Why Entrepreneurial Businesses Should Be on YouTube in 2019 (and how to do it)

by Shana Lynn Yao

Youtube the new instagram 2019 social media
You can’t influence the world by doing what everyone else is doing.
— Shana Yao

By now, if you’re in business, you know, have, and are trying to maximize your presence on Instagram. With 1 billion users each month, it’s hard to deny it’s popularity for people to build awareness for your brand. But in the overload of information and hype about Instagram, many smaller entrepreneurs and brands find themselves struggling to keep up with the ever-changing platform, competing for people’s shortened attention spans, and losing their authentic uniqueness and confidence in the process.

If you can relate, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even larger influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers have noticed a drop in their engagement, and a following that is so distracted, many have turned to additional platforms to support their presence and provide more value and opportunities for engagement with their followers.

To stay relevant in an ever-changing market, diversifying your marketing and adding a YouTube channel can keep you at the top of your game, and bulletproof despite changes in social media and consumer behavior.


Don’t get me wrong. Instagram is an important marketing tool - and if you aren’t on it and are trying to build awareness for your brand, knowing the basic Instagram strategies is important. But if retention and conversion is important, then you may want to consider adding a YouTube strategy. And here’s why:

  • SIMILAR DEMOGRAPHICS: Instagram’s audience is 18-34 year olds vs YouTube’s 18-44 year old age group.

  • CONVERSION: 83% of people discover new products and services on Instagram but 90% make buying decisions on YouTube

  • RETENTION: 4x of people prefer watching YouTube rather than a social media platform.

  • DISCOVERY: YouTube has 2 billion users vs Instagram’s 1 billion.

  • AWARENESS: YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google (and is owned by Google).

  • SEM: Videos are easily searched by keyword.

  • EFFECTIVENESS: People visit YouTube with an intention, vs Instagram, which they use to scroll randomly.

What does that mean for you as a business owner? Again, Instagram is important - so don’t think of it as an either/or, but adding a YouTube channel to compliment your existing Instagram account, could turn into higher customer loyalty, better engagement, additional customer value, and (bonus!) additional content you can share back on Instagram!

So if you’re tired of blending in with the masses on Instagram, let’s talk about how to easily start a YouTube channel and make it work with your existing Instagram efforts.



As with anything, do not add something in unless you are committed to doing your best to making it successful. Will you succeed? Only time will tell, but with enough commitment and effort, gaining a following and making it work for you will happen. Commit to at least 6 months of consistent effort and then monitor and decide if the effort is worth the return.

Results in anything are a combination of consistent effort, determination, and a passion to making it successful.


Have a game plan before you start. That means:

  • Know who your competition is

  • Know what you’re competition is doing - how can you be different?

  • Know who your target audience is.

  • Goal for the channel - retention, conversion, discovery - set benchmarks so you know how you are doing.

  • Ask your audience what kind of topics they want you to cover in your videos.

  • Ask Google - find other websites, blogs, social media accounts that have content that resonates with you.

  • Look at the comments section of those accounts - what are people asking that is not being addressed?


Everything about business is about having alignment with your brand and with your target audience. Knowing your audience and ideal clients will help you always resonate with their needs. As they say:

Your vibe is your tribe.

Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you are in alignment with your niche:

  • What is the feeling you want your viewers to feel when they come to your channel? Do they look to you for guidance? Positivity? Trust and information?

  • What are the top channels/videos that are the most popular in your industry? How could you do something similar IN YOUR OWN WAY?

  • What questions are people asking your “competition” that aren’t being answered that fit your niche?

  • What is your vibe and what do you resonate with?


Keywords matter! Do your research. Using Google Adwords/Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere. to do basic keyword and long tail keyword searches. Look for keywords with high search (500+) and low competition. And aim for 5-10 keywords per video.

Avoid keyword stuffing, which is seen negatively by Google.

Also if you want to go the extra mile for a paid search tool, SEM Rush, SpyFu and Moz are good ones to trust.


What types of videos will you post? Since consistency is key, make sure you have a few types of videos you want to feature, so your audience knows why they want to subscribe to your channel and watch you.

The most popular that are the highest searched, are:

  • Tutorial

  • Review

  • How to


Have a goal for every video you create and for your overall channel. Obviously, you want the most subscribers, engagement, retention, and you can have them all, but maybe not all at once. Prioritize which ones are a priority to you, and you can then measure your success as you go.

How will you measure your success?

  • Likes

  • Retention

  • Subscribers

  • Social shares

  • Comments


There is a famous marketer that said, people just want to be led. For you, that means asking for what you want from your viewer. You just provided all that value, what do you want them to do with it?

This means clearly telling viewers what you want them to do.

  • If you liked this video, subscribe for more content like this!

  • Are we connected on Instagram? If not, here is the link.

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Find me on Facebook.

  • Visit my blog for more great content!

  • Comment below and let’s get the conversation going!

  • Share this video to your friends!


When you are first starting, the more active you are, the better you will rank. Does that mean everyday? Since this is a strategy to compliment your Instagram, daily is probably unnecessary long term. But at least for the first month, committing to doing a video 2-3 x a week (daily if you want) will help you gain new viewers, and help build momentum for your channel (and you!)


What makes you click on a YouTube video? Chances are the thumbnail cover. And that means, having a high quality design that is eye catching is the first step to gaining views on your YouTube channel.

  • Use a graphic design application that will set you up for success. Something like Canva, is a great, free option that will make any beginner look like a pro! They set the sizing, but if you use Photoshop or another design app, the right YouTube thumbnail size - 1280 x 720 px.

  • Choose a great photo as your YouTube thumbnail. If you are in the video, make it a great photo of YOU! Expressive, eye catching, and high contrast photos perform best.

  • Have a great title that describes what the video is about.

  • Use a readable, branded font.

  • To make sure your channel looks professional and consistent, create a branded YouTube thumbnail template. Consistent colors, layout, and fonts aren’t essential, but can simplify your process.


Don’t do all of that work and think someone is going to discover you amongst the 2 billion other accounts! Share it on ALL of your platforms:

  • Linkedin

  • Instagram

  • IGTV

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Email


Since your YouTube channel is working in concert with your Instagram account, here are some ideas to share your YouTube channel and videos on Instagram:

  • Create an Instagram post when you put a new YouTube video up. Share 1 minute of the video and tell people they can watch the rest at the link in your bio.

  • Add the YouTube video to IGTV and share it to your feed. This will double your content and when people get addicted to watching you on video. Be sure to add your YouTube link in the description and in your bio and let them know you have more on your YouTube channel! (obviously you don’t want to duplicate the channels, but if getting your Instagram following interested in watching your YouTube channel, at least in the beginning, you may want to share duplicate content on IGTV and YouTube to get them hooked.

  • Create an Instagram Story with a link to your YouTube video.

  • Do an IG Live and tell them to visit your bio for the link to the YouTube video.


While adding a YouTube channel can seem like a lot of work, the payoff in the end will be creating a deeper relationship with your target audience, and even more, you may just discover a love of using a platform that allows you to share deeper content, and something you can use to express your true self, your diversity, and feel more secure in the ever changing dot com world.

So I want to know, will you be starting a YouTube channel? Or do you have one? Share it below and let’s show other creatives how to maximize our creative free spirits!

Shana Yao, total genius, brand strategy, conscious branding

Shana Yao is a Branding & Marketing Strategist, with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. She works with purposeful entrepreneurs and brands to stand out with their unique brand story and strategy, so they can make a bigger impact in the world, with a signature business that reflects your value and values. She is a dog mom, and lover of life. You can find her at the coolest coffee shops in LA working on her mission, or connect with her on her favorite social media app, Instagram (of course!) @total_genius