In this week’s TubeTalk we look at the way YouTube comments can drive more engagement, and more views, for your videos. We discuss how comment moderation can help corporate YouTube channels, and how comments give brands a second chance to communicate their message. We also talk about some of the best practices for getting more comments on a business YouTube channel.
- Dane Golden: HEY.com | Twitter | LinkedIn
- Matt Ballek: Magnet Media | Google+ | VidiSEO
- Gideon Shalwick: GideonShalwick.com | YouTube | Veeroll
Tip #1: How YouTube Comment Moderation Helps Branded Channels
Matt Ballek says that YouTube comment moderation is very important, yet brands often fail to do this. Brands can be scared away from the messy nature of comments, but having a moderation strategy in place can clean it up to be more of a place for conversation.
There are several comment moderation default settings you can modify, including holding all comments for review in case there’s anything offensive. Or you can ban certain users and blacklist some words from being used in comments. You can also set some users as always approved, so that their comments are not held before being posted.
Matt says that a social media manager is a good person to have as a YouTube comment moderator. If your company outsources that work to a social media agency such as Matt’s company, they may also offer YouTube comment management.
Gideon Shalwick says that when you have very negative people commenting on a video (sometimes called “trolls”), there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. He says the troll comments can sometimes actually be valid and useful for creating authenticity, while other times they are just not relevant. When the negative commenters do have a valid point, it’s important for the business to respond to them in a clever, non-egotistical way. This can solve the issue and show viewers that the company does respond to criticism and have a valid comeback, which can be valuable for the brand. This is better than just deleting negative reviews, which can have a backlash effect, because viewers may feel that the business doesn’t care about their concerns. This can lead to more negative comments. But truly filthy comments should simply be deleted or blocked.
In a previous Creator’s Tip, Tim argues the case for not disabling comments on your YouTube videos:
Tip #2: Comments Give Brands Another Chance to Communicate Their Message
What Dane Golden likes about comments is that it’s a way to amplify your views after the video has already launched. Because when you, the channel owner, reply to a comment, and the viewer looks at your reply in the YouTube page, that’s a second time the viewer will see the video. It’s also a second chance for you to do branding or communicate about the subject of the video. And this doesn’t cost you anything, except your time of course. If they reply to your reply, you should reply again. Dane tries to be the last person to reply.
Dane also has a rule of thumb that you should aim for of 0.5% comments per view, which is one comment per every 200 views. He’s done a lot of research on this, and found that with a few exceptions almost every video that has 5,000 comments has at least one million views. Gideon found one video that was an exception. Dane believes that if you want to get one million views without any paid promotion, it’s actually very easy to get – you just need 5,000 comments. Of course he’s being a bit sarcastic. But if you can create a video interesting enough, and you engage your viewers in commenting about it, Dane can almost guarantee you one million views.
He got his friend Lon Seidman, who reviews consumer electronics, to start replying to every one of his YouTube comments as a way of building subscribers. Since then Lon’s grown from less than 10,000 subscriptions to more than 20,000 subs. Lon also uses questions from the comments to come up with ideas for popular new videos.
Matt Ballek says that if you can reply to comments that warrant them, do so. Ideally you should reply to comments within one to seven days of the video launch, and reply to individual comments as fast as your are able. You can also use tools like vidIQ to respond to commenters with a higher Klout score, for instance. Google has more info about comment moderation.
Tip #3: Best Practices for Attracting More YouTube Comments
Gideon Shalwick says the first step in getting people to comment on a business video is to actually ask them to comment within the video itself. This is true whether you’re a business an individual. He says that YouTube is like a living organism, and you’re having a relationship with the people in the community.
It’s not a one-way conversation, and especially if you’re a business, you want to have that two-way or multi-way conversation, and by asking them to comment, that’s one way for them to engage with you. When you have a more engaged audience as a business, that’s incredibly valuable because you know that the higher your engagement, the more likely they’ll want to do business with you. People want to do business with other people they like, know and trust. Through engagement with comments, you can build that trust and relationship with your audience and potential customers.
But it’s key to make the type of video content that would make people want to comment and interact with your video. So the content is very important and producing it in such a way that it draws people in and gets them to want to get involved through commenting and have a conversation with you.
Controversial videos can create more comments, where they can agree or disagree with the content of the video. This gets others to want to jump in. But as a business this can be more risky because you don’t know where the conversation will go. But taking a side can naturally increase comments.
But by telling people that if they leave a comment or a question within a certain period after the the video is published you’ll get back to them, they will be more likely to do so. And the channel owner can quickly clarify any questions that come up.
Matt Ballek says that video that personality-driven conversational videos tend to have a much higher rate of commenting. And they will also comment if they see that the person behind the channel is actually responding to you but somehow incorporating comments and feedback into future content.
Gideon says it’s important to understand the goal of the video, is it engagement or exposure. With video advertising such as in-stream ads, you don’t want them to engage other than clicking on your video and going to your website. But if your goal is building trust with your audience, you’re better off building the kind of content that will invoke a response in the way of a comment in your videos. But as a business he believes that you’re always better off engaging with your audience.
Matt says that it is possible when you have multiple channel managers to clear the “notification bell” and miss some comments. So you need to go back into the comment moderation view and not just rely on the notification bell.