One of the biggest things I see talked about in the online video industry is “driving views.” While having this ability is important and necessary to succeed, I believe that producing engaging content is more important in the long run. You can use every trick in the book to drive millions of views, but if your audience doesn’t engage with your content, views don’t matter much (at least in my opinion). With YouTube recently announcing that watch time and comments will be the focused measure in whether channels will be rewarded in the future, this makes the aforementioned more important than ever. So, without further ado, here are 5 ways to increase viewer engagement with your YouTube videos.
1. Be Dependable and Consistent
It’s said by many that putting out content regularly is a great way to drive traffic to your YouTube channel. However, consistency is also important in increasing audience return rate, which thereby increases engagement. Craig Benzine (WheezyWaiter) told NMR that “The best way to increase engagement, in my opinion, is to be a dependable source of entertainment or information. People need to know that there is going to be follow up, and the way to get them to know that is by being consistent.” When we asked Jimmy Tatro (LifeAccordingToJimmy) on the best ways to stay consistent, he said to “Develop a schedule that your subscribers can rely on. If you’re going to post videos on a certain day, they’ll be expecting that every week; it’s all about consistency”
2. Converse with your audience
Always find ways to talk to your audience outside of your videos. As Chris Thompson (SupRicky06) told NMR, “Treat engagement online like a conversation in real life. There has to be two sides for it to work. Make sure you respond to your audience on your various social media pages, and you will see a vast improvement across all of your platforms.” As artists with an online presence, we at NMR feel it’s important to block out time every day that is strictly devoted to directly engaging with your audience. Remember: in the social media era, if you don’t engage with your audience, they won’t engage with you!
3. Utilized Annotations and Create a “Call-to-Action”
Having your viewers watch your video from beginning to end should NEVER be your only end goal, in my opinion. You need to take advantage of the fact that viewers are watching your video. In simple terms, you need to make sure there is always a “call-to-action” after they watch your video; this can be as simple as telling your audience to subscribe and follow your social media accounts. The annotations feature offers a great way for you to add links within your video. While YouTube doesn’t allow external links in their annotations, you can use these opportunities to link your suscribe URL or to your other videos. See NMR’s example above.
4. Check out the YouTube Live Streaming Feature.
Fullscreen Senior Talent Manager Abe Lim told NMR, “A great new feature YouTube has enabled for partners is YouTube Live Streaming. With YouTube Live Streaming, you are able to connect with new and committed viewers on your channel.” Taking advantage of this valuable tool allows you to connect with your subscriber base live, thereby increasing discussion and more views on your channel.
5. Daypart your YouTube videos
Uploading videos during times of highest engagement on YouTube could go a long way in driving interactions and views. ReelSEO reports that the best time to upload is during the week, preferably Wednesday and Thursday, and between 12pm and 1pm PST to make sure it’s ready during peak traffic time at 2pm.