How can a campaign build a community on YouTube?

This post was written by Alicia, a university student, who came to work with us on researching social media platforms, specifically into how young people spend their time online. She has written a series of informative articles on this topic, this blog being the first.

There are many advantages to using YouTube as a campaigning strategy; It has a huge amount of volume, it is the second biggest search engine in the world and has over 6 billion hours of views per month. Using YouTube means low costs, essentially you won’t be charged for a view unless the user watches 30 seconds or more.

How do you do it?

The first stage is to build a dedicated audience, once you have gained the attention of the audience then you are able to build a brand relationship with them, this will guarantee you more views than if you just focused on attracting random viewers. Whether you are trying to aim for your content to be viral or not, you should always be aiming to connect your brand to your dedicated audience. Once you establish an active community, you will then on receive better results on each new video you upload as the audience will always be tuning in to watch and is able to share the content.

Subscribers however, are the PRIORITY.



There are 14 techniques for building a successful campaign on YouTube:

  1. Educate your viewer: If you put education first and entertainment secondary, what will the viewer receive out of it?
  2. Consistent Characters/Themes: You want the audience to become naturally more familiar with the characters in your campaign however, this is more difficult as the most successful brands tend to include celebrities within their videos. You might have to settle for someone in your company or yourself if you’re on a budget.
  3. Economy: If you have never used Youtube before, it is best to shoot four short videos every day for 3 days, leaving you with 12 useful videos to start you off either once a week or once a month, lasting you from 3 months to a year in content (you can always up the frequency as time and cost budgets are more forgiving). Create valuable content that people want to watch, don’t worry about videos that are seemingly too short.
  4. Spark Interest: Now that you have built your audience, you will need to grab their attention. Try tap into recent events, more controversial or ‘sexy’ topics, or trending matters! Make sure your content style and genre are consistent, find a way to weave popular tags into your video without seeming irrelevant or ‘clickbait’-ing.
  5. No Neglect: Once you have built your community it is important that you don’t lose them through irregular posting, channel silence, losing consistency or ignoring their comments and messages just ignoring them! Make sure to take time and reply to comments and make them feel involved within the community. If you’re pre-recording videos months or even just weeks in advance, you might want to consider adding Q&A or FAQ sections to your videos before upload or creating separate videos dedicated to this, just so people feel they’re being heard.
  6. Cross Promote: Once the video is posted on Youtube, it is a good idea to also post it on your other social media platforms as it will draw a bigger audience and more conversations. Facebook is a great video platform these days and is more forgiving when it comes to getting attention and advertising. Facebook works best when uploading video directly to the platform rather than just copying and pasting a video link as a post. (Remember to link everything back to your Youtube!)
  7. Optimize Content: You want to make sure that your video ranks in Google so therefore, you should make use of keywords in titles, tags and descriptions and link the video on other blog pages and other social media platforms. This will draw people to your video when searching these keywords on Google. Once someone has access to your video then they are more likely to subscribe which ultimately results in more video views which results in more subscriptions, and so on.
  8. Create Interesting video titles: Keep them simple and to the point. In-app or as a small side-bar icon, you want the majority of your title to appear readable so potential viewers can read it!
  9. Clear Video Thumbnails: It is very important to make it large and clear. Just using an auto-generated video-still from the uploader dashboard won’t fly these days. Successful thumbnails feature human faces, bright colours, text overlays and cartoon/humorous expressions.
  10. Link to your other videos: Linking to your other videos both using the Youtube tools (you can now overlay entire video thumbnails on top of your outro in their content creator studio) and linking to other relevant videos in your description, can drive people to watch more of your content if they are interested doing so. Organising your videos into a playlist will auto-play more of your content for users opted into “Auto-play” features, which will help push your videos to more viewers.
  11. Fill Out Your Profile Info: Keep the profile information as consistent as your other social media platforms, including contact links.
  12. Email Marketing: If the Youtube brand already has an email subscriber list, let them know about the channel and ultimately whenever you upload a new video let viewers know about the email list and ask them to subscribe. We wouldn’t recommend you rely on this as a primary form of marketing but it is useful for special events!
  13. Signature: include a link to the youtube channel in the email signature.
  14. Call people to subscribe: Ask people in your videos to subscribe to your channel, make them feel valued by telling them what their support means (something positive!) and direct them to turn on notifications for your channel for an additional chance they will keep viewing your content once it’s out.

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