youtubeYouTube has quickly become one of the hottest destinations on the Internet and continues to draw audiences from all over the world.  You don’t need to hire a someone like me to develop, shoot and edit videos for your small business. There are many tools to help you do it in house when the budget is tight.

Video was once a little-used medium due to slow Internet connections, but today’s widespread use of broadband has changed that completely. Even rural customers can access YouTube during some portion of the day. Though far from the only video service available, YouTube was one of the first sites to have been built around online video, and the ease of use and variety of videos that made it extremely popular continue to drive traffic and sales to savvy marketers daily.

Marketers were quick to catch on to the possibilities presented by YouTube. They began to create “viral videos”, clips that were intended to draw interest and spark widespread distribution. YouTube’s embed feature allows anyone to place videos on her blog or website, so by creating funny or informative videos, marketers could spread their message far and wide.

Any online marketer can harness the power of YouTube to promote her products, services and website. Here are some types of videos that tend to do well:

* Popular commercials – If you carry products that have a television commercial that has brought, putting it on YouTube can help you get you more mileage out of it. And best of all, you don’t have to pay for airtime. To use this tactic, you must make sure you have rights to upload the video, otherwise you’ll want to just share the official video from the manufacturer or distributor in your channel.

* How-to videos – While some Internet users just want to be entertained, many of them come online looking for information. How-to videos allow them to see how something is done rather than just reading about it. Businesses capitalize on this by producing videos about how to do things that relate to their products or services.

* Video from special events – If you’ve held or participated in a conference, seminar or other special event, posting a video of it on YouTube could get you lots of traffic. So don’t forget to take video footage when you’re on the go!

* Funny videos – Lots of Internet users visit YouTube when they need a good laugh. If you can whip up a funny video that features your products or services, there’s a chance that it could be highly rated. Going viral is a possibility but remember your real goal is to get in front of your best target market.

A frequent mistake of YouTube marketers is just uploading their video and hoping for the best. Here are some simple steps you can take to increase your video’s chances of success.

* Take care to put your video in the right category, and make full use of tags. Add tags that describe your business and products, as well as the video’s subject matter. This will help users find your video more easily.

* Write a good description that contains keywords that one might use to find your video. Also, be sure to include your site’s URL in the description.

* Be sure to allow embedding, comments and ratings. Allowing others to embed your video will give it more exposure. Making it possible for them to comment will generate discussion, which is also good for your video’s success. And allowing ratings could put you higher in YouTube’s search rankings if people like your video.

YouTube is an invaluable marketing tool. It gives businesses the opportunity to use the popularity of online video to their advantage. Anyone can create a video with common computer and phone apps and upload it to YouTube, so why not give it a try if you haven’t already?