Though many companies have succeeded in reaching their audiences via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, only a fraction have explored the option of marketing via YouTube.

Yet, YouTube is not only the second-largest search engine but also the third most-visited website in the world, only behind Google and Facebook. It receives over 1 billion unique monthly visitors, and it has about 6 billion hours of videos watched each month.

Let those numbers sink in, for a minute...

Initially, the greatest challenge is getting people to see your videos, but it can be done. I will outline the seven steps for driving traffic to your YouTube videos.

1. Research keywords

The first step is to head over to the YouTube Keyword Tool, which allows you to check how many searches specific queries receive per month. Type in the keyword that best describes the video's theme; for example, a video produced by The Walking Dead might want to optimize for "zombies." On the top right of the query results, select match type "exact" to see how many people are searching for your exact phrase. Don't worry too much about the other match types for now.

2. Scout the Competition

To check YouTube for competition, take your selected keywords and do a quick search on YouTube. The number of results is the competition. Obviously, the fewer videos that show up, the better; but anything under 500,000 should be relatively easy to optimize for.

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image of Richard Jeng

Richard Jeng is a marketing consultant for MobLab, an education technology startup that delivers interactive games for social sciences learning via mobile devices.

Twitter: @RichardJeng