How To Make A Successful YouTube Video

By a clear mile, YouTube is one of the world’s most influential and impactful marketing platforms.

A few facts and figures that highlight YouTube’s incredible potential for brands and businesses:

  • More than 2 billion active users from all over the world
  • Over 37 million YouTube channels have been created to date
  • Around 500 hours of new content uploaded every minute
  • 70% of brands say YouTube videos are the most effective content format for influencer marketing

All of which adds up to one enormously powerful platform for promoting products, services and businesses. 

But when dealing with this kind of competition, what can you do to gain an edge over your competitors? More specifically, how can you ensure the content you publish delivers the right message to the right people?

The Blueprint for a Successful YouTube Video

Of course, the recipe for an effective YouTube video will vary on the basis of who is publishing it and their intended recipients. Though in all instances, there are certain things every YouTube video needs to get the job done.

The most important of which are as follows:

1. A Branded Opening

First up, the viewer needs to know in an instant who created and published the content. Branded intro footage can be great for boosting brand recognition and bringing loyalty. Even if they know who you are and what you do, a branded opening is essential. It’s also a great way of bringing consistency and familiarity to the videos you publish.

2. An Immediate Hook

According to Google, around one in every five viewers will bail on a video in the first 10 seconds. That’s 20% of all people viewing your content not sticking around to see what you have to say. Your job is to make every effort to keep people engaged and interested for as long as possible. Something that begins with an attention-grabbing intro - a hook that makes it impossible for them not to stick around and see what happens next.

3. Captions and Text (In Moderation)

The inclusion of captions and text in a YouTube video forces the viewer to pay attention. It can also be a great way of presenting additional information alongside the main content of the clip. However, it is essential to keep your captions and text as concise as possible. Being bombarded with text on YouTube (particularly during the early stages of a video) is a huge turn off for the vast majority of users.

4. Follow Current and Trending Topics

Instinctively jumping on the bandwagon with every trend that comes along is a bad idea. However, ensuring your content is as current and relevant as possible is essential. Be mindful of the fact that even the most cutting-edge top picks quickly become yesterday’s news on social media. Trends can and should be leveraged where possible, but only those of relevance and value to your target audience.

As promised, here’s the second half of our two-part guide to creating better YouTube videos for your business:

5. Use Better Background Music

There is little more uninspiring than a YouTube video with long spells of eerie silence. Make no mistake about it - the background music you use in your videos is a deal-breaker. The music you choose needs to reflect the tone, mood and subject of the video. Familiarity can also add appeal, but be mindful of copyright restrictions when selecting audio for your videos. Use the copyrighted material of someone else without their permission and you’ll live to regret it!

6. Get Your Audio Mix in Order

This is where you take the time to achieve the perfect balance between the various audio elements of your videos. Clearly audible speech of the highest quality, subtle background music that sets the right mood, the strategic use of sound effects where appropriate and so on. A poor audio mix is an immediate indicator of an amateur creator who doesn’t really know what they are doing.


There will always be a time and a place for long-form content on YouTube.However, the overwhelming majority of users prefer shorter videos. Content that is concise, punchy and to the point almost always performs better.Particularly when it comes to viral potential, as people are inherently more likely to share shorter videos than their longer counterparts.

8. A Clear Call To Action

Every video should serve a practical purpose and contribute to a defined goal.Something that should be reflected in the CTA (or CTAs) you include in your videos. If you want people to click through to your product pages, tell them to do so and show them the way. If you want them to follow you, share their thoughts in the comments section or leave a like, ask them directly. While doing so, conveying your sincere appreciation for checking you out and helping you out.

9. Use End Screens To Promote Your Other Content

End screens can be embedded within the final 20 seconds of videos on YouTube. Within which, attractive visuals can be paired with links to pretty much anything you want to promote. Link them to your YouTube channel page, direct them to other videos from your archives or link them externally to your website. Always take full advantage of end screens, rather than waiting for your viewers to take action of their own accord.

10. Create Eye Catching Thumbnails

Last but not least, getting things right with the thumbnails you use to represent your videos means focusing on three things. Firstly, the thumbnail needs to be a clear, accurate and eye-catching representation of the content - never clickbait.Secondly, it needs to be optimised for smaller screens, as most of your views may come from mobile devices. Lastly, maintaining a consistent look, feel and style across all the thumbnails you publish is essential. Something that will help make it clear who created and shared the content at a glance - great for building brand recognition.