I had the pleasure of sitting in a workshop presented by Andres Palmiter, audience development strategist for YouTube, who discussed how to build a loyal YouTube audience.
Here are my five favorite tips he shared:
1. Be patient.
Building a YouTube audience takes time. It’s rare to have a one-hit wonder—and even more difficult to hang on to that popularity if your video ever does go viral.
Your best bet is to be persistent. Experiment with your videos to identify what works with your target audience. Then, implement those changes in future videos.
2. Cross-promote your content.
Find five to 10 YouTube channels similar to what you do—or want to do—and begin forging relationships with the people who run them.
If you can get these channels to mention your organization—or better yet, your videos—during their programming, it can go a long way toward scoring more visitors. Just make sure to return the favor if/when you get the opportunity.
3. Create content based around holidays.
Doing so resonates strongly with niche audiences. Get more tips on how to do this.
4. Involve your audience.
Invite viewers to interact with you. For example, ask them to email you, or send you their comments via video.
Even better, show them you’re listening to them. For example, integrate their comments into the way you write your content or format your video. Then, reward your audience for their participation by mentioning them in your video.
5. Reddit can help build your following.
Reddit appears to be the most popular place—outside of YouTube—where people not only view videos, but make them viral.
Palmiter played some pretty funny viral videos during his presentation. Check out his playlist of favorites.
Lindsey McCaffrey is a freelance Web and social media copywriter and blogger based in Ottawa, Canada. A version of this article originally appeared on her blog, Absolutely Write.