Friday, August 03, 2007

How To Use YouTube As A Marketing Tool

By Kristen Vang, Technology Coach to Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

YouTube: it's free, user-friendly and every day an estimated 100 million clips are viewed — truly a marketer's dream.

And the proof really is in the pudding when one considers YouTube success stories such as the Sick Puppies, whose YouTube free hugs campaign transformed the garage band into an international success. If you missed it - Free hugs campaign video clip here it is.

Or consider the CEO of a blender company who decided to post his product tests on YouTube. The entire process cost $50 (mostly due to the rakes, marbles and cans of coke that he was blending!) and five days later the video had been viewed 5 million times and had 10,000 comments. That's viral marketing if I've ever seen it! If you missed it - ‘Will It Blend?' video clip video clip here it is.

So how can the average business utilise YouTube? I recently attended a workshop in Perth put on by Gihan Perera called "YouTube and You". These are my top 8 points on how to make the most out of this video sharing site that Time Magazine named as the 2006 "Invention of the Year".

1. Rehearse.
Unless you are going for the impromptu look, it's best to rehearse your clip to ensure it flows and you aren't stumbling over your words. It's amazing how nerve-racking it can be in front of a camera, even if you are in the comfort of your lounge room.

2. Make your video worth watching.
That is, would you want to watch it if it wasn't promoting your business? The people that have had the most YouTube marketing success have found something quirky or unusual to make their video interesting—like the guy blending up rakes.

3. Know the difference between demonstrations and commercials.
It is against YouTube terms of service to post commercials; however, demonstrations and examples are permitted. Leave the spruiker and the flashing 1800 number out and just show your product.

4. Edit.
It doesn't have to be flash, just ensure that your sound and video are clear. Windows Movie Maker allows you to make digital movies with incredibly simple drag-and-drop functions. Furthermore, it may already be on your computer, as it comes along with the Windows XP Service Pack 2.

5. Tags are everything!
Using good keywords for a website ensures that it will appear in a Google search; in the same way, using good tags for your video will give it visibility and ensure that viewers can find it. Good Keywords is software that generates the most sought after keywords—it can be downloaded for free here.

6. Create a ‘channel'.
YouTube is a community, just like any other social networking site. So once you've got some video uploaded, work on developing your personal channel: get users to subscribe so they are notified each time you upload something new, encourage people to add comments and rate your video, and add your clips as a video response to similar videos. The more comments and ratings you have, the more visible your video will be.

7. Embed your video in your other online media.
Once you've done all the hard work of making your video, saturate the net with it! YouTube provides you with simple HTML code to embed the video in all of your other online media—your e-Zine, website, blog, etc.

8. Have fun.
YouTube was created for entertainment purposes, so have fun making your movie and it will be reflected in your clip. Watch other clips, get some inspiration and enjoy the ride!

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