Think of the brands you strongly identify with. Maybe you only wear Tarte makeup because of its cruelty-free practices, or you shop at Target instead of Walmart because of the different connotations each store carries.
To viewers, a channel isn’t just a source of entertainment or information. It’s a brand they can identify themselves with, much like a favorite clothing chain or TV show. A viewer’s favorite channels are the ones they can identify with the most.
This is what makes viewers identify with your channel brand.
They relate to the personality you portray.
Online video enables creators to make content that’s more personal than mainstream media allows. Even reality shows can be heavily staged and produced, so YouTube remains the best source of authentic content.
Because vlogging carries these expectations of authenticity, viewers often gravitate towards creators whom they can relate to on a personal level. They subscribe to vloggers who feel as if they’d be a good friend in real life or make the viewer feel seen in some way.
For example, Jenna Marbles first gained popularity for her “tell it like it is” personality. Now, she continues to make videos with the goal of making no one but herself happy. Millions of viewers relate to her shameless quirkiness.
They find your lifestyle or hobbies aspirational.
Viewers turn to their favorite content creators for more than just entertainment. Many people learn new skills and improve upon their natural talents using YouTube. Tutorials, DIYs, and other instructional content have thrived on the platform for years.
Oftentimes, fans search for someone to look up to in their favorite creators. They may subscribe to someone who travels to places they dream of visiting or is a professional in the field they want to pursue. This aspirational content can also help viewers relate to a channel’s brand.
MrBeast has been described as a “viral philanthropist.” While most of his twenty-seven million subscribers can’t give away thousands of dollars themselves, they relate to his desire to help others and have fun at the same time.
They resonate with your message.
Maybe you’re always reminding your viewers to look for the silver lining. Alternatively, you might share your sardonic view of the world with your audience. Your values influence your content, and they attract viewers who share the same ones.
Perhaps you vlog to bring awareness to a challenge you face or a community you’re a part of. Viewers who identify in a similar way may see themselves in your content, thereby identifying with your brand.
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard creates a lot of videos about living with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Viewers who either relate to one of these identities or are interested in learning more about them have built a strong community around her channel.
They feel like an important part of the community surrounding your channel.
Like with popular movies and other media, fan bases often spring up around YouTube channels. Together, fans create their own world of art, stories, inside jokes, and friendship. While fan bases can also drum up drama and rivalries, they’re mostly a safe place for viewers to connect with people who share their interests.
Encourage your fans to build a community around your channel. Share their art and learn their inside jokes. Celebrate with them and connect with them on a personal level.
One of the most notable YouTube fan bases is the one surrounding British vloggers Daniel Howell and Phil Lester. The strong, global community has run fundraisers, created videos together, and sold out shows on two world tours.
When viewers identify with your channel brand, they transform into loyal subscribers and supporters. Define what makes your channel relatable and aspirational to strengthen your connection with your audience.
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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.