The Ultimate Guide To Using YouTube Community Tab for Marketing
YouTube has been around for what feels like forever. And its value for subscribers looking to market their brand is also continuing to grow. In fact, 9 in 10 marketers plan to use YouTube in their 2021 marketing strategy. Building a loyal community of YouTube subscribers who hang on to your every word is one way of doing this. The community tab in YouTube is a tool that creators can use to create a relationship with their audience and market themselves, their brand and any merchandise they plan to sell. Fans can interact with creator’s posts, comment, share and create a loyal community over time. Let’s discuss what a community tab actually is and how it can be used as an effective marketing and branding strategy.
Basics of using a community tab
First things first. Your channel needs to have over 1000 subscribers for you to get access to a community tab. Once your channel has passed this benchmark, it may take up to a week for the tab to show up.
Once the community tab is enabled, you can start posting and interacting with your audience. To create a post on the community tab is simple. All you need to do is sign in to YouTube, select upload at the top of the page and then click the ‘Create post’ tab. You have different options for structuring a post. You can write out a text post, add a video, a poll or GIF. Once you’re done, click post and you’re good to go. Your YouTube subscribers will have access to your post in their feed and get a notification each time you post.
How to market through the Community Tab?
Think of the community tab as a supplement to your regular uploads- an additional way for you to engage with your audience and track their response. The comments and likes on your community tab is another metric you can use to convince brands of your social media standing and attract advertisers.
Let your audience know
First things first, you need to inform your audience about the existence of the community tab. You can create a short, snappy video on your regular channel and ask fans and subscribers to use the community tap to keep up with the latest updates.
Support other creators
You can engage with other creator’s community tabs to bring more awareness to your own, and over time, create a cross-channel promotion network. The more people that are aware of the existence of your community tab, the better. Even long-time subscribers may need to be told to look out for updates on the community channel. If you are new to using the community tab, your fans won’t think to engage there. If you have a secondary channel, vlog or podcast, you can use the community tab to promote that too.
Crowdsource ideas and gather feedback
Use the YouTube community tab to poll your audience, ask for suggestions for new videos and feedback for old ones.
Teasers to promote your main video
Use the community tab to build anticipation for an upcoming video, update progress and inform about when the video will be uploaded. Some YouTube creators don’t follow a regular schedule. For such people, the community tab is a great way to keep the audience on their side, apologize for delays and keep them abreast of what’s happening in their life. Share behind the scenes and little tidbits from your daily life. This is a great way to fill in the time between uploads and ensure your audience doesn’t lose interest in your channel. And the algorithm doesn’t punish you by limiting views to your content.
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Promote your merchandise and website
Use the community tab to promote your website, e-store, merchandise. If you are a YouTube creator with a concert coming up, use the community tab to direct subscribers to a link for buying tickets. Use the community tab to inform subscribers of new merch drops and designs.
Be creative and unvarnished when using your community tab. Remember, the audience has already watched the edited, scripted, polished content on your regular channel. Use the community tab to share your silly side, sense of humour and vulnerabilities. Fans like to feel like they are your friends and family. Share updates about your life, breakup, make-ups and even happy news. And you will build a strong community of real YouTube subscribers who’ll stick by you through the worst.
Respond to comments
Show your community you care. Heart your favorite comments, respond to questions and you’ll viewers will know you are paying attention.
Pin top comments
Post a specially funny or engaging comment from your community up top-maybe a fellow YouTuber’s comment or even a long-time subscriber. Your community will see that first when they check out your community posts. And it’s a way to keep the conversation moving.
Promote a collaboration video
Share information and updates about a highly anticipated collaboration with another YouTuber. Keep your fans abreast of the fact. Maybe add a countdown clock to really amp up the buzz. You can ask your co-collaborator to do the same on their channel, creating a cross-channel promotion.
Use the community tab to shout out to long-term subscribers or even fellow creators. Use the @mention functionality to make a fan’s day. Special mentions are a great way to spread the love and strengthen loyalty from your subscribers.
Share ‘members only’ posts
Some channels on YouTube offer channel membership which is a paid subscription to your channel for accessing exclusive content. Use the community tab to thank those exclusive subscribers for their devotion using the community tab. In fact, you can use the community tab to create exclusive content directly. An engaged, satisfied and well-cared-for audience will keep coming back for more. Other subscribers may be motivated to comment to get the same exclusive perks too.
Host a Q&A
Use the community tab feature to host an “ask me anything” style Q&A. It’s not possible for creators to reply to or engage with all comments on their video uploads. By informing the audience beforehand on the community tab about the Q&A, subscribers who want to engage can be there bright and early to get answers. You might even gain some new fans this way.
Gather support for project
Are you hosting an awards show, needing votes for an award, holding a fundraiser? Rally your subscribers’ support by using the community tab. Add relevant links and direct traffic where you need it.
Whether you are a big or medium creator, thanking your subscribers for their loyalty through a giveaway is a great tactic. Whoever wins is going to likely share the fact on social media, just widening the circle of interest for your channel. In fact, everyone loves freebies. You may even get new subscribers who will subscribe just to participate. Yes, it may be a little devious getting subscribers this way. But if your content is strong and valuable, the new subscribers will definitely stick around. You can even use the community tab to post reminders, update about conditions, any changes, etc. Many channels, when they are approaching certain subscriber targets, host giveaways to get them over the finish line.
Increase YouTube views for older content
Use the community tab to promote your older videos that didn’t get enough traction. You can even direct users to a special course you have created for them for which they’ll need to click a link. Directing traffic to another site or area where you seek views is an effective way to use the community tab.
Click the bell icon
You know how many YouTubers ask their audience to subscribe and click the bell icon to receive notifications towards the end of their videos. Well, they can do the same thing through the community tab.
Show your products
Are you a creator who also sells products online? Yes, you can always direct the audience to a merch page or website. But it’s better to use photos. Post a photo of the new products you have launched or are launching. And your subscribers can ask questions about prices, sizes and other clarifications right there on the community tab.
Share GIFs and memes
Visuals are so much more entertaining than words. Use the community tab to share topical and trending memes that will make your audience laugh and engage. If you can’t come up with anything, just show a funny, photoshopped image of yourself with a meme-able caption.
The community tab is great for creators to keep the subscribers on their side, issue clarifications, gather support and much more. And the best part is, you can use it to grab eyeballs from strangers. The fact that most people don’t know is that community posts don’t just reach your subscribers. Anybody on YouTube who may be interested in your type of content might see your community post on their feed. In fact, YouTube itself confirmed that they are using the community tab to improve discoverability by showing the community posts to the right users wherever they may be. Ultimately, the community tab is a great way to drive growth for your channel and also your personal brand. Use it wisely and consistently to reap the best rewards.