Now ranking as the second largest search engine online, YouTube's reach and influence on consumers can't be understated. Consider the following: over 2 billion videos a day are viewed on YouTube; there are over 480 million YouTube users worldwide; and the average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube. More importantly, partner ad revenue on YouTube more than tripled in 2009. Then why is it that the social networking site is often overlooked by marketers, taking a backseat to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
Trying to answer that question — along with ways to make money from advertising on YouTube — was Greg Jarboe, president of SEO-PR, a search engine optimization and online public relations consulting firm, at the recent Online Marketing Summit in San Diego. Here's some of what Jarboe had to say:
Prices to advertise on YouTube are dirt cheap, said Jarboe, adding that it's one of the last bargains out there. Take advantage of the opportunity. Dynomighty Design, a wholesale seller of magnetic jewelry and other creative products, has grown its small business almost entirely via YouTube. All the company did was post a minute-long video demonstrating a magnetic bracelet's features. That first video received 2.7 million views, and within three months generated $130,000 in sales. Dynomighty Design now attributes 50 percent of its website traffic to YouTube.
Create a call-to-action overlay on your video and link back to your website, advised Jarboe. Online retailer Artbeads.com saw a 150 percent increase in referral traffic to its website by simply placing an overlay on its own video — which is free to do, by the way — promoting its weekly specials at Artbeads.com. Just a couple lines of text with a link. To maximize effectiveness, place your overlay ad within the first 10 seconds of the video, Jarboe said. At that point you still have the audience's attention.
YouTube allows its advertisers to go back and edit overlays, title tags and descriptions, but you can’t edit a video itself once it’s posted. In addition to putting a link to your website in your overlay, place the same link within the first sentence. YouTube specifies that you must use http:// when creating your link.