3 Steps to Get Interactive with your YouTube Audience: Youtube Annotations, Encourage Comments + Respond and Be A Sharer
The best way to build your YouTube audience is to be interactive with them. Being interactive demonstrates that you’re prepared to create a 2-way online relationship. It means you’re letting every viewer know that they matter.
But what are the best ways to be interactive? I’m going to give you 3 key steps for increasing your interactivity with your YouTube audience.
1. YouTube Annotations
Basically, annotations allow you to create links that are clickable as a viewer is watching your video. This can allow you to link from one video to another, to subscribe to your channel or jump on over to a playlist. And there’s more than one type of annotation. One nifty little tool is called the Spotlight tool which lets you create a highlighted space that viewers can hover over to reveal the link enabling you to keep your video looking clean and uncluttered if needed.
Annotations enable you to point your viewers in the right direction for finding great interrelated content. If a viewer’s found your video valuable, you want to make it easy for them to get more valuable content. Annotations allow you to give suggestions and make it easy for your viewers to follow those suggestions with clickable links.
One thing that you do need to be aware of is that currently not all annotation types will work on mobile devices. But as mobile devices increasingly grow as the preferred option for viewing online videos, it’s only a matter of time for changes to filter through. The right annotation at the right time will encourage viewers to stay engaged with you and your content. By creating links to places where you are regularly updating content even an older video can encourage a viewer connection.
2. Encourage Comments + Respond
Next up, you should encourage viewers to comment. Include in your content reasons that encourage comments. But be sure to interact with viewers who leave them. Its easy to think that it’s all over once you’ve uploaded your video, but this should be just the beginning. Viewers need to know that you are still active and that they can still get in touch with you if they need to.
Make sure you set up your videos so you will receive a notification of when comments are left. This way you can make sure you respond to the comment. Even if your response is simply to say thanks. This engages the person leaving the comment. But also, by responding, anyone else who reads the comment thread will see that you are genuine about being engaged in a 2-way online relationship. Over time, it can also show that you still value the videos you posted in the past and the conversation or interest they may be generating.
3. Be a YouTube Sharer
Finally, become a strategic Youtube viewer and sharer. Whilst primarily you want people to be engaged with you and your channel, be willing to share content from like-minded YouTube Channels that are not direct competitors. Online interactivity is built on linked networks and by establishing yourself as not just a creator of content, but also a go-to for other engaging content that shares your values, you will increase those wanting to join in your social network.
Just think, you don’t need to shell out any money to create this content, you just need to be prepared to spend a bit of time to regularly find good, engaging content that may be of interest to those viewing your YouTube channel. Try to have a mix of stuff, keep the cat videos to a minimum, don’t become a spammer, and try to add a comment to stimulate discussion on your social network when you share it.
Interactivity is Underestimated
Being interactive in the online environment is often underestimated. But just like you’d always interact with someone if they walked into your business off the street, you need to interact when they meet you online. People visiting you online are looking for the same response they’d get if they turned up in person.
When it comes to online video strategy, being interactive is a super important part. It lets viewers know that you still exist, that you care that they’ve watched your video, that you are connected in the online space, and that you understand the importance of a 2-way online relationship.
So get interactive today!