You might have heard this term quite a bit: Engaging the audience. That means getting feedback, increasing comments, increasing the value you give to your viewers--basically making them excited to watch every video and creating a discussion around them every time. Well, how exactly do you do that? Here are a few things that might work and have been proven to work. You might even have some ideas of your own not mentioned here. And of course, we encourage you to tell us what those ideas are. But here are ten good ways to get people engaged with your videos.
How and Where to Engage Your Viewers
1. Take the Initiative to Engage First
The misconception is that the video will perform well based on the merit of the content, but this isn't true for most people. Putting it this way: if you go to a party and stand in a corner by yourself, not talking to anyone, you're likely to spend that whole party by yourself.
Also, you can't do it in a spammy way, where it seems like you don't mean it and you're just saying, "Hi" to everyone with some sort of mechanical response. Engagement often means addressing the people by name and having a conversation that is unique to them.
2. Reply to Comments
Reply to as many as you can. Give your commenters value when they take the time to say something, especially if they're giving you kudos. Take about 45 minutes every day to respond (the earlier the better). Even if you don't respond to every comment, people will see that you are responding to a few and that at the very least, you're reading what they have to say.
3. Engage on Their Turf
Going to another user's channel and engaging with them shows even more commitment. It shows you're willing to watch the stuff they're putting out and giving them feedback. These people very often become avid viewers of your stuff after such a move. As always, don't do it just for that, do it when the action is genuine.
4. Feature the Conversation
Take a conversation that you've been having with another user and actually feature it in a video. The idea that you would create content out of such a conversation is an intriguing way to drive engagement. Even people on the outside who have no idea about what is being discussed can get interested in such a video, because they can feel like there's something bigger going on in which they want to be a part.
5. Engage Off YouTube
Twitter and Google+ are huge for engagement. It's a good idea to find people you like and follow them back on Twitter and circle them on Google+. You can separate those groups as your "video friends" or "subscribers" or whatever you like. Every once in awhile, it's good to check up on them, see what they're talking about, and give them a shout now and then. Very often, you'll see them come to your channel and returning the favor, because you took the time to approach them first.
6. Thank People for Sharing
Give thanks to people who share your videos. Showing gratitude is a great way to build "fans for life." It's a great gesture for people to share your video with their friends and family, and it's always good to tell them that you recognize that.
7. Ask Them Something
How do you get people talking about your content? Give them a question to answer, something in the video that evokes some sort of thought. Don't always ask questions that benefit you, the creator...sometimes you should...
8. Ask Questions that Benefit the Community
What kind of things have you done on your channel that have sparked a conversation? Leave a comment down below! Which leads to this step:
9. Encourage the Community to Interact
That means, try to get viewers talking with other viewers. This isn't actually that hard...you'll see this all the time between commenters, but encourage it: everyone is in on this, talking about this, getting excited about this.
10. Offer More Value and Engagement Than You Ask for in Return
You should be engaging more than everyone else is, and you should provide more value to them than they provide to you.
Again, we ask, do you have some other good techniques for getting more engagement on your videos? Tell us in the comments!