Though YouTube is very different from other typical Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter where people update statuses and share information very quickly, it is still one of the most important sites on the internet. It’s become the mecca for internet culture by allowing users to post their videos. And (everyone, repeat after me) videos are a lot more fun to watch than text.

Many people on YouTube have realized this, and, by producing fun and entertaining content, have found more than just publicity. Many of the users that YouTube has selected as partners are making six figures a year on the advertising revenue generated on the ads placed on their videos. Their videos receive such a huge number of hits that they can live off the money.

Though many criticize Youtubers for their “unprofessional” content, the power of YouTube cannot be ignored. Whether you’re an independent film maker, a high school video enthusiast, or a company making blenders (true story), you need to have a YouTube account and you need to generate original and compelling short content.

The marketing buzzword is “viral videos,” but the mantra you have to know is, “Don’t look like you’re trying too hard.” No matter how well-designed your videos are to be the perfect type of funny for your target audience, today’s generation is very good at realizing when they’re being targeted, and that makes the experience less authentic and therefore less cool. So just so you understand at the outset, viral videos are not a marketing strategy in and of themselves, they are complimentary.

However, when you do start making fun videos, remember to have fun with it. Find ways to make your video attractive to potential advertisers (even if you aren’t a YouTube partner).

A good example of this is Mystery Guitar Man, a Brazilian guy living in LA who makes YouTube videos for a living. His trademark messy, spiky hair, sunglasses, and wacky-yet-creative personality attract over a million viewers per video (and he updates twice a week). Garnier picked up on it and now pays him to advertise their Survivor hair gel.

Take a look, here is how Mystery Guitar Man makes mad cash.

So while you should never base the success of all of your social media marketing services on a viral video, remember that video can be more fun for your audience to view, which means they’ll be coming to you to receive your message (if it’s entertaining enough). Find authentic ways to make yourself available to sponsors and advertisers (for the one in a million chance that you become seriously popular). Just don’t look like you’re trying too hard.

Jamie Bates