How to build an audience
Make audience development a priority in your channel’s business plan. Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The quality and consistency of your content is incredibly important. However, that won’t matter much without audience development. You’ll want to ensure that your online audience is engaged (and growing) to make a strong impact. This is true for all types of content across all social media platforms. To be successful, make audience management an integral part of your brand’s business plan. Here are some tips and best practices to help you build a great audience. 

Know your target audience

Your “target audience” is the cumulative demographics of the viewers or followers you want to attract. You must have a firm understanding of who they are and what they want to see on your channel. Demographics such as age, gender, relationship status, income and geography may come to mind, but take care not to limit yourself by making too many assumptions. Not all gamers are teenage males and not all home decor crafters are stay-home moms. Instead, try to focus on the other interests of your target audience to understand them better. For example, if your channel will feature travel, your target audience might be people who follow channels about cultural or food adventures and explorations. 

Use social media for promotion and engagement

Once you begin to develop your audience, work on expanding your followers on other platforms, as well. Share links to your YouTube content on a Facebook page. In your TikTok videos, remind viewers to follow your Instagram. When your viewers are liking and sharing your posts regularly, your exposure to new potential followers will increase. That trend will get worked into the algorithms and your audience can grow rapidly. Nearly all platforms offer some kind of analytics to help you manage your audience. Learn the ropes on each platform and use that to your advantage for cross-posting. A management service like Hootsuite or Loomly can be a strong addition to your social media toolbox. Use it to schedule your posts and ads effectively. Also, they are more reasonably priced than you might think. 

Make quality content

This may seem like a note that could go without saying, but there are a lot of sub-par videos floating around. So we’re going to say it again: make quality content. You don’t need the most expensive gear or a huge crew to make great videos. You do need to hone your filming techniques, though. Master your lighting skills to get the most out of your surroundings. Follow a well-written script or outline whenever possible. Rehearse, even if you’re going to do a live stream. Understand how and when to use multiple camera angles (here’s how to get a great top-down vantage). Don’t be lazy about editing because, at the end of the day, that will be the difference between mediocre and quality.

“You don’t need the most expensive gear or a huge crew to make great videos. You do need to hone your filming techniques, though.”

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component to online success. This is how potential viewers will find your content when they enter keywords into search engines like Bing or Google. It’s also important for searches within the platforms you post on. Do your homework and have a firm understanding of the process. To get the most out of SEO, you’ll need to follow some straightforward guidelines:

  • Choose clear, obvious keywords that make sense for your content
  • Use concise, interesting titles that are no more than 70 characters
  • Incorporate graphics and titles to your thumbnail images and size it correctly
  • Create engaging intros and outros to hold their attention longer
  • Include your keywords in the video descriptions and captions
  • Add related tags and hashtags to help searchers find your content

Be consistent

If you begin to develop an audience but your channel has too much variety, they may lose interest quickly. Be consistent with the type of content you’re putting out, especially if you’re creating in a niche. Remember that there are other layers of consistency to incorporate, too. Whether you post a new video weekly or monthly, commit to the frequency so that your viewers can expect it and tune in. Develop a compelling intro to capture attention and use it every time. This creates familiarity and sets the tone for what to expect in your content. 

“Be consistent with the type of content you’re putting out, especially if you’re creating in a niche.”

Collaboration

Networking is a critical element of any entrepreneurial venture. Want a clever tip? YouTube has an analytics tool designed to help you see what other channels your followers are watching. That’s a great insight into your audience, of course, but you can take it a step further and start connecting with those creators. You can promote each other’s content to your viewers to gain new followers. It’s also an excellent way to determine which other creators you might have successful collaborations or cross-overs with to start engaging with each other’s audience. 

All’s well that ends well

It might seem cheesy, but there’s a reason every creator closes their video with a quick or cute reminder to “like and share” their videos: it works. You can also ask them to add comments with ideas for your upcoming content, show their nailed-it photos of your tutorials, or similar requests to get participation and activity. Engagement like this builds a sense of community and connection between your followers and creates a friendship-style bond. As you create more videos they enjoy, they promote your content on whichever platforms they use. Be sure to thank them in the next video and celebrate your channel’s audience often.

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