Case YouTube

Maintaining a culinary YouTube channel: +100,000 subscribers in 4.5 months

About the client

The owners of a YouTube cooking project approached our company. The channel is led by a charismatic host who shares interesting recipes. Also they invite other media personalities for collaboration to the project. We signed an NDA with the client, so we will not disclose the names of the channel.

Previously, the channel was promoted due to organic traffic and several successful collaborations with major blogger channels. These bursts of activity can be seen in the channel's analytics. At the start of the work with us, the channel already had 448,000 subscribers:

Before the start of the work, the growth of the channel amounted to 5-6 thousand subscribers per month on average. To confirm this fact, a screenshot from the channel analytics from January 1 to June 30:


The main task of our cooperation: growth of 20,000 subscribers per month.
Maintenance and promotion of the channel was completely organic, and we also had to increase the number of subscribers with the help of organics.    

Before any major project, we start with an audit of the channel. Thus, we identify weaknesses of the channel and new points of growth. 

We also prepare recommendations for content. Content is a key metric for working with large youtube channels. Since there is already traffic on the channel, and if you adjust the work correctly, you can significantly increase the growth of the channel without much effort.

We follow this content strategy in our work with clients:

  • Help - content for key requests, one request = one video.
  • Hub - the main content for which people subscribe to the channel, this may be a serial content or permanent columns.
  • Hero - content created in collaboration with opinion leaders to expand the channel's audience. If there is no possibility to shoot such content, it is possible to do live broadcasts and it can also be a viral content for the viewers since they have a possibility to interact directly with the author of the channel.
  • Hype Content - situational viral content, which can be created as Youtube Shorts or recorded specifically for an event, a certain trend or season.
  • Action - promotional videos that we use to convert channel viewers into customers of your business.

Further work is carried out on the following points: 

  • Content. It's important to properly determine what content best "goes in" for regular and new audiences on the channel.  Quite often you can observe a picture where content that is interesting for a new audience is absolutely, but not interesting for the regular audience. But, one of the key metrics of channel development is attracting a new audience and forming it into a regular one. Thus, a new strategy that works for both audiences is attached.

  • Analysis. We additionally make a niche analysis in order to determine the key competitors, the formats of the content themes that gain maximum coverage and audience response from them.

  • Relevant topics.  Once a week we prepare hot topics that are worth shooting in the near future. This content plan can be based on trends (that competitors are hitting), popular search topics and video "locomotives" (these are the videos that viewers on the channel have watched or are watching best).

  • Seriality. When working with large channels, it's fundamentally important to create serialized content that can build off of these "locomotive" videos.  These are the videos that get the most views on the channel and bring subscribers. Therefore, if some topic in your channel gained more views than usual and created a "locomotive" video, it makes sense to make some more videos on the topic that came up in the recommendations.

After the audit, we highlighted a number of problems: 

The main page of the channel.
 Missing channel trailer for new viewers. We recommend creating and installing a channel trailer for new viewers - it increases conversion into a subscription. We recommend adding a "Playlists", "Most Popular Videos" and other sections to improve the appearance.

Channel header
Need to improve the channel header - based on the channel header, a person often makes a decision to subscribe to the channel or not. The channel header should make it clear what the channel is about, its topic, frequency of content release, who the main character is, and an appeal to subscribe.

Low enough CTR for video covers
Poorly readable text on the cover. It's important to remember that the most part of your audience watches Youtube from mobile devices, so you get fewer impressions and views. 

Recommended to make more minimalist covers, less text but larger, less different images so as not to overload the overall picture, a problem photo with a big frame, not overloaded, transmitting the essence - this increases perception, CTR and clickbait.

Incorrect approach to working with video metadata.
When working with large youtube channels, clickbait title and title are created first, and the keywords themselves are sewn into the extended description of the channel and tags. Also: 
  1. When working with large channels, it's important to make clickbait titles the first type - this will increase perception and CTR.
  2. The video lacked subtitles with keywords embedded
  3. It was necessary to increase the description for the video, since the keyword description from the video title is stitched in and diluted
  4. Also, the video description was missing timecodes - they should be added as they rank in Youtube and Google searches and create convenience for viewers 
  5. No linking with other videos on the channel and other little things that need to be improved.

The client did not use live streaming.
This increases engagement on the channel and they are well promoted in recommendations and Youtube searches. As a consequence you will get more impressions, views, subscribers.

The client didn't use Youtube Shorts.
Youtube Shorts are great organically promoted by Youtube - bringing views, new audience and subscribers.

It was necessary to change the names of the playlists with the inclusion of keywords. For each playlist, a 2000 character description with keyword phrases relevant to that playlist should be made.

The client didn't keep a "community" tab, and today "community" is one of the best options for interacting with your audience. It's also recommended to post announcements of new videos with Gif images, conduct polls, share news and additional content to engage or interact with your audience.

Stories are not hosted on Youtube. Can be used when a new video is released and make interesting content with tips and recommendations. Promote organically and bring in subscribers.

And many other small recommendations which influenced the result. 

Project work

After creating a content plan, the client began shooting the video, and we proceeded to the optimization and turnkey maintenance of the channel. What was included in our work:

  • Selection of titles and themes to display the video in the top 10 of Youtube, Google and Yandex search results and promotion through similar videos
  • Selection of competitive key tags and hashtags 
  • Subtitle creation for the video 
  • Attractive video cover design
  • Proper video lay-out
  • Creating SEO video description in 500 characters, tags, hashtags
  • Writing the first 3 comments
  • Adding videos to the playlist according to the theme and cover art
  • Adding traffic generating links to each video
  • Adding stop, minus words to remove foul language and negativity under videos 
  • Maintaining community posts for new videos, live announcements and polls
  • Maintaining stories for new videos and themed ones on the channel's theme
  • Maintaining Youtube #Shorts
  • Planning and help with live broadcasts
  • Running through social bookmarking services
  • Launch and support of Paid Ads in Google Ads
  •             - Collecting search terms
  •             - Ad creation
  •             - Setting the best rates
  •             - Monitoring, correction and optimization of ads
  • Working on improving monetization of the channel (sponsorships, donates, super chats, applause, etc.)
  • Analyzing trends under hype content and new content formats for the channel
  • Review of content for the channel and recommendations for improvement
  • Optimizing old videos on the channel
  • Selection of channels for cooperation and audience exchange
  • Making a blogger portfolio
  • Listing on the bloggers and agencies to sell advertising on the channel
  • Promotion of the channel trailer
  • Buying advertising from bloggers
  • Buying link mass for increasing video weight and getting higher ranking in order to get to the TOP 10 of Youtube.
  • Analyzing the channel in Youtube Analytics and making recommendations
  • Reporting and output for the month of work 
  • Recommendations for improving the result (Channel development strategy, new formats search, consultation).

New content plan
8 Content videos
4 Live broadcasts 
10 YouTube shorts 

Summary of 3.5 months of work

The process of working on the project itself was the implementation of certain points of growth and work with content defined at the start.

I would especially like to note a positive shift in the use of live broadcasts. Very often on large channels, authors do not broadcast live and do not interact with the audience, and this is wrong.

A person subscribes to a channel and for him a blogger is an expert he wants to interact with personally. When you have an opportunity to ask a question and get an answer personally from the author of the channel, it greatly affects the involvement, especially of the new audience which becomes permanent.

In addition, I want to note that even a slight increase in CTR of covers by 1% can give an increase in views.

What results we obtained in 4.5 months:

New subscribers: +100.5 thousand
Views: 8.1 million
Revenue from monetization: $10.138

Results by traffic source and views for this period:

A more detailed breakdown. Part of the advertising views that were present on the channel is the use of the Action advertising strategy, which was launched for the purpose of lead generation.

If we look at a comparison of the analytics on the channel by views for the past and current period, we see a 2-fold increase

Comparing the two periods by traffic source, we also see a clear increase:


- The client was satisfied with our work, because we exceeded the KPI of 20.000 subscribers per month for 4.5 months
- We continue working with the client, because he has a goal to get 1.000.000 subscribers on his channel.
- We managed to achieve such a result due to the correctly built content plan, shooting of high-quality content by the client and overall management of the channel promotion on a turnkey basis. 
- In addition, for four and a half months of work, we were able to improve all the figures that we noted in the audit of the channel at the stage of the start of work

Are you Interested in promoting your Youtube channel?  You need to promote your Youtube channel - contact 4Limes. Just leave your request and our specialist will contact you soon and give you all the necessary advice.
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