90-Day YouTube Video Marketing Challenge

Uzair Kharawala

Jun 28, 20189 min read
YouTube Video Marketing Challenge

As we all know, video marketing has got to be in the marketing mix for all sized businesses. The problem is that most small to medium-sized businesses are still struggling with this strategy and are not able to leverage the power of YouTube for generating sales or leads.

We too had this problem! Although we were mainly using video ads via Google AdWords to drive engagement, interaction, traffic & conversions, we were not using the organic reach of Google & YouTube to convey our message and brand across using video.

Secondly, as per the YouTube monetization changes from Feb. 20, 2018, which required 4,000 hours & 1,000 subscribers for a channel to be monetized, on Jan. 1st, I decided to set myself a challenge to upload one video a day for 90 days and see what happens. 

The aim of this challenge was to:

  • Grow our YouTube Channel.

  • Make the videos uploaded to YouTube get indexed in searches for free traffic.

  • See how long it takes to reach 1,000 subscribers.

  • Get engagement, likes, comments or even dislikes!

I managed to upload around 70 videos and did achieve my above ‘Goals’. As of today, we have 1,735 subscribers and a watch time of 5,549 hours during the last 12 months.

90-Day YouTube Video Marketing Challenge

Before you get started, you need to...


I cannot stress this enough. If you want to achieve something, you need total focus and cut out any distractions and negativity from your mind. I kept telling myself that no matter what, even if I did not get a single view or subscriber or comment, I am not going to stop until 90 days.

Then I will see what has happened and learn from this experience and go forward with it.

Ideas & Concept

You need to start somewhere and even if the initial idea is not so good, get started. Don’t try to be a perfectionist - just get started and perfect as you go along.

Subject & Topic

Just pick one subject, and don’t try and do too many different subjects. I started with Google AdWords workflow tutorials and just concentrated on one seed keyword. This strategy allowed my videos to get indexed for quite a few competitive keywords which resulted in tens of thousands of watch time minutes for my videos.

90-Day YouTube Video Marketing Challenge

Content Quality

The quality of your content has to be extremely high otherwise you won’t get any results. Most don’t understand this. They just put up a video and believe that they have uploaded a video, and now the views & subscribers will follow; this won’t happen.

Average or below average content will not get any interaction or engagement. All you will do is waste your time. You need to ‘give away the farm,’ and you will get the results. Put out your best content and you will get the results.

Get Super Organized

When I set myself this challenge, I had no idea what & how I will do to achieve my ‘goals’. One thing I knew was that I needed to be super organized as there are a lot of assets like scripts, keyword research docs, videos files, images/graphics, etc. which need to be saved and saved in such a way where I could find them easily & quickly.

So, now let me show you how I got started and what you need to do if you wish to get started with video marketing. Below is the full system, processes & tools I used to started and achieve the results I wanted.

Workflow & Apps

To get organized, I use these two free apps & tools:

  • Google Drive

  • Trello

G-Drive holds all the assets which are created and used for making a video and Trello is the workflow checklist. This checklist is pretty much a work-in-progress, so myself and my team members can see all the updates and the things which have been done or need doing.

Each video is set up as a ‘Card,’ and has many sections, and each section has a checklist as you can see below.


Setting Up Your YouTube Channel

Before you start uploading videos to YouTube, there are certain things which you must do to for setting up your YouTube Channel the right way.

Google Account

Set up your Google account, as this is what you will need to create your YouTube channel if you already haven’t set it up. Decide whether you want a personal or a brand channel.

Channel Art / Description / Keywords

The first thing you must do is to upload your channel art. You can download the channel art template here.

Top tip! Ensure your logo & text is inside the safe area; this is the area that will be displayed on YouTube when your channel is viewed on desktop screens.


Then write your channel description & keywords, so YouTube & Google know what your channel is all about.

Custom URL

If your channel is eligible, claim your custom URL. Here is where you can find out more from YouTube Help Center.

Create Playlists

Create your playlists, so it makes it super easy for your subscribers/audience to find your videos which are relevant to them.

Keyword Research

This is going to make or break how your videos are ranked for organic results. If your channel is new or has been set up, but you haven’t been uploading videos to it, initially, you need to start with long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are those which are three or more words. Although they may have less traffic, this will get you started. Don’t go after the short-tail keywords initially. They are very competitive for your channel at present, and you won’t get any rankings.

To give you a simple analogy, when you first join a gym to get fit or lose weight, you won’t be able to exercise for a long period of time, run or jog for a long time, etc. You slowly build up your stamina & fitness, and then you will be able to do strenuous exercises. Same applies with video SEO; start slowly with long-tail keywords and then go after the short-tail keywords.


The above image clearly shows that my video for the long-tail keywords is getting ranked. However, for the short-tail keyword ‘google adwords’ there is no ranking! It is because my channel is not yet strong enough to get indexed for such a competitive keyphrase.

However, over a period of time, my videos will start to compete & rank for very competitive keyphrases.

The tools I use for my keyword research are:

  • Google Keyword Planner

  • Amazon

  • Morning Fa.me

(Currently, Morning Fa.me is by invitation only, but tweet me, and I can give you access to it and also the 1st month for free)

These three apps allow me to research my keywords thoroughly and I put them in a spreadsheet to organize them.

Equipment & Apps For Shooting / Editing Videos

My setup for creating videos is pretty simple. You don’t want to spend thousands of $$$ and try to create complicated lighting setups; this will only end up with frustration. My equipment list is:

Logitech C920

This is a full 1080p HD webcam with Carl Zeiss lens.

Logitech c920

Neewer 2-Head Lighting Kit

I use two of them. Two heads for lighting the green screen background and 1 or 2 lights focused on me.

Neewer 2-Head Lighting Kit

Green Screen

This is not compulsory, but I use it for my videos.

Green Screen

ScreenFlow 7

For screencasting, I use Screenflow. You can also use Camtasia if you are on a PC. Both are very good and perfect for screencasting.

Rode Condenser Microphone

Audio is extremely important, and you must invest in a decent condenser microphone. No one is going to watch your video if your audio is low quality.

Rode Condenser Microphone


Handbrake is a great free app to reduce file size by up to 90% without affecting the quality of the video. I would highly recommend this app as it makes uploading the videos extremely fast. Works with Mac, PC & Linux.


To create & design the thumbnail images for the YouTube videos, I use Canva. It is an amazing app and is free to use! A good thumbnail on a video attracts more clicks on a video. Here is one of mine.

YouTube Custom Thumbnail

Top Tip! Use a headshot on your thumbnail. It increases the click-through-rate and drives more views.


I use Temi.com to transcribe the video and then upload the transcript to YouTube. The cost is 10c/minute, and it usually takes just a few minutes for the transcript to be sent back once it is ordered.

Uploading To YouTube The Right Way

Once your video is ready to upload, you need to make sure that you upload the right way. Here are some top tips for you:

  • Title: The Title is the most important thing. Try and get the primary keyword at the beginning of the Title.

  • Description: The first two lines of the description are very important. Include what the videos do, a call to action and a hyperlink to your website or landing page to drive traffic. Also include a brief blog-like description which includes keywords and also links to your website, other videos, social media.

  • Tags: Use long-tail keywords for your tags if your channel is new. Don’t include irrelevant keywords. If you are teaching something in your video, then include words like the tutorial, how to, training, etc. as part of your keyphrase.

  • Subtitles/CC: Upload the transcript, so it is 100% accurate.

  • Custom Thumbnail: Upload your thumbnail which you created in Canva.

  • Playlist: Add your video to a playlist.

  • Public: Make sure you make your video public otherwise no one will see them!

Workflow For Syndicating Your Videos

Once you have uploaded your video, you now need to spread the word. The first 24 hours are extremely critical, and you really need to take advantage of this. Most YouTubers just upload and think that the work is done!

You need as much traffic coming to your videos within the first 24 hours. It accrues more minutes as watch time, and then YouTube’s AI kicks in and sees that a video is generating views, subscribers, comments, engagement, etc. and it will then start to push your video to more subscribers, in the suggested videos, related content, and also in search.

So to get the high-velocity video views in the first 24 hours, I syndicate my videos to these channels/platforms to spread the word and drive traffic.

  • Our own blog

  • Google Posts

  • Facebook

  • LinkedIn Post

  • LinkedIn Article

  • Pinterest

  • Quora

  • Reddit

  • Slideshare

  • Medium

  • Instagram (just starting now with square format videos)

I must stress that you don’t just go on the social media channels and spam groups. You will get kicked out, and it is frowned upon. Instead, if your video can provide value or someone is asking a particular question which your video answers, then join in the conversation and point them to your video.

Show Me The Money...

You may wonder how all of the above activities convert into real $$$! Well, here is how. A video is the fastest, quickest and the most cost-effective way to build trust; this is pretty much on complete auto-pilot. You don't need to do much work once you have uploaded the video.

Once trust is built, you are more likely to convert leads into customers. The aim of uploading videos on YouTube is to build confidence, become an expert in your niche and build a sizeable remarketing list for AdWords at a fraction of the price. Cost being the time you invest in creating/uploading/syndicating your videos.

Here is how it works — when someone watches, likes, subscribes, comments on your video, you can put them in your remarketing list for AdWords. Every marketer will tell you that the remarketing campaigns are the most cost-effective way to generate leads or sales.

The screenshot below shows you four remarketing campaigns generating leads from as low as £2.44 each. 

Google AdWords

The marketing strategy is quite simple as follows:

  • When someone watches a video, they are entered into our remarketing list in AdWords.

  • We then run video & GDN image re-marketing campaigns to that audience. 

To build our remarketing list, it has not cost us a single penny in paid advertising, and each day the video views are increasing our remarketing audience, and our email subscriber list is growing.

Best of all, we are remarketing to an audience who is engaged, interested in our content, and not someone who has bounced off the website after 5 seconds!


The 90-day challenge has completely changed our marketing strategy for 2018 and beyond. Video marketing has allowed us to grow our remarketing list in AdWords exponentially without having to drive visitors to our website with a click which costs $$$. 

So this is how I achieved 1,000 YouTube subscribers & over 4,000 hours of video watch time for our channel in under 90 days. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to know more about my strategies, please see the video below.

Good luck with your video marketing campaigns. If you already haven't started with YouTube video marketing, you are leaving a lot of cash for your competitors on the table!

Please comment below, and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Youtube video thumbnail
Author Photo
I run SF Digital Studios along with my wife Farzana. The business was set up in 2002 and we specialise in Google AdWords & YouTube video marketing. I'm a Google Partner & YouTube Certified. I love Cricket & Photography and follow Chelsea FC.