Every business, no matter what size, should be using YouTube to market. Why? Well, for one thing, YouTube is free and free advertising is always good for a company. Secondly, YouTube has almost caught up to Google as the most utilized search engine online with eighteen million views per day. Third, “many researchers believe that a top-rated video on YouTube will reach 40% more people than a commercial on a national TV station.” If those three reasons alone don’t convince you that YouTube is a huge marketing opportunity than nothing will… and you’ll be missing out!

Here are some tips for using YouTube to your advantage:

When putting together an effective web promotion strategy,  you have to stand out and be memorable from everyone else.  Similar to that of a talent competition; if you’ve been following this year’s America’s Got Talent Competition you probably saw Sally Cohen, the seventy-three year old hand whistler. Now she may not be the most beautiful, fashionable, or polished lady on the show, but she was memorable even though personally, I was not a fan.  The point is that that is what you are striving for with YouTube. You want to be remembered and if possible create a viral video that will be forwarded to as many people as possible.

Sure your video may not be the most polished, but if it’s memorable, funny, odd, interesting, weird, gross, or stands out in some way than it is a successful web promotion. The number one pitfall you should watch out for however is turning your YouTube video into simply a sales pitch for your company. Remember, when a commercial is on TV, nowadays most people fast forward it. Infact, I always tivo any tv shows and fast forward to the “good parts”. Unless it’s positively brilliant they certainly aren’t’ going to choose to watch a commercial for the sake of hearing about your product. Most people who come to YouTube are looking for either information or entertainment.

The other extreme you can go to is not giving enough information about your brand. You don’t want someone to finish your video and wonder what the product was that you are selling. Even a simple URL in the description of the video or at the end will alert people to where they can find more information. While homemade is good, too dark is not. Make sure your video is taken in a room lit with natural sunlight if possible.