Between 2020’s pandemic, hurricanes and wildfires, it’s never been more important to have a solid disaster recovery (DR) plan. INAP’s Jennifer Curry, SVP, Product and Technology, recently spoke with Tech Republic on this very subject. The necessity of DR is widely known, but getting started isn’t always so simple. When a company launches a disaster recovery planning process, it can be daunting task for the IT team to know what systems they need to be made available and in what order. Do we include all the marketing servers? Do we need our HR server right away? The best starting point to plan your DR strategy is to run a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).
A BIA allows a company to better understand what services are needed and in what order they need to continue running. There is no right or wrong process in a BIA, but a few things must be taken into consideration when it comes to putting one together. Check out the list below to get started, and then download INAP’s Business Impact Analysis template, linked below.
Considerations for the Business Impact Analysis
What essential apps and workloads does the company need to provide in the immediate aftermath of a DR scenario?
Which departments would be providing those services? These departments will need to provide information on what systems they require to continue serving internal and external customers. These may include auxiliary systems as well.
Does IT have a list of the systems required by each department to continue business as usual in a DR event?
Each department, no matter what service they provide, needs to be taken into account. This helps everyone understand the many moving parts between different groups. For example, while the accounting group has their own dedicated servers for their accounting app, they may be using a file server for storing data files that’s shared by everyone in the company. In all likelihood, this file server would have been considered non-essential until the BIA was done.
What important internal functions and services are essential to operations?
There may be times when IT assumes a department may not be critical in the plan until they understand all the services it provides. For example, HR payroll systems are essential to a functioning business and needs to be included in the plan. Similarly, marketing and communications systems may need to operate to run critical internal communications during a DR scenario. These functions keep information moving through the necessary channels. Be sure to thoroughly review the functions of all departments.
What kind of timeline should IT follow in a DR scenario?
It is important to understand the timeline in which each app and workload is needed to be brought back online. Some systems simply don’t need an RTO (recovery time objective) of under a few hours. Creating a detailed hierarchy and timeline will save money and logistical headaches. What lower priority systems need to be taken into account? Think about your media storage, archival storage and business intelligence applications and databases and similar systems and where they fit into the plan.
As you use the above considerations to guide your business impact analysis creation, be sure to run your analysis with key team members of each department to create a holistic business continuity document.
Ready to get started on your BIA? Below you can download INAP’s ready-to-use template. You can also check out this post from the ThinkIT blog for more tips on creating this important document.
So, you want to start a business? To strike out into the unknown, discover new opportunities, change the world, and make some money along the way?
The road to becoming your own boss can be a long one. But we’ve got you covered.
In this guide, you’ll learn all the steps — from creating a basic business plan to hiring your first employee — that you need to start a successful small business. You’ll learn how to:
So, without further ado, let’s get right to it and learn how to start a business.
The Big Idea
Every creative endeavor has two halves: the idea and its execution.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs can come up with some type of idea but end up struggling with the second part.
Need proof? First, how many friends of yours have revolutionary app ideas? Now, how many have actually developed an app, released it, and built a successful business out of it? Chances are, the answer to the second question is a lot lower.
When you start your own business, you need to have an execution plan ready from the get-go. So, let’s start things off on the right foot and make sure that you break your big idea down into small, realistic steps.
1. Refine Your Business Idea
Few things kill a new business like an idea that’s way too vague. How do you even start building your business if your idea is simply to “make a new type of social network?”
The answer? You don’t. You either refine your idea into something tangible, or you put it to the side.
But most ideas can be saved with a dash of refinement and a bit of polish. The key to doing so is asking the right questions:
Why are you starting this venture?
Who is your target demographic?
What product or service are you offering?
When will it be available, and when would someone use this product?
Where will your product be available?
By answering these questions, you can turn a vague idea like “start a new social network” into “start a new social network for US-based professionals and recent college graduates to connect and find job opportunities in their alumni networks.”
Once you get through your first round of questions, ask more questions: Why would this target demographic use this over LinkedIn? What are the features that separate it from the competition?
Refining your idea is like making a sculpture out of a block of marble. Start by cutting away big chunks on your first pass, and then chip at the little details once you’re further along.
But remember that sometimes, ideas simply won’t work, and it’s often more important to know when to give up on an idea than how to refine it. There’s no shame in admitting that a business idea isn’t a good one and putting it to the side so you can focus your efforts on another one.
2. Create a Business Plan
The next step is to start working out the nitty-gritty by working out a detailed business plan. Besides serving as a guide, your business plan can also come in handy when looking for investors or grants.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a traditional business plan should have these elements:
Executive Summary: Sum up your business. Why will it be successful? What is your mission statement, and what are you offering? In short: Who are you as a business, and why should anyone care?
Company Description: Expand on some of the points in your executive summary. What problems does your business solve? What is your team like? What’s your competitive advantage? Your company description will likely overlap with your executive summary to some extent, but you need not only expand — you can include new information here as well.
Market Analysis: Explain how your product fits into the market. What are competitors doing? How can you do it better?
Service or Product Line: Describe the products or services you’re selling in detail. Include information about patents, the product’s lifecycle, and its benefits. This information will form the backbone of your business model.
Marketing and Sales: Explain how your marketing and sales strategies work. How will you get new customers? How will you keep them?
Funding Request: Include information about how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you plan to use that money for.
Financial Projections: Prove that your business is stable and ready for success by projecting what your finances will look like in the next few years.
3. Decide on a Business Name
Chances are that if you’ve made it this far, you already have some type of working name. But if you don’t, make sure you iron one out by this point.
When coming up with your business name, keep these tips in mind:
Your name should be catchy and sound good when you say it out loud
You should be able to trademark your name
The name should be somewhat related to your product or service’s benefits or features
Make sure you can get a .com domain for it
Your name should be easy to spell
Some entrepreneurs get backed up at this stage. While it’s definitely important to make sure your business name has some allure to it, don’t overthink it and hold your entire business plan up just because you can’t settle on the perfect name. Give yourself a reasonable amount of thinking time, and go with your favorite option after that time has elapsed, even if you’re not thrilled with it.
4. Define Your Brand
Businesses are like people — they have names and personalities.
Once you’ve settled on a name for your business entity, start to consider what other features you want people to recognize your brand by.
At this point, you’ll want to design a logo and set some brand guidelines. What tone will your business take in its communications? What colors represent it?
Oatly, for example, has defined itself through its playful and irreverent copywriting, its logo, and the colors blue, brown, black, and white.
Ideally, your branding should be recognizable enough that even if you release a new product, customers will immediately realize that it’s a new addition to your product line.
Secure Your Space on the Web
With COVID-19 still raging across the world and society showing no signs of retiring social distancing restrictions anytime soon, maintaining a strong digital presence has become more important than ever.
Luckily, starting a website and building a social presence is easier than ever before. Here’s how.
Related: 11 Ways Small Businesses Can Pivot to Survive a Crisis
1. Register a Domain
Your domain is the address that people will type in when they want to visit your website. It’s essentially your online calling card.
For example, our domain is dreamhost.com. If your business were called Doug’s Donuts, your domain might be dougsdonuts.com.
The vast majority of businesses will want to get a .com name. However, other domain extensions, like .ai, .inc, and .net, may be worth consideration in certain cases.
Purchasing and registering a domain is a simple process. All you need to do is search for your desired domain on a reputable domain registrar’s website and purchase it. Most registrars will guide you through the process.
Once you’ve got a domain, you’ll need to connect it to your website. Most website building platforms offer instructions on how to do this.
Overall, the hardest part about registering a domain is finding one that isn’t already taken. In some cases, you may need to get a bit creative by adding words, i.e., Doug’s Delicious Donuts, or change your name entirely so you can get a better domain name.
2. Secure Social Media Accounts
It’s estimated that there are 3.6 billion social media users in 2020. To ensure your business’s survival in the modern business climate, you need to be where your potential customers are — on social media.
But don’t be intimidated — you don’t need to actually develop your social media presence just yet; you just need to get your usernames. Like domain names, usernames on major social network sites are hot commodities and go fast, so you want to lock them down ASAP.
Unfortunately, it’s fairly unlikely that you’ll end up finding that the same username is available across all social media platforms. Most businesses will need to edit their handles slightly or have different accounts per platform (i.e., @dougsdonuts on Twitter and @dougsdeliciousdonuts on Instagram).
Related: 10 Easy Social Media Tips for Your Hard-Working Small Business
3. Create a Website
What use would your domain name be if you had no website to go along with it? Once you have a domain ready to go, it’s time to start building your website.
These days, there are tons of online website builders that make it easy to get a site up and running quickly.
But if you want your website to run on a powerful, tried-and-true platform, building a WordPress site is one of your best options. WordPress powers approximately 38.4% of all websites, so there’s no lack of support, powerful features, and communities to get involved in.
DreamHost offers a drag-and-drop WordPress website builder with shared hosting that combines the ease of a website building tool with the raw power of WordPress. This gives the business owner the best of both worlds.
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Deal with Laws and Finances
Starting a business can sometimes mean navigating a lot of red tape. Between registering your business, structuring it, and opening a bank account, many entrepreneurs quickly find themselves with their hands full.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
1. Find an Accountant and an Attorney
If you’re serious about your business’s success, it’s a good idea to start things off on the right foot and hire an accountant and an attorney. Starting a business is a complex process with lots of legal requirements, and this team will be able to guide you through it and answer the many questions you’re sure to have along the way.
If you’re on a very tight budget or starting your business as a side hustle, you may be able to hold off on this step. But keep in mind that you’re running a risk when you don’t have a professional helping you with complex tax, financial, and legal issues.
Plus, an attorney and accountant will help you figure out how to choose a business structure — the next step in your journey.
2. Decide on a Business Structure
Choosing a business structure is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. The legal structure you choose will determine how you pay taxes and how your business is viewed by government entities.
Importantly, your business structure will determine whether your profits are taxed on a pass-through basis or not. Owners of pass-through businesses include their share of profits as individual, self-employed, taxable income. Owners of non-pass-through businesses pay themselves a salary and report their income and the business’s profits separately.
The most common business structures in the US are:
Sole Proprietorship: This structure can be used by businesses without any employees. All businesses that do not formally register are automatically considered sole proprietor operations.
Partnership: Have a business partner? Partnerships are a simple structure for businesses with two or more owners. Profits are taxed on a pass-through basis.
Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLCs are among the most popular pass-through structures for small businesses. This structure separates personal and business assets so that you can’t lose your house or car if your business goes bankrupt.
Corporation: A corporation is a standalone legal entity. Profits are not taxed on a pass-through basis, so owners need to pay themselves a salary. There are several types, including S Corp, C Corp, and non-profits.
Cooperative: A cooperative is a business owned and operated by a group of people who use its products or services. These people typically own shares in the company, and profits are distributed amongst them.
3. Register with the Government and the IRS
Most business registration is conducted at a state level, so you’ll need to look into your local laws to see what’s required to legally form your business. An attorney can be a great help here.
Once your business is registered, you might need to file to get a federal tax ID called an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can think of an EIN as a Social Security Number for your business. According to the Small Business Administration, you’ll need an EIN if your business does any of the following:
Operates as a corporation of partnership
Files tax returns for employment, excise, or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms
Withholds taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien
Uses a Keogh Plan (a tax-deferred pension plan)
Works with certain types of organizations
If you’re running a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC, you don’t need a separate tax ID — your profits are taxed as personal income.
4. Open a Business Bank Account
Having a bank account for your business can help you keep your personal and business finances separate, making accounting and filing taxes much easier. It also offers an extra layer of protection for your personal assets, maintains a professional image, and allows you to open a business credit card.
You’ll need to have all your business’s formation and tax documents, along with a business license and ownership agreements to open a bank account. Your accountant will be able to help you here — especially if you’re considering applying for a business loan.
5. Purchase Insurance
Many business owners forget this step or simply don’t realize how important it is.
Don’t be one of them. Purchasing liability insurance can sometimes be the only wall that protects you against bankruptcy if you get sued for some reason. Plus, if you hire employees, you’ll legally need to have worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance.
Set Up Your Daily Operations
A business is like a machine. To keep it running smoothly, you need to make sure all the parts fit together and stay well oiled.
Your accounting system is the backbone of your business’s financial operations. Without a good system in place, you won’t be able to process invoices, make payments, etc.
Your best bet here is to speak with an accountant who can help you find a solution that works for your specific needs.
2. Project Management
A robust project management system ensures that projects reach completion in a timely and organized way. Project managers communicate with different team members, contractors, and other external businesses to keep everyone on the same page.
Whether you’re going to be your sole proprietorship’s own project manager or you’re hiring one for your corporation, it can be a good idea to invest in project management software like Asana or Trello.
Related: The 7 Best Web Management Tools for Small Businesses
If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need some type of payroll system. Gusto, Intuit Payroll, and Bill.com are all good options.
If you’re hiring contractors, a payroll platform can also help, but it’s not entirely necessary.
If you’re hiring employees or contractors, you’ll need a way to communicate with each other. While email works fine in most cases, many businesses prefer platforms like Slack, which speed up communication and are more convenient than email.
Businesses that have an e-commerce component will need to set up a shipping system. To figure this out, you’ll need to compare options like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL to see which one best fits your needs.
Related: The 30 Best Apps for Small Businesses in 2020
Build Your Team
A business is nothing without its team members. When building your team, you’ll have to mix and match three types of members.
Employees are full-time or part-time workers. Hiring employees comes with a slew of legal and tax responsibilities, such as paying payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, etc. If things don’t work out with an employee, you can’t just fire them so easily.
However, there are benefits to hiring employees, such as having reliable team members always available at set times. You also get more control over the work produced.
Contractors are typically independent businesses themselves, so you won’t have any legal responsibilities as their employer (outside of what’s covered in your contract). You can hire them at will without a long-term commitment.
However, contractors are independent and not full team members, so you won’t have the same level of control over the work they produce. Plus, they may not be available when you need them — they have their own schedules and businesses to run, after all.
Contractors are useful for businesses that need specific deliverables, like graphic design, writing, web development, etc. But businesses that need operations run around the clock, like customer service, management, etc., will likely want to hire employees.
Some businesses choose to outsource some of their work to third-party vendors. For example, you may choose to hire a third-party call center to field all your customer service requests or for on-site security. However, this is typically only required for larger businesses, so it’s something to keep in mind as you grow.
Grow Your Business
Once you’ve planted your business’s seed, you’ll need to water it so that it grows into a successful startup.
1. Develop a Marketing Strategy
Marketing is essential. Without it, no one will even know your business exists.
Marketing comes in many forms, from content marketing and PPC ads to email marketing. If you’re not familiar with these terms already, it’s a good idea to read up on them a bit.
However, to really get your marketing going in the right direction, you’ll likely want to hire a professional.
Related: 12 Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Local Business
2. Set Goals and Create a Growth Plan
Businesses rarely grow without goals. To ensure your business continues to evolve over time, it’s a good idea to set SMART goals — goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
What does that mean? Instead of setting a goal like “grow my business,” write something like “increase sales by 25% by January.” Now, your goal fulfills the smart criteria.
To build a growth plan, you simply outline a series of these sorts of goals for a period of one or two years. Typically, businesses divide this period into quarters, so you’ll ideally have eight goals for a two-year period.
Ready to Grow Your Business?
Whether you need help finding a target audience, crafting the ideal digital marketing strategy, or outlining your brand values, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.
How to Start Your Own Business: Key Takeaways
Starting a business is a long and arduous endeavor.
But it’s also incredibly rewarding! Few things are as satisfying as seeing others enjoy your hard work and benefit from your products and services.
Really, what could be better than running your own business?
If you’re ready to become a small business owner, DreamHost shared hosting is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get your idea off the ground. For just $2.59/month, we give you everything — a free domain, SSL certificate, professional email address, and privacy protection — you need to thrive online.
While there are no certainties in business, there is one guarantee: Whatever happens, you’ll learn a lot and grow as an entrepreneur. That much is certain.
Whether it’s funny cat videos, a repair how-to, a livestream on your favorite gaming channel, or the latest Carpool Karaoke, you’ve likely watched a YouTube video — or several — today. In fact, the site boasts a usership of more than two billion — almost one-third of the internet!
Founded in 2005 in an office garage, YouTube has grown into a virtual behemoth, contending against contemporary social platforms and following Google as the second largest search engine and second most visited website. It is navigable in 80 languages and sees hundreds of hours of video content uploaded every minute.
Even if you’re not Chewbacca Mom or Justin Bieber (who has YouTube to thank for his mega-success), the video-sharing platform can be a seriously smart way to create and utilize content that elevates and builds awareness of your brand.
We’d go as far as to say that for businesses, YouTube is serious business.
But before you hit record, consult this step-by-step guide to starting a YouTube channel; we cover everything from equipment to engagement to monetization.
Ready to be a (video) star? Read on.
Make DreamHost Your YouTube Partner
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Why Create a YouTube Channel?
We know you’ve got a lot of balls in the air right now, and creating and managing content on a YouTube channel seems like a lot to add to your already-full plate. So let’s talk about why a YouTube channel is so beneficial for your business.
With its massive growth and powerful standing as one of the most trafficked websites, YouTube offers brands the opportunity to boost their visibility as they establish a presence on the site.
The content shared there largely influences customer buying decisions: 68% of YouTube users watched a video to help them make a purchase decision, and a majority of them are doing it at the beginning of their shopping journey. Your content potentially wields a lot of influence.
What’s more, YouTube can effectively access your audiences. YouTube reaches more 18–49 yearolds than any broadcast or cable TV network and flaunts one billion video views per day. Four times as many people prefer watching video on YouTube than on social media platforms, and they’re doing it for long periods of time — average mobile viewing sessions last more than 40 minutes.
Related: Should You Partner With an Influencer to Promote Your Website?
Even with the popularity of YouTube, only 9% of small businesses have started their own channels. As usage continues to grow, there remains a largely untapped opportunity for businesses to reach and engage audiences through YouTube videos.
What’s more, there is potential for content creators to make money from YouTube, earning a living just by making engaging videos. YouTuber Ryan’s World has majorly monetized his channel — with 24.7 million subscribers and makes $26 million a year. Did we mention he’s eight years old?
It’s time to get your business up and running on YouTube. Here are the steps.
How to Start a YouTube Channel (12 Steps)
1. Identify Your Target
Let’s take a moment to zero in on who (and what) your target is. Do some virtual people-watching in your niche and consider who you’re trying to attract. Think about the following questions when identifying the unique sphere your business operates in.
What is your industry?
What is your genre/niche within that industry?
Who makes up your target audience(s)? Why them?
What does your target audience want and need?
What problem or pain point are you trying to alleviate?
The answers to these questions can help you understand who you’ll want to tailor your content to — and what type of content you’ll want to create.
Related: How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
2. Establish Your Type of Content
Creating a YouTube channel is an excellent opportunity for your business to increase visibility. So having the right type of content tailored to your audience is essential for engagement and brand-building.
Once you’ve pinpointed who your target audience is, you can start identifying the type of content that will resonate with them and meet their needs.
And don’t stress over having a Hollywood-level type of video production when creating content. We’ll discuss gear later (see Step 4), but for now, remember that for viewers, relevance to their personal interests is more important than production value. The most valuable content to audiences isn’t necessarily the content backed by a big budget or slick, expensive tech.
In fact, YouTube says 60% of people who have watched videos on the site in the past day tuned into content related to their personal interests.
Clearly, businesses that have identified their target audience — and pinpointed what their needs are — will be much more successful, not only in building a YouTube presence but also in achieving engagement and building their brand.
Based on your own YouTube habits, you know that there are many different types of video content. Here’s a sample list to get the content juices flowing. Think about how you might adapt them to meet the needs of your audience, and above all, how you might offer value.
How-Tos/Educational Content (these YouTube searches are growing by 70% year on year!)
Tutorials (users are three times more likely to prefer watching a YouTube tutorial video than reading a product’s instructions)
Comedy (“relaxing” and “feeling entertained” are the top two reasons visitors list for watching YouTube content)
(And remember to keep your content aligned with updated COPPA guidelines.)
Related: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
3. How to Set Up a Channel
Now, let’s dig into the technical details — the how-to of creating a YouTube channel.
First, set up a Google Account, if you don’t have one already. This is the account you’ll use to manage your various Brand Accounts — meaning, you can toggle between different channels from one YouTube account.
When creating a new channel, you’ll be prompted to create a Brand Account. Give it a name.
Your channel is set up! Easy, huh? Now, the fun part: customization.
Edit and upload your channel icon, channel art, and custom thumbnails — these are important visual ways to display your brand.
Click on the About tab to add a channel description. Take care when crafting your summary, making sure to give a brief but polished outline of your business, your mission, and your products or services. Utilize core keywords that will help YouTube searchers find you. Include relevant contact info and links to your social platforms.
4. Gathering Your Gear
Even if you don’t have fancy, high-tech gear, you can still film good-looking YouTube videos. Here’s how to use your $$ to create polished content or DIY it based on your budget.
What you’ll need:
Camera. Depending on the type of content you’re creating, you’ll want to invest in a camera that is best suited to your needs. This could include a DSLR, an action camera (like a GoPro), or a webcam. You can, of course, use your phone if it’s able to record HQ video. Do your research to find your best tech fit. Before filming, make sure all cameras and batteries are charged and ready.
Microphone. You need good audio in addition to good video. An external microphone can help provide rich audio quality to enhance the production of your video. If viewers can’t hear you, they’ll quickly ditch your content (likely for a competitor’s!)
Tripod. A tripod is an affordable tool that helps keep your video footage steady (you don’t want viewers getting dizzy!) There are lots of different types that match your camera choice and activity, so do your research.
Lighting. If you’re filming indoors or in poorly-lit areas, lighting tools can help provide a better environment for professional-looking videos that are aesthetically pleasing and clear.
Video Editing Software. Once you’ve filmed your video, you need a computer program to help you edit and modify your video into an organized, well-composed package. Most computers come with a basic tool, but if you’ve got more experience and want fancier bells and whistles, consider upgrading to software like Adobe Elements.
5. Filming Your First Video
Lights, camera, action! With all your gear set-up, it’s time to film. It might help to prepare a storyboard before you film, so you know what you want to cover in the video and the shots you might need. Give yourself plenty of time, and record more material than you think you need — it’ll be easier to sift through a lot of good footage than to have to go back and re-film if you’ve left something out.
Once you’ve filmed your shots, upload to your computer, and edit using your software. When piecing together your video, a few editing tips:
YouTube has an Audio Library, a fantastic resource for royalty-free music you can use in your videos.
Give your opening a captivating hook. With an overabundance of content to choose from, visitors need an enticing — and sustaining — reason to watch your videos.
6. Uploading Your Video
Ready to share your polished video with the world? To upload your video to YouTube, visit your channel and click the Upload Video button (you can’t miss it!).
It may take some time to upload to the site, so while you wait, take a well-deserved break (you know, before you have to get back to work spreading the news about your brand-spankin’-new YouTube video).
7. Optimize for Search
You’ve got a shiny new channel and some killer content. But if your video isn’t primed for search, you won’t be getting the traffic you need to build your brand and your business.
To help position your content for better rankings in search engines, utilize keywords. Build your video titles around relevant keywords (no keyword-stuffing!) that will help visitors find you. Follow it with an informative and well-crafted description.
Related: The Top SEO Tools to Optimize Your Website for Success
8. Establish a Schedule — and Stay Consistent
Vlogging isn’t a one-and-done affair. Meaning, one good video shared on YouTube isn’t enough to boost your business. Sure, it’s a great start. But if you want to build a community and effectively market your products or services, you need to establish a consistent posting schedule so visitors can regularly engage with content from your channel.
Create a content calendar and stick to it.
It’s also vital to establish a structure on your channel. Instead of just uploading videos haphazardly, create an organization that’s easy and intuitive for visitors to navigate. Group relevant content into sections to create a guiding framework, and consider adding a channel trailer to give viewers an idea of what they’ll find on your page (and why they should follow you).
9. Integrate Your Channel
To spread your reach, integrate your YouTube channel onto your website and social platforms, embedding videos and sharing links throughout your site and as a part of your marketing strategy.
10. Engage With Your Community
With so many users, YouTube really is becoming a social hub where visitors are coming to engage. In fact, 70% more users are interacting with creators and channels, making it essential for content creators to get involved with viewers.
Casual, once-in-while watchers have the potential to become avid followers — if businesses can effectively connect with them. How to do this? A few ideas:
Respond to comments
Seek feedback from customers or followers on the type of content they want to see
Share user-generated content
Subscribe to and engage with other accounts
Produce quality content on a consistent schedule
11. Invest in Advertising
Even with killer keywords and optimized copy, you should consider YouTube advertising as a way to grow your YouTube channel and boost your business’ reach. We already discussed the opportunity that YouTube provides (remember those billions of per-day views?), so developing a budget-friendly campaign can help you find and connect with more of your target audiences through well-placed ads. YouTube marketing really is smart marketing.
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12. Analyze, Optimize, Repeat
Obviously, as you work to create a channel and build your community, you’re going to find things that work — and things that don’t.
Hey, that’s part of the learning process!
Adjust and tweak your operations as you grow, continuing to optimize not only your content, but your methods. YouTube Studio (formerly Creator Studio) is a valuable tool for helping you manage your channel and access personalized insights that will help you grow. Analyze data to learn the kinds of video titles, lengths, and content types that are most successful. Keep track of your YouTube analytics (watch time is especially important!) and always look for ways to improve.
Rack Up Views on YouTube
Forget the internet killing the video star. Through starting a YouTube channel, your business can utilize video sharing as a means of content creation and brand building. It’s time to get on board.
We’ve covered the ins-and-outs of creating a YouTube channel, everything from brand accounts and analytics to tech gear and types of content.
As you create killer videos and integrate them onto your website, consider our shared hosting plans. We even offer afree website migration plugin, so you can easily move to DreamHost and continue working on your YouTube engagement.