YouTube video responses, good or bad? There is one key word that is massively important to YouTube & Google, I'll come to it later, but when we understand this word, I'm sure that you will agree with me, video responses are a good thing, for both parties .
I can remember when I first started out on YouTube, and I read somewhere (I can not remember where, sorry!) That having a video accepted as a video response helped both channels in various ways.
The most obvious way, is that providing the response is accepted, the responding video will be displayed underneath the existing video, and some viewers may click on it and check it out. Since the latest redesign of YouTube, I have to say that this particular aspect has probably died in usefulness, as video responses are shown quite far down the page, below top rated comments.
It is this particular factor though that has led to a lot (if not most) people refusing to accept video responses, the fear being that instead of further searching through that person's content, they'll be leaving to go watch another channel.
That's a very understandable concern, but I think it is over-anticipated. Here's how I see it breaking down on my channel.
Most of my subscribers know that I publish a lot of content, and there is a degree of variety in that content, with comments either being game related, or completely 'off-topic' and could be discussing gaming news or news in general, with a few atheist / religion themed comments as it's a particular hobby-horse of mine.
They watch my content for a reason, odd as it may seem, there's something there that they like, and when they are in the mood for my content, they will come and watch it. When they've had enough, say after about three minutes, they'll want to go and watch something else. In particular, if a video of mine has expressed opinion about something, they may well want to go and watch something else related to that. If there is a video response to that video, it's an all-round good thing for them to go and hear someone else's opinion, even if it disagrees with mine.
Now, if they go watch someone else's opinion, they may come back to comment on my video.
Even better though, the person who has the posted video response, some of their viewers may come and check out my content too! Their video will be showing as a response to my video; this is VERY important.
The key word I mentioned? Engagement. YouTube LOVES us when we engage with our communities. The more engagement we have, the more YouTube thinks we must be wonderful, and pushes us up search engine rankings, not just on YouTube, but on Google too.
No one outside of YouTube knows exactly how YouTube algorithms work, but I think it's a fairly safe bet that every type of engagement does not carry the same value. So for example, a comment is worth one point, a comment from a subscriber is worth 2, a video response we post ourselves (of our own content to our own channel) is worth 1, a like is worth 10, a video response from another channel is worth 50.
I'll admit I'm pulling figures out of the air here, but there will surely be some kind of weighting system, and video responses from one channel to another will be pretty high on that list. I'd also guess that as YouTube loves engagement so much, more weighting will be given to acceptors of video responses than the video posted as a response.
If I'm correct, what this means is that the person accepting the responses will actually be getting as much (if not more) out of the deal as the person who posted the response.
YouTube loves engagement, and so should we.
I'm also gonna look at another aspect, that of altruism.
Altruism is basically the concept of doing some good for someone with no anticipation of reward. I've always argued that there is no such thing as 'true' altruism, cos when we do something good for someone, we get a buzz out of it.
Let's assume that I'm way off base with my understanding of how YouTube factors engagement. Is not doing something good for someone else just a pretty good thing to do anyway? Do not it make you feel good?
Seriously, if you think that by accepting a video response you're risking someone leaving your channel and not coming back, you have very little faith in the quality of your content, and that's what you really should pay paying attention to!
Lastly, I'd like to recount some of my experiences with littlebigplanet.
For those of you not familiar with the game, users make levels, and getting plays on those levels is pretty much like getting views on YouTube.
I started having a degree of success on LBP. most of what I published would be on the 'cool pages', a couple of developer picks, and I was fortunately enough to have many of LBP's top creators collaborating with me on projects.
I would very often make a link at the end of my levels taking players directly to someone else's content. Most of the level I would direct to would be a complete 'unknown' within the world of LBP, but someone who I deserved deserved some exposure for their efforts. Like a video response takes people off my YouTube channel, a LBP link would take them off my planet.
It never did me any harm, if anything it enhanced my reputation among LBP, and made more people come and check my content.
So, let's wind up here.
Simply put, video responses increase engagement for the person who posts, AND the person who accepts.
YouTube LOVES engagement.
It feels good to help other channels out, especially if they're just starting their YouTube 'career'.
I will ALWAYS accept a video response as long as it is in some way relevant or interesting to my viewers, if you'd like to send me a video response, go for it!
Do's and Dont's for Video Responses on YouTube
Do make sure it's relevant in some way.
Do send the channel owner a short message telling them why you think it is a good response.
Do demonstrate that you've actually seen their content & you're sending an appropriate response (this may be obvious in video title)
Do offer for them to feel free to make responses on your channel.
Do not spam everyone. No-one likes spam.
Do not bombard people with video responses.
Do not get irate or dismissed if responses are ignored.