Why Your YouTube Audience Matters

By Rob Ciampa, Theresa Moore, John Carucci, Stan Muller, Adam Wescott

Treat your YouTube channel’s audience as an adjunct to your marketing department, public relations firm, sales organization, and design group. The right audience will

  • Spend time on your channel. The length of time that your audience spends viewing your content is important. Videos that receive more watch time are more likely to appear in YouTube search and watch ­recommendations.

  • Share your YouTube content with peers. Everyone dreams of having a popular video with millions of views. A video becomes successful when it’s unique and compelling enough with the target audience that one viewer eagerly shares it with peers, who then just as eagerly share it with other peers, and so forth.

  • Subscribe to your YouTube channel. Subscribers watch twice as much of your content as nonsubscribers. They also receive updates about your channel activity (new videos, comments) in their subscription feeds, keeping them informed about all the exciting stuff on your channel. Ask your viewers to subscribe in the video, and include annotations where appropriate to subscribe to your channel.

  • Engage with your channel. Likes (or dislikes) and comments comprise the avenue for building a community around your channel. Motivated audience members may also include your content on their own channels or websites, expanding your reach and your opportunity to build your audience even further.

  • Be your creative advocates. A great audience truly cares about the channels they subscribe to and can be an important source of great ideas and content. Encourage your viewers to use the Comments section below the video to submit ideas; this strategy gives you more content ideas and helps engage viewer interest for the current video.

Defining your target audience as precisely as possible is an important component of channel success. A target audience of “15‐ to 55‐year‐old men” is far too broad. Add a layer of detail to define a more targeted audience — for example “people who like cooking” is a much more defined audience.