How To Use YouTube Comments To Get More Views With Anthony Ambriz

Anthony Ambriz VidStrategy

Anthony Ambriz tells us how your business can use YouTube comments to drive better engagement with your customers and grow your channel viewership.

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GUEST: Anthony Ambriz of Video Creator Secrets and VidStrategy. Check him out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

HOST: Dane Golden of VidiUp | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

SPONSORS: This episode is brought to you by our affiliate partners, including: TubeBuddy, VidIQ, MorningFame, Rev.com, and other products and services we recommend. Thanks for your support!

PRODUCER: Jason Perrier of Phizzy Studios

THE GOAL:

To interact more directly with customers on YouTube through YouTube comments.

WHY DO THIS?

When you speak to your potential customers directly on YouTube, the most interested of them will have questions and comments. If done right, YouTube is the closest thing to one-to-one communication online outside of direct video calls. People start to get comfortable with you speaking to them, your body language, etc.

Many businesses, however, spend huge budgets on YouTube only to ignore their interested customers on YouTube. This is where you can get an advantage over your competitors in a way that provides value, starts engaging conversations with potential customers, and also, by the way, gets you more views.

THE TIPS:

  1. Businesses often think that once they’ve uploaded the video, their job is done. In reality, it’s just begun, because the comments section can give you value for a long time after upload. Comments can work as a conversation starter with new customers for years, turning already-created videos into long-term growth engines for your business.
  2. If you are ignoring the comments section, you’re essentially ignoring (even shunning) viewers that have committed to watching your videos and who are interested in your business.
  3. To keep people polite in the comments section, you need to “kill them with kindness.” You want to be polite, but also try to be fun and witty. Most of the time you will come to an understanding which enables viewers to enjoy more of your videos.
  4. Sometimes commenters are shouting out for attention, but you want to try and read deeper into what they are saying before you respond. You don’t want to have a nasty argument in your comment section, because then you will look bad.
  5. You can use time codes in the comments to reference specific points in your video that make it easy for people to go back to places of interest and answer questions that they may have about the video content.
  6. The best way to start the conversation or initiate commenting is to simply ask a question within your video that allows you to encourage responses from your audience.
  7. Video is a good way of connecting with customers because it is more than just information. By being on camera and showing your face and emotions, you connect with your audience on a deeper kinetic level.

RESULTS:

You now have a better understanding on how to best utilize the comment section of your YouTube videos to engage with your target audience.

TRANSCRIPT

Dane Golden:
It’s time for the Video Marketing Value Podcast from HEY.com. This is the podcast where we help marketers and business owners just like you get more value out of your video marketing efforts. My name is Dane Golden and today we have a special guest, Anthony Ambriz of VidStrategy. Anthony, welcome.

Anthony Ambriz:
Hey, it’s great to be here.

Dane Golden:
It’s great to be here. Rather, great to have you here. I have never had you on one of my podcasts. We fortunately are ending that. Today, you are finally on. I am so excited because you are so knowledgeable. Such a great guy. I asked you on today because you wrote up this list on your Facebook page about different ways to get more YouTube comments and why. Is that okay we talk about that?

Anthony Ambriz:
Oh yeah, definitely.

Dane Golden:
Oh right. Because this is really important. So what are some of the reasons why comments are important?

Anthony Ambriz:
I mean, one of the biggest ones that I would say, putting the algorithm and all that stuff aside, it’s just that it’s a great way to interact with your viewer, with your audience. I mean, that’s what YouTube is about. It’s having an interaction and not just making it just all about you, provide value, and I think you can do that a lot within your comment section.

Dane Golden:
That’s right. We work with businesses and often businesses believe that once you’ve uploaded the video, your job is done. But I always say that your job has begun when you’ve uploaded the video.

Anthony Ambriz:
Definitely, definitely. I mean, that’s the greatest opportunity to then see what people have to say about like for businesses, right? What do people have to say about your business or your company, your product or what you’re about?

Dane Golden:
Yes. Also, they’ve spent a lot of time, this isn’t just a like that they’ve done, they’ve actually committed to watching your videos for a while and commenting, and if you’re ignoring them, you’re ignoring someone who’s pretty darn interested in your business and nobody likes a business that just ignores them.

Anthony Ambriz:
Oh, definitely. I mean, even for businesses, when you think about it, the comment sections on YouTube are almost like your reviews. Businesses spend a lot of money to try to get those Yelp reviews and reviews on… I mean, with podcasting, right? We try to get the review on the podcast. But YouTube, sure, there’s the like and dislike button. But the comment sections reveal a lot about what people thought about your video.

Dane Golden:
That’s right. If you are a podcast listener, go to your podcast place, wherever you’re listening and review the podcast that you’re listening to right now, the Video Marketing Value Podcast. But this podcast is about comments on YouTube. So what are some of the ways businesses or anyone can manage their YouTube comments better?

Anthony Ambriz:
I think the first one is that YouTube has made it very easy for you. In fact, they have it so you can hold comments for reviews. You can even do it to where you let YouTube’s AI understand and know that they can hold potentially spam or explicit content or content that’s inappropriate. So you don’t have to worry about people using explicit language in your comment section. YouTube is actually really good at tracking that and there’s even, YouTube’s even made it to where you can put an entire list of words that you don’t want to be displayed in your comment section. You can put that in the back end of YouTube and YouTube will make sure that if anyone uses any of those words, that comment will not appear under your video. You can even block it so links don’t show up. So people don’t try to spam your own video with their own offers and websites.

Dane Golden:
Right. Yeah. I found for one of my clients who wanted to ban bad language. I found a list of 700 of the most foul words that you didn’t even know exist in any spelling connotations. I said, “Listen, I’m going to upload this to you, but I want you to know that I am not telling you to read this. I’m not trying to offend you. We’re trying to keep these comments out. I recommend you don’t read this.”

Anthony Ambriz:
Right. I’ve sometimes read those lists and I’m like, “People are very inappropriate and very creative.”

Dane Golden:
What else? What else can you do?

Anthony Ambriz:
So from just having that side all monitored and set up, I think one thing that people forget to do is actually be the first one to comment. Be the one to engage that comment section by pinning your first comment to the very top and then being able to start the conversation. Even from that, let’s say a couple of comments that are inappropriate get through, you can sort of hide those users from your video, and to them it’ll appear that their comments still lives on on your video. But to everyone else it’s gone. They no longer exist, which is actually sort of fun to do. So you can block people to make the trolls believe that they’re commenting and getting their rage out and frustration, and for them it’ll appear that they’re still seeing their comment. But for everyone else, they will not exist.

Dane Golden:
We have a video about pinning comments and some of the things you can do, you can ask a question that’s already being asked in the video. You can ask a new question. You can change the pin if you like some, another person’s comments better. You can add a link to a new video. I see a lot of people doing that as well. If you liked that video, check out this video. So there’s a lot of things you can do with pinned comments.

Anthony Ambriz:
Oh yeah, definitely. You can even, if you have some sort of opt-in offer or whatever, you can put a link to that URL there. Just prevent other people from linking to their stuff. Link your own stuff.

Dane Golden:
How can you keep people well behaved other than bad language? How can you keep people polite?

Anthony Ambriz:
I think it goes down to that adage of like kill them with kindness. Just just be polite, have fun. Sometimes, eventually, sometimes they’ll pull back from being disrespectful and crazy. But I’ve always, when I’ve commented back to people, I’m cordial and polite. I try to be funny and witty. Then most of the time, we come to an understanding and we come to an agreement and people tend to enjoy the content or they go watch something else of mine because then I’ll see them comment somewhere else and I’m like, “Oh, I might have a subscriber now.” So it’s sort of fun.

Dane Golden:
Yes. Yeah, you can turn, it’s possible to turn someone who feels that they’re never listened to or whatever, and you can turn that into a positive thing sometimes. There was a fellow who was on my videos a number of times and I was doing some collabs and it seemed like no matter who I had or what I said, he felt that that person I was talking to sucked and that they didn’t know what they were talking about. I said, “Listen, I appreciate your opinion and I welcome your opinion that is different than mine, but I’m going to ask you to say it politely because there’s ways of saying I don’t disagree in and I don’t agree in this is why.” So I made some suggestions and that person hasn’t commented again. I guess they got tired and wanted to do something else so that’s fine.

Anthony Ambriz:
Right. It’s always interesting to think about what’s the motivation behind someone leaving a comment, right? Is it that they just want attention? Sometimes it is, if it’s a negative comment, they just want attention. They just want to spout out some words. Just understand, try to understand why people are commenting and then read into what they’re saying and then think about it a little bit more before you respond to because you don’t want to then have an argument with someone in your comment section because then you’ll look bad.

Dane Golden:
Yeah. Try to take the high road and understand that some, a lot of people don’t have a voice and they’re trying to get attention and they may not be bad people but just are not sure how to express themselves.

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah. One feature that I really like about the comment section now is that you can like comments and you can heart them and that’s a very easy thing to do. Sometimes, that’s all I do to reply to certain comments that are very short, right? Where someone’s like, “Great video.” I can always reply and say thank you, but then it feels like I’m just saying a bunch of thank you is everywhere. So sometimes I just hit, I hit the little like button and the heart button on their comment and people get excited about that because the majority of videos out there, nobody’s replying to the comments.

Dane Golden:
Yes, yes. You know what else, one thing that I recommend businesses do is they go to influencer videos and when an influencer has talked about their brand, to be active in the comments and even if the person says they don’t like their product, there’s ways of being proactive and not being a jerk like, “Well, you didn’t try our product right.” You can say things like, “Oh, I’m so sorry this didn’t work out for you. We’d be happy to X, Y, Z.” Or if somebody asks you a question, now you’re sort of a mini moderator in their comment section. I’m suggesting you may not be able to put links, but you may be able to say, “Well, search on our channel for this,” and it can be very helpful there.

Dane Golden:
There was another situation also where I did a collab with Tim Schmoyer and he was nice enough to have me on his channel. I went through and I responded to every single comment because I was one of the people in the video and I responded to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments and that ended up being very good for my channel. So because we had an overlapping type of audience.

Anthony Ambriz:
Oh, definitely and I agree with that. It’s a great way to take advantage of an opportunity because yeah, people aren’t replying to their own viewers, this is a good time to say hi and reply to them and help them out. If you’re a business, it’s a great way to be sort of customer support and reputation management. The way that you did it, Dane, with being one of the contributors and in a collaboration video, I think that’s smart. It’s fantastic.

Dane Golden:
What about how long can you write a comment or does it matter how long you write, should it just be a word or a long comment?

Anthony Ambriz:
So I’ve recently started to experiment with creating actual, almost blog article type posts within my comment section. I haven’t really tried to see the max range for character limit. I haven’t looked into that. So maybe I haven’t reached it yet.

Dane Golden:
Let’s go for the record.

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah. Put a 20 chapter novel in there. Here’s my book. So no, yeah. I’ve gone through and when I’ve seen a lot of engagement and seen a lot of comments that were very similar where I’m like, “Oh man, I’m addressing each comment with the same response. I might as well sort of give some more insights and some more, give people some more information so they understand why I positioned my video certain way,” and so then I’d just write in almost a blog post of sorts in my comment section, and then I start to realize that people start to reply to that because they actually read it and they actually start to engage with that comment that I made on my own video.

Dane Golden:
Yeah. While in my understanding, having comments don’t necessarily get you ranking super high on YouTube, although it is a factor, I think that just if you are writing comments and you’re reading comments and you get your audience used to reading and writing comments, what are they doing while they’re commenting, right? They may not actually be watching the video but the video is playing and that counts as more audience retention, doesn’t it?

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah, definitely. I mean, the video can still be playing. They could be still… Yeah, it’s giving you watch time. At the same time, I feel the fact is that you’re keeping someone on the platform longer you’re given the opportunity to then possibly start looking at more of your own content because of that. Then people start to also come back because as soon as they get that notification that someone replied to them, it’s like now they come back and they start a new session watch time with you and then YouTube is always going to be very good at keeping people on YouTube. So keep starting that session over again as people come back to see what you said to them and then let them keep commenting and then let them go off and watch more videos. Either if it’s yours or someone else’s, it’s still good for you.

Dane Golden:
Right, right. Matt Gielen, who really knows the algorithm has said that more times the same person comes back and watches the same video, which they would do if they got notified of a response to their comment, that actually is a very good indicator to YouTube as opposed to paid media where you’re trying to, it seems like you’re trying to get the total audience and the sort of low uniques. But in this case, if you get sort of multiple uniques, or I don’t even know what the term I’m trying to say is, but if you get multiple viewers of the same person, then that YouTube really likes that signal and will rank… It’s a very important factor is what I’m saying.

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah. You had it to where your video is now replayable. You’re doing like a replay factor here. You’re basically using replies to replay your video.

Dane Golden:
Yes. Yeah. One of the things I also do when I reply to comments is I, as HEY.com is the name of the channel, I always put -Dane at the end of it so people know it’s me personally because, as HEY.com, they might not know exactly who that is. I think businesses can do that too. They can just leave their first name so they know. They might be multiple people managing the channel. There’s nothing wrong with saying your name that you’re responding to. No one’s going to jump out of YouTube and and bite you or anything, but it makes it more personal touch.

Anthony Ambriz:
Right. It’s just again, that customer supports and because every time you work with someone on a site that’s chatting with you and you’re commenting with them, they tell you that what their name is, even if they are a bot.

Dane Golden:
Now what about time codes? Tell us about time codes.

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah, I think time codes are a great way to reference certain points in your video, and especially now with Google’s new change on how it’s doing search for YouTube content, I think this is a great opportunity to take advantage of that as well. Not only within the comment section but in your description. But setting up time codes for certain specific parts of your video, and I think that could even work well as a pinned comment at the top. But oftentimes, what I find is is when someone’s asking a question that I might’ve answered in my video, I could just timestamp it and say, “Oh yeah, I did answer this and this is where it’s located at,” and now I’m giving people again a replay value to that video to where people can go straight to that section and see that I’ve mentioned this or talked about that.

Dane Golden:
Now, let me ask you this question because I’m not sure I know the answer to this and I don’t know if you do either, but what I’ve seen recently over time is that time codes in the description, I think that that only works on desktop and not on mobile platforms, at least not on iOS, which I’m on. But I actually don’t know about comments on mobile iOS time codes. Do you know?

Anthony Ambriz:
I want to say that I’ve actually clicked on time codes on iOS, but now I’m second guessing myself.

Dane Golden:
We will let you know in the show notes for sure.

Anthony Ambriz:
Put a little asterisk.

Dane Golden:
Yeah, there is, all the platforms are changing on an ongoing basis, but as YouTube wants to categorize things more and more, I think that they’re trying to make this available on mobile. Great. Well, anything else we should know about comments?

Anthony Ambriz:
I mean, I think going back to like starting the conversation, I think the best way to start that conversation to get comments is to simply ask a question within your video and have that opportunity to invite people to comment, besides just asking them like, “Hey, make sure you comment on my video.” That’s a very blank, generic question. It’s like, “What do you want me to say?” Right? That’s not a real question. So one thing that I recommend people do within their videos is ask a very simple question that just requires a one word answer to it. Then if people want to say more, they will say more. But that’s just to start the engagements, right, within your comment section, to just have people say yes, no or 50 or 60, if it’s just like a simple question that’s being asked with a simple answer.

Anthony Ambriz:
In a lot of my videos, that’s what I do. I ask people like, “How long have you been on YouTube?” Then people tell me like, “Two years,” and then they’ll go into a story of how they started and I’m like, “That’s fantastic,” right? they’re willing to share more. Oftentimes, people are asking these big open-ended, reflective questions and I think that’s fine to do in your video, but maybe towards the end once you’ve given, you’ve taught a great principle, a great lesson or shared something amazing, then you can ask a very reflective question. But early on in the video, simple question to get them going. Later on the video, you can ask a more deeper question. But definitely ask more reflective questions once you have an audience that you know is accustomed to commenting on your videos.

Dane Golden:
I believe that you have, I think you said this publicly that you helped Neil Patel on his channel. Is that right?

Anthony Ambriz:
Yes, correct.

Dane Golden:
One of the things I noticed that he does is in the early, I think it’s in the early part of his videos, he says, “Tell me in the comments, yes or no.” Is that right? Did you tell him to do that or did he do that on his own?

Anthony Ambriz:
Yes. No, yes, that’s what I had them do.

Dane Golden:
What’s his pattern? So he does a yes or no at the beginning and then he does something more in-depth later?

Anthony Ambriz:
He actually won’t do something more in-depth later on. He just keeps that yes or no question at the beginning. But what’s great to see is if you go to some of his older content, to this day there are people still answering that same question because there’s new people responding to it. So there’s a lot of engagement happening on his video over time. It’s great to see that.

Dane Golden:
Well, that’s another thing I tell businesses. They’re like, “Well, should I respond to comments on old videos? What should I do about that?” I said, “Listen, it may be old to you, but it may be the first video that customer has ever seen from you. It’s new to them. They don’t know that it was published two years ago. They might look at the date, but if it’s helpful to them, that’s their first interaction with your business. Why ignore them?”

Anthony Ambriz:
Yeah, exactly. What’s funny to me is that businesses will spend a lot of money on hiring community managers and reputation managers for other platforms, but not for YouTube where it’s like YouTube is a great place to be able to do that because people on YouTube are pretty bold. So I think that’s a great opportunity to have these community managers go back to older content and reply to people that have probably asked questions. I worked with some clients where people were asking all sorts of questions and they get no reply and I’m like, “These are people who are interested in possibly buying your services but you’ve left them. You’ve left them there.”

Dane Golden:
You’ve, you’ve used video, which is a very good way of connecting with customers because it’s not just the information, not just a blog post or a simple image. But by being on camera and showing people’s faces and emotions, you’re actually connecting on a kinetic deeper level. Now you’ve said, “I’ve connected with you and now I’m going to ignore you because I’m too good for you, the customer.” What would you say about the businesses that just do not do any comments at all? They just don’t even permit people to comment.

Anthony Ambriz:
I mean, it’s like then why use YouTube? You go use Vimeo.

Dane Golden:
That’s a good point. That’s a good point. Well, let me ask you this, Anthony. Is there another place that people can find your good words and ideas about commenting strategy?

Anthony Ambriz:
Oh, yeah. Definitely. I would say reach out to me on Facebook and YouTube and just look up Video Creator Secrets.

Dane Golden:
Video Creator Secrets. That’s your YouTube channel.

Anthony Ambriz:
Yes and my Facebook group.

Dane Golden:
Facebook group. Great. Your company is called VidStrategy?

Anthony Ambriz:
Yes.

Dane Golden:
Fantastic. I want to thank you, Anthony Ambriz. People can find this episode by searching for Hey and Anthony Ambriz. My name is Dane Golden and I want to thank you, the listener, for joining us today. I do this podcast, the Video Marketing Value Podcast from HEY.com and the YouTube videos because I love helping marketers and business owners just like you grow your customer community through helpful how-to videos, because when you share your expertise, in a way it helps your customers live their lives better or do their jobs better, you’ll earn their loyalty and their trust and their business. Thank you to our special guest, Anthony Ambriz. Until next week. Here’s to helping you help your customers through video.

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