If you think YouTube is just for kids, you’re making a big mistake. It wasn’t just the under-30 set that boosted the video-hosting site to a new milestone of 2 billion hits a day in mid-May.

“What’s interesting is that some days YouTube gets more traffic than Google,” says #b#Ed Andriessen#/b# of Business Training Resource in Hamilton. “It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the search engine world.” But fear not for Google. It owns YouTube.

Much of YouTube’s usage is due to its entertainment value: clips from television shows, songs from concerts, even kids’ dance recitals. But people are discovering that YouTube is also useful for research, especially if you want to learn how to do something — how to make a blog post on WordPress, how to fire someone. Or even how to make a YouTube video.

Of course, videos are also useful tools for marketing your business and educating your customers on how to use a product or service too. With the help of YouTube and some free or inexpensive tools, you can create videos, and post them for the world to see. Then you can either send your customers a link or use a bit of computer code that YouTube provides that will allow people to view the video on your website.

And all of this is free to you, because YouTube makes its money from ads placed to the right of your video; these advertise products and services that may interest the same population that has selected to view your video. When someone clicks on one of the ads, the advertiser pays Google a fee.

Andriessen will speak on how to use YouTube to market a business at the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, July 14, at 8:30 a.m. at the Trenton Marriott. Cost: $35. Visit mercerchamber.org or call 609-689-9960.

Create your own video channel. A channel is your personal page on YouTube, where you can post videos related to your business. These comprise not only the videos you have created, but others on YouTube that you think are related to your business or service and whose creators have allowed them to be shared.

Decide on your desired outcome. Your goals for a video may be as varied as making sales, building a brand, or educating customers on how to do business with you.

#b#Figure out your strategy#/b#. Your strategy may involve more than just creating a video. It may include E-mail blitzes, making use of informational videos that already exist, or combining videos with a blog, and other related activities.

Suppose, for example, you own a sporting goods store and have a backlog of Shimano fishing reels that you want to get rid of. How could you best use YouTube to further your aim?

First, you might want to search for videos that review the reels you want to sell (to get an idea of what kinds of videos are available, go to YouTube and search for “Shimano reels”). Then you might create a short video about how a customer can order reels from you.

After posting all of these videos on your YouTube channel (which is comparable to a Facebook page), you can send E-mails to your customers and to those likely to be interested in rods and reels, such as subscribers to “Field and Stream” magazine. Your E-mail should invite them to your YouTube channel to see some videos about the reels and also let them know that the rods will be on sale until the end of the month.

#b#Make it quick#/b#. Create one or more very brief videos of no more than two or three minutes.

First create a script or storyboard about what you want to say in the video. “Winging it doesn’t work that well,” says Andriessen. If a video is not scripted and practiced, the inevitable result is numerous takes.

You will also need to purchase an inexpensive webcam or a Flip video cam to shoot your video. Many cameras even have software to automatically upload videos to YouTube. To show how easy it is, Andriessen is going to interview someone during his talk and upload the video to YouTube. “The barriers to having your own videos on the Internet have disappeared,” he says.

Next, edit the video. “You can put up the video raw, but I usually like to have a little bit of editing,” says Andriessen. He often uses Windows Movie Maker to add opening and closing slides. The open slide, which would show for five to six seconds, introduces the topic of the video and his company’s name. He will then talk for two to three minutes and end with a slide that includes his telephone number and the URL for his website, which he will leave on for 8 to 10 seconds.

Movie Maker also lets videomakers split and trim film clips, add clips, and put in transitions. Don’t know how to use Movie Maker? That’s fine. All you have to do is bring up instructional videos on YouTube.

Finally, upload the video. Just Click on YouTube’s “upload my video” button to begin the process. Andriessen estimates that a two-minute video will take about 10 minutes to upload. YouTube will convert your video to a format that can be viewed on YouTube.

#b#Be content with your content#/b#. When companies express worry about where they will get enough content for a video channel, Andriessen suggests that people use content that is out there on the Web. Relevant YouTube videos and written pieces from article directories like ezinearticles.com (which allows people to use the content as long as they include a link to the person who wrote the article) work well.

And in doing all of this, don’t neglect your blog, which should be crafted in conjunction with your YouTube site. For his blog, Andriessen will add a short teaser to introduce the content.

Andriessen grew up in the Bronx and moved to Monmouth County when he was 10. Although he did start college, studying psychology, he never finished and instead moved into the real estate business. He spent several years in residential real estate with such companies as U.S. Homes, Weiner Homes, and ERA Resale Professionals, where he helped his father build his own real estate business. His father had been one of the principal builders of the Rossmoor and Clearbrook senior communities who then opened a brokerage that sold only to those communities.

Andriessen’s also was as regional sales manager for K. Hovanian in Red Bank, from 1996 to 2005. But when times got tight, Andriessen was let go, and he changed direction. “I realized I had an opportunity because I had developed some really good skills in sales, marketing, technology, quality assurance, and training,” he says.

So he went to work for a consulting firm, the Sharrow Group of Rochester, New York. After a couple of years, he sat down with a business mentor to explore whether his skills from the homebuilding industry were transferable to other industries.

Andriessen was able to pursue his technology training and consulting business out of that office. His focus is on helping people and companies to use Internet marketing tools such as blogs, E-mail managers, video, video E-mail, and Web conferencing. “I realized that small to medium-sized business need help in closing the gap between ‘I want to do this’ and “I don’t know how,’” he says.

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