One of the things that differentiate YouTube from other forms of visual entertainment, like television and film, is the fact that the platform closes the gap between viewers and content creators by opening up channels of communication. Communicating with your viewers not only leads to a much more personal viewing experience, but also gives you the opportunity to listen to viewer feedback and improve your content accordingly. However, a lot of YouTubers aren’t taking advantage of the perks of the platform and communicating with their viewers. After the jump, we offer five great ways that you can engage your viewers in conversation for a better YouTube experience.
Comments are the number one place for you to receive feedback from your viewers. But don’t just sit there and wait for the comments to come rolling in. Remember, you can ask your viewers questions in your videos and ask them to respond in the comments. This is a great way to engage them in conversation, make them feel involved in the creative process and personalize the YouTube viewing experience.
Ray William Johnson is a good example of a YouTuber that engages viewers through comments in his weekly viral video roundup show, Equals 3. He asks his viewers to post random questions as video responses (which we’ll talk more about below) and chooses the best ones to share with his viewers and asks them to answer in the comments. The best answers are showcased in Ray’s next video. Check out the “Comment Question of the Day” in Ray’s most recent video below. It begins at 3:15.
Encourage Video Responses
Video responses are another great way to get your viewers involved in conversation with you and your videos. Viewers can post video responses via the comment form, and their videos are showcased below your video on the YouTube page. You can ask your viewers a question and have them post video responses. To make them feel really involved in the creative process, add the best responses to future clips, making your fans part of your videos.
Again, Ray William Johnson is a great example of a YouTuber using video responses. Check out a fan that posted a wannabe “Comment Question Of The Day” below. We’ll see if this comment question makes it to Ray’s next Equals 3 video.
Looking for interesting ways to engage your viewers? Stage a contest! You can make up any kind of contest and invite your viewers to enter by writing comments, posting video responses, sending you pictures, or anything.
YouTube celeb ShayCarl started a weight loss competition after he lost a lot of weight and saw how it affected viewers and how they changed their lives as a result. Check out the video explaining his ShayLoss weight loss competition below. What’s cool about the video is that ShayCarl asks his viewers for their input on the contest rules. He’s engaging his viewers, opening up a conversation and inviting his fans to be a part of the creative process.
Back in May, YouTube integrated with Google Moderator to help push conversation between content creators and fans. Moderator on YouTube connects content creators with their audiences so that creators can ask for feedback, suggestions, ideas and more. How does it work? Content creators set the parameters for dialogue and fans can leave comments, vote up other people’s ideas and more.
To understand how Moderator can be used on YouTube, check out the video and screenshot below from YouTube celeb Michael Buckley, AKA WhatTheBuck, which was released in May after YouTube made Moderator available to users.