I Tube, YouTube

Put the site to work promoting your business.

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By Gwen Moran

Beyond showing what happens when you mix Diet Coke and Mentos candies, YouTube is also a valuable promotional tool for your business. So says Michael Miller, author of YouTube 4 You. Here's how to use it:

Practice edutainment. Michael Harrosh, founder and CEO of Sierra Snowboard, a snowboard shop in Sacramento, California, put a nine-minute video on how to properly wax a snowboard on YouTube. In less than four months, it was downloaded more than 23,000 times. "We can upload as much as we want, and YouTube hosts it," says Harrosh, 33. "People just gravitate toward it." All those views mean a higher search engine ranking for the video and more traffic on Sierra's website.

Get found. According to Miller, you should make your URL visible in both the video and the text commentary accompanying the video.

Avoid overproducing. You don't need to spend big on videos, says Miller, because everything you upload will be reduced to 320 x 240 pixels. Use simple, tight shots: Single-person scenes usually work better than crowds.

Show off. Harrosh uses YouTube to create interest in new snowboard designs. He says video is a great way to build advance demand for a product. Miller says consultants may use the site to show an interesting presentation, while a pottery shop could use the site to show how its pieces are made.

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