page 1 for your personal brand. This approach helps you to gain topical authority and trust with both Google and potential customers.
The other included modules help you to obtain third-party validation and how to create SEO-optimized content using the ChatGPT AI tool.
Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research
Since you’re a subject matter expert (SME) in your niche, you know the important problems that you solve and the questions:
1.Your customers regularly ask you.
2.You provide that they should be asking.
Once you list those questions, it’s time to explore what questions your potential customers are asking in Google and other platforms.
To begin, you can do this for free using the following services:
1. Answer the Public – Provides the questions searchers ask from Google and a variety of sites.
2. AlsoAsked.com – Provides the questions from Google’s “also asked” from keyword search results.
3. UberSuggest – An SEO suite of tools that includes keyword research.
Answer the Public
Provides two free searches per day. You:
· Enter your niche keyword phrase.
· Select your location to receive the questions asked.
They are organized by question type. You can change the diagram display to data, which is text and is easier to read. At the bottom of the results page, the alphabetical search results are listed.
This is the search results provided when your keyword phrase is entered followed by each letter in the alphabet. For example, “Keto Diet A, Keto Diet B, etc.”
You can have two free searches per day. When you enter your keyword phrase, AlsoAsked.com returns Google’s “Also Asked” questions.
The additional value is the keyword phrases presented as a diagram that shows the relationships of the questions.
This is helpful if you decide to create “content hubs.” You can also click on the associated plus sign for each keyword phrase and drill deeper to obtain more questions and relationships,
UberSuggest provides three free searches per day. It provides a sampling of the associated keyword results. If you sign up for a free account, you’ll receive more keywords.
The keyword results provide the monthly search volume and other metrics. Each keyword is color coded for ranking difficulty. Red is extremely difficult.
Yellow is moderately difficult, and Green is easier to rank. UberSuggest also provides the SEO requirements, such as the number of backlinks required to compete for page 1 rankings.
Step 3: Optimize YouTube Channel for Your Brand
Think of YouTube as a social media platform that you can optimize for your brand. It’s important to be thorough to develop and communicate your brand.
Ensure that you use your brand name as your “Channel Name.” You can also add clickable links to your website and social media profiles.
Also, use your branded header and other graphics that align with your other social media profiles. Here are the pixel dimensions:
Your profile picture will appear where your channel is presented on YouTube, e.g., next to your videos and comments. It’s recommended to use a picture that’s at least 98 x 98 pixels and 4MB or less. Use a PNG or GIF (no animations) file. When you upload your image, YouTube lets you crop the image to the required size.
This image will appear across the top of your channel. For the best results on all devices, use an image that’s at least 2048 x 1152 pixels and 6MB or less.
Basic Info Tab
In the basic info tab, you enter your channel description. You can add information about what your channel offers, details about your brand, and what you offer.
In addition to your brand name, include two or three of your primary niche keyword phrases. You only have a thousand characters, so be specific.
Here is YouTube’s "to-do" list to customize your channel.
Video Script Template
This is the most challenging area for most people. Brian Dean, Backlinko provides a free template to help you correctly create a video script that engages viewers.
The video script template is provided in the following formats: Word Doc, PDF, and Google Docs. There are four major parts to his video script formula. He refers to it as the “H.I.C.C.” formula:
· C=Call to Action
It’s important that you follow this video script model.
Fear of Being on Video
It’s no secret that the fear of being on video can cause a panic attack. This fear is so common, that there’s a name for it.
It’s called Scopophobia, or camera phobia. It’s defined as the excessive fear of being watched. According to Harvard Business Review, we’re hardwired to kick into fight-or-flight mode when being watched.
Do you have to appear on camera?
The answer is no, even though it’s advisable to connect with your viewers. Being on camera communicates your authenticity and builds trust.
An alternative is to use PowerPoint or Google Slides set to the 16:9 layout which works well for YouTube videos. You can add your profile pic and logo to the slides, as well as use the slides for bullet points.
It’s advisable to animate the bullet points rather than having a static presentation. You can use a free audio recording program, such as Audacity to record your voiceover.
You can also obtain stock video or record your screen to use in between your slides.
A compromise is to use your smartphone to record a short intro and outro to begin and end your video presentation.
In actuality, practice makes perfect, and you can always re-record until you get it right. The truth is, “No one cares what we look like as much as we do about ourselves.” It’s your authenticity and desire to help your viewers that they see.
Step 5: YouTube Video Thumbnail Creation
Your video’s thumbnail is one of the most important items to help you to be successful on YouTube. It’s what gets the click in a YouTube search.
Best Thumbnail for YouTube Videos
To build your brand, the best thumbnail design must be consistent with your brand and colors. You want to avoid YouTube’s colors which are red, white, and black. Otherwise, your videos can blend in and be missed by searchers.
If you use text on your thumbnail, it needs to be large and readable when reduced for YouTube’s search display. Keep the text short and make it 30 characters or less. Backlinko offers a free thumbnail template to help you.
How To Make Thumbnails for YouTube
Additionally, if you have images that you wish to use, you can use this site to resize your images for YouTube and other social media platforms.
How to Add Thumbnail to YouTube Video
YouTube provides three choices that it selects from your uploaded video. You can click on the desired image to select it. You can get better results by using a custom thumbnail graphic.
To add a custom thumbnail to your YouTube video, you need to verify your YouTube account by adding your phone number. By doing so, you can also upload longer videos.
YouTube Video Thumbnail Size
The following are the thumbnail requirements:
· 1280x720 pixels (16:9 ratio)
· File size needs to be less than 2 megabytes
· File format can be Jpeg, PNG, or GIF (no animation)· Follow the Community Guidelines
How To Change Thumbnail on YouTube Video
To change your YouTube video thumbnail, click on the “upload thumbnail” icon under the thumbnail subheading. Once you upload a new graphic, YouTube will automatically switch to the new thumbnail.
Step 6: YouTube Video Optimization
YouTube video optimization is comprised of several steps:
Video File Name
Rename your video file name using the targeted keyword phrase. You can use your brand name, followed by your niche keyword phrase.
For example, “Brand Velocity-personal branding online.” However, don’t make the file name too long or you may not be able to upload it to YouTube. The file name should be under 31 characters (including spaces).
On a Mac, right-click on the video file and select, “Get Info." Add your brand name and the niche keyword phrases you’re using to optimize your video. The “Comments” section is an editable field. Enter your citation (business) information. This includes your brand name, address, and phone number.
On a PC, right-click and select “Properties” to open the File Properties dialog box. Go to the Details tab and enter your information as described above. Then, click Apply to save the edit.
What Is YouTube SEO?
In addition to the video’s file name and adding comments to the file, YouTube SEO continues when you upload your video. You need to optimize the video’s Title, Description, and Keyword tags.
YouTube SEO Tips
When you upload your video, the Title tag will be the same as the file name. You can edit it, if necessary. The best practice is to have your main keyword phrase at the beginning of the title.
Only use up to around 60 characters to appear in full in search or the title will be truncated. To rank for your brand name, use your brand name at the beginning followed by a niche keyword phrase that indicates what the video is about. For example, “Brand Velocity – How to Build Your Personal Brand on YouTube.” It’s exactly 60 characters.
When someone searches for your brand, all your videos can display at the top of the YouTube search results.
For help with writing your title tags, here is a free YouTube title tag generator.
Begin YouTube’s description tag with the URL you wish to promote. For example, it can be to your website, blog post or landing page. Ensure that you use the https:// or the link won’t be clickable. Follow the URL with the title tag keyword phrases.
The next two sentences need to garner your viewer’s attention. Include your keywords contextually. Then add the rest of your content. You can have up to 5,000 words. Repeat each keyword two to three times to make them stand out to YouTube's algorithm.
Include a call-to-action at the end, as well as include your business citation and links to your YouTube channel and playlist (if included).
If you want some help writing your description, here is a free description generator tool.
Add End Screen to YouTube Video
You can promote four “elements” in each YouTube video End Screen. However, it’s suggested that you use only two or three elements to look less cluttered. The End Screen options are:
Subscribe Button: A clickable button so viewers can subscribe to your channel from your End Screen.
Video or Playlist: Send viewers to a specific video or playlist (even not in your channel).
Channel: Link to another YouTube channel that you want your viewers to visit.
External Site: Send viewers to your associated website or a YouTube-approved site.
Google’s support document explains how to add the End Screen to your YouTube videos.
Step 8: YouTube Video Promotion
Just uploading and properly adding the SEO components to your videos is helpful, however, it’s not enough to attract consistent traffic. There are additional ways to promote your videos including:
· Generating views
· Obtaining video embeds
· Getting backlinks to your videos
· Running YouTube ad campaigns
Hootsuite posted the following article that provides 30 smart ways to promote your YouTube videos.
Step 7: Playlists
A YouTube playlist organizes your video by topic so viewers can easily watch all the associated videos together. A playlist is like organizing your different content by individual folders.
Make sure you fill out the Playlist description. It should explain what the playlist videos are about. Ensure that you include the associate keyword phrases in the description, as well as your brand name.
YouTube SEO Tip: Duplicate your playlist names from your blog post category names. Then when you make a post, you can embed the playlist video into your post.
You can add the blog post link in the video description tag, as well. This provides deep linking to your website.
Over 80% of people prefer video content and it’s the best way to communicate your authentic self to potential customers.
It's important to understand how to build your personal brand on YouTube in 2023, as well as on Google and other search engines.
By publishing videos that provide expert-level helpful educational content, you can become an influencer in your niche.
This allows potential customers to get to know you before they contact you. This approach can provide a major competitive advantage and understanding how to build your personal brand on YouTube is fast becoming a necessity to become successful.
A strong YouTube presence is a component for how to build brand awareness.
If you're not sure whether to build a personal brand or instead, brand your company, check out, "Should You Build a Personal Brand or Brand Your Business Name Online?"
For a comprehensive article on building brand awareness, you'll find this post helpful, "The 2023 Entrepreneur’s Playbook: How to Build Brand Awareness and Drive Business Growth."