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By now, if you haven’t heard of YouTube, you probably live in a cave.  Literally.  Ever since the first video was posted on April 23, 2005, YouTube has not only been an internet sensation, it has infiltrated our free time, distracted us at work, even become a part of our language (“Joe, you’ve just got to YouTube this”).

Yet, one man’s distraction is another man’s business.  In May of 2010, YouTube reached the 2-billion views a day threshold; 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute; the company is now worth over $1.65 billion.

What does this mean for small business?

The average YouTube view spends 164 minutes on the site per day, whereas the average viewer of traditional television spends 130 minutes watching per day.  To online marketers, this presents a gargantuan audience to reach. This is great news for large and small companies alike.  Traditionally, companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing their business on TV.  In contrast, today, post-production video marketing is free.

Compared to pay-per-click advertising, video marketing wins again.  Not only is it (generally) cheaper, but studies show that web browsers “click the Play button in video ads twice as often as they click traditional image ads” (YouTube for Business, Michael Miller).

Never before has there been such a cheap, untapped market waiting to be explored.

What does this mean for your small business?

If web-browsers spend 164 minutes a day watching cute videos of chipmunks, wedding dances, and pandas, chances are there is someone willing to watch yours.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Create a YouTube account. It’s easy: www.youtube.com/create_account
  2. Start making videos.  Either hire an outside firm or make them yourself.  If you own a local carpentry company, make a do-it-yourself / how-to video.  If you work for a local think tank, make a 30-second inspirational video on why the non-profit was founded.  If you own a B2C company, make something entertaining, even stupid (Seriously have you ever thought about how many stupid video-advertisements are on TV and YouTube?  Sometimes, those videos get the most views.)
  3. Market the videos using Social Media.  Post the video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  4. In the video or in the description put in a subtle plug for your own business.

YouTube is one of the most revolutionary inventions of all time.  Start leveraging it as soon as you can.

Written by: Daniel Griffith on June 1, 2010

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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