Mark Cuban-backed start-up launches “HootSuite for YouTube”

VidIQ has spent the last year quietly working with companies like AOL(s aol) to help them manage and monitor their growing catalogue of YouTube videos. On Tuesday, backed by some prominent investors including Mark Cuban, the company opened shop to the general public.

According to VidIQ CEO Robert Sandie, big companies have learned the power of Twitter and Facebook(s fb) as marketing tools but are overlooking YouTube, which he describes as the world’s “second biggest social network.”

To fill this gap, VidIQ is offering tools that let companies monitor and manage their videos and apply some SEO zest to help their videos rise in search rankings. He explained that most companies are failing to apply even basic search strategies to their YouTube(s goog) content, meaning it’s still relatively easy to achieve big improvements in YouTube visibility.

“It means an organic boost in video traffic,” said Sandie in a phone interview. “Like the early days of the web, when you could get a headstart on Google or Yahoo or Alta Vista, it’s still early on in YouTube.”

VidIQ’s primary SEO tool is a box that prompts users to add more keywords to their videos. It also provides guidance about the optimal time to publish new videos.

The company also offers analytics tools that Sandie says can deliver important demographic information such as the ratio of male to female viewers. And, like HootSuite does for Twitter and other social media, VidIQ lets users monitor comments and buzz about their YouTube videos.  Other broader social media management companies, like Unified Social, also offer some social marketing services for YouTube but Sandie says VidIQ offers a unique YouTube listening platform to monitor and engage influencers.

To start, VidIQ is offering two versions of its products: a free one that small users can apply to manage single YouTube channel and a more sophisticated enterprise package for a fee.

VidIQ says it has so far raised more than $800,000 from Mark Cuban, Scott Banister, David Cohen, and others.