Considered the second most important search engine behind its owner Google, YouTube is easily the biggest video sharing community on the web. While the site is perfect for videos, it has never been the greatest platform for conversations. Until recently, comments and video responses were the only way to respond to a post. Unfortunately, neither method was efficient in terms of allowing the video publisher to communicate with their audience. That has all changed with the YouTube Moderator feature.
Inside YouTube Moderation
YouTube has launched a new feature that allows video channel owners to communicate with their viewers more effectively. Basically a customized version of Google Moderator integrated into the platform, the tool lets subscribers vote on certain content, and also allows for responses via text and video. Once enabled, channel owners simply enter a topic or question, choose whether they want to accept responses in the form of text, video or both, and set the duration for the poll. Many YouTube users voice their opinion, but their dialogue can easily be lost in the mix of spam and often downright rude comments made by others. The Moderator feature provides channel owners with the ability to interact with their viewers and a much easier way to separate genuine dialogue from the crap.
With the new feature, YouTube has essentially given small businesses a more comprehensive way to gather ideas and suggestions from their audience. Because the function is powered by real-time polling capabilities, it is ideal for running contests, promotions, or even viral marketing campaigns. Small businesses can take advantage of this tool for driving deeper engagement with their audience and gathering feedback that can be used to create new content. The Moderator feature is not necessarily new as Google previously used it to collect and manage questions received during a live, streamed YouTube interview with President Obama. Once an internal product, the tool is now available to all who want to put it to good use.
Video Just Got Even Better
If you are small businesses owner who is currently leveraging video, the new Moderator feature should be incentive to consider using YouTube as your social platform for consumer engagement. The viral power of video has been proven, showing that it is far more effective than a compelling image or well written blog post could ever be. If the new feature takes off, and there is a great chance it will, more brands will flock to YouTube because it now provides the ability to reach and engage audiences in ways there were previously not possible on the site. Whether you use it for crowd sourcing ideas or launching more exciting social media marketing campaigns, rest assured that this feature has tons of real potential.
To no surprise, many channel owners have already enabled Moderator and Google has rewarded some by crediting them for showing others how the feature works. If you have a presence on YouTube, this is definitely a tool you want to pick up as it offers a way to solicit feedback from your audience, and get new ideas for product and service offerings. Experts are already predicting that the feature will make YouTube even more valuable to brands looking to dabble in the wonder of video.