YouTube is the ultimate platform for creating video content. But if you’re new to YouTube marketing, you probably feel a little confused about how to even begin. 

If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will show you how to create a YouTube video from scratch and explain the steps you need to take, including: 

  • Define your audience
  • Do some research
  • Create the right setup
  • Prepare a script
  • Record your video
  • Edit your video

Define your audience

The key to being successful with content creation is to focus on your audience, not yourself. 

You can be the most charismatic, funny, and smart person in the world, but if you don’t provide value to your viewers, you won’t get much traffic. 

So begin by defining your target audience. Ask yourself:

  • What are their problems?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What will they learn from your video?
  • How does your video benefit them?

Once you have the answers to these questions and a good idea of who your audience is, focus your content on helping them achieve their goals.

If you need help defining yours, see: How to define your target audience in six steps.

Research

Before you get into the fun stuff –– creating your video –– it’s best to do a little research to make it a success.

Competitors

When learning how to create a YouTube video, a little competitive analysis is an excellent place to start. 

Take a look at how other brands in your field use YouTube videos in their marketing for inspiration. Also, look at what topics don’t get much traction so you can avoid wasting your time on those.

Topic 

The first thing to do when you have a video topic is research. Make sure everything you plan to say is factually correct.

In addition, it’s good to research other videos on the topic and keep track of the:

  • Types of videos that get the most views.
  • Different video structures and styles.
  • Length of these videos.
  • Thumbnails and video titles.
  • Calls to action (i.e. like and subscribe).
  • Comments people leave about the topic.

Researching other content about your chosen topic will help you create a video that will stand out in the best ways. 

Keywords

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a method companies use to improve their content’s position in search results. SEO keywords are crucial to drawing traffic to your YouTube videos. 

SEO keywords are search terms that people are likely to use when looking for content like yours. 

So adding intentional, researched search terms to your video title, caption and meta description can significantly improve its performance. 

If you need help applying SEO to your YouTube video, check out our beginners’ guide to small business SEO.

Create the right setup

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to look at where to record your YouTube video. 

Use the right equipment

You don’t have to get fancy and spend hundreds of pounds on equipment. That said, here are some basic tools you’ll need to create a decent youTube video:

  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Screen recorder and video editor
  • Lighting

Test audio and lighting

Before recording your video, test your lighting and audio to make sure it looks and sounds good. 

Try moving light sources around (be it a lamp, circle light or other lighting equipment) to see which angle looks best. 

You’ll also want to test out your mic to ensure it works and that the sound is clear. Nothing worse than accidentally recording an entire video crappy (or no) sound!

Tip: Shooting your video outdoors? Shoot during the golden hour, meaning the hour or two leading up to sunset. The light at this time has a softness that’s perfect for capturing great-looking footage. 

Download editing software

YouTube is full of tutorials you can watch to learn how to edit a video yourself.

There are also plenty of free or affordable video editing tools available. In fact, you might already have one on your computer. For example, if you have a Mac, your computer comes with iMovie installed. 

If you fancy a more extensive editing tool, you can look into:

Prepare a script

A script helps you stay focused. If you already have a blog post for your topic, use that to create your script. 

Pick out the key points and write down some notes for what you want to say. Also, plan out the shots, angles, graphics and other visual elements for each line. 

Make your script as basic or detailed as you want! 

The important thing is that it has enough information to make it easier to record and edit your video. Even a simple outline is better than no plan at all.

Record your video

The time has come to record your video. After covering the previous steps, this part should be fairly straightforward. 

Still, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Practice being on camera – if you’re uncomfortable being on camera, it’s good to do a few practice rounds to get comfortable. 
  • Keep the camera rolling – if you make a mistake, just take a breath and start again. You can cut them out in editing. 
  • Relax and trust your knowledge – confidence is key to creating a good video.
  • Have fun – making a YouTube video is supposed to be fun, so get creative and don’t forget to smile!

Edit your video

We’ve arrived at the editing stage! 

Use your chosen video editing software to:

  • Organise clips in the right order.
  • Add voice over if necessary.
  • Remove unnecessary footage. 
  • Add intros and outros.
  • Add cuts and transitions (overlay your video with graphics, screenshots, audio snippets, etc.).
  • Adjust the footage colour with colour grading.
  • Use text on-screen to highlight key information.

This is where you can cut out mistakes you made when recording your YouTube video.

Tip: if your mistakes are funny, you can always add them as a short blooper reel at the end of the video to leave people with a laugh.

When you’re happy with your video, share it on your YouTube channel

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