By Filip Matous, Online Strategist, Enviable Workplace

This five-minute video explores the marketing value of a Youtube video for a small or medium sized business aiming to improve its reputation:

If you are diving into Youtube as a small or medium-sized business, you’ll probably have a few objectives. Maybe you want the video to generate sales leads or improve your reputation. Today I’m going to dive into one specific area that’s worked well for me and that’s using video as a social object.

What do I mean by social object?

In social dynamics, often we bond over a specific object. Let’s say we both read the same book and have something to say about it. We can hang a conversation around that book. Perhaps we’ve seen the same movie, and I say, “Hey, Pulp Fiction is rad” and you say “Of course, I’ve seen it too, it’s awesome!” and we build a relationship around Pulp Fiction. Of course our conversation goes further than that but it started with a social object.

The conversation can be about your favorite drink or a Japanese dish you really enjoy - there are many different social objects. Your business video can be a social object.

So how does it work? Personally, I do a lot of blogging about workplaces and company culture. Often there is an expert (perhaps an author) in the field that I really want to interview. To set the video up, I get a bunch of questions from people in my network, people I’m interested in that have questions that this expert can answer.

I’ll jot down five of these questions, meet with the expert and ask those questions. The expert - far more knowledgeable than me - can give some sound advice. After I leave the interview, I’ll edit the video and upload it to YouTube along with an accompanying blog post (on my own website), containing an embedded link to the video and listing the five questions and answers. This will give some context.

Then I’ll send a link to the blog post back to the expert and people who’ve asked the questions, as well as maybe two or three other people who would specifically benefit from the video. Hopefully they add their comments and feedback, and forward this to other people. As a result, conversations are built around my video - it has become a social object.

Now, the people who asked the questions probably like my video because it gives them value. Or maybe they purely like it from an ego standpoint, because the expert took their questions seriously. In turn, the expert interviewed may be interested in sharing the video and blog post with their network because I”ve offered a tight way to present an idea of theirs.

The conversations that are sparked by this video often result in relationships. And through relationships you get business leads, and build a better reputation for your business.

Lastly, here are some things NOT to do when thinking about Youtube marketing. Youtube is a form of social media, right? And although it’s free to use, it’s often one of the most costly marketing activities you can undertake. Think about video that has good lighting, sound and message. When you produce a video, it takes time to edit it and upload it. It can take hours, if not days to do a proper video.

So you need to appreciate that this is time you could have spent on other business activities. Ultimately, you are trading your time, unpaid. Think about this before you decide to invest in making a YouTube video. Make a proper strategy and decide what you want to accomplish through video.

When you are done, actively distribute your video: don’t just pop it on Youtube because Youtube gets 48 hours of video uploaded every minute. People are not going to find your content, no matter how well you tag it, unless you invest some real effort in reaching out to relevant communities and connecting them with the video, putting the “social” in social object.

If you have any questions please connect with me on twitter @filipmatous, or contact me via the Enviable Workplace blog.

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