The Essential Agency Guide to YouTube Marketing Best Practices

Blog hero image for An Agency Guide to YouTube Marketing Best Practices.


YouTube marketing strategies are important for any YouTube marketing agency aiming to boost client brand reach and conversions. This article covers the importance of YouTube channels as part of a more extensive marketing campaign strategy and shares best practices for original content, influencer partnerships, and ads. Gain practical tips for effective targeting, engagement, and brand growth on this indispensable platform.

YouTube has come a long way from the glory days of Keyboard Cat.

Today—18 years after its launch—YouTube is an indispensable marketing tool. More than 2.8 million companies now share content via YouTube. However, YouTube is more than a video streaming platform—it’s a powerful search engine, a community forum, and an essential launchpad for your clients.

It’s no wonder that 15 percent of AgencyAnalytics users have identified YouTube as the most promising social media channel for marketing, especially for long-form video content (and not just cat videos).

Video used to be out of reach for smaller businesses, but not anymore. With the right creatives, it's an incredibly versatile and rewarding service that your clients will love.

Michelle van Blerck, Communications Manager, Digital Freak

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of incorporating YouTube content into your client’s campaign strategy and best practices for producing and optimizing content to reach and engage with their target audience more efficiently.

By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive set of YouTube marketing tips to help your clients stand out in the crowded social video space, build their brand, and boost their conversions.

What Is YouTube Marketing?

With a mobile-friendly interface that draws more than 2.7 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the world’s second most-visited website (behind Google, obviously), the second largest search engine (again, Google), and the second largest social media platform (after Facebook).

Percentage of Global Internet Users Watching YouTube Videos

There are three ways agencies pair their clients with YouTube marketing:

Original Content

YouTube no longer depends on shaky homemade memes. The key to success on the platform is to publish high-quality video content that connects and engages with a global audience consuming a billion hours of video every single day.

Influencer Partnerships

In 2022, the top 4,018 brands on YouTube spent $514.9 million on sponsored YouTube videos. The platform provides a great opportunity to team up with creators and influencers to give your clients better visibility.

YouTube Ads

According to Google, more than 40% of global shoppers surveyed say they have purchased products they discovered on YouTube. 

Is YouTube Marketing Right For Your Client’s Business?

When a client approaches your agency to create content and publish videos to YouTube on their behalf, there’s good reason to be excited: YouTube is a massive platform for content marketing.

That said, it’s essential first to understand if a YouTube strategy is suitable for a client’s campaign.

Key areas to assess—and questions to ask—include:

Business Objectives: Is the aim to boost brand awareness, drive leads, or increase sales? Your answer here will dictate whether YouTube is the right choice and the type of content you want to create.

Target Audience: Is the client’s audience actively engaging with video content? If the answer is yes, YouTube's visual appeal makes it an ideal channel for connecting with them.

Product Demonstrability: Can your client's products or services be effectively demonstrated through video? If yes, then YouTube is a compelling platform for this type of storytelling. (Case in point: One-third of internet users have watched a tutorial or how-to video this week. Maybe an AgencyAnalytics video was one of them?)

Industry Trends: Is YouTube a common and effective platform within your client's industry? Industries that thrive on visual content, tutorials, or product demonstrations are most likely to find success. Real estate, medical services, hospitality, SaaS/tech, and gaming are some of the top-performing industries on YouTube.

Competitive Analysis: Are your client’s competitors leveraging YouTube successfully? Assess their content, engagement levels, and overall strategy to evaluate whether YouTube fits your client’s goals.

Campaign Budget: Does your client’s budget allow for YouTube marketing? While YouTube offers various options, including organic content and paid advertising, evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy within your client’s budget limitations.

Storytelling Potential: Can your client's brand effectively convey its personality and messaging through video content? If storytelling—whether instructional or brand-building content—is pivotal to their identity, YouTube is an ideal platform.

Conversion Opportunities: Will viewers be seamlessly directed to take desired actions, such as visiting a client’s website or purchasing their product via YouTube? This is one of the most crucial questions to gauge whether the strategy is worthwhile.

Regulatory Compliance: Does your client's business and industry align with YouTube's policies and guidelines? Address any potential regulatory concerns to mitigate risks associated with content creation and promotion on the platform before pressing “publish.”

Analytical Capabilities: Is your agency able to effectively report on YouTube analytics? (Spoiler alert: when you use AgencyAnalytics, the answer is a resounding “yes.”) Ensure your agency measures Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and uses data-driven insights for optimization.

Video allows for a multi-touch and top-to-bottom client funnel interaction depending on its application and platform distribution method while driving more engagement, brand interaction, and shareability.

Narelle Greenland, Head of Product and Partnerships, Thinkify Digital

Benefits of YouTube Video Marketing

YouTube provides a global stage for businesses to engage with their audience. The platform's interactive nature promotes genuine connections, which helps companies build communities around their brands. 

With its potent combination of visual storytelling, reach, and integration with Google's search algorithms—not to mention the platform's SEO benefits, the true pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—YouTube is a dynamic tool for building a client’s video strategy,  boosting their brand awareness, driving conversions, and creating a lasting impact. 

Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of YouTube marketing for your agency’s clients.

Targeting Your Client’s YouTube Audience

Because so many people spend time on YouTube, there’s an audience for almost any product or service imaginable. 

YouTube is where people look for explainer videos, recipes, online tutorials, interviews, reviews, video testimonials, and more. YouTube’s algorithm and audience segmentation tools help put content in front of the right eyeballs—and it’s up to you to grab their attention.

YouTube audience demographics

Engaging With Customers

YouTube videos aren’t passive entertainment. They drive users to engage with creators and brands, encouraging them to like, share, and subscribe—”Don’t forget to hit that notification bell!” 

YouTube is where your client’s brand interacts and has meaningful conversations with customers. That kind of active engagement is a boon for community-building.

Visual Storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? YouTube lets your agency tell your client's story through the power of video, showcasing people, emotions, and real-life moments. 

YouTube enables your clients to display their products, introduce their team members, share testimonials and accolades, and make their brand feel like a friend.

Need to showcase a cool factor? Video. Have some thought leadership to drop? Video. A happy customer has some kind words to share? Video. It can grab the attention of your easily distracted target audience like no static graphic can.

Paul Echols, Creative Director and Owner, Square 205

Harnessing YouTube’s SEO Superpowers

As we’ve already mentioned, YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world—right behind its older sibling, Google. So you know what that means: killer SEO benefits

When people search for answers, services, or products on Google, your client’s YouTube videos have a chance to shine in Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) as well.

If I can't find your website, your potential customers probably can't find it either. YouTube SEO is one of the best solutions to get you ranking quickly.

Christina Cypher, Director of Marketing, Click Control Marketing

Mapping a Clear Path to Conversion

Remember how we said YouTube isn’t just passive entertainment? YouTube lets your client guide viewers to take action: visit their website, buy their product, sign up for a special offer or a newsletter, etc. 

YouTube isn’t just about creating awareness; it's about turning awareness into business.

A screenshot of realtime metrics in an AgencyAnalytics Shopify dashboard

Show clients how your YouTube strategy drives traffic to their ecommerce platforms—like Shopify and Woocommerce—with a customized report. Try AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days.

Building Authority, Authenticity, and Trust

A high-quality YouTube video that features your client’s face, their product, and their customers’ experiences is more than advertising. It’s a powerful, authentic way to connect with viewers, building trust and authority for your client’s brand.

That's gold, Jerry! Gold! gif

Challenges of YouTube Marketing

While there’s a lot to get excited about when planning a YouTube video strategy for your clients, the platform isn’t without hurdles. YouTube is massive, and the competition is fierce—it takes a lot of effort to stand out amid the unending flow of new content.

Let’s take a look at the biggest challenges of YouTube marketing.

Fighting for Attention

An average of 2,500 new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which amounts to 183 hours of video content. So yeah, YouTube is a busy place. 

With so many videos competing for attention, getting eyeballs on your client’s content is a battle. More importantly, for many businesses—especially in SaaS and ecommerce—the competition isn't just down the street; it's global.

Quality vs. Quantity

Balancing the need for regular uploads with the audience’s expectation for high-quality videos is like walking a tightrope. Not to mention that the costs of producing regular, high-quality content can stack up pretty fast for smaller outfits.

Video can at times be expensive to produce for FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) clients if focusing on singular products or a small range.

Narelle Greenland, Head of Product and Partnerships, Thinkify Digital

At the Mercy of the Algorithm

It’s impossible to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”—YouTube’s almighty algorithm. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and cracking the platform’s code is an ongoing challenge for agencies and their clients.

Short Attention Spans

Viewers on YouTube are an impatient bunch. You only have a few seconds for your hook to catch, and if you don't reel them in, you’ve lost them—and a potential conversion.

People have extremely short attention spans. On social media, you have a fraction of a second to grab their attention. The creative is the easiest way to do this. An image that is created for the demographic you are targeting stands out compared to other posts.

Guy Hudson, Vice President of Digital, We Are Marketable

Keeping It Fresh

YouTube video trends change as fast as the algorithm computes its recommendations. Staying relevant and keeping your finger on the pulse of what's trending often feels like a rollercoaster ride.

Ad Fatigue

Beyond organic content, YouTube is a prime spot for programmatic video advertising. If you plan to publish paid advertising on YouTube for a client, be aware many viewers are just waiting for that “skip” option to appear—unless you’ve got the goods to keep them glued.

Data Maze

YouTube provides tons of video analytics, but they’re not always easy to decipher and assemble for reporting to your clients. Making sense of all that data on your own is a labyrinthian task. 

YouTube Analytics Integration on AgencyAnalytics

Fear not—AgencyAnalytics makes navigating and reporting on YouTube analytics easy-breezy with 15 key metrics to add to your client’s dashboard. Try it free today for 14 days!

15 YouTube Marketing Strategies and Tips for Agencies

Now that we’ve explored the upsides and downsides of YouTube marketing, let’s outline best practices to set up your clients for success with a YouTube video strategy. 

1. Define Your Goals

Clearly outline your client’s marketing objectives, whether brand awareness, lead generation, or client acquisition.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Ensure your client’s KPIs are more than just metrics. KPIs are specific measurements used to track progress toward specific goals, while metrics can be any type of data collected as part of routine business operations.

  • Use the MASTER framework to set your client’s YouTube campaign KPIs. For example, a KPI related to a YouTube campaign might be: "Achieve a 20% increase in channel subscribers by the end of Q1." This KPI is Measurable (a 20% increase), Achievable (based on production and outreach), Specific (channel subscribers), Transforming (a significant improvement), Evolving (this goal may change based on new data over time), and Relevant (tied to campaign objectives).

MASTER goal setting framework definition

2. Learn About and Define Your Client’s Target Audience

As you would for any other marketing channel or campaign, conduct audience research and segmentation for your clients to find out what will hook and retain potential viewers.

We're visual creatures—we absorb every element of a video in seconds to create a complete picture of what a product is, what the company values, how the product works, and whether it's what we're looking for or not. Video is the ultimate first impression of a product, brand, or concept.

Michelle van Blerck, Communications Manager, Digital Freak

Best Practices for Agencies

  • Identify the type of content your client’s target audience prefers—how-to tutorials, expert tips, industry analysis, product showcases, customer success stories, etc.—and produce videos that align with those viewing preferences. 

  • Lean on YouTube Analytics to access demographic data such as age, gender, location, and device types. Use this information to tailor future content. For example, if your audience is primarily young adults, create content that is accessible and engaging for their age group. 

3. Research Your Client’s Competition

Explore and analyze successful channels in your client’s industry to gain insights into content trends and strategies. 

Best Practices for Agencies

  • Study the voice and tone of competitors’ videos, look at their formatting and presentation, and explore what type of content works best for them.

  • Conduct a competitive analysis to identify areas (such as SEO) where you could carve out an advantage for your client.

4. Create Content That Adds Value

Now that you’re ready to start uploading videos for your client, focus on creating content that will retain the viewer’s attention first and foremost. 

The more value you provide above and beyond your client’s product or service, the more trust and authority your client will build in their niche with their leads and customers.

Best Practices for Agencies


  • Engaging videos start with a question the viewer needs answered or a statement that will make them want to learn more. 

  • Consider producing supporting animations and graphics you’ll include in the video, and make sure the host of the video—if there is one—presents themselves appropriately and addresses the topic and the audience with full confidence.

5. Optimize Titles, Tags, and Video Descriptions for SEO

Use descriptive, keyword-rich video titles, tags, and detailed descriptions to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and make your clients’ videos more discoverable.

Your video description serves two purposes. First, it lets Google know in summary form what the video is about. Second, it lets the user know what the video is about and entices them to watch it. A good description should have a 'hook' that makes the user want to play the video. Every viewing of the video will help its visibility and ranking.

Will Mullins, SEO Specialist, Will Mullins Search Engine Optimisation Services

Best Practices for Agencies

  • Use tools like TubeBuddy to A/B test video titles and descriptions for maximum SEO impact, and ensure your transcription for closed captioning is accurate. 

  • Closed caption transcriptions provide an added SEO benefit, as transcriptions get scanned for YouTube search keywords (and relevant keywords for Google search as well).

6. Harness the Power of Thumbnails and Video Title Cards

Craft compelling video thumbnails and title cards. It’s been said a million times that you only get one chance to make a first impression. On a crowded platform like YouTube, you only get one chance to get a click.

Thumbnails are the most important factor to be successful at video SEO. If it's not clickable, don't expect great results.

Brian Zippin, Owner, Digital Marketing Service Pro

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Use consistent thumbnail branding that is easily distinguishable and unique. 

  • Ensure the wording is the same on the title card and video description. 

  • Lean on A/B testing to find what design works—this includes tweaking the wording in titles and trying different facial expressions in images of people. 

  • Use end cards to promote other videos on your client’s channel.

7. Establish Consistent YouTube Channel Branding

Maintain a consistent brand identity across your client’s YouTube channel, including logo placement and video watermark, color schemes, channel description, and brand messaging. 

Don’t forget to craft a compelling introduction to the channel via a trailer showcasing the value proposition for potential subscribers.

Best Practices for Agencies

  • As with thumbnails and title cards, YouTube channels benefit from a cohesive aesthetic. Make sure to match the look and feel of your client’s YouTube channel with their brand.

  • Stick to brand colors and fonts, and use green, yellow, and red to highlight topic-specific keywords in videos and thumbnails.

8. Create Playlists for Your Client’s YouTube Channel

Organize your client’s videos into playlists to improve user experience and encourage viewers to watch more of their content.

AgencyAnalytics YouTube Playlists

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Sort content by type or topic across testimonials, success stories, product demos, tutorials, etc.

  • Playlists are a great way to let viewers know there’s more content to explore and for your client to generate more views and engagement via YouTube’s auto-play feature.

9. Engage With Viewers and Other Channels

Respond to viewers' comments on videos to foster a sense of community and show that your agency and client value audience interaction.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Just as you would expect viewers to drop a like or comment on your client’s videos, return the favor by liking and responding to their comments to show your support and appreciation.

  • Engage with other channels in your client’s niche to get noticed. If you celebrate and interact with like-minded brands, people will start going to your client’s channel out of curiosity.

10. Include Compelling Calls-To-Action

Include clear and compelling CTAs in your videos, prompting viewers to subscribe, like, comment, or visit your client’s website.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Make your client’s CTA memorable and quick, and don’t sound too pushy—don’t make the “sales pitch” the core element of your client’s video. 

  • Invite viewers to click a link in the description to visit your client’s website, sign up for their newsletter, or join their community. 

  • For lead acquisition, instead of directing viewers to your client’s website, consider directing them to a landing page with a lead capture form.

  • Note that some perks, like a customizable CTA button, only become available after clocking a minimum of 4,000 watch time hours over 12 months.

Receive Agency Growth Tips, Delivered to Your Inbox

11. Make Your Client’s Channel Shoppable With YouTube Shopping

YouTube Shopping enables your agency to integrate ecommerce features and links in your client’s videos and channel. This way, you help maximize revenue potential through shoppable content.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Learn how to get started with YouTube Shopping, including connecting your client’s ecommerce store to YouTube and tagging products in videos and livestreams.

  • Time your product tag placements for impact. Position tags when the product is being discussed or shown to maximize engagement.

YouTube Reporting Dashboard Template Example

Use AgencyAnalytics to create dashboards that display YouTube metrics alongside ecommerce stats, painting the complete picture of how a YouTube campaign aligns with increased web traffic and conversions. Try it free today for 14 days!

12. Share Your Client’s YouTube Videos on Other Platforms

Share your YouTube videos across social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to maximize reach and engagement.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Leverage other content marketing platforms like your client’s blog and newsletter to reach more viewers and subscribers.

  • Take advantage of YouTube Shorts. YouTube’s algorithm favors short-form video in the age of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Repurpose the best clips from your long-form content into Shorts using YouTube Studio, and lean on this traffic source to bring viewers to your long-form content.

13. Use YouTube Ads

Explore programmatic video advertising options like TrueView ads to reach a broader audience and achieve specific marketing goals.

In most cases, pre-roll is where it's at for the best video ad type. Budget, goals, and other factors usually take care of whether the ad is skippable or not and where it shows. The most important aspect isn't what type but the content and execution of the ad. Is it well branded to ensure you've obtained exposure even if skipped after 5 seconds?

Paul Echols, Creative Director and Owner, Square 205

Best Practices for Agencies

  • Boosting your client’s content with YouTube ads will net you more views but not necessarily improve engagement. However, video ads are a great way to speed up discoverability and help your client become eligible for channel perks faster.

  • Use Google Ads to monitor video ad performance—views, click-through rates, and conversions—and optimize YouTube Ad campaigns effectively.

  • Connect the dots with Google Analytics to analyze the traffic, engagement, and revenue driven by YouTube marketing campaigns.

14. Partner With Influencers

The 2023 Marketing Agency Benchmarks Survey found that the majority of agencies cite influencer marketing as the channel with the most promise today. 

Why? Influencers have a dedicated and engaged audience that trusts their recommendations. Identify and collaborate with relevant influencers in your client’s industry or niche to amplify their brand visibility and credibility.

Best Practices for Agencies 

  • Choose influencers whose content, style, tone, and values align with your client’s brand and resonate with their target audience.

  • Look beyond an influencer’s follower count. Focus on engagement metrics like comments, likes, and shares—these indicate an active and invested audience.

  • Collaborate with influencers on content ideas. This can lead to more innovative and effective campaigns.

15. Track Video Performance and Other Key Metrics

Regularly review YouTube Analytics to understand viewer behavior, track performance, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

The success of a video ad campaign should be measured by CTR first and conversions second.

Paul Echols, Creative Director and Owner, Square 205

Best Practices for Agencies

  • Pay close attention to Click-Through Rate, which can be easily calculated using the formula “impressions divided by clicks.” This will tell you what titles and thumbnails attract viewers to your client’s video. 

  • Another critical YouTube KPI is Retention, which tells you what kind of content resonates best with the audience and at what point viewers tend to drop off. A better retention rate will lead YouTube to recommend the video to more people.

Blend marketing data to create custom metrics that adds transparency, flexibility, and even deeper insights to your reporting.

Create custom YouTube metrics to consolidate your clients’ most important insights. Try it on AgencyAnalytics–it’s free for 14 days.

The Best YouTube Marketing Strategy Is To Think Big, Start Small

YouTube has democratized video production and distribution, putting brands, content creators, and influencers in the driver’s seat. It’s also turned into a rapidly evolving sales channel.

YouTube marketing may seem overwhelming, but it offers immense potential for your agency and clients. True success isn’t tracked in millions of views but in the added value the social video platform brings to your client’s marketing.

Remember Keyboard Cat? The lesson here is to start small.  

A simple video is better than no video. Not every video needs to be a Hollywood commercial.

Paul Echols, Creative Director and Owner, Square 205

Focus on forging an engaged connection with viewers, building authority and trust, and, most of all, providing helpful content that makes viewers want to know your client’s brand, inching them closer to a conversion.

Headshot for Francois Marchand

Written by

Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, journalism, and content production. His goal is to equip agency leaders with innovative strategies and actionable advice to succeed in digital marketing, SaaS, and ecommerce.

Read more posts by Francois Marchand ›

Get Started for Free

Try AgencyAnalytics risk-free for 14 days. No credit card required.
AgencyAnalytics Dashboard Preview