An era has ended. Since its foundation in 2005, the video response option has been one of the best tools for marketers and individual “vloggers” to gain an audience on YouTube. But now, the video sharing site has announced that the option to post a video response is no more, as they average a pitiful click-through rate of .0004 percent. Still, many video marketers and YouTubers are worried about the elimination of video responses and how they can continue to engage with the greater online community.
Unless you’re a major brand that already has a large following, community engagement on YouTube is one of the key ways to grow your online presence. Whether it’s asking fans to post an upload for a video contest or post a video to speak back to a brand, companies have utilized video options as a tool to engage viewers. In fact, brands even used video responses as a way to keep video series linked together on the video sharing site.
So what are your options now that video responses are gone?
Tips for Engaging Viewers on YouTube without Video Responses
- Encourage fans to post a specific video response title. Even though the “official” video response option is gone, YouTube understands that many brands and YouTubers still want to utilize the community and exposure benefits of video responses. YouTube encourages brands to tell fans to upload videos with specific titles, hashtags, or descriptions to get noticed as a video response. For instance, “Video Response to Taylor Swift’s Video ‘22’,” is an example of getting a video found without the official response option.
- Maintain your YouTube feed. The YouTube redesign left the homepage looking more like your Facebook newsfeed. Instead of helping users discover random videos, YouTube has been working overtime to make the site appear more like a social media homepage where viewers can keep up with the latest uploads, activities, and updates from the brands they follow.
- Create a video archive. While the elimination of YouTube responses makes it more difficult for consumers to interact with brands on the social site, companies can enjoy the ability to manage, distribute, and college their video content. One of the prime examples of this is Coca-Cola, which has turned their YouTube channel into a video archive that features every Cola commercial ever aired (and some exclusive ones as well)! This is just another way that brands have been able to stay connected with engaged fans.
- Respond to comments. Of course, it can be impossible to respond to every comment ever left on your YouTube channels, but this is a great opportunity to engage your fans. By encouraging viewers to comment, you allow them to engage and speak with you, which was the original purpose of video responses after all. The new YouTube design automatically features comments left by channels, so viewers will see that you read and respond to comments. Be sure to always reply to questions or other customer service inquiries left in the comments section.
- Create a compilation video. The elimination of video responses makes it difficult for users to browse what other users have to say about a brand’s video. If you encourage viewers to post a video response using a specific hashtag or title, feel free to create a compilation video featuring the best responses and upload it to your channel. This way, viewers can easily see the best comments other viewers have to offer.
Ultimately, the key to dealing with the elimination of video responses is to find other avenues to engage your viewers. Engaging your customers is paramount to growing your presence on any online medium, especially YouTube!