YouTube Stories: A New Way For Community Engagement

You must be familiar with Instagram Stories, but have you tried YouTube Stories yet?

With its arrival in 2018 under the name of YouTube Reels, YouTube Stories are analogous to the Stories formats on Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Now the feature is publically rolling out widely to available YouTube channels with more than 10,000 subscribers. Creators and channel owners can now use Stories to stay connected with subscribers and followers on a more informal basis by delivering short video content and images to their audience throughout the day. According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, around 225 million active Indian users access the platform through their phones every month, making this feature the need of the hour. Although the concept is very similar to Instagram Stories, there are significant differences between the two.

To begin with, YouTube Stories last for only seven days and appear on the feeds of both subscribers and non-subscribers. Also, the comments and reactions to the posts are public thereby increasing community engagement on the platform. Brands find this feature very useful to showcase teaser videos of upcoming collaborations or put up making-of-the-video snippets.

Use YouTube Stories Strategically

Now that you’ve got a grip on how to watch, create, and engage with YouTube stories, it’s time to put them to work for you. This is a newly available feature for many YouTube channel owners so here are some ideas to get you started.

Reach New Markets

One of the best ways to reach out to new audiences and customers is to work with someone in your space which offers a service or product that resonates with yours. Ask a partner to send you three 10-second videos talking about what they do, and then upload those videos as your story. You can send your partner three videos for them to use in the same way as you did. In this way, you’ll both benefit from improved exposure to a new market. Add each other as comment moderators, and you’ll both be able to flag comments you can address on your own, in your individual Stories feeds.

Generate Warm Leads

Are you on a lookout to generate more leads? Deliver a YouTube story that asks a question about a particular issue your resource solves, and ask people to answer the problem in the comments. After publishing the story, add a comment with a call to action and a link for your lead magnet. As people comment, they’ll refer to the relationship. You can generate leads by engaging with viewers in the comment section. This approach can easily be adapted to increase webinar sign-ups, email subscriptions, event ticket sales, and course registrations.

Build Community Relationships

People tend to buy from people they know, and engaging with someone online regularly is a great way to begin solidifying a relationship. As you browse comments on your story, make a point to mark insightful comments or questions. Use the Reply in Story option to address their feedback and give them a personalized shout-out reply. This could develop into an easy way to run an AMA or spotlight loyal customers.

Announce a Product Launch

Does your business launch new products or run seasonal workshops? Share your exciting news in a YouTube story, and link to a full press release or launch landing page. This is a great place to add a Breaking News sticker because it will remind viewers of the fact that you’re sharing something special. This approach can also be adapted to position you as an industry leader who shares breaking news as it happens.

YouTube Stories have come a very long way since Reels first debuted. While it’s still in the early days and the feature won’t be rolled out to just anyone with a channel, it does raise another point in favour of working to build a blooming and engaged YouTube community. Use the instructions above to acquaint yourself with creating, managing, and using YouTube Stories now so that when your channel hits 10,000 subscribers, you’re ready to go!

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