Welcome to a brand new episode of ‘Through the Wringer’, a weekly deep-dive into the video programming, optimization, marketing, and community strategy of a top YouTube player, courtesy of VidiSEO’s Matt Ballek.
This week, Matt takes a look at the channel of musician and vlogger Craig Benzine aka WheezyWaiter. At time of writing, Wheezywaiter’s YouTube channel has around 579k subscribers and almost 101 million views. His content covers everything from pop-culture commentary to more general observations on life. Oh, and there’s quite a lot of beard talk. His self-deprecating approach has won him an army of fans, on YouTube, and on Twitter, and they are rewarded with a new video every few days.
The WheezyWaiter ‘Reely’ gets it right when it comes to audience engagement, scoring the highest engagement rate of any of the channels Matt has assessed so far. How high? An incredible 7.4%, which means his content really resonates with his particular audience, and that is some feat for any YouTube creator – whether they are an independent, or they are a brand. Wheezy scores an overall 90% because there is a little room for improvement. Matt’s advice includes real actionable tips regarding promotion of the channel, and some optimization tweaks that could really help the viewer.
Do you have a favorite brand or creator that you’d like Matt to put through the wringer for next week? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll see what we can do!
This week we’ll be looking at WheezyWaiter’s YouTube channel as suggested by VIDISEO viewers. So let’s load up double W’s channel and see what insights we can squeeze out starting with Content.
Content: WheezyWaiter aka Craig Benzine has been a vlogger on YouTube since 2007. Since then Wheezy Waiter has amassed over 578k subscribers and almost 101 million views. Originally inspired by “the show” by Ze Frank, Craig’s vlog features news, commentary, clones, coffee, eagles, beards, and more all served up with his patented blend of fast talking and cutting.
Looking at WheezyWaiter’s views by upload date, we see that some of his most popular videos were uploaded in 2010 and 2011. It’s important to note that in 2012 YouTube switched their algorithm to emphasize watch time and some say deemphasize subscribers. Craig could’ve leaned into the new algorithm by sticking with one topic and format and he’s well aware of that, but that’s not the kind of content that makes him happy. And you don’t average 1 new video every 3 days for 8 years making content you’re not jazzed about.
Optimization: Let’s talk about descriptions. Craig does a great job of adding supporting information and links to his descriptions. The only thing missing is a subscribe link for his channel in the first few lines. He could use a tool like TubeBuddy and easily add a subscribe link to all one thousand of his videos. I put a link to that tool in the didgeridoo. There’s also no mistaking a WheezyWaiter thumbnail. I always liked the thumbnails with the blue border since they really stand out in search results, but I’ve noticed he’s stopped doing that for newer videos. Why come?
Promotion: Craig says he’s not good at promoting himself…told ya, but I don’t totally agree. He uses a consistent end card that promotes his previous, next, and random videos and what’s that? A subscribe button. However, with over a thousand videos, Craig could really mine his back catalogue. Really get in there…by creating some more playlists. Playlists based on recurring elements, topics, or even an intro to WheezyWaiter playlist to make sure new viewers are in on the inside jokes. He could also go BuzzFeed style and make list videos about his own videos. It works for BuzzFeed and guess who their EVP of video is? Full circle.
Community: Because Craig’s channel is a vlog there’s no middleman between him and his viewers. He does a great job of incorporating viewer comments and feedback and he even uses fan submitted winks at the end of most of his videos. Because of his intimate relationship with his fans WheezyWaiter has the highest engagement of any channel we’ve reviewed. For that I’m happy to announce that you can claim your free commemorative T-shirt (.pdf) if you grab a beer with me at Hopleaf in Andersonville.
The Verdict: WheezyWaiter creates crazy creative, consistent, community content, but could stand to pump up his promotion if he pleased. What BuzzFeed style videos should WheezyWaiter make? Put your ideas in the comments just below the didgeridoo.
Want a more in-depth look at your brands YouTube channel? Check out my Fast Forward report by visiting vidiseo.com/ff How fast is that? Thanks for watching, commenting, and supporting the show and I’ll see you next week when we put yet another channel through the wringer.