YouTube – You What?
Have you heard about YouTube.com? Maybe you are scratching your head, wondering, “What is it”?
Is it, a catchy name for a catchy service? Is it a marketing tool?
Is it a website for novice filmmakers?
The answer is yes, yes, yes and then some. You see, YouTube is many things to many people, depending on how they use it and their purposes for its use. You can define the website’s purpose traditionally as:
“YouTube.com is one of the many Web 2.0 sites popping up on the Web. It is a “video sharing” website.”
However, YouTube.com, like many Web 2.0, sites is much more than a site allowing individuals to share video clips. It is a place for public commentary, a place where people can review the latest and greatest info products, a place where people can network and share common interests, goals, and opportunities.
The best part? YouTube.com is not too complicated to use, driving away hordes of novice users. In fact, the opposite is true. YouTube.com is easy to master. This website allows just about anyone to sign up for an account, upload, share video clips, and view other people’s video clips. Sounds neat, huh?
Just like many popular sites, registered members can rate videos, or find out how many times other people link to a video clip for their viewing pleasure. YouTube.com provides and publishes this information for your convenience, for
its loyal fans. Have you heard about Netflix? The idea is the same. Netflix is an online video “store” if you will, like Blockbuster. Registered members can log in and rent videos sent directly to their home. They can also rate and review the videos they see. That way, the public has a better feel for what videos are worth watching (and whether there are some videos they shouldn’t bother with).
The site can also tailor its recommendations to you depending on how many videos you rate. The big DIFFERENCE between a site like this however, a static site, and YouTube.com, is using YouTube, and you can watch video clips right from your home computer. There is no renting, no late fees and no charges to become a member.
Will you watch a full video? No. You will watch a video clip. In the ten minutes of time a user has to make a video clip however, you can be sure they will input as much valuable and telling information as they possibly can. So, a visit to YouTube.com is well worth it.
Is YouTube.com popular? Yes, and not just among the young. In fact, the
young and old alike are enjoying their newfound “celebrity” status by posting their own video clips to the Web. And, speaking of celebrities… YouTube is popular among web fans, your average Jane or Joe, and celebrities getting in on the action. Just like MySpace.com attracts many public figures interested in connecting with their fan base and audience, so too does YouTube appeal to the same crowd for similar reasons.
Alanis Morissette (a well-known singer, just in case you don’t know) just did a spoof of Fergie’s (another young hip-hop singer) “My Humps” video. It’s pretty funny, if you have a good sense of humor. “You love my lady lumps?” What isn’t funny about that? Even if you never heard the original song, you will get a good chuckle out of it. It is also a great example of a good video, and you can use it for a model when trying to create your own video clips for YouTube (we’ll get to that later).
Of course you can just type it (my humps) into Google and find about another dozen sites promoting the video. While YouTube.com is fun, it can also be an extremely useful tool for promoting your business, your website, and for networking and connecting with people around the globe. So why write a guide
on YouTube? I’ll tell you why…
Here’s the point.
YouTube isn’t just for fun, though we have focused so far on some of the funnier and entertaining features offered by the popular site. But, just as YouTube.com is fun, you can just as easily use it to promote your website, advertise your business or simply publicize what it is you have to offer. For that reason, people are jumping hand over heals to get their hands on it. Large corporations including CBS, NBC, Sony BMG and others, people that once opposed the site, are clamoring to get in on the action. The reason?
Millions of consumers are logging in every day to catch a glimpse of what YouTube has to offer…
Now, to get “in” on the action, you will need to register. If you just want to find out what all the fuss is about, you can tour the site and check out popular video clips free of chard. That’s right… you can watch videos free on YouTube, you don’t need to register.
If you want to upload videos, promo your site, brand your name or get the attention of others, you will have to register. Don’t worry, registration is easy. We’ll talk more about that later too.
Now that you have a better idea of what YouTube is about conceptually, let’s learn a little bit more about the history of this incredible site. In the next section we’ll provide you a small history of YouTube, so you have a better sense of where it came from and where it may go. Hold onto your hats…
Part I – The History of YouTube
Technology affords us new and interesting abilities every day. YouTube.com is just one example of how technology is helping us in our endeavors.
By now you probably have a high-level of interest in finding out more about YouTube. Before we talk more about getting in on YouTube and making it work for you, let’s review YouTube’s brief history, as it is.
YouTube was “born” from the creative minds of former PayPal employees. YouTube first became active on February 15, 2005i. As you can see, despite its enormous success the site is still in its infancy.
The start-up found funding in the form of venture capital from Sequioa Capital, raising $3.5 million dollars for the site.ii The venture capital firm later invested another $8million dollars into the company, helping spur its popularity during the last year and a half. This just shows you how attractive YouTube’s business model was and how many people instantly recognized the promise this site had to offer.
Today many refer to YouTube.com as the, “fastest growing website on the web,”iii
“YouTube is one of the fastest growing Web 2.0 sites to make history today.”
Over 100 million visitors watch clips each day. By some reports, over 60,000 people upload videos within a single day. YouTube did face many copyright infringement lawsuits, one reason it agreed to the huge settlement deal with
Who Uses YouTube?
Everyone. Even your local politician. Yes, it’s true, political candidates and fans alike now use YouTube as an informal medium for advertising. Barack Obama is one of a few candidates that have a large fan base on YouTube.
Many political commentators are joining in, realizing millions may hear their voice and message, and even internationally candidates are using YouTube as a platform to market their campaign and platforms.
YouTube restricts individuals from sending material with known copyrights. Therefore, NBC was among the first to ask YouTube to remove clips of material including material from the 2006 Olympics, obviously uploaded to the site. YouTube imposed several extra cautionary measures, including limiting video clips to a brief 10-minute tape. This lessened much of NBCs concerns, but added to YouTube’s popularity.
Think about it… word of mouth is one of the best ways to promote anything. Interestingly enough, NBC eventually retracted its criticisms and instead decided to collaborate with the company.
Many others are likely to follow suit. YouTube you see, is an exceptional outlet for promoting just about anyone. A short 10-minute clip is more likely to garner increasing interest than it is to damage a corporation’s ability to sell its products and services.
Many major media moguls now provide content willingly to YouTube. Among them include CBS, Sony BMG and even Warner productions.
Now that you understand more about where YouTube originated and how people are using it, it’s time to learn how you can use YouTube for your personal or business needs.
In the next section, we will provide details about setting up your own account and video clips on YouTube. We arranged this section much like a Q&Q session so you can find the information you need as simply as possible.
Here we go!
Part II – Using YouTube
This section will provide you with quick start information about using YouTube to your advantage. From registration to uploading videos and more, you will find all the answers to your most pressing questions right here in this simple and easy- to-use section.
You are welcome to view video clips freely at YouTube.com. But, if you want to become an active member of the community, you will first have to join. You can do this easily. If you use the Web even minimally, registering with YouTube.com will prove a snap.
First, you will have to log onto the main YouTube.com sign up page.
Here you will see a screen as follows:
Registration is simple, just enter your user name, set up a password, provide your e-mail address, and provide some personal details needed by the site. These include your phone number, the country you live in, your gender, date of birth and a confirmation number provided by YouTube.
YouTube values their customers’ privacy. While they may not share your
personal information intrinsically, you should know that any content you upload to the site will be available to the public at large. YouTube may use information
such as your name and e-mail address if you choose to engage in activities offered by the site (like uploading your video clips).
YouTube often sends cookies out to users computers, so visitors returning to the site can log in easier. You can always delete cookies on your computer, this has never been an issue for most people.
The company will not send you marketing material or other advertisements without your consent, though they might send your e-mail address for administrative purposes, but does not share your personal information with “third- party” companies. This means usually most of your information is protected.
Remember, here are the benefits of registering:
You get to watch millions of videos presented by people throughout the world.
You can set up your section so you can share home videos with family members and friends that may live faraway.
You can connect with people around the world that share common interests, likes and dislikes.
You can have fun.
You can upload and promote your videos to a global audience, a huge benefit for any entrepreneur, marketer or small business owner.
Note, when you register YouTube will send you a confirmation note to confirm your e-mail address is legitimate and that you own it. Do not forget to confirm your email address or you will not be able to use the full functionality of the site.
Getting Your Video Featured
Now that you are registered, its time to start making movies. One of the first questions people have is about getting their videos featured. Everyone wants their turn in the spotlight. The real key to getting your videos featured is nothing more than creativity and good luck.
Visitors on YouTube ranks the videos they like. So, like any review system, if people like what it is you have to show, they will rate your videos better, and your videos are more likely to be featured. YouTube.com provides a featured section for popular videos.
Some people are generous enough to want to offer feedback and improve any site they use, including YouTube. If this sounds like you, visit:
Here officials of the site try their newest features and ask users to provide them with feedback so they can make their products and services more appealing. You will get the opportunity to “test-drive” new features or programs before YouTube launches them.
Make Your Video “Watch Worthy”
Apart from making a great video, there are many ways you can express yourself and get noticed on YouTube. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t let registered members upload personal avatars of themselves, small pictures of their liking.
You can however, create a brand simply by using your video cam. You can provide an intro clip, a short bio of yourself if you like. Otherwise, use your full creativity to help brand your name, your products or your services. You can even brand your message if you place enough time and energy in creating your
Making Your First Video
Since YouTube is a relatively new concept, there are still many people that are not certain “how” to go about making a great video. First, you will need the proper supplies. You can make a video using something as simple as a digital camera, your cell phone (provided it is one that takes video pictures) or a traditional camcorder.
What you do is simply record a short, 10-minute clip of your video. Then, download the video to your computer just as you would any digital pictures you would take. YouTube then allows you to upload your videos. If you want to shine, you can edit your videos before uploading them. There are many software programs readily available that allow you to edit videos relatively easy, even if
you are a beginner. Some examples include Windows Moviemaker.
Software applications are a big hit, in part because you can add subtitles to your video, you can incorporate special effects, and you can zoom in and out and take advantage of many other features. Since optimizing your video is essential if you want to attract attention on YouTube, let’s find out how to do that.
The next section will help you learn how to create and maximize your videos’
potential so they captivate your audience.
Part III – Optimizing Your Videos
Optimizing your videos is essential if you want to stand out in the crowd. You don’t have to have fancy technology to make a great video. Use the tips below to learn how anyone can create compelling and interesting videos for their YouTube audience.
Remember, YouTube provides even novices the ability to create videos and upload them as simply as possible.
Features of a Good Video
YouTube.com only gives you ten minutes to make a good impression. So, you want to make the best impression you
possibly can, right?
How do you do that? There are many features “good” vs. “bad” videos have. Consider the last time you watched a movie preview? Was it intriguing? Did it get you asking questions? Did you want to
When you create your online videos for YouTube, you should be thinking along these lines. Pretend you are creating a movie
Here is what you want to do:
- Get your message out.
- Make a point.
- Entice visitors to come back for more.
- Provide clear shots and well-recorded audio.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Graphically improve your video to keep the viewer intrigued.
Remember, ten minutes is not much time. You want to record a sharp video, one that is dynamic, unusual and anything but
ordinary. Some of the most popular videos on YouTube are popular if for not other reason than the creator did something unique,
different and interesting.
Think you can’t come up with something creative for your video?
Here is a simple activity to try to help you start your journey. Take out a piece of paper. You are going to brainstorm. First, list the top
10 idea you have for making a great video.
Next to each idea, write down what makes that idea appealing. If you can’t come up with at least five reasons the idea is compelling,
scratch it off your list.
Narrow your list to your top five choices.
Now, try to define how you will present the information in your video to highlight your video in a unique and unusual way. Will you dress funny? Will you record atop the highest mountain? Will you include
a popular sound track?
Whatever you decide, make sure you try something unique. People
have every opportunity to watch something boring on television.
They turn to YouTube.com to find interesting and intriguing things
Even if you are trying to brand and promote your sites, you must be careful to make sure you do so in an interesting and creative way. No one wants to watch an infomercial on YouTube. So find a fun
way to get your message out.
Making Videos With Your Camcorder
If you have a digital or analog camcorder, then you probably already know how to use it. It is easier to post videos to YouTube if you use a digital camcorder. All
you have to do is shoot your video, download it, and upload it to YouTube.
If you use an analog video recorder, like the kind that uses older VHS tapes to record videos, you will probably have to use a converter box to create a digital copy of your video, which you can then upload to YouTube.
Once you upload your video, it’s time to improve on it. Sure, you can leave it as is, but remember, if you take even a small amount of time graphically strengthening your video you are likely to attract a larger audience. So, here’s what you do.
First, make sure you have access to some video editing software.
You can acquire this inexpensively on the Web. One of the more common tools people use is Windows MovieMaker.
Once you have the right software, upload your video to the application. Once you do this you can edit your video all you want. Try saving multiple versions of it and testing it with users to see which they like best.
Now it’s time to make your video stand out. Add special effects, like interesting color schemes or fade in. Try adding titles or even chapters to your video. Put some music in the background. All of these small additions
will encourage more people to look at and review your video.
If you are not sure what makes a good video, go to YouTube.com and check out their “featured videos” section. Find out what makes these videos stand out. Is the content outrageous? Does the author use multiple special effects? Are subtitles or category titles included? Take some notes about what you like and what you don’t. This will help you when you brainstorm ideas for improving your personal video.
Time To Upload
Now that you took some time to play with your video, it is time to upload it to YouTube. Make sure you save any changes you made to your video before you upload it. You also have to save your video in a format YouTube can use. YouTube.com recommends you save your video with the following extensions for easier uploads: .MOV, .AVI, or .MPG files. These are common video formats
most people find easy to use. YouTube also recommends you use a video with a
320×40 resolution and one with an MP3 sound track.iv
You should be able to upload your video any way you like. If you use a digital camcorder, you can upload your video from the device to the website. YouTube even provides the alternative for users to send their videos to the site by e-mail.
One you upload your video, you will need to provide some description for it and tags so people can easily find it. The best way to create tags for your video is to come up with some catchy keywords people are likely to search for when looking for videos like yours.
You will also have to specify one or more categories under which YouTube.com lists your video. Remember, the goal here is helping other users find your video quickly and easily. With millions of videos uploaded each day, you have to take time to ensure you label, categorize and tag your video correctly, so it stands out from the crowd.
Part IV – How to Drive Traffic to Your Site by
Posting Videos on YouTube
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, De.li.cious, Orkut, and Reddit. That will make your profile attractive and help in getting new contacts. Participate 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
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.
Q. What if I do not want other people to see my video?
A. YouTube allows registered members to keep their videos private, meaning only people you invite will be able to view your video clip. Simply visit the following link:
You will want to go to the “Edit” section, and select the private button. You will then need to choose the contacts you want to allow viewing rights to.
Q. Is it hard to watch videos on YouTube?
A. Watching a video is simple, anyone can do it. All you have to do is visit the site. Remember, anyone can watch video clips without registering. Click the
video and you are in business. If you want to save videos to your favorites list, you will need to register, but remember, registration is free!
Q. I want to use my cell phone to upload a video. How do I do that?
A. Many newer phones allow you to record short video clips. Before uploading to YouTube, you will have to set up your account so it can receive videos from mobile devices. To do this, simply log into your account. Then, follow the account settings choice and click on the link to “Mobile Upload Profiles.” Here you can enter information about the mobile unit you plan to upload from. Then you create a file for your cell phone. YouTube.com will provide you with a specific e-mail address you can use to send your videos to. Make sure you send your video direct to the e-mail address provided by YouTube.
Conclusions 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.
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