Can you believe Google paid $1.6 billion dollars for YouTube? How could that be?

Well, it's quite simple, really. Video is the most powerful communication medium we have, unless we're actually in a room with someone, and YouTube put the tool of video communication over the Web into the hands of the common folk.

In doing so, the site's popularity soared and marketers everywhere clamored to get in on the action.

But YouTube isn't the only game in town. For marketers truly interested in putting video communication to good use, the key to getting the job done is finding the right tools.

Do you want to record a video message for on-demand access? Do you want to do live video from a large meeting, conference, or other event? Do you want more than just video, such as text chat, polling, Q&A or PowerPoint slides alongside your video? Do you need to secure access to an employee webcast or an online seminar you're charging for?

The array of tools at a communicator's fingertips can accomplish so much: interactive training sessions, video sales presentations, live meetings with prospects, "video voicemails" recorded and sent with just a few clicks, and, of course, live or recorded video played back from your Web site.

Clients from healthcare, technology, finance, advertising, and others are using video to achieve business objectives.

For example, a medical device manufacturer uses video webcasts to market a device used in heart surgeries. Live video webcasts let surgeons around the world—all potential customers for this manufacturer—see the device in action during real-world operations.

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Gary Anderson is the CEO of Netbriefings, a webcasting services provider that helps businesses communicate with video. He can be reached at 651-225-1532 or