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How to Build a Community on YouTube with RAF 100

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At SMWLDN, Jennifer Quigley-Jones (Digital Voices) hosted a panel to discuss what has made RAF 100’s YouTube channel so successful.

At Social Media Week London 2018, Founder and Managing Director of Digital Voices, Jennifer Quigley-Jones, hosted a panel that featured Creator Brian McManus, RAF 100 Senior Campaign Manager Emma Mouchet, Head of Communications at the Red Arrows Andrew Morton and Flight Lieutenant and Engineer Officer at the RAF Marcus Ramden and picked their brains in order to understand what has made RAF 100’s YouTube channel so successful.

Building a YouTube community is not too dissimilar to entering a relationship, except with hundreds of people and the watching warranted.

The Influencer marketing agency, Digital Voices, did just this with the RAF. As a result, the RAF 100 YouTube channel was born where exciting, diverse and engaging content was created and influencers were partnered in order to capture and curate refreshing content that showcased the energy and ethos behind the RAF.

As a brand, it’s difficult to ‘do’ YouTube. Your content has to give audiences something they can take away. The format is different, too.

Together, with help from Quigley-Jones, the panel agreed on the main themes they thought helped them achieve a vibrant and wealthy community.

Ensure Creative Freedom and Authenticity is put first

When you generate authentic content on YouTube, engagement rate tends to be higher which then offers your channel longevity. Joe Sugg participated as one of the influencers on the RAF 100 channel and spent a day at an RAF air base – his grandad served the RAF and was an engineer so this made sense and was unique. It generated an amazing response and the RAF reached an audience it typically wouldn’t have, thanks to Sugg’s social impact.

Be Educating and Entertaining

Audiences react to substance. Quigley-Jones explained how “people follow YouTube creators because they believe what they have to say will add value to their life.” Future content cannot be predicted and but channels are subscribed to when they inspire. Brian McManus noted, “I know my audience, I know what they get nerdy about and I know what they get excited about.”

Use it as a Positive Outlet in order to Inspire

In order to hatch excitement, good communication is key when it comes to sharing knowledge and experience, as well as the enthusiasm to do so. Flight Lieutenant and Engineer Officer at the RAF Marcus Ramden seemed keen to set up his own channel, now the RAF 100’s finished. “I’d love to tell my story and make it accessible. If was 17 coming out of school now I would look at people flying Red Arrows and think it’s not possible. Yet, with a little hard work and determination, anything is. I hope to inspire.”

A common theme appeared to be the embracement of a niche, harnessing it and working with it. Influencers can sometimes be given a bad name for themselves when inappropriate behavior is carried out online. Stereotypes have been created, but it’s clear that McManus and those involved in the campaign are far from projecting questionable actions. The digital community is a family and it’s here to stay.

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