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Need Advice Building community as a "for kids and their parents" type channel

Dansunotori

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If anyone here is in the "made for kids" COPPA struggle, what would be your best tips to build community and gather feedback from parents?

So far, we have a WhatsApp group and a Facebook group but the activity there is rather low. Some of the members still find the disconnection between YouTube and the community groups rather frustrating.

We have chosen the option to select the audience for the videos - we have a "branch" as a couple of videos that feature no child model, just painting time lapses shot overhead, and we plan to post more of these. So we're hoping to get the community tab once we hit the 1000 subs mark.
 

Jeffrey Powers

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TubeBuddy Legend
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geekazine.com
I would start by polling your local "Mums". Don't try to tackle the world first - start with your corner of it.

It's a lot easier to get someone to watch and subscribe if they have a connection with you. Get enough people, and one starts spreading the word for you.

And don't be afraid to make a "non kid friendly" video or two. Topics that help parents deal with the stress of children (especially in a COVID era), counter any burnout, plan for the future, etc. can drive parents to your content, then children to the kid friendly content.

I am weary of the Discord idea. Try to keep things public, and keep the parents on YouTube consuming the non kid friendly content. You get the wrong person in Discord (e.g. a passionate parent that doesn't know boundaries), they can destroy all your hard work.
 
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Dansunotori

Dansunotori

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Jeffrey, thanks for the thoughtful response. We started from about 50 subscribers straight away, who were Nadia's friends and parents of children in the local school. We also already have a few keen fans and a couple of Patreon patrons. They are spreading the word but mostly we are getting silent subscribers through that, that don't feed back.

The advice around putting specific videos for parents is something that hasn't crossed ours mind so it's actually something I'll definitely put in the pipeline. Thanks again.
 
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Jeffrey Powers

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geekazine.com
Jeffrey, thanks for the thoughtful response. We started from about 50 subscribers straight away, who were Nadia's friends and parents of children in the local school. We also already have a few keen fans and a couple of Patreon patrons. They are spreading the word but mostly we are getting silent subscribers through that, that don't feed back.

The advice around putting specific videos for parents is something that hasn't crossed ours mind so it's actually something I'll definitely put in the pipeline. Thanks again.
Glad I could help!

The best way to do it is to ask those parents what they struggle with, and if they have any tips or tricks you can convey on your channel.
 
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Stanley | Team TB

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There's basically two different directions you can go...

1) Make content that is specifically targeted towards children, suck it up and go all in on figuring out your own form of monetization outside of YPP (which honestly more content creators should do regardless of niche). You can sell products and toys (Ninja Turtles, Transformers and My Little Pony made an absolute KILLING doing that). You can do channel sponsorships and affiliate links... there is money to be made. Though I believe you will face issues with YT Search and Discovery, so you will need to be prepared to market your content as well.

2) Take a more broad-audience approach. If you target parents or make content that is anything except specifically targeted towards children under 13 then you are good. You should avoid anything that could be construed as 'SPECIFICALLY' targeting children, but this approach will give you:
A) Access to higher value demographics for adsense revenue/CPM's.
B) An older audience foundation with more disposible income for affiliate marketing/Patreon etc

Each approach will require a totally different type of video and this is a fairly big decision that will influence the success of your channel years down the road, so I do suggest having a solid 10-year game plan before jumping off into either.
 
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Beanie Draws

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I've been thinking about it but. Is it going to work for the average mum? How much knowledge does it require from the end-users?
good point, how many mums use discord? I dare say Facebook groups are your best bet, maybe some community forums? Reddit possibly? Not sure I'd trust Whatsapp. I think Facebook would be the safest course of action, and I think facebook is still largely used by mothers? Sure, Facebook is pretty limiting in it's reach, but that's probably just part of the course.

You could also try an email list? Just be sure having an email list doesn't break any COPPA regulations in terms of privacy collection and such. You want your groups to be as PUBLIC as possible, because the whole point of COPPA is about data collection. If the data collection is private, that's when things will become a problem, and thus why I wouldn't trust Whatsapp. Parents should be in control of the info, but as far as the FTC is controllled, you want to make the FTC happy.
 
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Dansunotori

Dansunotori

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There's basically two different directions you can go...

Thank you for your response. It made me think overnight before responding.

We know our current target audience. Our issue is that we do not TARGET children specifically, but depending on a subjective view of an occasional law enforcer, it MAY be see like we do.

Our target, and de-facto, audience, although we address them "Hi, little artists", consists of mums (not a single dad, LOL) that sit in front of their monitors/phones TOGETHER with their children, and paint/create together, as my wife and daughter also do in the videos. We do not think we are a fit for YT kids because we do not create the content with "kids alone" in mind e.g. Paw Patrol etc. Majority of our lessons would, I'm afraid, be either boring or too much for a kid alone.

But from the point of view that we do include kids in the formula "mums with kids", and that there's an underage participant, we have to comply with COPPA, and we have to select "Yes, it is made for kids". There is no way around the law.

So that's first scenario eliminated.

But we do not CLEARLY fall under the second scenario either, for instance, we do not name our videos as "How to draw a portrait WITH your child" etc.

The nearest analogy to us is probably "The Dad's Lab", which is clearly not targeted at children but is also subject to COPPA due to the content.

So the community we're trying to maintain is the community of mums. We do not invite children to join it, but I guess, we must make it clearer.

Still frustrated.

You want your groups to be as PUBLIC as possible, because the whole point of COPPA is about data collection. If the data collection is private, that's when things will become a problem, and thus why I wouldn't trust Whatsapp. Parents should be in control of the info, but as far as the FTC is controllled, you want to make the FTC happy.

Thank you. This has left me confused. We are trying to support a community of mums, not their children. We deliberately created a private group to keep the creeps away as far as possible. Facebook collects data anyway so does it really make any difference if the group is public or private?
 

Stanley | Team TB

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Thank you for your response. It made me think overnight before responding.

We know our current target audience. Our issue is that we do not TARGET children specifically, but depending on a subjective view of an occasional law enforcer, it MAY be see like we do.

Our target, and de-facto, audience, although we address them "Hi, little artists", consists of mums (not a single dad, LOL) that sit in front of their monitors/phones TOGETHER with their children, and paint/create together, as my wife and daughter also do in the videos. We do not think we are a fit for YT kids because we do not create the content with "kids alone" in mind e.g. Paw Patrol etc. Majority of our lessons would, I'm afraid, be either boring or too much for a kid alone.

But from the point of view that we do include kids in the formula "mums with kids", and that there's an underage participant, we have to comply with COPPA, and we have to select "Yes, it is made for kids". There is no way around the law.

So that's first scenario eliminated.

But we do not CLEARLY fall under the second scenario either, for instance, we do not name our videos as "How to draw a portrait WITH your child" etc.

The nearest analogy to us is probably "The Dad's Lab", which is clearly not targeted at children but is also subject to COPPA due to the content.

So the community we're trying to maintain is the community of mums. We do not invite children to join it, but I guess, we must make it clearer.

Still frustrated.


This is really riding a thin line. You do not need to worry about kids seeing your content, that isn't how the COPPA rules work. Kids can see anybody's content and the creator is not at risk of litigation. The issue is when that content is specifically catered to children. Now whether a parent is involved, that doesn't make much of a difference as the content is still catered specifically to the child. And you are totally allowed to make content for this demographic, but YouTube is not allowed to track the data of this audience and cater adds specifically for them... this lack of ability to cater ads is why the monetization is so low.
 
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Dansunotori

Dansunotori

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This is really riding a thin line. You do not need to worry about kids seeing your content, that isn't how the COPPA rules work. Kids can see anybody's content and the creator is not at risk of litigation. The issue is when that content is specifically catered to children. Now whether a parent is involved, that doesn't make much of a difference as the content is still catered specifically to the child. And you are totally allowed to make content for this demographic, but YouTube is not allowed to track the data of this audience and cater adds specifically for them... this lack of ability to cater ads is why the monetization is so low.

From that point of view, monetisation, it's ok. We do not plan to rely on YT monetisation, we don't care. Private and small group tuition is taking off, and it's already generating some income.

I was only worried about pissing off FTC. But I have checked the rules of the actual COPPA this morning, and I believe, we're ok as we do not violate it.
 

Stanley | Team TB

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It has been a few months since we were all freaking out about the COPPA thing, but as I recall when the dust settled it all came down to YouTube tracking data on minors for ads. The FCC will nail people who are targetting children for nefarious purposes, otherwise it wasn't really the doom and gloom scenario that it was made out to be (there were some dramatic presentations and posturing by the FCC that blew things out of proportion).
 
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Dansunotori

Dansunotori

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It has been a few months since we were all freaking out about the COPPA thing, but as I recall when the dust settled it all came down to YouTube tracking data on minors for ads. The FCC will nail people who are targetting children for nefarious purposes, otherwise it wasn't really the doom and gloom scenario that it was made out to be (there were some dramatic presentations and posturing by the FCC that blew things out of proportion).

Yep, seems like the dust has settled.

Going back to the matter, I think, we'll try to lure parents to the FB group. It's painful to have no feedback at all. And we'll probably do a few parent-targeted vids as suggested above.
 
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