You've shot your videos, put them on YouTube, and shared them through Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even Instagram!
While you’re getting likes and comments on your shares, your audience doesn't seem to be interacting with your videos on YouTube.
So, what’s the least “needy” method for asking for more engagement on YouTube?
Well…it’s a tricky question! It really depends on your ultimate goals for the video content. It’s also subjective to how and where you share your videos.
The bottom line is that in order to get what you want, you have to ask for it! Here are four steps to get more engagement on your video content—regardless of where you host it!
1. Give first
To avoid feeling needy, pushy or sales-y, make sure you’re truly making awesome videos.
Ever since webcams, iPhones and iMovie, there’s a lot of mediocre content floating around. In our fast-paced world, time is money and attention is currency. Your content must be super valuable.
Save any asks until you’ve over-delivered value.
2. Prioritize your request
Views, likes, comments (and all other forms of engagement) offer different benefits.
- Views: help with your search ranking and news feed placement
- Comments: help with community building
- Likes: offer social proof and, on some networks, higher news feed placement
- Shares: offer the ability to reach new people with the same content
- Subscribers: offer the ability to reach the same people with new content
No matter how valuable your content, your audience probably won’t take 5+ actions for you. You’re lucky if you can get them to take one or two! Therefore, come up with a priority for this particular post.
3. Customize the content
Recognize CTAs (calls-to-action) are a bit different on every platform.
On Facebook, I’d really recommend you upload your video(s) natively. Rather than pasting a YouTube link, upload the video file to Facebook! This way, the videos are archived on your timeline and automatically play in the news feed! Facebook also offers a clickable link at the end of your video—perfect for sending people to your website, Kickstarter, YouTube channel, and more.
If YouTube engagement is your priority, you can share a YouTube link on Facebook. However, don’t expect the Facebook engagement to be as high.
For YouTube, your calls-to-action can be the new video cards. Gone are the days of ugly pop-up annotations! Video cards are clickable embedded links inside the video—and they show up on all devices! You can certainly do audible requests—(“Follow me @tonyhowell!” or “Visit the description area for clickable links!”)—but having a visual and/or clickable link is going to give you better results. It catches people’s eye and makes it easier for them to fulfill that action.
If we keep going with Vine, Instagram, and Twitter video requirements, you’ll realize that it’s best practice to do custom takes/edits/posts for each platform.
Content is King, but context is God!
4. Ask for it
At the end of the day, it really all comes down to making an ask.
Many people (actors, hosts, producers, filmmakers and even businesses) aren’t comfortable “selling.” No one really wants to appear pushy or needy.
Still, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for what you want! In a way, this request for more engagement is a bit like auditioning. If you’ve taken the time to provide value, you shouldn’t come from a place of need. You’re coming from a place of having even more value to share. Your “need” is that your content deserves to be seen by larger audiences!
The script of your request is up to you, but here are some suggestions:
- Did you like this video? Be sure to let me know with a like or comment below!
- Did you find this video particularly helpful? If so, please share it with someone you think could use this advice.
- Subscribe right now and you’ll get first access to my next video!
People may say no, but rejection is a part of life. More often than not, people do what you ask them to do.
What's your #1 goal for your videos? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.