Over the years, YouTube has gone from a simple video-uploading platform to a massive social media platform that boasts almost 2 billion active users each month. It appeals to the likes of all different types of viewers, and even the most niche subjects can find a home on YouTube thanks to its diverse audience.
Research conducted by WyzOwl found that 91 percent of marketers consider video an important part of their marketing strategy. It's an engaging type of content, and it's known to boost ROI. People have moved away from text and are focused on refreshing visual content. Perhaps that's why YouTube is so overwhelmingly successful, with 1 billion hours of video watched daily.
The good news with these huge numbers is that your target audience is most definitely scouring YouTube for high-quality content that's relevant to their interests. A lot of them may feel like they haven't quite found that sense of community and belonging they want, and that's where you come in.
If you want to learn how to use YouTube to foster a sense of community, here are a few ways to get started.
1. Match your channel to your brand image.
Your YouTube channel is a platform to showcase who you are and what your content will be about. Your image lets viewers know right off the bat if your content is something they'd enjoy. It's essential to create an image for your brand and to implement that brand image into all areas of your channel.
Consider your banner, text and links when first creating your YouTube brand. You need all these elements to represent your brand accurately so you get the right subscribers who are interested in your content and willing to provide engagement. Make sure the way you write your captions, alt text, descriptions and titles all match your brand and how you'd like to be represented. Match your links to your social media, website or other important sites.
You can create a custom-made banner for free in Canva if you're savvy with graphic design. If not, feel free to hire a freelancer on Fiverr who can create one for an affordable price. Review your thumbnails to make sure they're relevant to the videos themselves and accurately represent what they’re about.
2. Create video playlists.
YouTube lets you create playlists based off your own videos for a reason, and that's to keep your channel organized for easily accessible content. This boosts your reach because it provides a smooth UX for your audience and lays your content out in a simple, effective way. If it's difficult to find something, users will get frustrated, exit the page and likely never visit your channel again.
If you haven't already, take advantage of the playlist feature and start organizing your videos by topic. Group similar content together according to themes, challenges or video type. Stay away from clickbait material that everyone hates. Make sure your playlists are geared toward your target audience and appeal to their tastes. They should be able to either entertain them or bring them solutions.
3. Encourage action.
In the marketing world, we call nudges in the right direction CTAs, or calls to action. They tell viewers exactly what action you want them to take once they've absorbed and explored your content. It leads them to sign up for your email list, check out your website, subscribe to your content and more. CTAs are the key to boosting your conversion rate because they specifically encourage action.
If you aren't including CTAs in your videos, you're losing an opportunity to build community within your channel. It's common at the beginning or end of a YouTube video to hear the person tell viewers to subscribe to their channel or leave a comment, and this is a great way to spark engagement.
Tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do in each video without sounding pushy or bossy. Give them actions that are easy to perform so the chances of converting are higher.
4. Engage with your audience.
Fostering community is about feeling welcome in a group and passing on that feeling to new subscribers. That's why it's important to make engaging with your audience a regular part of your YouTube routine. Actions such as responding to user comments or speaking to them directly in your videos show your audience you're personable and that there's a real human being behind the screen.
The YouTube comments section can be a hub of interesting, useful information if you know how to leverage it properly. Use it to build your content marketing strategy. Scour the questions users leave in the comments section and use them to create new videos with answers. Then, give a shoutout to or tag the users who asked these questions. This will not only boost your content and prove it useful to your audience, but it'll give you new ideas to build on in the future.
YouTube is a fun platform that anyone can use to build their brand on. Video marketing is increasing in popularity, and with it comes a higher demand for content. With so much content already out there, it can be difficult to build a community within your brand that feels authentic. However, if you put your audience first, you'll see user engagement and views skyrocket in no time. How will you use YouTube to build community?