On YouTube, a lot of viewers find new videos to watch through the recommendations on their home pages or in their suggested videos sections. They bounce from channel to channel without stopping to subscribe, and they may never see those creators’ content again. While these casual viewers are great for getting your view count up, they can decrease your audience engagement. As a content creator, your career depends on your audience’s support. A small number of engaged subscribers is more valuable than a high number of casual viewers.
Here are a few easy ways to turn your casual viewers into dedicated fans.
1. Speak to your viewers directly, both on camera and in the comments.
You should add a call-to-action to each and every video. At either the beginning or the end, address your viewers directly. Remind them to subscribe to your channel, like the video, and share it with their friends. Throughout the video, you can pepper in questions for your viewers and ask them to leave their answers in the comments.
After uploading a new video, spend some time in the comment section. Reply to your viewers, but make it more meaningful than simply “thank you” or a heart emoji. Answer their questions. Try to start a conversation among your fans. The more you engage with them, the more they’ll engage with you.
2. Reward audience engagement.
Some schools reward students who get high grades with special privileges, such as a pizza party or a homework pass. Not only does this recognition encourage those students to continue doing well, but it can also encourage the other students to work harder in order to earn the same rewards. Likewise, you should reward your fans who engage with your content the most.
A simple way to reward such a fan is to give them a shout-out in your next video. You could include a screenshot of all the Instagram notifications you’ve gotten from them or an especially meaningful comment they left on your last post. Then, tell your other viewers that you’ll shout-out another highly engaged fan in the next video.
Giveaways are another fun way to reward audience engagement. Require fans to like the video, comment on it, and subscribe to your channel in order to enter. You can even give them extra entries for leaving more comments, sharing the video on social media, etc.
3. Ask for their help reaching channel milestones.
Turn your call-to-action into a challenge by giving your video a like goal. Then, increase the goal with each new video. You might even attach a reward, such as offering to make a highly requested video or bring in a special guest, if they reach your goal. You can do something similar but more long-term with a subscriber count goal.
If you want to be more subtle, then you can direct your viewers towards your playlists, subscribe button, and other links. Tell them exactly where they can find what you’re talking about, whether it’s on your end screen, in the video description, or in a pinned comment. You can also use your video description to highlight important links, such as a playlist of related videos.
Turning your casual viewers into dedicated fans boils down to building community with your audience. Engage with them, collaborate with them, and make them feel integral to your channel. Basically, if you value your fans like friends, then you’ll earn their loyalty.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.