How To Use Video For YouTube

I discovered YouTube right around the same time I discovered Facebook. It wasn’t the video marketing opportunity that is today, or few had the forethought of using it as a platform to do business.

In 2006, it popped into my radar because Google had just bought it for $1.65 billion. It was a bold move because YouTube struggled with copyright issues and were being sued by multiple media companies. Many considered it as the video version of Napster.

Indeed, back then, I used YouTube to watch old music videos from the 1990s or find low res versions of movies that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Moreover, I watched it for the interesting characters like Kassem G and Lisa Donovan. I remember watching those intentionally awkward and very entertaining interviews at Venice Beach. Lisa Donovan was known for making skits about popular culture topics.

Eventually, those early movers, like Kassem G and Lisa Donovan, formed a company called Maker Studios because they saw the incredible opportunity on the YouTube platform. The platform consisted of the most popular channels and personalities at the time.

The point was to make cool videos on YouTube (and to make money of course). And they did just that.

The company formed in 2009. In just five years, The Walt Disney Company saw the opportunity and decided to purchase the YouTube studio for $500 million, rising to $950 million if financial milestones were met.

Not bad for a bunch of amateur video makers, making skits in their backyard or at the beach.

Today, it’s no longer a secret. YouTube has morphed from a small player in the video industry to a video marketing powerhouse on the Internet. In fact, YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world, according to SearchEngineJournal.

Why use YouTube for video marketing?

According to Statista, YouTube ranks second only to Facebook when it comes to active users. As of October 2019, YouTube has approximately 2 billion users versus Facebook’s 2.4 billion user base.

video marketing YouTube stats
Source: Statista

Indeed, YouTube is the other elephant in the social media marketing room.

As mentioned before, YouTube is second only to Google as the search engine of choice for Internet users. According to Brandwatch, the YouTube platform has over 1.9 billion logged in users! 

Video marketing statistics for YouTube

Here are more interesting YouTube statistics from Brandwatch:

  • In mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any broadcast or CABLE TV network.
  • YouTube can be viewed in 80 different languages in over 91 countries worldwide.
  • 400 hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • The average mobile user has viewing sessions that last more than 40 minutes.
  • YouTube receives about 1 billion views each day.
  • In the United States, 81 percent of all parents use YouTube to curate content for their children.
  • Viewers who watched at least 30 seconds of a video were 23x more likely to visit or subscribe to a channel and/or engage with that brand’s channel.
  • When channels use Trueview ads, their previous content see an increase of 500% in views.

Finally, in the humble opinion of this author, the most important statistic for video marketers when it comes to video marketing on Youtube:

How-to videos on YouTube grow 70% year over year.

This statistic makes sense. The lexicon “google it” came from the fact users used search engines (Google being the only option these days) to find something. Usually, it’s a fact finding mission, like who was the seventh president of the United States. Or they could be looking for user statistics on an industry.

Search engines were built to answer a user query.

Since YouTube has grown as the second largest search engine in the world, that means the world has an insatiable appetite to find answers via video. Hence, the growth in how-to videos on the second largest search engine and social network.

But we will revisit how-to videos later on.

How to upload videos to YouTube

First, you’ll need to sign up for a Google account. This can be done by signing up for a Gmail email account. 

  1. Then go to YouTube Studio.
  2. At the top right you’ll see a camera button with the word “CREATE”.
  3. This will open up a file folder. Search for your video file and upload!

Here are the acceptable file formats for YouTube:

  • MOV
  • MPEG4
  • MP4
  • AVI
  • WMV
  • FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)

Other technical details to know when uploading a video to YouTube:

  • Recommended dimensions: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p).
  • Minimum dimension is 426 x 240.
  • Max dimension is 3840 x 2160.
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9 (auto adds pillarboxing if 4:3).
  • Max file size is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less.
  • Accepted video formats include: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM.
  • Video length max is 12 hours.

If you want to dabble with video display ads on YouTube, follow these guidelines:

  • Recommended dimensions for the static image is 300 x 250 for the larger side view or 300 x 60 for the smaller side view.
  • Actual recommended video dimensions are: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p),1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p).
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9 (auto adds pillarboxing if 4:3)
  • Max file size is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less.
  • Accepted video formats include: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM.

From there, there are basic things you can do:

  • Modify the title of your video.
  • Upload a custom thumbnail or select a preset one.
  • Provide details about audience (i.e. is it child friendly?)
  • Upload subtitle files.
  • SEO optimizations, like tags, hashtags, category and video location.
  • Video schedule (i.e. publish immediately or set a schedule date).

What are the best video content for marketing on YouTube?

First, to achieve success on YouTube, you’ll need to post videos consistently on the platform. When someone subscribes to your channel, that means they find your initial content intriguing.

If you want to continue to build your audience and community, you’ll need to consistently produce content. It will make them keep coming back and share your content on YouTube and other social media forums.

Consistent uploads also trains your audience on when and what to expect content from you. It helps to post every day, but unless you employ a full time video production specialist or love editing videos every day, this daily cadence might not be possible.

Even once a week on Wednesdays are fine. Just find a good balance. Stick to your schedule.

Now, here are a sample of videos that would boost your marketing efforts (and build that audience base) on YouTube:

How-To Videos

Near the beginning of this article, I mentioned YouTube as the second largest search engine (just behind its parent and king of searches, Google).

Let me ask you this question:

When was the last time you went on YouTube to search something?

As a filmmaker and editor, I often go to YouTube to watch tutorial videos on complex, technical aspects of editing a video. I like watching other experts go step-by-step on how to achieve that perfect skin tone or how to shift a project from Adobe Premiere to Da Vinci Resolve.

Outside of filmmaking, I’ve used YouTube videos to understand my cat’s behavior. What does it mean when the cat raises its tail up high? What does it mean when the cat has “zoomies”? What’s a zoomie?

I’m sure in the last 20 years you’ve had to watch a visual display of how something is done. To further elucidate this point, let’s look at a popular search query on Google.

Based on Google keyword planner, you can see the query “how to fix a leaking roof” has 2,400 searches a month on average. 

If you go to and search for “how to fix a leaking roof”, you’ll see recommended videos near the top (just after the ads). And these videos are above text based articles from popular blogs from the industry and a wiki site.

YouTube videos in search

It’s clear Google’s AI wants you to be watching videos about specific topics.

This is why how-to videos are a HUGE opportunity for a business or personal brand. As I wrote about in LinkedIn guide, it’s important to establish yourself as a thought leader or an expert in your field. 

And the best way to showcase yourself as an industry expert is through video.

What works on LinkedIn will certainly work on YouTube as well. Check out Neil Patel’s channel and his most popular videos.

If you’re unfamiliar with him, Neil Patel is one of the most recognized figures in SEO marketing on the Internet. If you look at his top six uploads, three of the videos start with “How-to”.

Moreover, all six videos are educational in nature.

Videos have become the go-to source for learning about any topic online. According to Hootsuite, 70 percent of millenials watch YouTube videos to learn something new.

If your brand has knowledge of something, showcase this knowledge on YouTube.

If you’re a restaurant, make quick cooking videos in your kitchen. If you’re a life coach, make videos about motivation. If you’re like Gary V, make videos about entrepreneurship and coaching.

If your business is something technical like plumbing or roofing, you could be sitting on a gold mine with all the how-to videos you could make.

It’s clear Google wants searches to seek their answers with video. Even its flagship search engine (Google) is driving traffic towards how-to videos on YouTube. Take advantage of this trend and teach the world something about your business.

Learn from Lego – be entertaining!

My team provided event videography in New York City for this retail client to discuss the future of retail (see video below):

One of the speakers said “…entertainment will be infused into retail much more.”

YouTube was built by the efforts of early entertainers, like Kassem G and Lisa Donovans. So it only makes sense that the future of videos on YouTube will focus on entertainment.

Take a look at Lego, one of the most popular channels on YouTube:

Lego YouTube Channel

They have a section called “Explained With Lego Bricks” which are a set of educational videos (notice the videos starting with “how”) using Lego bricks. 

Then they have entertaining videos like “Surviving Scary LEGO Graveyard” or “LEGO Hidden Side Hotel”. Lego has figured out a way to infuse their product to entertain and educate its audience, making them a cool, hip toy for kids.

With the rise of video games, few would have thought Lego would still be relevant in today’s toy retail segment. Early in the 2000s, many analysts predicted that anything digital will replace the brick and mortar industries.

In the toy segment, what is more brick and mortar than Lego? It’s literally plastic bricks to make toy representations of real life. Surely, Lego cannot survive the digital age.

Someone smart in Lego realized that it had to move to digital or face the same fate as Blockbuster. 

Lego moved in video games. Lego moved into movies and TV. Finally, Lego is in YouTube and using entertaining videos to educate.

Today, Lego is one of the largest (and probably the most recognizable) brand in the toy retail industry. They have embraced the digital age and crushed their digital marketing strategy with their Lego films and clever use of video.

As a business owner looking to build a brand, think about how your business can be entertaining. Lego uses its own products in the videos (i.e. movie characters made of Lego or teaching how rollercoasters work with Lego bricks). 

They’re literally the HBO of the toy industry.

How can you infuse your product and service into an entertaining video? To take it a step further, how can you entertain AND educate?

If you can do this successfully, then your brand will find great success in YouTube.

Event Videos

Just like with LinkedIn video marketing, recapping event videos work well well on YouTube. Keep in mind the mindset of people in your industry, when they browse YouTube.

They likely have a query or something specific they’re looking. In order to reach them, you’ll first need to have a video that addresses their query (see point #1 on making how-to videos).

Second, you have to show the YouTube algorithm why you should be the expert addressing their query. If you consistently produce videos in general, especially event videos where you attend as a speaker, you’ll be establishing yourself as an expert in Google’s eyes. This will help rank your videos higher on search.

Also, searchers want to watch videos from experts in their industry. If they see you do a lot of event videos, then you’ll be considered one of the top industry experts (or at least in the know). This increases the likelihood they’ll stay and watch your videos.

Finally, event videos are informative. If you watch marketers like Gary V, you’ll see they make a lot of videos where they are speaking on a stage. Many events have great useful content, and would make great topics to discuss on video.


One of the reasons why YouTube grew to fame is because of the vloggers on YouTube. Thesee videos show behind-the-scenes or a-day-in-life of a particular person.

Humans in general are a curious species. One of the reasons why there is so much traffic on major highways is because drivers slow down their cars to gawk at the accident, even though they’ve likely seen thousands of car accidents in their driving career.

This everlasting curiosity is one of the reasons viewers flock to YouTube to watch vlogging videos, which are the equivalent of reality TV on the Internet. Even though it’s just everyday life, there are people who are curious how people workout in gyms, how people shop in a Walmart, what people do with friends and family at a sushi restaurant.

As a business owner, you can include vlogging as part of your video strategy. There are people in your industry who will be interested in how your products are made. 

If you own a restaurant, vlog about a typical day in the kitchen. Cooking shows are very popular in television because viewers are intrigued by what goes on behind the kitchen. Make your own videos about how your food is prepared in your kitchen. Introduce the people who make the food. The possibilities are endless.

If you own a factory, show the assembly line. Talk to the people on the assembly line.

I’m sure your business has a story to tell. Not only will people be interested in this story, but it will help your brand strategy as people learn more about you and your business.

Collaboration with popular YouTubers

If you’re just starting out on YouTube, it’s hard to get traction with your channel. There’s also the paid route. Use display ads to boost viewership for your videos.

Then there’s the collab route, which is usually for free. But for some well-known YouTubers, they might as for monetary compensation or free samples of your product.

It might be worth paying their price. Popular YouTubers not only have a strong following, but they’ve also developed a reputation as the top of their niche or industry.

So if you make health products for weightlifters, it might make sense to send your product to popular channels like OmarIsuf or ScottHermanFitness. They can show off your product and drive traffic to your site.

They will also mention your channel and drive traffic (and hopefully new subscribers) to your YouTube channel.

Make videos on YouTube Live

Just like with LinkedIn and Facebook Live, Google is pushing for live video functionality on their website. They understand live videos are the future of video on the Internet.

Here are quick facts on live videos from

  • Live video content rose 65 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • Nielsen reported an increase of 42 percent of the U.S. population have made live stream videos.
  • Live streaming is expected to be a $71 billion industry by 2021.

Finally, there are generally more engagements with live videos than traditional videos. People like the “in the moment” feel of live videos. It’s a unique way, where video makers can interact with their audience.

What videos to stream live on YouTube?

I’ve already mentioned several types of videos. These would work with traditional videos as well as live videos:

  • Event videos – show your audience an inside look at an exclusive industry conference
  • Commemorations – graduation ceremonies or awards shows
  • Vlogging – day in the life of videos, behind the scenes

These three are just some of the popular types of live videos to make on YouTube.

Video marketing on YouTube for the win

With approximately 2 billion users on its platform, YouTube is the second social media elephant in the room (the other being Facebook). If you want to win the social media marketing game in your industry, it pays to make videos for both Facebook and YouTube.

Many of the same videos that work on Facebook will work on YouTube. So check out both guides when planning your video marketing strategy on social media.

In this “short guide,” I’ve laid out the foundation to help you get started on thinking and planning your video production strategy on YouTube. Go Live on YouTube. Make collab videos with influencers in your industry. Get intimate with vlogging videos. All of these videos can easily be made with a DSLR or with a smartphone.

Videos on YouTube have come a long way. What started out as a bunch of amateur videos shot in the backyard has paved way to professional videos, like what you see with Vevo. Everyone is getting in on the video marketing game on YouTube.

To stand out further from the crowd, contact us at 2Bridges for professional video marketing services. We offer the whole gamut when it comes to video production:

Whether it’s a personal branding video or an animated video, we can help you stand out on YouTube. Use video. Attract new audiences. Win market share with video marketing on YouTube. Protection Status