Youtube small business ideas you can do today


Youtube small business ideas fall into two categories:

  • How to make money via Youtube, and
  • How to use Youtube to boost your small business

Making money via Youtube

There are three ways you can make money on Youtube. Although there are exceptions, I don’t think anyone should start a Youtube project with the thought that it would replace their day jobs. It can be an excellent source of extra money as a “side hustle,” but growing it into an income stream you can live off is very difficult – especially if you live in the U.S. or any other developed country.

The three ways to make money from YouTube are to

  • Promote products you sell,
  • Be sponsored by a company, or
  • Collect ad revenue.

There is one constant that applies to each of these three monetization techniques: you need good YouTube traffic to make any meaningful money. However, if you are promoting products on Youtube that convert to sales on your website, you can be successful with somewhat less traffic, but this depends on two things:

  • You need to be getting the right people to view your Youtube videos, and
  • You must have favorable pricing and margins on the products you are promoting.

We will look at each of these Youtube small business ideas for monetization separately.

Product promotion

Creating informative videos and building a following is central to selling products through Youtube. Many in the health and beauty categories have done well using Youtube. A seller of hair extensions, for example, grew a good business on Youtube by posting a lot of videos that demonstrated various ways to use the extensions they sold.

When this is your approach, you can think of your Youtube videos as mini infomercials: Offer a lot of practical information that gets viewers excited about your products. If you’ve seen any of the television infomercials for cooking products, you’ll see that they are longer than a typical Youtube video and cover more topics.

With Youtube, you would want to break down one of these longer infomercials into smaller chunks. To use the cooking example, you would do one on how your whiz-bang cooker creates killer lasagna, then another on chocolate cake, another on pulled pork, etc. It’s through getting repeat visitors to your Youtube channel that you build your following and start ringing up sales.

Find a corporate sponsor

Finding some deep corporate pockets to fund your Youtube program is probably the most lucrative strategy, but generally, it requires you to have a large following before anyone would be interested.

However, if you sell products from major corporations, you probably know that they have some cooperative ad money available and this may be one of the best Youtube small business ideas out there. Talk to your account manager and see if they would be interested in being featured in some of your Youtube videos. You’ll need to have some Youtube followers for this to work, but you wouldn’t need to necessarily be a Youtube superstar to generate some interest. This might be especially true right now when many companies who place Youtube ads are fearful that their ads are going to wind up on a video posted by some hate group.

Ad revenue

Unless you manage to post a Youtube video that goes wildly viral, it’s hard to make a lot of money through the ads Google places on your Youtube videos (assuming you’ve signed up for ad placement). However, among Youtube small business ideas, it is certainly the easiest way to earn money.

You simply create relevant videos at your convenience, post them to your Youtube channel, promote them via your website and social media channels, and wait for the money to start pouring – or dripping – into your Adsense account.

Using Youtube to boost your small business

For many owners, the most important Youtube small business ideas aren’t those that add a revenue stream directly, but the ones that strengthen ties with existing customers and bring in new prospects.

Create evergreen content

Step A in any Youtube project is creating the content and it’s important that you make evergreen content a priority. (There’s more on how to discover evergreen ideas in this article.) There is nothing worse than a Youtube step-by-step guide that is based on something that is dated or obsolete. There’s one more important reason to produce evergreen content: You want to be able to post it and forget about it – and this isn’t just a matter of convenience.

The more views a given video has, the more “authority” it has. When Youtube searchers are presented with two similar videos on a given topic, they will usually select the one that has the most views. Views are testimony to the value of your video so you want to be able to keep your videos up for years and years accumulating more views. They will also increase the SEO power of your videos.

I suppose there are some popular small business Youtube videos that are merely entertaining, but for the most part, businesses are trying to establish themselves as authorities. This means that you need to create videos that inform, educate, and enlighten. If you need ideas, consider translating other content marketing pieces – blogs, podcasts, infographics, etc. – into videos.

Promote your Youtube videos

A common mistake small businesses make is to post videos and then expect them to start luring in viewers on their own. You need to invite viewers to watch your videos by promoting them on all of your social media channels. Also, find ways to direct blog readers to your videos and encourage others to share your videos.

Finally, use your Youtube videos to send people to your website. In the video manager, you can add annotations, including a link to your website, on the end screen. Don’t fail to do this. People pay to advertise on Youtube and this is one way you can present a call to action for free!

There aren’t many free resources available to small business owners today and even fewer that have the potential to evolve into a revenue stream. These Youtube small business ideas may be the most notable exceptions. Leverage them today.