March 4, 2008

Free Toolsday for March 4th

Last week we were without a free Toolsday because I was toiling away in Las Vegas at Affiliate Summit West 2008... learning about more great tools! While I'm still getting the hang of those, let's talk about an oldie, but goodie.

Anyone who doesn't know YouTube at this point has been living under a rock. Half hosting company, half social network, YouTube took the internet by storm with it's collection of rare, gross, lame, and hilarious videos in February of 2005. By June 2006, the company announced that 100,000 million videos were being watched per day. The impressiveness of this number boggled the mind and there was blood in the water.

The shark that is Google smelled that blood and by November 2006, Google bought out YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock. Quite a pretty penny.

YouTube helped birth the video blogs (vlogs) of the current day. Videos are great for content to promote your business. They lend your brand more equity, and more and more we're seeing that quality is defined by the depth of knowledge the video displays, not the production value of sets, lights, etc. You can use videos on your website for press conferences, virtual site tours, customer testimonials, and more. YouTube is a great way to get started on the video front with their free hosting and embedding options.

I attended a session at ASW last week about Video Innovation in Affiliate Marketing. Monetizing the traffic YouTube videos get is definitely the next step, and there are already businesses out there like that are starting that revolution. The panel of experts agreed that video will be a must have on your website in the next 18 months.

With the inexpensive yet good quality video cameras on the market (like the Aiptek A-HD 720P 5MP CMOS High Definition Camcorder that I bought last week for under $150) there's no reason NOT to get into video. Do what you know... as long as you know what you're talking about and solving someone's problem or answering someone's question, you can do great things with a 2 minute video!

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