Beyond The Video: Engaging With Your Fans On YouTube
By Jay Cook October 3, 2019
With the launch of Official Artist Channels and YouTube Music, it can be easy to forget that there’s an entire world of YouTube beyond delivering your music and videos. Whether you’re operating as a label, an artist, or a vlogger, using the in-platform interactive features can be an invaluable resource in keeping your fanbase updated on your next moves, or to promote content already existing on your channel you think needs a little more shine. You can also use these features to position yourself closer to channels and communities within your target demographic. As a refresher, read below for three great features to utilize on YouTube.
The bulk of YouTube conversation still happens on the video itself, and there are plenty of ways to capitalize on this as a creator. For example, if there’s a comment that you like, you can simply pin it so that it is the first comment a viewer sees on the video. You could pin your own comment to start a discussion in the comment box, or pin a fan comment you found particularly funny or provocative. Not only this, but you can also reply to fans directly, and comments to which you reply will be more likely to display as a “top comment.” Do your best to ignore negative comments, as acknowledging them or replying to them will also make them more likely to appear first! You can also remove, report or hide negative comments. Don’t forget that you can comment on other videos as well, whether as a label supporting an artist, an artist supporting another artist, or a casual commenter responding to videos that interest you.
Stories + Community Posts
The newest feature in your community toolkit known as “Stories,” currently in beta for users with more than 10k subscribers, is YouTube’s variation on the popular format that’s ubiquitous on social media platforms these days. Rather than disappearing after a day, YouTube Stories stick around for a week, but are still made up of short-form video content. Additionally, Stories are only visible to mobile viewers.
If you’re looking to share still photos, poems, written statements or links to your full-length videos, then “Community” posts are the way to go. These function like posts on other social networks (Facebook or Twitter, for example) and will be surfaced at the top of your subscribers’ feeds when they log in to YouTube.
Although you may not think of it as such, playlisting is certainly a social feature that can help strengthen ties between multiple channels or brands. Playlists can be as simple and low effort as “Music Videos I Like” to as specific as “Songs I Listened to While Recording My Last Album” or “Artists I’ve Been on Tour With.” There’s an endless combination of ways to promote your own work and the larger brand through playlists! If you have a playlist with a significant following, try updating it on a regular basis to get your newest work in front of as many eyes as possible.
With some simple research and targeting, a few comments or posts a month could make a massive difference in the livelihood of your YouTube presence.