YouTube Marketing for Small Businesses with Zero Budget

YouTube Marketing for Small Businesses with Zero Budget

With almost 197 million users in the United States alone, YouTube is a prominent video hosting platform that can help small and medium businesses to grow their business online with YouTube marketing strategies.

This article’s primary focus is to show how you can run a brand channel on YouTube without spending a dime on advertising and sponsorship. This indicates that your brand needs to create content, catering to your own target demographics.

Why YouTube Marketing NEED to be Included in Digital Marketing Strategy

If the 1.68 billion YouTube users are unable to convince you to use YouTube to market your brand, then here’re some other reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the power of YouTube marketing.

  • Human brains are lean more toward processing visual information
  • Video can incorporate text, audio, and transitioning/moving pictures, making them much more suitable to present complex ideas.
  • With a combination of different elements, video is much more memorable compared to blocks of letters

So, What’s Make a Good Video (that People will Click and Watch)?

The YouTube algorithm is a mystery, however, that doesn’t mean your video is going to bury in the vast majority of other videos. Here are some tips that will surely make your video stand out from the rest.

Unique Content

The content should be created based on the target audience. A survey should be done to have a better understanding of audiences’ usage of YouTube. For example, how much of your target audiences are using YouTube, how much time is spent on YouTube per day/week, and what contents are their favorite.

Afterward, spend some time researching other competitors’ channels that done similar content, find out what’s making them the Channel of that particular type of content. After you have identified the primary content of your brand channel, try to incorporate your brand/product into the content.

For instance, if you are running a business selling chocolate, then your content might be baking chocolate cake, using the chocolate chips you’re selling. At the end of the video, give a discount code for those who want to buy the chocolate chip, and voila! You just advertise your own products on your own video!

Another great way to create content for a video is to see what’s trending in respective categories. To see what’s trending on YouTube, you can see a pattern on some of the major (or small) YouTuber’s channels, as they will be having a video with similar content.


You are running a brand channel, make sure to have a distinctive intro. A unique, consistent intro with a short appearance of the brand logo is a great way to remind your audiences every time they clicked on your video that this video is created by your brand.

Although the contents vary from video to video, the same intro plays on the reoccurrence of the same moving images (logo) and sound, increasing brand awareness among audiences.

Don’t Forget to Like and Subscribe!

You heard this many times, and I’m sure that some of you hate it when EVERY YouTuber repeats the same thing over and over again. However, the line of words is reminding you to don’t forget to like and subscribe for more content.

Card and End Screen

Cards are the grey bars on the top-right side of the video, you can add up to 5 cards in one video, in which it can be a channel card, donation card (for US non-profit organization only), link card (for those in YouTube Partner Program only), poll card and video and playlist card.

As for the end screen, If you had gone to the end of the video, you will most likely encounter interactive elements (buttons, video, channel profile picture) that you can click. Those CTA elements are end-screen elements which you can click to access to other channel or video.

Indicate viewers in the middle of at the end of the video to click on the interactive elements, to forward your audiences to your website, channel or to another video.


Thumbnail is probably the first thing users saw before they clicked on a video. A good thumbnail should include the highlight of a video, the highlight can be anything from below.

  • The Result (the beautiful looking chocolate cake for baking video, the fabulous makeup look for a makeup tutorial, etc.)
  • The before and after (creating a strong contrast)
  • Photos/Words with Shock Factor (get people to click)
  • Video Titles (for more emphasize)
  • Reaction face
  • The appearance of popular faces (celebrities or influencers)

Other than that, a good rule to follow when creating a video thumbnail is to not clickbait with irrelevant photos. From a visual aspect, a thumbnail should be eyecatching enough to grab the attention of the viewers.

  • High resolution
  • Strong contrast
  • Bright color (usually for kid-friendly channels)
  • Red circle to highlight the detail
  • Consistent design, matching the brand’s identity (in terms of fonts and color scheme)

Video Title

Just like the thumbnail, a video title is as important as it sounds. As the title affects the ranking of your video on the YouTube search result page.

One of the best practices to get your video to appear on the very front of the YouTube search result (as well as Google SERP) is to optimize the title and description to make it SEO friendly. In the article YouTube SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos in 2020 by Brian Dean at Backlinko, he explained how to use SEO techniques to grow his channel to 295,347 views per month!

Other than that, an attention-grabbing video title also can get a decent amount of views. You can find a lot of great examples on news channels like CNN, or entertainment channels like Buzzfeed and Vox.

One thing for sure is that to avoid creating a title that’s too clickbaity, since you’re being a reputable brand, deceiving your audiences for views isn’t the best idea. And you can highlight your videos’ title by adding it to your thumbnail for better visibility.

Quality Editing

Why would you want to watch a video with lousy audio and a UFO-sighting quality? Invest some time (and money) in good equipment, especially the camera, lighting, and microphone. and don’t forget about the editing as well!

If money is an issue here, try to DIY your way to increase the videos’ quality. At the same time, learn how to edit your video with free programs from free tutorials flying all over the internet. Don’t let the people shoo away from your video because of the bad editing.


The description is a great place to show additional information to your audiences. It’s a great place to place your keywords to improve the video’s SEO. You can also insert links to direct your audiences to your website and store or social media links to get your audiences to follow you.

It’s also space where you put credit and disclaimer to avoid any legal issues arise, and you can also place contact information for those who want to get in touch with you.

Other Important Things in YouTube Marketing

Optimizing Channel

Optimizing your brand’s channel by using your logo as profile photo and YouTube banner align with your brand’s identity. Spend some extra time to complete the About section and don’t forget to create a playlist to make sure your audiences won’t have a hard time finding your content.


Yes, I mentioned it twice, and I’ll mention it again, make sure your video is SEO-friendly! And Ahrefs has a free basic YouTube Keyword Tool that you can use without signing up.

Promote Your YouTube Channel/Video

So, how to get more people to your channel without the secret force of algorithm? Promote your channel and video of course! YouTube is a major platform that supports multiple sharing and embedding option, this eventually made promoting video much easier. And here are some places which you can share your videos.

  • Social media
  • Website
  • Forum
  • Email
  • Chat

Post Regularly

Post content regularly increases the engagement on YouTube. It keeps your channel fresh and up-to-date and making sure that people keep coming back to your channel.


Collaboration with other YouTubers allows creators to gain fans from both sides. And how each collaboration worked is up to the respective creators and channels. It’s important to note that you can also feature any creators as well.

Like and Reply to Your Fans’ Comment

Interact with your fans online with comments can help you to improve the overall engagement. Like and reply to comments you find interesting makes your fans feel like they’re being appreciated.

Short Stories and Live Stream

Post short stories that you might find your viewers interested in is a great way to serve short content, in which it’s great to serve as a teaser for the upcoming video or any interesting filler content such as daily life, behind the scene and many more.

Meanwhile, the real-time interaction between viewers and creators during the live stream allows creators to create real-time content based on the viewers’ needs. This helped increase the involvement of audiences in live stream videos, increasing user engagement.


Although giveaway isn’t necessary a YouTube marketing tactic, people just love getting surprises from their favorite creators. As a brand owner, your giveaway prizes not just limited to cash and expensive items but you can also give out your brand’s goods.

It can be a great marketing tactic to tease your upcoming products, and also to attract more viewers to your channel. Most people would not resist free items. However please do keep in mind that you need to adhere to the contest/giveaway guideline in your respective country before you hold a giveaway on your channel.

Type of Videos You can Post

Here are some video ideas you can upload to your channel to enhance your YouTube marketing strategy.

Product Teasers

Show the highlights of your products with video instead of a wall of texts. The video makes a much more memorable product teaser with different elements, making it the perfect ads for your upcoming product.

razr has arrived by Motorola - YouTube
razr has arrived by Motorola – YouTube


Videos bring the tutorial to the next level by showing a step-by-step guide with a much more clear instruction compared to your old’ long-text manual.

Chocolate Brownie | Easy 3 step recipe by Nestle Milkmaid - YouTube
Chocolate Brownie | Easy 3 step recipe by Nestle Milkmaid – YouTube

Fun Facts

People are curious. Present fun facts regarding your company or anything related to respective fields via videos can spark the interest in some others in your company (or anything related to your brand).

HOW IT"S MADE: LUX GLOSS by colourpopcosmetics - YouTube
HOW IT”S MADE: LUX GLOSS by colourpopcosmetics – YouTube

Inspiring Stories

With the power of beautifully-crafted videos, inspiring stories are no more just letters and words. With appropriate audio and editing, videos bring the stories to life, bringing people all together with stories that once inspired us.

How Jessi Overcame Adversity to Pursue Her Dreams | Sephora by Sephora - YouTube
How Jessi Overcame Adversity to Pursue Her Dreams | Sephora by Sephora – YouTube


YouTube marketing is definitely a go-to for small businesses, especially for those who have a decent demographic on YouTube. As video slowly becoming one of the sources of information, YouTube marketing will soon become one of the essential parts of digital marketing.

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