There’s no doubt video is becoming an increasingly important marketing tool. Across the world, we’re watching, uploading and sharing more than ever before. YouTube now attracts a staggering billion users per month, or around a seventh of the global population. And CISCO predicts that digital video will dominate global IP traffic by 2014.

A recent survey by AOL found that most marketers believe that online videos are a more effective way of reaching consumers than traditional TV adverts, and plan to increase spending next year. Dr James McQuivey from Forrester Research has claimed that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words when it comes to engaging and informing customers.

Whether you’re targeting customers at home or abroad, it’s hard to ignore the power of video. ComScore found that the average viewer watched 159 videos a month, with users in Asian markets, including Japan and Hong Kong leading the way.

But how can marketers tap into this trend? Clearly video is a powerful medium for grabbing users’ attention –  and ideally, turning them into customers. But with more than 100 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every single minute, it can be easy for your video to get lost in the crowd.  The video marketing agency Pixability found that almost half of the videos published by the top 100 global brands failed to reach 1000 views.

Here are five tips for boosting the visibility of your online videos and appealing to a worldwide audience:

Optimize your videos
One of the main reasons Pixability found  for a lack of success was the failure to optimize videos properly. To bring measurable benefits to your company, it’s essential to optimize them for relevant keywords in the right target languages. This can be tricky with video marketing, since there is less text to play with. But keywords can be woven into the video title, tags, and description field, as well as into the company’s profile.

Cross the language barrier
Although Google’s automatic translation of video captions is available in a growing number of languages, this isn’t always the best option for bridging the communication gap.  Global brands such as Vodafone create separate channels for different languages and regions, making it possible to include audio tracks and text descriptions in the viewers’ own language.  This also helps with optimization, since foreign language SEO and location-specific keywords can be included.

Think local
Localization is often the key to effectively communicating with global viewers.  Major multinational companies such as Pepsi are skilled at tailoring their message to different audiences. Its “Pepsi with Food” campaign in Vietnam showed local diners enjoying Vietnamese cuisine with the soft drink. Over on their Egyptian channel, viewers could see a series timed to coincide with Ramadan. While its message “Live for now” is consistent across cultures, the content is adapted to fit each one.

Target your audience
Of course, creating localized campaigns involves more effort and resources. But videos are more likely to be successful if they resonate with the target audience and reflect their values and lifestyle. It also avoids the risk of inadvertently causing offense. While Abercrombie & Finch’s “Call me maybe” was the third most watched online video in 2012, the shirtless male dancers would have been inappropriate in some more conservative cultures.  Pepsi and Coca-Cola (with its “Share a Coke” campaign) define an overall message and theme, creating content targeted at different audiences.

Use the right channel
YouTube is clearly the world’s favorite video-sharing platform, but it’s not the only one worth considering. This is particularly true when marketing in Asia, where Facebook, VEVO and Yahoo! are also popular video destinations (according to ComScore). YouTube is still banned in China, along with Facebook and Twitter. The massively popular site,  Youku Tudou, is sometimes known as the “YouTube of China”. Luxury brands, including Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci all use it to communicate with their growing Chinese customer base.

As more of the world gets connected, video is becoming an increasingly essential way for companies to get their brand noticed. By combining culturally relevant videos, with smart SEO, marketers can reach out to a huge and growing audience.