When most people think about digital marketing, their minds probably wander toward social giants like Facebook and Twitter. But what about YouTube? You know, that video streaming giant that generates an astonishing 4 billion-plus views every day?

Even though shooting, editing, and uploading video can seem like a scary, unfamiliar task, when used properly YouTube can do wonders for your brand. Viewership numbers in the billions are certainly not something to ignore. YouTube had over 1 billion unique visitors as of January 2015. So how exactly can your business get started in a place where adorable animals and music videos reign supreme?

Here are five helpful tips from The Web Guys to get you going:

1. Start with a How-To or Top 10 List

YouTube is becoming the search engine of choice for people looking to learn basic skills and/or to research top products, brands, and companies. That’s hardly a shock, since it is owned by the search king, Google. How-To and Top 10 videos are simple but effective types of content that are also fairly easy to create. For example, plumbers or electricians can post how-to videos walking users through some simple home repairs, while an RV rental business can share a list of top vacation spots or must-have items renters should pack. In both cases, the video would offer value to viewers while drawing their attention to the brand — potentially leading to new clients for the business. And remember to keep the content concise. The average length for a top-performing video on YouTube is between four to five minutes.

2. Create a Searchable Title

OK, you’ve got your video. Now what do you call it? This may seem obvious, but your title should be clear, to the point, and use the same words you think users are likely to type into the search box. Like Google, YouTube produces search results that are ranked based on relevancy, and the title is arguably the most influential component in gaining a top ranking. So you’ll want to hit all of the keywords. Using the example above, a plumber could title his video something like “How to Fix a Leaking Pipe: Simple Tips and Tricks.” Rule of thumb: Do not over-complicate the title with unnecessary information.

3. Describe Your Video

After entering the title, you will be prompted to add a description — the next determining factor in where YouTube ranks your video. Even though you have 5,000 characters to persuade viewers to click “play,” the first 160 characters or so are the most important. Those first few lines of the description show up “above the fold” on the video page, as well as in the snippets that appear with search results on YouTube, Google, and social media sites. Make the most of the opportunity by restating your title in sentence format, along with a bit more detail in what the video will cover.

Now by all means, fill up the rest of the description if you can. It will still be scanned to help rank your video, so use as many keywords as you can work in naturally, along with contact information and links to your site and social media accounts.

4. Tag Your Video Appropriately

Again, this may seem obvious, but tag your video with the same keywords you believe viewers are searching for. YouTube even does a decent job of suggesting categories for you based on your title and description. The tip here is to not get carried away. Add some keywords, the name of your company, and a general category that your video falls into. Ideally, 10 or fewer tags are the appropriate amount. YouTube punishes videos that have repetitive or unrelated tags, since they are viewed as spam. Keep your tags simple, concise, and relevant to the content.

5. Tell People About It

Spread the word! The number of views your video receives in the first 48 hours will largely help determine where YouTube ranks it among the search results list. So make sure you share it through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and wherever else you can. The more places your video is posted, the more likely people are to find it and watch it.

Let Us Help

Still not sure about leveraging YouTube for your business or need help in other areas of digital marketing? The experts at The Web Guys are ready to help. Contact us at (317) 805-4933 to get started.