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Casey Neistat: YouTube Channel Review - Through the 'Reel' Wringer
Average Engagement Rate of 3.6% - Bigger Than Most Brands!
Under-Optimized Thumbnails & Meta-data
88%Overall Score
Content 100%
Optimization70%
Promotion90%
Community90%

‘Through the Wringer’ is a brand new video marketing review series from our friend Matt Ballek that takes a deep-dive into the YouTube marketing strategy of major brands, and top independent video creators, and squeezes out the good stuff we can all learn from.

This week, we’re taking a look at the YouTube channel strategy of Casey Neistat, a successful film director, producer, and a creator who really takes vlogging to the next level.

Why pick Casey’s channel to profile? Well, it certainly has the views (160 million to date), and the subscriber numbers (733K), but it’s the engagement factor that’s really off the charts with this one. Neistat’s YouTube channel commands a 3.6% engagement rate – compare that with the average score of 1% for branded content on the platform, and you can see that Casey’s audience loves the content he is producing enough to like, share, and comment on it.

On the negative side, he could optimize his meta-data and custom thumbnails better to encourage a higher CTR.  However, as we all know, great content can often trump optimization when it comes to growing an engaged subscriber base, as is the case here.

Do you have a brand or creator that you’d like Matt to put through the wringer for next week? Please let us know in the comments below!

View The Full Video Transcript

This week we’re looking at Casey Neistat’s YouTube channel as suggested by these elite VIDISEO viewers. We’ll be taking Casey’s channel, putting it through the wringer and squeezing out insights we can find.

Starting with content:

Casey Neistat is an American film director, producer, and well-organized video wizard. He is technically a vlogger on YouTube but I see him as more of a filurnaler. His 187 flurnals have generated over 160 million views and 730 thousand subscribers.

His top five videos include a trip to a German Water Park, a collaboration video with Nike, the hilarious Bike Lanes video, snowboarding New York City, and the Dark Side of the iPhone 5S Lines.

These five videos are only 3% of his upload total, but account for 35% of his total views.

Casey’s content and community are so strong he can get by without much optimization , but there are opportunities.

Here is casey’s most viewed video’s description. Just looking at this you wouldn’t know it was about water parks and yet he currently ranks #13 for “water park”. He could easily take the top spot by mentioning water parks in his description and tags. Why would he want to do that?
Just to take the top spot from this 21 minute mixed keyword salad from Sea World.

On the thumbnail side Casey does upload custom images that are pretty eye-catching. I’d love to test if a thumbnail template or text in the thumbnail would increase recognition and clickthrough rates.

I’ve been getting big into end cards lately. It must be the season. Casey’s videos all have a similar close sequence and ask you to subscribe or do something else.

I really liked this one end card using Casey’s studio. The studio is a natural home base and practically a cast member in most videos. I’d take some nice shots of the studio and use those as end cards. You could have one big subscribe call to action, and an area to promote his Snapchat channel and profile. If you have a nice end card idea tweet it to Casey Neistat with #NeisEndCard

Speaking of community…
Casey has a very engaged one. That’s thirteen hundred comments per video and an average engagement rate of 3.6%. Keep in mind Most brands have less than a full percentage point so that’s huge.

The most commented on video is his bike lanes video and keeping up with comments when you’re a solo creator is difficult and sometimes just not practical. I never thought I’d say this, but Google+ could be the answer.

I saw that when casey shared his bike lane video on Google+ (for the second time) a year ago the video got a bump in views and generated 92 new replies or shall I say YouTube comments. Because sharing a video on Google+ puts you front and center on that video’s watch page. I tried it and almost instantly generated a new comment.

Casey Neistat elevates the idea of a vlog and shows that great content trumps optimization when growing an audience.

What do you like about Casey Neistat’s YouTube channel?

We got some great comments and feedback on last week’s review including this one from Heather Krater saying she now needs to hire 67 thousand monkeys to get everything done on her biz page. Which is crazy because we just changed our tag line. Vidiseo, like 67 thousand monkeys, but without the mess.

Thanks for the comment and be sure to let me know what we should review next week!