These days, video is a highly valuable area of content marketing. That this is true isn’t surprising: people love to be shown how to do cool things, they can watch videos while enjoying a hobby, and there’s lots of room for creativity. Plus, a lot of people find that information is easier to absorb when presented as a video.
Many of us talk about the popularity of TikTok these days. And while this is a cool place to present short-form videos, not all video types are suitable for TikTok. However, you can present literally anything on YouTube. Despite what many marketers say, this is still a very popular platform and has plenty of potential for branded content. Statistics bear this out: every minute, some 300 hours of video are uploaded to the platform. In addition, watch time for these videos grows by around 60% each year.
With that said, competition for viewers and followers is stiff. To be successful, you need to produce high-quality, authentic content. People tend not to waste their time on things that are thrown together or have low-value information. Fortunately, help with your content is available. In particular, using YouTube tools can help you become more successful at growing your audience.
What tools do you need to make a YouTube video or have a YouTube channel?
Strictly speaking, to make a YouTube video you don’t need a lot of YouTube tools. Instead, you need a smartphone or camera equipment, and internet access. Using these two things it’s relatively easy to make and post a simple video. For Vlogs and similar genres, this is often enough.
However, primitive videos don’t work for everyone, and this is even more true with brands. The more you invest the better quality you can make the video picture, audio, choice of keywords, optimized thumbnails, etc. to increase your chances of success. Attracting attention from viewers and winning at the algorithm/search functions are important to growing your following.
With that in mind, let’s look at the kinds of tools that exist for YouTube and how they can help you in a variety of ways. Along the way, you’ll get a better sense of where to start and what you might need.
YouTube Tools from YouTube
These are free YouTube tools that come with your account. They focus primarily on letting you create basic videos with ease and showing you how to make great videos. Along the way, you’ll learn what potential viewers like and also suits your style as a creator.
The YouTube Studio is where you get to upload videos, at least if they’re prerecorded. Livestreams work a bit differently. However, the studio is more than a place to simply upload files. There are options for enhancing your video before it displays, such as adding YouTube cards with additional information, asking for closed captions, and putting a watermark on the video. In addition, you can choose a thumbnail rather than letting YouTube choose one randomly. Best of all, this YouTube tool is easy to use.
Although YouTube will allow you to upload videos without taking the “courses” offered, much of the information in the academy is essential. For instance, there are courses that cover community guidelines and copyright issues, both of which you’ll be held responsible for. In addition, you can take courses on how to make money, video strategy, production tips, leveraging analytics, and more. In some ways, the academy is multiple YouTube tools in one.
General YouTube Tools
These tools are the powerhouse tools that most YouTubers, YouTube influencers, and YouTube content creators use. They can help you with your YouTube SEO, channel audit, thumbnail A/B testing, and a host of other convenient functionality. In other words, they both help you get discovered and grow your channel subscribers by offering the best content possible.
This is one of those YouTube tools that provides a little bit of everything. With VidIQ, you can get excellent analytics and SEO tools, channel audits, and more. One thing I like is that they’ll give you some video ideas, which are drawn from trending vids in your niche. In addition, they provide competitor analysis that makes it easier to keep track of trends. Keyword research is another trick up their sleeve, too. Just keep in mind that you can purchase varying levels of service, depending on your needs and budget.
With Tubebuddy, you have an easy-to-use Chrome extension that’s rich in features. Unlike some competing YouTube tools, this one’s YouTube certified. There are video SEO features that help your vids get discovered more easily, and quality analytics to see what works. In addition, they have advanced productivity tools that make video customization a snap. However, their unique feature is bulk processing: this is used to perform tasks, such as demonetization appeals and adding cards, in bulk to save time.
Vidooly is a tool that works on multiple video platforms, not just YouTube. In addition, it is geared towards advertisers, not just content creators. For this reason, Vidooly has “brand safety” functions that safeguard advertisers. However, for everyday creatives, there’s also the creator dashboard. This has YouTube analytics, research, content creation functionalities, and competitor information. They’ll also help you reach out to influencers and build your influencer database.
If you need really good SEO and A/B card testing, check out Tubics. It’s one of the more comprehensive YouTube tools, but maximizing exposure is their strength. In addition, Tubics gives you great video ideas, including what questions to cover and competitor insights for the topic. So, while many other tools are intended to help you get noticed, Tubics is more focused on SEO and a direct approach to beating your competition.
Graphical Tools for YouTube
The main graphical need that you will have for YouTube is thumbnail creation. Thumbnails are the little icons that you see next to a YouTube video title, and they’re an important chance to make a great first impression. While many YouTube thumbnails, especially for beginning YouTubers, are drawn directly from the video, more advanced creators can design something custom. Often, this involves branding.
Canva is an all-around graphics design suite. You can make nearly everything, from greeting cards and infographics to thumbnail images and YouTube cards. There are a lot of templates available, and the design work is mostly done by dragging and dropping elements into the template. Best of all, this is a freemium tool you can leverage across your video and marketing needs.
YouTube Keyword Research Tools
While the above comprehensive YouTube SEO tools include this functionality, if you want to try a standalone tool for YouTube keyword research, check out these tools. In some situations, you’ll find new keywords that the other YouTube tools haven’t found yet. Plus, they’ll let you think outside the box or follow a hunch in ways that other tools might not respond to.
YouTube Search Autosuggest
There’s no link to this because it’s built into the search bar on YouTube pages. When you search for a term, suggestions pop up under your typing, and you can select one. These recommendations are related to whatever you’re typing. In addition, the related terms show common choices. As one expert points out, you can also use autosuggest to find unflattering keywords about your brand that you might not have known about before.
Unlike most of the YouTube tools I’ve mentioned, this one is actually a category. Besides the built-in keyword tools included with larger suites, there are a few independent options. For instance, Google Search Console can help you find new keywords. Since YouTube is part of Google, many of the YouTube options are mentioned upfront. In addition, you’ll find that many of the “general” keywords used for web searching also work on YouTube.
Finally, there are several keyword tools that are independent of Google. For instance, SEMRush has YouTube keywords included. Since this is a generalist marketing tool, if you’re in the marketing industry you might already have access to it. Ahrefs also has a free keyword tool you can try.
Video Editing Tools
Since YouTube is all about video, it’s essential that you have video editing tools. Content Studio has some basic tools, and these are free to use. However, the functions included in Content Studio aren’t elaborate, and you can’t do much more than branding, the cutting room floor, and putting in captions. In addition, live streaming is crude through the native studio. If you don’t have YouTube tools like this in your arsenal, check out these recommended options:
Camtasia by Techsmith is a program that lets you turn screen sharing/screen recording into videos. Then, you can add special effects and other “markups” and even music to make the video complete. If you do a lot of tutorials, such as in IT or marketing, this is a great option. It makes showing people by doing much easier since it captures everything you do on the screen during a session. Another time this is a great choice is for virtual seminars, lectures, or classes.
This isn’t to say the average YouTuber can’t use it though. Especially if you want to make gaming videos, Camtasia is an awesome option. Finally, Camtasia lets you add special effects and other markups to make the video more engaging. In the right niche, this is a major competitive advantage.
Wondershare is easy-to-use video editing software that’s built for creativity. Unlike Camtasia, it won’t record the video for you. Rather, you take existing footage and upload it. Then, you can mix the audio tracks so that music or other sound effects don’t interfere with your voice explanations. You can also add split screens, correct colors, use special effects, and more. It’s a comprehensive tool.
Want to repurpose your social media videos to YouTube? Or vice-versa? Especially if you’re a content marketer, this flexibility is a major asset. After all, cross-pollinating your viewership between platforms works well. For people that are “just YouTubers,” repurposing helps raise awareness for your content and allows you to boost monetization down the road.
Among YouTube tools, this one is highly versatile. You can take videos, live streams, and podcasts, then reformat them into 20 other content pieces. These can be Instagram frames, clippings to use as Shorts, and more. They’ll even let you switch from vertical to horizontal orientation, and vice versa.
YouTube Channel Analysis
How is the growth of your competitor’s YouTube channel? Suspect they might be buying fake followers? What can you do to address weaknesses in your channel, or those of your competitors? These are the types of questions a YouTube channel analysis tool can help you with!
This is a multipurpose, yet simple, analytics tool. It works on several different social networks, so there’s a lot of value in it overall. Use their analytics to grow your channel by finding potential viewers, getting a better rank for your videos, and more. If you have a business, then you can also use the tool to find influencers for marketing purposes.
No matter what kind of YouTube channel you want to build, it’s important to have the right YouTube tools. Many of these are free and included in YouTube or Google itself. Others are third-party tools that let you do cool stuff for that added oomph. Try a few out, and see what works for you.
Further Reading: The Top 11 Must-Know YouTube Tricks for Marketers
Hero photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash