The Evolution of Dance. Susan Boyle. The Numa Numa Guy. The sneezing Panda.
The land of Web 2.0 has introduced the world to the concept of the viral video like those just mentioned – those videos uploaded onto YouTube that take the world by storm, become sensations, and attract millions of hits.
Many people view these viral videos as a negative consequence of a technologically-induced tiny world, but if you’re a Web marketer, YouTube’s systemic reach can mean great things for you. Because you, my friend, can use the concept of viral marketing to get your brand, message, or Web site to a wide – and sometimes ridiculously wide – audience.
But how do you do even start? Let’s start with the hardware/software.
Technology Suited for Making YouTube Videos
When learning how to make a YouTube video, you have a couple of options: you can film your own content or you can edit something that already exists (depending on the copyright laws, of course). To film your own content, you’re going to need a good video camera. To edit your video, you’re going to need a nice piece of editing software. Let’s take a look at the best of both worlds.
If you have your eyes set on becoming a YouTube star, a dedicated piece of technology like the Casio Exilim EX-Z77 YouTube Digital Camera will probably work for you. These cameras are built with the idea of producing YouTube content in mind, which will give you plenty of shortcuts and ensure you don’t have to worry about uploading the correct file types. Just make sure that if you go for a digital camera like this that you aren’t looking for something for every situation including YouTube videos. These types of cameras are exclusively suited forYouTube usage.
Both Apple’s iMovie and Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker are fine for basic YouTube usage and should already be on the computer you own. But if you’re looking for something with more professional options, a product like Final Cut Pro might be more your style. If you’re new to the whole YouTube and movie editing thing, you might want to stick with the simpler programs for a while.
What to Shoot?
Once you’ve got a handle on the hardest and softest of wares for your YouTube ambitions, you’re ready to start thinking about what you want to actually upload. Here are a few ideas that might help you get started:
- How-to’s: Ever notice how many videos there are out there that tell you how to play a specific song on the piano, or teach you how to make the best grilled cheese sandwich possible? People love their how-to’s: heck, you’re even reading How to Make YouTube Videos right now.
- Bits: Videos like The Evolution of Dance (over 100,000,000 views) are simply funny little skits or acts that people love to send to their friends. These bits show the power of word-of-mouth viral marketing, and if you can come up with a good bit yourself, you can reach a lot of people.
- Personal studios: Some people like to use YouTube as their personal studios, distributing their content to the masses. You can make your own short films, TV shows, documentaries, and feature films and simply upload them to YouTube instead of trying to get a studio to pick it up.
- Mashups: Ideas like re-cut movie trailers (check out “The Shining” as an uplifting film) or weirdly-edited music videos have found a lot of popularity on YouTube.
- Bloopers: If you’d rather avoid America’s Funniest Home videos, you can post your weird bloopers and home-made movies onto YouTube, like making a half-court basketball shot.
Create Your YouTube Account
You can’t learn how to make a YouTube video unless you’re uploading to YouTube, of course. So once you’ve gotten both your technology and your ideas ready to go, it’s time to get down to business: it’s time to create a YouTube account.
If you haven’t used it before, don’t worry. YouTube is as popular as it is partly because it’s so simple to use. Simply go to YouTube’s signup page and fill out your basic information like an e-mail address. If you have an e-mail address you reserve for these kind of signups, make sure ot use it. Here’s what you can expect to see:
Pretty basic stuff. Once you get through that part of the process, you’re ready to sign in. Simply enter your individual username and click on through.
Poof! Once here at your user’s “Home” page, you’ll simply hover on the yellow button in the upper-right hand corner of the page in order to upload your content:
Once you hover over that button, you’ll see two options: you can either upload your video from a file you’ve created, or directly record from your camera. I recommend having your file ready first so that you can edit it with your chosen software.
You can then follow YouTube’s instructions, select the video from your hard drive, and YouTube will handle much of the work from there. Once you’ve done it once, you’ll be ready to do it over and over again.
Other Tips and Tricks for YouTube Videos
This simple tutorial has covered the basics: but what about some of the more advanced features YouTube has to offer? You know how to make YouTube videos now, but here are some ways you can really get good:
- Get acquainted with the best formats for YouTube videos. From there, see if your camera can suit those formats.
- Make sure you make full use of your title, description, and keyword tags. Because YouTube videos show up in the search results in Google, you can actually get a lot of traffic because of the way you’ve phrased your title.
- Add annotations to your video – this allows you to write out comments that can be seen in the actual video: very helpful for How-To’s.