A significant trend over the past few years has been the massive growth of the online video sharing platform YouTube. But what is really interesting is how consumers are now using YouTube.

YouTube has shed its reputation of being strictly an entertainment site. Sure, people still tune in to see popular videos such as laughing babies or pop music, but recent data shows consumers are also turning to YouTube for how-to information, providing new opportunities for marketing and business.

For example, my son recently did his Eagle Scout project – installing new carpet squares in a church. Neither he nor any of the other scouts had ever installed carpet squares, so he went to YouTube and found a series of videos on how to do this. He ended up purchasing the carpet from the company that had provided the instructional video. This is not an isolated incident – it is a means by which many consumers are now looking for information, as evidenced by the fact that YouTube has become the second most popular search engine after its parent, Google.

A great feature of YouTube is the ability to create customized “channels” to which viewers can subscribe. Posting relevant content on these channels can make an immediate impact on your search engine placement. For example, I created a new channel for a customer last week that sells ironwood figurines. I posted a video on their channel about this, and within 24 hours, that video was on the first page of Google. Now the company that sells those ironwood figurines (Amer-i-Mex.com) also has a page one listing on Google, which they did not have prior to this video. Marketing your products and services using YouTube by providing instructional information that consumers are looking for can be very powerful.

On Monday October 18th, WebStores Ltd will be hosting a webinar at 12:00 noon MST. This free webinar will show you how you maximixe your use of YouTube for your business. To reserve your spot  go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/873730713. Or simply visit us on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/WebStoresLtd.