• Justin Patterson

How YouTubers can convert their audience from viewers to advocates

Any type of viewer is important for a YouTuber, however, an advocate is someone who not only watches your videos but encourages everyone around them to watch as well. These are the type of audience members that are crucial for success! Read below to find out how to convert your viewers into advocates.

Originally published on Medium here

Passive viewers are audience members who will periodically watch your videos but will not engage with you in any way or share you with their own following. This type of audience member is important, as realistically, the majority of viewers will be passive. However, to be successful as a content creator, you need to have a strong group of advocates who champion your brand.

Sports fans are prime examples of advocates. They not only support their favourite team, but they talk about them with their friends, wear their jerseys to games and in their day-to-day life, and share their team’s stories on social media.

This is why advocates are so important for any content creator looking to grow. These types of viewers not only spend money on you, but also talk highly of your brand to get others to follow you and are the key drivers of your community.

But how can you find these advocates?

The audience funnel

Think about your audience fitting into a funnel. The funnel represents different phases of a fan’s journey, where each phase is a different action. Your audience starts at the top of the funnel, and the goal is to push them down to the bottom where advocacy is the optimal outcome.

Let’s talk about each phase.


This is all about how people find you, which usually occurs by ensuring you can be found through search engine optimization (SEO), intriguing thumbnails, creative titles, staying on top of trends, and using all relevant platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.).


This is when someone decides to click on your content, and is now a viewer. They watch your content and like your videos. In this stage you want viewers to stay until the end of your video, but this can only be done by ensuring the quality of production is high, the videos have full length worth of content, and you are credible on the topics you choose to talk about.


This is the phase where a viewer becomes an engaged fan. They subscribe to your socials, keep coming back for more, engage in the community, and feel connected. To help more fans become engaged members of your community, you must ensure you’re being your authentic self, demonstrating your true personality, and providing a meaningful contribution to the community you’re building.


This is the ideal stage for every fan, although few actually become advocates. These are the true believers, they are active in your community, purchase products or services you put out, and really just like you as a person and want to support you in any way they can.

It’s important to note that each stage of the funnel go hand-in-hand. You can’t get fans to advocate for you without first getting them to discover, view and engage.

For example, you could have the best SEO in the world where your content shows up in millions of searches a day. But if your content provides zero value, it doesn’t matter how many searches you appear in, no one will stick around. In contrast, you could provide the most value in the world, but if you’re completely unsearchable then you’ll have no one to benefit from your incredible value.

There are a ton of different tools that can help you navigate along the funnel.

Tools for each stage in the audience funnel


Tools like TubeBuddy, MorningFame, and Youtube Studio allow users to find trending topics, create searchable titles for their videos, improve SEO, enhance your thumbnails, and much more. All of these tools will help you become more discoverable online, and acquire more viewers in a much more optimized and simple way.


Ensuring your videos are of the highest production quality requires a certain skill set on its own, which can be taught through courses online such as on SkillShare. Using editing, sound, and caption software when creating your videos will help improve the production value and credibility of your content. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so let’s make it count!


To convert viewers into engaged fans, you need to provide real value so they keep coming back. Planning out your content with a tool like PadPlanIt is helpful to keep your content focused on what your audience cares about. But value doesn’t only come from your content, it also comes through your relatability and authenticity, and there’s really only one tool for that- yourself!


Converting engaged fans to advocates is all about personal engagement. You need your audience to feel connected to you and each other. Viewers want to connect with someone they feel cares about them, and the best way to show them you care is through engaging with them. But how do you know which fans are engaging the most, and most likely to become advocates? Using a tool like Backr allows you to segment your audience to see where fans lie within the audience funnel. This means you can target specific fans to convert them to the next phase towards advocacy. Backr also shows you fans’ engagement history so you can engage with each fan in a personalized and appropriate way.

Closing Thoughts

The first thing you need to do is understand what stage of the funnel your audience is in. This will allow you to target each viewer in a relevant way, as someone in one stage of the funnel will respond differently to someone in another stage. For example, better visual thumbnails can help a viewer go from ‘discover’ to ‘view’ vs sending personal messages to fans in the ‘engage’ phase can help convert them to ‘advocates’. By keeping this in mind, and using the appropriate tools at each stage, you will be well-positioned to convert your viewers to advocates!


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