On YouTube, only some fans can count as your “top fans.” Thanks to YouTube and Google+, these especially devoted followers are not hard to pin down. If your brand has over 5,000 subscribers (and let’s hope it does, now that you’ve had the chance to read up on YouTube tips from the Playbook for Brands), the video platform offers a “Top Fans” tool. By bringing together your brand’s Google+ page and YouTube channel, you can explore the “Insights” and “Fans” features to learn more about your followers and better engage with them.
1. Show Top Fans New Videos First
There’s not better way to reinforce how much your brand’s biggest fans mean to you than to treat them like VIPs to your videos. Using Insights, you can share your latest content with these fans (by uploading privately) before it becomes available to the YouTube viewing masses. Comments on the privately uploaded video will remain behind VIP doors, too.
2. Ask for Their Personal Opinions
Your brand’s top fans’ opinions matter because they know your content well and they know why they love it. Also, though they may feel like and act like friends, they’re not in one important way — they don’t have to tell you whatever you make is grand when it’s…not. Ask them for their thoughts on your brand’s latest video, what they want to see more of, what they don’t like, etc. Their advice will help you make the best videos you can make for the demographic your brand has already established, and soliciting it privately (via Insights) will let the fans share their thoughts more openly.
3. Chat with Them Face-to-Face
Insights is all about giving you time with your top fans and your top fans alone. Why not use it to conduct a private Google Hangout with your most dedicated viewers? Seeing them face-to-face will give you a better sense of who they are, and it will let them put a face to your brand. Being personable is everything on YouTube.
4. Find Out Who Else Your Top Fans Watch
If the biggest fans of your brand are regularly watching videos from certain other creators, it’s about time you do the same. Get to know those creators’ content not only to see what they’re doing right, but also so you’ll know something about them when you reach out to ask them to collaborate with your brand on the ‘Tube. Though you share top fans, you don’t share all fans, and collaborations always drive more traffic to your channel.
5. Share GIFs, Photos, and Other Exclusive Content
In addition to previewing videos early to your most dedicated viewers, you can also share other content with them. From GIFs to behind-the-scenes footage of your latest video, top fans will appreciate getting these extras.
6. See Who’s Already the Most Engaged
Even within your top fans bracket, some watch your brand’s content more intently than others. In the Fans feature, you can organize your top viewers by their “engagement scores” and reward your most engaged viewers accordingly…and figure out who to target with the above tactics so as to engage them more.
7. Find Fellow YouTube Creators
You don’t always have to look as far as your fans’ other favorite creators to find fellow creators. Sometimes, your fans have plenty of subscribers on YouTube themselves, which you can find in the Fans feature by sorting them by their subscriber numbers. Those with plenty of subscribers might serve as great collaborators.