GrubHub: YouTube Channel Review – Through the ‘Reel’ Wringer

GrubHub: YouTube Channel Review – Through the ‘Reel’ Wringer

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Each week, video marketing series ‘Through the Wringer’ takes a deep-dive into the digital video production, marketing, optimization, and promotional strategy of a top YouTube channel. This week, we are going to shine a spotlight on online food ordering and delivery service GrubHub, and how it is using video to reach out to consumers.

At time of writing, the GrubHub channel only has 1,711 subscribers, but has generated 3.7 million views, we suspect with the help of paid promotion. For a brand competing in a very competitive space, it could certainly expand its video content on YouTube more. It has a huge social following elsewhere (Facebook – 948K followers, Twitter – 190K followers) so building up a more robust subscriber base for its YouTube could be possible if it generated less tv-ad type content, and more shareable videos like the ones featured in its ‘Leftover Hacks‘ series.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at the YouTube video marketing strategy of microphone specialists Shure. In the coming weeks, tell us which brands or successful independent creators with a major YouTube presence you would like us to put ‘Through the Reel Wringer’ next. Just let us know in the comments below.

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This week I’ll be putting GrubHub’s YouTube channel through the wringer as suggested by me. So let’s load up GrubHub’s channel and see what insights we can squeeze out starting with Content.


For the past decade GrubHub was an online food ordering service who’s biggest competitor was the take out menus in your junk drawer and perhaps a little more competition from Eat 24 now that Yelp bought it earlier in 2015. But as GrubHub moves beyond just food ordering but delivery as well they now have a slew of new competitors in Uber, DoorDash, Groupon, Amazon, and Pauly Shore backed They have a leg up on the competition on YouTube with 3.7 million views and 46 public videos.

Looking at their top content categories it’s no surprise that television style commercials make up 95% of their total view count, so when it comes to Pop content they’ve got it covered. I didn’t see any content that would pull viewers in through search, but I did find some content that shows the brand acting more like a YouTuber called leftover food hacks where they partnered with chef and food artist Foodenese to show you how to remix your leftover takeout food (presumably from Grubhub). It’s a fun concept and their most YouTube friendly so far, so let’s hack into their Optimization.


On the meta-data side the titles for their food hacking series could use a remix. Move the food part to the beginning, the show title to the middle and the episode number to the back if at all. You probably don’t need to watch these in any particular order. I also noticed that many of these videos are missing keyword tags completely. Thankfully I did find some tags on their most popular commercial, but they were comically specific, like “Ordering the usual from Jerry’s pizza”, but on the plus side they do rank #1 for “Evil phone says use GrubHub”


Looking at the ratio of total subscribers to total views my guess is that paid promotion is their #1 view source followed by embeds on other sites. I’m sure the paid promotion works great for driving awareness of GrubHub and reminding people that they could probably eat. There are a number of things they could do to better track the success of their paid promotion campaigns (which I’d be happy to deliver another time), but the biggest missed opportunity would have to be their…


A little back of the napkin research shows that people love food and when not eating it, they’re documenting it, watching it get made, or complaining about how it was served. So there’s no good reason a push button food company should have only 83 comments on YouTube…total I left 5 comments yesterday, so that makes me responsible for 6% of Grubhub’s total comments. There’s just a huge opportunity here. A YouTube content strategy that focuses more on the base of the food content pyramid would get more of the food loving community involved and give them a reason to subscribe to GrubHub. That would also, in food language, biggie size the effectiveness of their ad spend.

The Verdict:

On YouTube, Grubhub delivers a big plate of commercials with a couple small sides, but forgets the plates and silverware. What do you think GrubHub should do more of on YouTube? Let me know in the comments. Check that, go comment on a GrubHub video and tell them VIDISEO sent ya.

If you’re not a VIDISEO subscriber (you’d know it if you were), click here and you’ll never miss a new YouTube review or tutorial. Speaking of next week, I’m in the market for a new microphone so I’m going to be taking a look at Shure…why not.

Thanks for watching, sharing, liking, and just generally supporting the show and I’ll see you next week!

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See you next week for another YouTube channel review!


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