As the 2nd largest search engine after Google, YouTube is constantly working on launching new features that creators can use to grow their number of YouTube subscribers and get more YouTube views for their videos. YouTube Stories is the latest addition to the platform that can help you experience growth of your brand by allowing you to connect with viewers in a more personal manner. The personal touch made possible through the use of YouTube Stories can help you gain more real YouTube subscribers and build loyalty for your brand.
Here’s a guide on what you need to know about YouTube’s latest Stories feature.
What are YouTube Stories?
YouTube Stories are brief mobile-only videos that can allow you to connect with your audience in a more personalized way if you’ve got at least 10,000 YouTube subscribers. If you haven’t reached that number yet, it’s a good idea to work on growing your subscriber count first.
Unlike Instagram Stories that disappear in 24 hours, YouTube Stories stay for seven days and can help you drive engagement on your content. While the Story itself may disappear after seven days, comments made on your Story can be viewed in the YouTube Studio for 30 days. If your channel, however, is made for children, you won’t be able to utilize the YouTube Stories feature in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other laws.
Creating YouTube Stories
To create YouTube Stories, you’ll have to make use of the YouTube Play app and not YouTube’s Creator Studio. Start by opening the YouTube app on your mobile and click on the camera plus icon at the top right of your navigation bar. Then click the Story icon (round circle with + sign inside). Once you do this, you’ll be able to add a saved photo or video to your Story and even take a new photo or video to upload. If you’re uploading a video, bear in mind that your video for YouTube Stories can only be 15 seconds long.
You can also make edits to the photo or video, add music, filters, video links, text, and even stickers before uploading. You can resize your stickers to suit your Story as well. Video stickers, mention stickers, or location stickers – you get to decide what you want to add to your content before uploading it to your Stories.
Once you’re satisfied, you just have to save the content and click post to add it to your Stories. If you want to delete a particular picture or video from your Stories, click on the story, go to the three dotted menu and click delete.
Your YouTube subscribers will be able to view your Stories from your channel’s Stories tab or from their Subscriptions feed. Unseen Stories will appear in a coloured circle and your YouTube subscribers can open them by tapping on your profile picture. They’ll be able to tap on any segment to view the story, skip to the next story, pause a story, or go back to the previous story. They can also use the comment box to drop a message for you and interact with the comments posted by others by tapping on the comment bubble to the left of the comment box. This is where you can benefit from seeing a growth in channel engagement and interact with those taking the time to leave comments on your stories.
Engaging with and moderating comments on Stories
If you want to take advantage of YouTube Stories to create a more personalised experience for your real YouTube subscribers, you’re going to have to engage with them through comments on stories. To do this, click on the profile photo to the top of your subscriptions feed or check the Stories tab on your channel. Select the story and use the comments icon to view the comments thread.
To leave a response to comments, you can either type it in or click on “reply in story” if you want to post a video or photo to the comment publicly. You can even edit your response just like you would while posting a story and then click on post to publicly post your response to comments. Engaging with your audience will ensure that they’re more motivated to engage with your content and create an informal interaction that’ll make them want to come back to your channel for more content.
You can also moderate comments on your Stories just as you would in the case of other YouTube videos and adding another channel owner, especially for content that features collaborations can help to ease this task for you. Through comment moderation, you’ll be able to review, hide, report, and even remove comments.
Using YouTube Stories strategically.
There are different ways that you can make the best use of the new YouTube Stories feature to boost business growth and get more YouTube views for your content.
Reaching new markets
Reaching new markets with Stories is a great way to build brand awareness and grow your audience on YouTube. Collaborations with other brands that work within the same space but aren’t your competitors can be a great way to take advantage of the wider audience your collaborator has access to. Each of you can send the other 1 or more videos to upload to your respective stories talking about your brand and its products so that you are exposed to a new market. Influencer marketing on YouTube is another great way to take your stories up a notch and get access to the YouTube subscribers of your influencer in a more personalized manner.
Stories can be a great way to generate leads for your business. All you have to do is ask a question about a problem or issue that your product/service solves and get viewers to answer the question in the comments section. Once you’ve published the story, include a call to action in the comments section with a link for your lead magnet that your audience can see when they comment. You can increase the number of leads generated through stories by keeping your viewers engaged through the comments section. Lead generation through YouTube Stories can help you with:
- Increasing ticket sales for events
- Getting more email subscriptions
- Increasing sign-ups to webinars or courses
- Boosting sales of your products or services
Strengthening community relationships
People are more likely to be drawn in by engaging and personalized content, and YouTube Stories can be a great way to create a personalized experience for your YouTube subscribers. You can keep your audience more engaged with regularly interacting with them through the comments section of stories and even giving loyal YouTube subscribers a shout out through the “reply in story” option. This can help your audience feel more valued and encourage them to interact more with the content on your channel. You can also add behind the scenes footage to your Stories to give your audience a chance to get to know the brand and establish a stronger connection.
Announcing product launches
YouTube Stories give you the opportunity to share exciting news with your YouTube subscribers and include links that can direct them to where you want. If you have a new product or an upcoming event, you can make an announcement of it through stories and include a link to the complete press release or landing page of the launch. Adding a “Breaking News” sticker every time you share something special can help to establish you as an industry leader, sharing the latest updates as they occur.
Pointers for creating YouTube Stories
Inform your audience that you’re using Stories
Make an announcement when you start using YouTube Stories so that your YouTube subscribers are notified and can look up your stories to start viewing them. They’ve probably subscribed to many channels so notifying them when you start using stories can give them a friendly reminder and make sure they don’t miss it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
The YouTube views on your stories don’t impact the visibility of the main videos on your channel so don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Think out of the box so that you can give your audience something they won’t find anywhere else and make them come back for more.
Posting consistently to your Stories, especially by developing a series is a great way to keep your audience engaged and anticipate your next post. It’s also a great way to ensure that you can make posts easily which fit in with the theme of the series, whether it’s a “Fun brand facts” series, an “OOTD” series, or anything else.
Share milestones of your channel
The YouTube subscribers viewing your stories already form an engaged and loyal audience base, so celebrate your milestones with them. You can post about your brand’s success, celebrate reaching a specific number of YouTube subscribers, and any other big moment with them while thanking them for their support in helping you get there.
Once you’ve done all that you can to post a great YouTube Story, you’ll want to keep track of its performance metrics in terms of the total number of YouTube views on an individual story or the full story by checking your channel’s Stories tab. The numbers will let you know if you need to think of changes or if your current strategy is working, so make changes accordingly.
YouTube Stories are a great way for you to set yourself apart from your competition and get more personal with your audience. They’re easy to use and can boost your engagement rate considerably, but you need to make sure you put in the effort to create great content so that your audience has no option but to keep coming back. Get started with this new feature and see the benefits for yourself!