The Grand Tour: Expanding Audiences Through YouTube Shorts

We were tasked with introducing Shorts to the always on publishing schedule for Amazon’s The Grand Tour YouTube channel. The publishing strategy featured a variety of weekly clips from the series, compilations, YouTube stories (15” vertical pieces) and Community posts (memes, polls, etc).

The Brief

The introduction of Shorts was to expand to a new audience on YouTube and find innovative ways of working with the content to increase viewership and engagement as the primary metrics. We were also to come up with a strategy of types of content to post in the new Shorts function and how to best optimise.

Our Strategy/Approach to the Problem

Our team took a view of the content as experts on the series, to devise a publishing strategy comprised of a mixture of repurposed vertical videos from other platforms, clips of best/ funniest/ most engaging moments from the series, and compilations of best moments which was signed off by the client. From then we began publishing and capitalising on key learnings to grow our strategy whilst growing the audience. With minimal data on YouTube shorts best practice (due it being a new feature), we had to make our learnings as we published and perfect our strategy in real time. Also with a limited budget, we had to ensure our knowledge of the series allowed us to easily locate the best moments to feature in Shorts.

Idea and Deliverables

We agreed an output of 5 Shorts to be published each week, comprising of repurposed TikTok/IG Reels, bespoke clips and compilations. Each produced asset is under 60s in length, aiming for as close to the 60s mark as possible to keep Watch Time as high as possible. We ensured that all repurposed assets were selected with YT in mind, to ensure that they were a good length and that we felt the moments would resonate well with our existing YT audience. Metadata was positioned in a more social way compared to regular uploads and every video started with a grabbing moment to ensure we captured attention in the feed. We also ensured that we produced creative compilation Shorts that focused on popular themes and topics on the channel which we picked up on by reviewing existing content and fan comments, example here: The Grand Tour Trio vs The Elements.

What were the Results?

After launching our Shorts output we saw a real uplift in performance in January 2022, with the channel seeing a massive spike across all key metrics (Watch time, subscribers and engagements). Shorts contributed a whopping 59% of watch time (just from the Shorts Feed), 80% of subscribers gained, and 94% of engagements in the period that we launched Shorts (20th December 2021 - 1st Feb 2022), with the channel seeing a 1193% increase in the total watch time YoY, a 958% increase in engagement YoY and a 1286% increase in subscribers YoY. Therefore the launch of Shorts had a massive impact on the channel’s growth and in growing the channel’s engagement, watch time and subscriptions which was Amazon’s goal.

A few examples of our top performing shorts can be found below!


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The Grand Tour: Expanding Audiences Through YouTube Shorts

We were tasked with introducing Shorts to the always on publishing schedule for Amazon’s The Grand Tour YouTube channel. The publishing strategy featured a variety of weekly clips from the series, compilations, YouTube stories and Community posts.

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