Forbes Communications Council members discuss the best ways for marketers to leverage YouTube.


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As the rise and subsequent decline in the use of Snapchat illustrates, social media platforms can fall in and out of favor quickly with different demographics. For marketers and communications teams, short-form videos on Instagram and TikTok are all the rage now; but what can they do to leverage that old standard, YouTube?

Statistics show why YouTube is a mainstay of the marketing world: With more than 2 billion users logging in monthly, it is one of the world’s most popular websites, second only to Google. Here, 12 members of Forbes Communications Council explore different ways marketers can take better advantage of the features, functions and unique value proposition YouTube offers.

1. Make Videos Snackable And Use Captions

The first key is to make everything snackable: short, quick and valuable. If you have the resources, typography and captions are also important for YouTube. People will often watch a video without sound if they are in the office or in a place where they can’t have the sound turned up, so it helps if you can articulate your message with the help of text. – Virginia Parmley, Infocyte

2. Optimize Long-Form Video Content For Search

YouTube is not only a popular video platform; it’s also one of the most popular search engines, so be sure to optimize your video’s headline, description and tags for search. Longer-form video content works well on YouTube, so you can go more in-depth with your content than you can on other social media channels. – Lyndsi Stevens, Celerium

3. Create A Branded Channel To Meet Consumer Needs

Too many companies have failed to realize the value of YouTube. To begin with, companies can create channels on YouTube where they can post videos and other content specific to the products and services they provide. Unlike platforms that feature short-form videos, YouTube is a great resource for presenting in-depth videos to meet the needs of consumers. I strongly encourage companies to revisit YouTube. – Brittain Ladd, PULSE Integration

4. Include Product Placements In Influencers’ Viral Videos

Getting into the influencer marketing space on platforms such as YouTube can be so vital. People have called YouTube “the closest thing we have to a time machine,” which means that videos can be surfaced via the search engine’s algorithm for years to come. Including product placements and partnerships in viral videos can change the outcome for a brand overnight. – Christian Anderson, Lost Boy Entertainment Company

5. Embed YouTube Videos In Traditional Communications

Couple it with an existing platform that’s traditional and proven, such as your website. If you’re creating awesome videos on YouTube, then you should also embed them in blog posts and on landing pages, and link to them in your newsletters and emails. Pairing your video-creation efforts with long-standing communications methods will ensure resilience, irrespective of a platform’s trendiness factor. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio

6. Always Be Creating A Large Quantity Of Video Content

When it comes to YouTube, it’s all about consistency! On Instagram and TikTok, trends will always come and go. The secret to long-term success on YouTube is to create a lot of content all of the time. Sadly, most people put all of their eggs in one basket, and that’s the viral-video basket. Consistency and quantity will win in the long run on every platform, especially on YouTube. – Brennen Creer, Mammoth Tech

7. Provide Well-Researched Advice Via Step-By-Step Videos

The key with YouTube now is to produce videos that are ten minutes or longer. This means that in-depth, well-researched content is king on YouTube. Focus on comprehensive explanations of problems faced by your prospects, showing how they can solve them in the form of step-by-step guides. Your prospects are searching for advice. Make sure you’re the one to provide that advice in the video format they crave. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap

8. Shorten Videos To Repurpose Them On Other Platforms

YouTube isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s an excellent channel for publishing longer videos that engage users and teach them something new. Make videos for YouTube, then cut them down to fit on platforms that favor shorter content, such as TikTok. Repurposing content for different media can help you reach different audiences as you figure out what does and doesn’t work on specific platforms. – Haseeb Tariq, Disney, Fox, Guess

9. Funnel TikTok And Instagram Users To Your YouTube Content

Use TikTok and Instagram as funnels to your YouTube content. These short-video platforms can be used to “tease” the full-length content on your YouTube channel by linking your TikTok or Instagram videos to your YouTube account. Although TikTok is the real deal, YouTube has proven to be a stable social media outlet over the past 15 years. Therefore, it should be at the bottom of your video content funnel. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets

10. Reach Younger Prospects With Long-Form Educational Content

YouTube is a tried-and-true platform; after all, it’s the second highest-ranking search engine for a reason. Millennials and Gen-Zers use YouTube as a tool for learning, so it can prove beneficial for companies to use those opportunities to teach their customers and prospects about topics related to their business. Long-form, educational video content can yield dividends that shorter videos can’t. – Sara McKinniss, FST Logistics, Inc.

11. Target Keywords And Interests With PPC Ads On YouTube

If you do pay-per-click ads, you need to be on YouTube. Your content doesn’t have to be fancy or overproduced; it can just be a quick pitch by an enthusiastic representative. While organic traffic would be great, it’s crowded and hard to target. Leverage the Google Ad engine by targeting keywords and interests. Deliver a message that is relevant to the search, and send the viewer to an ad-customized landing page. – Ellen Sluder

12. Make Videos As Interesting As Possible To Boost Shareability

Each social media platform has its own strengths: Snapchat is strong with teens; TikTok is popular with Gen-Z; and Instagram appeals to a slightly older audience. In the end, shareability has little to do with length. Per our latest survey, 32% of consumers believed that a video being interesting makes it most shareable. To best utilize YouTube then, know your audience, provide value and be interesting! – Victor Potrel, TheSoul Publishing