Dealing With Comments On YouTube – Content Marketing With Video

by Paul Wolfe on October 8, 2012

If you’re using video as one of the planks in your Content Marketing strategy – and if you’re not, you should be! – then the first place you should be syndicating your videos is YouTube.  (For the rest of the places your video should be syndicated to, please check out The Content Marketers Video Playbook.)

If you’re posting to YouTube – then you’re going to get comments on your videos.  This is (mostly) a good thing – Youtube sees this as a sign of engagement with your audience, and they tell us this does affect the rankings of your video(s) and channel.

In the rest of this post I want to walk you through the commenting strategies I use with Youtube.

Strategy 1 – Answer Every Comment

YouTube counts YOUR answering comment as a comment on a video – so by answering every comment you double the number of comments that YouTube sees on a video.

Answering every comment does other things though – it actually does build your engagement with your audience.  People new to you will often scroll and look through comments, if they see that you answer every comment (or most of them), then it encourages them to ask questions themselves.

That means more comments…and more YouTube love.

Strategy 2 – Direct People (Where Possible) To Your Website

For me YouTube is a discovery mechanism.

I like people to find me on YouTube, maybe watch a tutorial or two, and then go to my website.  If someone asks you a question, and it is appropriate to direct them to your website in the answer, then do so.

Bear in mind that you can’t put links in YouTube comments so you’ll have to refer them to the link that you put under your video in the description box.  (That link should be a full HTTP link, and also should be the first thing you put in your description).

Strategy 3 – Don’t Get Overwhelmed – Do YouTube Comment Answers Once A Day

I have no set time when I answer YouTube comments, but once a day I’ll head over and answer all my comments.  Usually it takes about 10 to 15 minutes – obviously your mileage will vary.

I find the best way to track comments and answers is to access them via the Inbox:

The Inbox lets you see at a glance what comments are waiting for you – and by expanding a comment (see graphic below) you can see what was written, and then click through to the appropriate video to answer it:

Once you’ve answered a comment, you can click the ‘Back’ button on your browser, skip back to your website and then check the ‘Delete’ radio button (highlighted above) and get rid of the comment from your InBox.

There are other ways of tracking new comments to your YouTube Videos – from the dashboard, or you can send notifications to an email account – but I find once a day, using the Inbox works best for me.

Strategy 4 – Dealing With Haters

Although YouTube is not as wild west as it used to be – it can still attract flamers and haters.  I have a three step strategy for dealing with this:

  • If a comment is outright hostile and nasty (and usually if they are, they will be laced with swear words) then I delete the comment and block the user.
  • If a comment is a constructive criticism then I thank the commenter, make some observations and move on.
  • If a comment is a criticism that’s not particularly constructive – but is NOT offensive – then I’ll let it stand.  But I challenge it – usually with a line like: Perhaps YOU could film a video and show us how it should be done?  I’ve issued that challenge at least twenty times in the last three years – guess how many people have taken me up on it?  (If you guessed none, you were right!).


And that’s it.

Your content marketing with video strategy should start with YouTube.   That means that you will get YouTube comments on your videos – dealing with those comments is something that YouTube likes and rewards in terms of how your video (and channel) ranks.

Using the 4 Step Strategy I outlined in this post allows you to do it in a timely and professional manner.

The Content Marketers Video Playbook

YouTube is merely the first step in a fully developed content marketing with video strategy – to find out more about my course where I dive deep into effective strategies to both get views to your videos, and then get the owners of those eyeballs onto your website (and your email list!), then please click here; The Content Marketers Video Playbook




Trisha Cupra October 9, 2012 at 1:38 am

Very useful tips, Paul! I’ll be saving this to Evernote to refer to.

Joseph October 10, 2012 at 6:01 am

When I look at the comments section I find a lot of people usually post stuff that is not-related to the message of the post. More often you find unwanted hater comments that seem like a bid for attention. My strategy is simple, I delete anything that will not add value to the video or is not remotely connected to the video. The rest I keep. However, I’m going to try and answer most comments henceforth. Thanks for sharing.

Linda October 12, 2012 at 5:53 am

I think when they say ‘haters gonna hate’, they mean it. You could post anything and those who don’t want to like it will not. But I think setting up a challenge will make it interesting and also make them shut up. Maybe I’ll try that next on my page. Thanks for sharing, Paul.

Kersti October 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

It is very important to conduct conversations with your viewers. It makes them feel that their comment is valued and they would want to come back again. Also, the best way I believe to handle the comments that you receive is, as Joseph said, keep the ones that add value and leave out the rest. You may include hater comments in case you want them to know your reasoning behind your posts and want to win them over.

James October 16, 2012 at 3:16 am

While most people would leave out hateful comments, I include them and then have a conversation with the person to determine his way of thinking and to see if I can explain my point of view to him. If it works, good for me and him. If it doesn’t, well, you win some, you lose some. But I try and conduct conversations with all those comment as it makes them feel important and valued. And more often than not, I too end up learning a few things from them.

Thomas October 16, 2012 at 6:16 am

Hey Paul, I agree with a lot of what you said up there. The only thing I need to check on is fixing a time to check on the comments and reply to them. Also, about the hater comments, I’d rather not get into any arguments with them because some of them are so obstinate that no matter what you tell them, they will hate you. It is like someone said in the comments, Haters gonna hate.

Jack October 17, 2012 at 2:28 am

I like how you said you challenge those people who disagree with you. I think its the best way for them to see why you do things your way. Also most of them would anyways never reply or justify their comment by showing you a better way to do it. I think I’m going to use that tip henceforth. Thanks a ton, Paul.

David October 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

My problem has always been anticpation. I keep anticipating comments and therefore I end up spending a lot of time checking and rechecking my account to check if any comments have appeared. I do need to practice setting up a time to check and respond to my comments. Thanks for sharing this post Paul.

David October 17, 2012 at 7:05 am

It is very important to reply back to your viewers because they feel a sense of belonging and they would be involved actively.Also hater comments should be included if your opinion could conquer a win.Comments that are very relevant and useful should be kept aside and the rest should be separated.I always include hater comments and never discard them off.

Smith October 18, 2012 at 2:27 am

Hey Paul, thank you so much for sharing this post. I tried a few of these tips on my Youtube page and I’ve seen a growing change in the number of views as well comments on my page. I also put in my website linking guiding people to my website. There has been a rise in traffic even on my site and the new rise has comes mainly from Youtube. So it is safe to say that these tips work well.

Harry October 18, 2012 at 4:57 am

I think these tips are simple things that we all learn at the outset of blogging and yet forget it as we move along. I don’t have my own Youtube page but as a viewer, I like it when the page owner responds to my comments and initiates a conversation. It makes me feel that the owner wants to hear feedback or answer queries and is ready to help his viewer.

Alex October 19, 2012 at 2:21 am

Thanks for sharing this Paul. I think the tips are really great and it definitely will go a long way in building better relationships with our readers/viewers. I think responding to their comments is the best tip as then readers will more valued and important and this goes a long way in retaining a faithful audience.

Megan October 19, 2012 at 6:43 am

Great post Paul. I’d definitely refer to this time and again to make sure I am treating my viewers right and going about the right way to get loyal followers.

Joseph October 22, 2012 at 6:46 am

I was just going through a Youtube page, a few days back and I did see a lot of varied comments on a video that I thought had pretty informative content. A lot of people did put up comments appreciating the page owner while there were those different few who decided to go on a hate campaign. The funny thing was the owner replied to every comment, even the hateful ones, answering queries, explaining his reasoning and son on. I have to say if I was a hater, I’d be won over. Your post just reiterated that for me.

Localism October 23, 2012 at 5:38 am

Hi Paul, I think this is a fantastic piece on how you should deal with comments, not just on Youtube but even on blogs.. I think it is necessary to moderate comments to allow those that value to your post. Answering these comments also encourages the readers/viewers to come back often and comment more. More comments will result in higher traffic and better ranking.

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