Everybody’s talking these days about Twitter and Facebook, yet very few seem to be doing something about the fact that YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world (behind Google). If you’re an Internet marketer or small business owner, don’t leave the video sharing website out of your online marketing checklist. It’s high time for online video, and if one looked closely enough one would find that YouTube presents incredible opportunities to help you get noticed online – and quickly, too.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to be James Cameron or even a film graduate from NYU to succeed in improving your Internet presence via YouTube. You also won’t need a Hollywood blockbuster film budget. Remember, posting videos on YouTube is absolutely free – no need to shell out thousands of dollars for advertising placement or bandwidth costs; only, you have to make sure your YouTube videos are actually seen.

Here’s a list of top ten tips on using YouTube for your business:

1. Use your YouTube channel as a branding tool. Choose a username or channel name that reflects your business identity, and then add your YouTube channel URL to your social networking / social media profiles, your website, and maybe even your printed marketing collaterals.

2. Forget lavish production values. Be authentic. The most successful videos keep it real. If you can do the videos yourself, do the videos yourself. That’s how you stand out. If possible, avoid creating slideshows of stock photos or using conventional scripts and templates that make you look like just another one of those forgettable YouTube channels.

3. Avoid making videos that look like ads. Viewers don’t go to YouTube wanting to be barraged by sales pitches and advertising buzzwords.

4. Not sure what video to make? Try something that establishes your industry expertise and brand leadership. Upload your best presentations and publish your most successful podcasts in a video format. Shoot a quick interview with people who work in your company – or work with your company. You can even post honest testimonials from happy customers and add credibility to your brand.

5. Or try delivering customer service through YouTube. Hey, why not? A quick “how-to” video made for customers can be something they’d watch over and over. Or answer FAQs with a creative presentation or cartoon sketch. Google’s official YouTube channel, for example, contains a bunch of videos that explain typically hard-to-understand techie things through simple cartoon presentations and quick, concise voiceovers.

6. Be awesome. You’re not going to get a lot of views or attention if you’re content to be lackluster and boring. Let the general awesomeness of your company and brand shine through in your YouTube channel – and never hesitate to have some fun. Then keep the videos coming to sustain the relationship you’ve built with your audience and which you’ve founded on such positive vibes.

7. Don’t worry about view count. You don’t have to have a million views to be able to reach out to existing or potential customers. Identify and target a specific audience, and focus your online video marketing efforts on communicating with that audience.

8. Leverage the power of social media. That’s how viral content is passed around these days. Whenever you publish a new video, share it on Facebook and Twitter. Embed it in your blog with an accompanying article or description. Link your channel and videos everywhere you can to maximize visibility.

9. Optimize. SEO helps you get found more easily, so don’t hesitate to use your favorite optimization techniques to generate higher search rankings for your video content. Add keyword-rich tags to the video, choose the most appropriate and search-engine-friendly title, write out detailed descriptions, insert links, and enable ratings, comments, and embedding – these things pave the path for both search engines and human beings to find your content.

10. Want to track your video’s level of engagement? Put something in it that would make viewers take action. Trackable URLs, coupon codes, phone numbers, and subscription offers are only some examples of how you can get tangible results from your YouTube videos.