7 WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE: A ROOSTER TEETH CASE STUDY
Rooster Teeth is an internet-based entertainment company in Austin, TX. From Achievement Hunter to RWBY to Red vs Blue, there’s a good chance you’ve watched some of their content.
What makes Rooster Teeth so special in the ocean of online content creators? Their fanbase. Rooster Teeth is an exemplary example of audience engagement and interaction.
Check out below to see how they make fans fall in love with their content and company:
- Shout Outs to popular fan content creators
RWBY is one of Rooster Teeth’s biggest productions. Created by Monty Oum, RWBY is about beautiful character designs, kickass soundtracks, and unorthodox weapons that are also guns. The show has been dubbed in Japanese and is the first American animation to be exported to Japan. RT has deals with Crunchyroll and Netflix for streaming. It’s only been a few years since the series debuted and the show has grown a rabid fanbase with cosplayers and artists.
Rooster Teeth created a spinoff with RWBY called RWBY Chibi during the hiatus season between volumes. RWBY Chibi is a lighthearted version of the canon series with smaller, more adorable versions of the main characters. With a finger on the community pulse, Rooster Teeth tapped popular fan creator @mojojoj27827860 to help with RWBY Chibi character designs since @mojojoj27827860 is most popular for creating cute fan art with RWBY characters.
The RWBY audience was thrilled with this decision and impressed that Rooster Teeth found an official niche for a popular fan creator.
- Relatable staff
As humans, we enjoy it when we hear about other people screwing up. There is a reason why Reddit’s TIFU subreddit has over 9 million subscribers.
Rooster Teeth’s staff and on-screen personalities have no qualms about fessing up embarrassing stories, such as this gem: “I wore green tights, a little Peter-Pan-like outfit, and to really drive home this mental image, I’d also like to inform you that I was super chubby at this point in my life… and had spiked hair. Really sexy look. Anyway, in the middle of our very first performance, at the end of my very first scene, I knocked down the ENTIRE set.” – Miles Luna.
While not every company has the free reign to divulge their staff’s most humiliating moments, this is a good reminder that people respond well to “infallible” organizations revealing a more human side. Rooster Teeth’s post involving embarrassing stories had over 100 comments and 400 reactions on their website alone.
- Behind-the-Scenes Look
Many of us wonder what it would be like to work at a slick, online content creation company. Or just a slick company in general. Like with all art forms, it’s fun to look at the behind-the-scenes of what it takes to create a great product. A BTS look also makes audiences appreciate the work more. Not to mention it boosts morale for employees. So, give it a try. Show your audience what work-heavy days look like at your place of employment and publicly thank your team members.
- Thanking fans
No matter how small your company is, your company probably has loyal fans. If there’s an Employee of the Month Award, why not a Fan of the Month award? Fans follow your company because of what you do and who you are. However, it never hurts to recognize your fans when they take time out of their day to engage with your audience and hype up your content.
Rooster Teeth’s website is heavily community integrated. Fans can create accounts, write journals, comment, react (zing!, cool, funny, etc) to comments and posts, and even watch content early. Rooster Teeth has a special spot on the front page of their website for Featured Users which frequently rotates.
Thank your regular and loyal fans. Acknowledgment goes a long way in building goodwill. Take a picture with them and post those pictures to Instagram. Follow them back on Twitter. Have a featured fan pseudo-award.
- Responding to engaged audiences
It’s cool to publicly react with excitement and love about your favorite organization’s content. It’s even cooler when they react back to you.
Arnold AKA MurderofBirds is a YouTuber who reacts to Rooster Teeth content in his videos. Rooster Teeth, with their typical grasp on their community, sent Arnold their reaction video to one of his reactions. It’s a reaception.
Follow Rooster Teeth’s cue and respond to your engaged audiences. Go above and beyond simple acknowledgment. Your audience draws things for your company? Draw something for them. Do they like writing things for your company? Create a chain story with them. Do your fans like to gift your organization things? Write a blog post about it or an unboxing YouTube video.
Art begets art. React to their reactions. That is how the hype train for your company starts.
- Creative contests
Have fun with your audience! Let them temporarily be in-charge of your branding.
- Live interaction
RTX is Rooster Teeth’s annual community convention with approximately 60,000 attendees last year in 2016. RT has thrown the gauntlet down for live audience interaction. While your organization might not be able to host a convention, here are some ideas to steal from Rooster Teeth’s involved crew and tech-savvy podcasts:
- Have individual employees host small meetups
- Use a specific hashtag while live streaming so you can answer questions
- Allow fans to email in questions and answer them in a video
All in all, Rooster Teeth’s audience cares. They care because Rooster Teeth cares enough to engage and interact.