YouTube as Social Media
While it may seem an odd concept, YouTube is actually a vibrant and fertile social media venue, with plenty of opportunities for marketing that go beyond simply posting the odd advertisement or vlog series. In much the same way as any other social media network, YouTube has a culture all its own and is an excellent place to build up online credibility while effectively marketing to clients. It admittedly takes a bit of time to see how this culture functions, but a little understanding can go a long way on YouTube, especially if a few basic practices are adhered to.
First, subscribe to relevant channels frequently, and “favorite” videos that are important. All social media networks function best when there is a strong degree of reciprocity, often summed up as sub-for-sub in YouTube parlance. In essence, if you subscribe to a channel and provide a reasonable amount of content of your own, there's a good chance that channel will subscribe in return. It isn't a perfect digital correlation, but it does follow a trend and will produce views as a strategy in the long term.
Second, make video replies to content related to the brand's topic of choice. A video reply is just that, a video made in reply to or as a comment on another user's video. When you set a video as a reply, then searches for the original video will piggyback the new video with it, increasing traffic to both sites reciprocally. However, make sure that the video replies are genuinely on-topic to the original video, or they will quickly generate ill will in spades.
Third, as always, be active in the comments section. Make insightful commentary on videos you find useful or related to your brand. Don't simply use this as a means to make a barely-related comment followed by a link to your own videos, but develop relationships and working conversations with other users. This will establish more credibility and make your social media marketing efforts on YouTube that much more fruitful.