As we all know,Web 2.0 offers many cost-effective ways of promoting your website and YouTube is no different. And that’s just one part of YouTubing. It is also one of the most fun ways of promoting your website. There is music, there is video, there is creativity, and there is marketing. A terrific mix, isn’t it?
YouTubing is not going to sell your product. What it can do, however, is get people interested in your services. How? Let’s take a look.
If you are new to YouTube, this should be your first step. It’s a fascinating world out there. Plunge right in and look around a bit. Look at the kind of videos others have made. You’ll find some of your favorite music videos, movie scenes, vintage videos, personal videos, documentaries, and of course, a glut of marketing videos. If you find something in your niche, make a note of it. When you make your own video, you’ll need to come up with something different from your competitors.
Create a video
That’s what you’re there for. Grab a video recording device – your camcorder, digital camera, webcam, or your cell phone, and get started. Like anything else, you won’t get it right the very first time. If you look at your first video and feel like pulling your hair out, remember that you’re not alone. Making a video is much easier in your mind than in practice. Over a period of time, you’ll get better at it. Which brings me to another point; just one video won’t win it for you. Once you’ve uploaded your first video, start working on the second video and then the third. Yes it’s not easy but it’s much easier than some of the other marketing techniques. This will also give you an opportunity to experiment with a variety of techniques. Some may flop miserably while some may enjoy wide popularity and may turn into a rewarding viral distribution.
Spare a thought for the viewers
YouTube is free but viewership has to be earned. So here is humble advice. Do not make videos that take forever to load. People have other things on their mind. And a site like YouTube has many choices for them to pick from. A study on video-sharing websites suggests that a video works best when it is under 5 minutes in length. So even though YouTube allows you a maximum of 10 minutes, keep it under 5 minutes.
Before you upload your video, ensure that the file format is accepted. YouTube accepts .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .MPG formats.
I’ll say this a hundred times over – YouTube is not your marketing collateral. DO NOT sell your product on YouTube. Use it wisely to get people interested. Once they start flocking to your website, you can sell all you want. The minute you start boring them with your ‘Buy Me’ messages, they’ll turn the other way. The best way is to come up with something entertaining that the viewer would want to sit through. When you have six interesting videos on something, the viewer will surely want to know you. That’s when your marketing begins.
Add your website URL
You’ve made a great video and you’re getting a lot of comments. All of it will count for nothing if it doesn’t result in increased traffic to your website. So add that all-important URL with your video. You may add one before the video and one after the video. Add your URL to your YouTube profile as well.
Market through others
Whoever said you need your own videos to attract traffic? If you don’t want to spend time creating a video, approach a popular YouTube user. Offer them a payment for displaying your link on their videos. That’s encouragement for them to come up with interesting videos and a marketing platform for you without sweating too much.
Put up a video on your social networking profile
This may not seem relevant at first but it will surely help you get popular. Put up a bunch of hit YouTube videos on the other social networking profiles that you use. A few examples are Digg, Delicious and Reddit. That will make your profile attractive and help in getting new contacts.
If you want others to visit your profile on YouTube, start with visiting their profiles. Browse through videos, add comments for their videos. Don’t spam their profiles. Offer genuine comments and try to initiate a dialogue.
Spread the word
If you have uploaded your own video, get your friends and family members to view it and rate it. Nothing works like a five star rating. Ask them to chip in with a few good comments as well. The biggest mistake is to assume that uploading a video is the end of it. It needs a lot of promotion to make your video visible.
Tag your video
Now this one is the most obvious idea. Use appropriate and relevant tags for your video. You wouldn’t want a person to miss out on your video if he or she is looking for something similar.
What you’ve read above are just a few ideas you can use to drive traffic to your YouTube profile and thus to your website. You’ll find more as you go along. As you see other users, you’ll pick up a few interesting tactics. The bottomline – be innovative, be observant and be smart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have the basics down, it is up to you to make extraordinary videos. Here are several frequently asked questions newbie’s have when starting with YouTube.
If you do not find the answer you need, check out YouTube.com’s help section, where you will find a comprehensive listing of hundreds of questions users have about the service.
Q. Can I comment on other people’s videos?
A. Yes, you can. Much like blogging, you are able to place comments about a video. The more often people rate and comment about a video, the more likely it is to achieve higher ranking on the site. Keep in mind however, once you make a comment on another video, it is permanent. Only the creator of that video can delete it. You can however, delete unwanted comments from your own video clips. You should in fact, keep an eye on the kinds of comments people make to your video so you do not have Spam comments posted to your clip.
Q. My comments are not showing up, and sometimes I can’t comment at all. Do you know why?
A. The chances are high either (1) you did not confirm your e-mail address, so you are not showing up as a registered member, or (2) you haven’t given it some time. There is a slight delay in the time you post comments to the time you can see them on the website. If you find you are having other technical difficulties, sometimes it helps to simply clear the cache on your Internet browser. Typically, to do this you will want to delete any temporarily files, your search history and any cookies stored on your computer. Next, be sure to log out, and then log back in again.
Most of the time you can do this by using the Tools menu Options tab. Other times you can click the Start button, then go to your computer control panel and find the Internet Options bar, which will allow you to delete the files you select.
Q. I want to save a video clip to my computer. How do I do that?
A. You can’t actually download and save any videos to your computer, except for your own videos. YouTube created a structure that allows all clips to run on the site, but on the site alone. Sometimes you can save a video in your “save videos” list on YouTube, and watch them when you log back in later. You can also bookmark videos much like you would your favorite sites, so you can come back to them later.
Q. What are playlists and how do I use them?
A. Playlists are lists of your favorite videos. When you bookmark videos you add them to your playlist. Typically, creating a playlist is as simple as clicking on the “save to Favorites” button. This link is just below the video you watch. You can classify your favorites into separate playlists by using the dropdown menu. All you have to do is create a title and the properties for each playlist you create.
You can even share your playlists for others. When you go to your playlists page, located at:
You simply select the playlist you want others to see, then click the bar that says share this list. It’s that easy. You will need to add the e-mail addresses of people you want to share your list with. When you click send, the people you appointed will receive a message telling them they can log on and view your playlist.
Q. Why are Playlists of use?
A. Playlists can serve many purposes. If you want to get a marketing message out to many people, you can create a series of videos that talks about your products, services or one you are promoting. You can then send a link of your Playlist out to your opt-in list. You can also use Playlists to send out family videos to members living out-of-state. Simply compile a few clips of your favorite family videos, add them to your list, and then send them to distant family.
If you have a series of products you sell, or a book series you want to promote, you can provide audio clips about that series on a specific playlist. You can then create other playlists to market and show off other products you want to promo. Remember, the list of possibilities is endless when you use YouTube.com as a promotional tool.
As you can see, YouTube is making life incredibly fascinating. Using YouTube for entertainment, as a promotional tool or to learn more about a subject you are passionate about is easier than ever.
You do not have to be a technical wizard to figure out how to use YouTube to your advantage. In fact, YouTube provides detailed instructions for all the features, including the advanced features it offers on its site.
Before you seriously consider using YouTube as part of a self-promotional campaign, log onto the site, create a profile and try uploading a few test videos. This will allow you some time to get used to the sites features and figure out exactly what you need to do to get your videos up and running. Don’t forget to check in often with the featured videos section, so you get a better idea of what others are doing.