Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How to Grow Your YouTube Channel By Giving Back to Subscribers
This year - and what a long, arduous year it's been - is finally coming to a close. For many YouTube creators, 2020 was a non-stop grind that hasn't stabilized just yet. In the thick of COVID-19, video creators constantly supplied the world with entertainment during lockdowns and quarantines - and some are still creating at outstanding rates.
If you're one of the thousands looking forward to some end of year rest, take the time you need. But before you go, don't forget to give back to your loyal YouTube audience. These are the people who brought you tons of views throughout 2020 and are most vocal about your content.
This holiday season, let your subscribers know that even though there are millions of videos to watch on YouTube, you’re glad they chose to tap on yours. Because all the comments, the extra Watch Time, and even the occasional Super Chat aren’t just achievements to be analyzed. They’re actions from real humans who believe in their favorite creator - a.k.a. you.
Ready to show your appreciation this season? With just four acts of kindness, you can delight loyal viewers and attract new ones at the same time.
1. Do a Giveaway During Your Next Live Stream
Live stream giveaways are a fun way to delight your audience. Gifts are usually received positively, and it’s exciting to give them over live video.
What you decide to give away will depend on your audience. If you have a beauty channel, you may decide to give a makeup kit to three lucky subscribers. Or perhaps you have a business channel and want to give yearly planners to goal-oriented viewers.
No matter what you decide to give, make sure it's valuable to your audience. That way, your viewers will look forward to the live stream giveaway, and lucky winners will truly appreciate the gift. It’s all about promotion and building anticipation for the big moment.
If you’re wondering how live streams can benefit your channel, read our blog, “How to Make More Than $100 on YouTube in Less Than an Hour.” You’ll discover that an energetic live stream (with no giveaway) can attract thousands of in-the-moment views plus revenue from donations called Super Chats.
And just think: If live video is powerful without a giveaway, imagine what the promise of a gift can do.
2. Give Your Viewers the Spotlight With a Share-For-Share Campaign
Sub4Sub requests are beyond annoying. But what if you flipped that spammy practice into something honest and sustainable that works just like free advertising? Then you’d have a secret weapon called 'share for share', a cross-promotional strategy few creators are doing.
Here’s how it works.
In your next video, encourage your viewers to screenshot/screen record their favorite moment from the video they’re currently watching. Ask them to share the images and videos to another platform (such as Instagram) and tag your profile in their post. Instagram will notify you of all the tags, and you can easily repost fan content to your Instagram Stories.
If you can get even 10% of your subscribers to advertise your content on another platform, that’ll benefit your channel. They’ll introduce you and your content to potential subscribers, which is an easy way to get more exposure.
Of course, your subscribers will gain something valuable too. For those super fans who are most vocal about your content, they’ll love the idea of being featured on your social media.
I’m not sure who the originator of share for share is, but I first saw the campaign on a channel called EzeeXNatalie. If it’s a good fit for your audience, give it a try.
3. Highlight Top Commenters at the Beginning of Your Videos
In each video, you can easily reward your audience by shouting out their comments. After your video introduction and before the main topic, take a few moments to highlight screenshots of funny or uplifting comments.
Doing this right at the start of a video is helpful because you’ll have viewers’ full attention. And if you have a growing number of top commenters, there’s a good chance they’ll listen closely to hear their name called.
Need some help identifying your top commenters? Read this short guide or watch the video below for more information:
So how does this strategy help grow a YouTube channel? Well, if you’re constantly highlighting the best comments, you’ll encourage more viewers to write public notes beneath your videos. The more comments you receive, the more opportunities you’ll have to reply to them and connect with your audience.
From there, you can build an irresistible comment section. Newcomers will be more likely to join your community if they see supportive notes, funny jokes, and interesting discussion threads below your content.
4. Create That One Video Your Audience Has Been Asking For
You know the one. It’s the video idea you always see in the comments but haven’t found the time to film this year. If it’s a good idea that doesn’t violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines, why not surprise your audience by uploading that video just for them?
This is an act of goodwill, so the payoff may not be immediately quantifiable. There’s no guarantee that fan-requested videos will go viral or attract more subscribers.
However, taking your viewers’ thoughts and ideas into consideration is endearing. You can get a positive return on this investment, which materializes in several ways:
- Strengthening the bond you’ve created with viewers
- Retaining subscriber loyalty
- Proving your dedication to potential subscribers
As a YouTube creator, it’s still your job to decide which videos fit your channel and content strategy. But it never hurts to pay attention to your audience and include them in your decision-making, whenever possible.
Your subscribers watch your channel because they like your content. But sometimes, making your audience feel seen and heard is just as valuable as producing videos that get thousands of views. Whether it’s something of monetary value or even a verbal thank you, don’t forget to give back this season.