In the three years since YouTube first appeared, video has become more and more part of the basic language of the Internet. As a filmmaker, YouTube should be one of the basic tools in your marketing tookit. Unless your movie is less that 10 minutes long, you can't put it all on YouTube, but you can put up a trailer to publicize your movie and refer people to your main website.
Step 1. Make a Good Trailer
A movie trailer tells a movie's premise through excerpts in less than three minutes, all without spoiling the plot. To build tension quickly, most trailers rely heavily on a formula of voice-over narration, montage, and appropriate music. Make sure to include your studio production logo at the beginning, give your lead roles appropriate credit, and end with a billing block that includes the name of your website (or the movie's website). Remember Productiontrax if you need stock footage, music or sound effects.
Step 2. Start a YouTube account
As a filmmaker, you'll want to start a "director" account. This lets you add a custom logo and a link to your website to your account page, and has several filmmaker-specific features that you can use to promote your video projects.
Step 3. Upload your Trailer
Make sure your trailer is less than 10 minutes long, smaller than 100MB, and in a standard file format. On any YouTube page, click the "Upload Videos" button in the upper-right corner. Give your video an appropriate title, set it to Public, and put it in an appropriate category. Write a clear, specific description of your trailer in the "description" box, using complete sentences, that makes it clear what makes your trailer unique. Most importantly, fill up the tags box with related words, so that anyone searching for you in the YouTube and Google search engine will find your trailer. Include as many words as you can think of that are related to the subject of your movie, and always include the words "trailer", "independent", "video", and "movie", as well as the names of your cast, crew, and other websites associated with your film. If you once met a guy who runs a movie theater in Arizona, and he wants to screen your movie, but all he remembers is that it's a documentary about melons and that you live on the south side of Chicago, he's going to type "Chicago melons" into the YouTube search box, and you want him to find you!
Step 4. Get the Word Out
Once your trailer is online, most of your work is done. But you still need to get the promotional ball rolling. Email a link to the trailer to everyone you know! If you have a blog, post a link on it to your trailer. You can even embed your YouTube video on webpages, MySpace and Facebook, profiles and on other blogs. Once people see what you're working on, they'll certainly visit your website and be ready for the release of your movie.