Josh Stevenson at Believe Studios manages YouTube channels for a number of Believe Digital’s Premier clients and he has written a guest blog about engaging your audience – definitely worth a read!
‘So you’ve set up your channel…’ it’s nicely designed, your videos are doing pretty well and your subscriber base is growing. What can you do now that will take your own little corner of YouTube to the next level?
Unlike television, releasing your content online means that you can interact in real-time, with all the people who are watching your videos. Content producers no longer have a one-way relationship with their audience and many online viewers want to feel that their opinions and comments are being listened to and considered by their favourite online talents.
So how can you make sure your channel isn’t just a soapbox for you to stand on, but is a welcoming, interactive place that appeals to a wide audience? Here are some tips:
Read and reply to your comments- Not every single one, but if someone asks you a question directly or offers some particularly astute observations it’s great to acknowledge them. Being an active commenter will mean viewers are more likely to stick around on your channel for a chance to be part of the conversations.
Ask Questions- Are you a musician? Why not take requests? A blogger? Ask your community their views on subjects that interest you. By communicating directly with your audience through your videos you are turning your fans into a genuine community.
Call Out Active Members- have you noticed a particular viewer is super active in your comments section? Think of these fans as ambassadors of your content- they are the ones that are probably sharing your stuff with people they know. Why not throw them a little love every now and then- highlight something they have said in the comments in one of your videos or start following them on Twitter?
Video Responses- Seen someone else releasing great content on Youtube? Why not make your next upload a video response to something they have done? On YouTube many content creators share fans so sending a little love someone’s way might result in some of their fans checking out your stuff.
There is no exact science to how you deal with fans on YouTube and everyone will be different, but the more of a bond you can create with the people who watch you the more they are likely to stick around, grow loyal to your content and share your stuff with others.
Remember – YouTube is a playground, not a fenced in garden – and as we all know the most popular kid in the playground is the one that shares and plays nice.