If you asked an 8 year old what they wanted to be when they grew up, what do you think they’d say?
According to a recent survey, more than half of kids between 6 and 17 aspire to be a YouTuber or a vlogger as a career. While this might sound ridiculous, social media influencers are more visible and powerful than ever before. These online stars have built up massive influence to the point that Millenials rank them as being more influential than “regular” celebrities.
Since their careers depend on creating a loyal following, YouTubers are the perfect teachers for how you can strengthen your brand community’s loyalty. These 5 lessons from YouTubers can be easily applied to your business and help set you up for success in the future!
Create superfans by interacting with your audience
One of the most effective ways social media stars get fans engaged with their content is by interacting with them. A simple reply or like of an Instagram photo from someone they admire can be a huge deal. For the fans, this allows them to establish an emotional connection with their idols — a connection that keeps them engaged with the star’s content in the hopes that someday soon they’ll be acknowledged again.
Jacksfilms (Jack Douglass) has built an entire series around this idea. Yesterday I Asked You is a series of over 400 videos where Jack poses a question to his audience and features the best replies in a video on his YouTube channel the next day. By intentionally finding ways to include his audience, he ensures that they constantly interact and watch his videos for the chance to be featured in front of millions of viewers.
How you can apply audience interaction to your business
While your business may not have millions of followers on social media, your customers still love to be recognized for their actions. If a customer posts a picture of themselves using your product, or wearing your shirt, interact with their post!
If you really want to make their day, share the photo on your brand’s social media or feature it on your homepage like inkbox. By interacting with your customers on both a one-to-one and one-to-many level, you humanize your brand and make it more likely that they make future purchases with you.
Build a rewards program for loyal community members
Just because their community started on YouTube doesn’t mean they need to stay there! Some creators are taking their loyalty efforts off of YouTube and into their online stores. With over 31 million subscribers, Dude Perfect has made loyalty a mainstay in their apparel shop. Offering rewards for referring friends, sharing on social media, and even celebrating birthdays, they make earning rewards a valuable and easy process for their fans!
Dude Perfect has created a loyalty program that makes sense for their audience. With lots of rewards for following and interacting with them on social media, they’ve ensured that their audience is able to earn the points necessary to get discounts on their merchandise. It’s a win-win: Dude Perfect gets more followers and social activity, and their fans get points they can put towards discounts!
How you can apply reciprocity to your business
Reciprocal relationships are a huge part of building brand loyalty, and offering customers rewards for completing various actions is a great way to develop these relationships and deepen your brand community.
A rewards program allows you to build emotional relationships with your customers by recognizing their loyalty through rewards. If you give your customers greater value than your competitors, they become more appreciative and loyal to your brand. A great way to add value to your program is rewarding actions that are free and easy for the customer to perform, such as liking your Facebook page, signing up for the program, or celebrating a birthday.
Create a vibrant community
Creating a community is something YouTubers do best. Video is an intimate media, where creators and viewers alike come to share their opinions, emotions, and interests. Whether you’re a part of the “Logang” or you’re a “Nerdfighter,” fans love to come together and feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. This community mindset allows users to come together around a shared passion for a person or brand and feel accepted.
Creators can help build these communities by giving them an outlet to share their passion with other like-minded individuals. The biggest example of this is Vidcon, where over 30,000 creators and their fans gather to meet face to face. The conference is a way for creators to interact with their fans and for fans to meet other people who feel the same way about the influencers and communities they follow. Offering these personalized interactions is a great way for the creators to build and grow their communities, quickly gaining even more brand advocates than before.
How you can apply community building to your business
Building a community is one of the best ways you can ensure your brand becomes an important part of your customers’ lives. Creating that community could mean hosting meetups for people who use your product or could be something as simple as a Facebook page for people who love your brand.
Fashion retailer Evy’s Tree is one of the undisputed leaders of building a brand community in ecommerce. From their Who’s Hoo Rewards program to their IRL Photos page, they’ve done a fantastic job of making sure every customer feels valued and included in their brand experience. They’ve even planned a number of Girls Night Out events that feature special guests, dessert, and exclusive shopping experiences.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that customers feel like they’re included and engaged, because these are the feelings that will translate into long time loyalty for your business.
Create valuable content
Whether it’s funny, informative, or inspirational, there’s one common reason people subscribe to a YouTube channel — because they want more! Quality content is the key to building an influence on social media, and for many viewers “quality” and “valuable” go hand in hand. Whether it’s teaching you how to change a tire or how to perfect a smokey eye, the best YouTube channels always teach their viewers something new about themselves or a shared interest.
All successful YouTube channels do this well, but some stand a little taller. Linus Tech Tips has amassed a following of over 6 million subscribers with his entertaining yet straightforward tech videos. With a consistent publishing schedule and a large library of content, he’s firmly established himself as an expert in his space which means his audience both trusts and respects his opinions. As a result, they remain loyal to him and his content because they know that the information they receive will be accurate, valuable, and enjoyable to watch.
How to apply building valuable content to your business
As a brand, you’re able to provide similar value by creating your own content. If you’re a company that sells workout supplements, start a blog where you share workout tips or make Instagram videos on interesting exercises people can try. Muscle & Strength does this extremely well, with an extensive library of video resources and articles to help their customers take their workouts to the next level.
You’ll quickly find not only that people will trust your brand more, but your website’s traffic will also go up and customers will keep coming back to engage with your content. All of this will lead to a more sales for you as a company and incredible growth for your brand community!
YouTube killed the video star - make sure your business isn't next!
As these online media moguls continue to gain more influence in our day to day lives, it’s important that your business keeps up. You need to understand that what makes YouTube stars so amazing at building communities is their focus on building emotional relationships. As a result, you can’t afford to stick with advertising in this age of adblock.
By following these YouTubers’ success stories, you can bring the same sort of emotional connections to your brand and start building a community that’s built to last .