Whether you're new to YouTube or a seasoned veteran partner, building a healthy and active community is and always will be an integral part of increasing video views and more importantly, long-term success.
Discovering YouTube users who not only tune in time and time again, but regularly like, favorite, share, and post well received comments to your videos are rare, treasured contacts to have in your black book.
There are obvious places to start when looking for potential community members, sort of a YouTube Demographic Research 101 approach. But you're an advanced online marketer and want to take a deeper dive; you want a capstone YouTube course.
This particular study peers into specific and unique language YouTube users incorporate in their video comments that undoubtedly identifies them as college students, spanning the spectrum from party animal to studious scholar.
Identify Your YouTube Target Audience
As a refresher, let's look at various key methods for identifying your target audience in YouTube.
A channel search based on demographic specific or related topics is a great place to begin.
To do a channel search outside of the filter menu, simply add [", channel"” after your keyword or phrase. Have a look at the search result page and examine the content of these channels. The channels themselves may not make the list, but you may find your audience as friends or subscribers of them.
Do topical keyword searches and examine the comment fields of complimentary and even competitive videos.
Documenting usernames in topical searches sorted by recent upload date is an excellent exercise. An advantage to seeking out users who have recently updated video content is they are more likely to be tuned into comments they are receiving and transitively more likely to engage in conversation. This would be a good time to reach out.
- Engagement Disclaimer: Be as giving as possible, don't sell. You're there to make lifelong friends, not a one-off sale.
The differentiator between these approaches and the comment search tool is the ability to uncover users who fall into your desired demographic audience but have left comments in topically unrelated videos.
Comment search is in the TestTube section of YouTube, a self-described "ideas incubator." These tools aren't fully developed and do have limitations, but I've found this particular tool to be of some value when doing YouTube demographic research.
One thing to note is that you have two sorting options, by how recent the comment was left or by comment rating. The advantage to sorting comments by rating is the indication of the influence the user has.
So let's do some searches. Start by being completely literal!
What else identifies them as college students?
Indication of Ownership / Possessive
Campus Groups & Organizations
Dig into pretty much any permutation of the Greek alphabet.
Check out these users' channel to get a better idea of how active they are, especially if their comments were posted more than a couple of months ago. Doing this will also give you an idea of their influence as a YouTube user. Document the number of subscribers and subscriptions.
YouTube Demographic Research
Create a spreadsheet to document these users. Capture as much information you can the first time around, the number of subscribers, subscriptions, friends, the comment you left, whether or not you subscribed or friended the user.
YouTube demographic research can be a deep time intensive process, but undeniably an important part of building a completely rewarding and engaged community. Take the time to vet active users who may find value in your content, you'll be glad you did.
After all, you're after a rich community of active users who will rate, favorite, share, comment and ultimately champion your content for you.
Spread your wings and fly you social butterfly!