Success stories: Rosanna Pansino
Rosanna Pansino has uploaded more than 100 cake, cookie, and cupcake recipes as part of the NERDY NUMMIES series. Its success has driven her channel to two million total subscribers and an average of 15 million views per month. Rosanna's creative combination of two seemingly very different genres, her consistent programming, and her savvy annotation strategy have all contributed to her success on YouTube.
Rosanna's creative combination of two seemingly very different genres -- food and gaming -- her consistent programming, and her savvy annotation strategy have all contributed to her success on YouTube. See how she did it.
1. Experiment with different formats to find a successful niche
Rosanna’s channel didn’t start off as a cooking show when she first joined YouTube. In her first few months on the platform, Rosanna experimented with different styles of video that all showcased her nerdy, bubbly personality. She uploaded 3–4 videos per month, which allowed her to test which concepts resonated with her audience. Her eighth upload, which she branded NERDY NUMMIES, was a creative mash-up of gaming and baking. This video gained 60K views in the first 30 days, and voila: Rosanna had carved her own niche.
Her decision to focus on NERDY NUMMIES and her commitment to providing frequent new episodes provided a large catalogue of episodes for her growing audience to discover. While Rosanna still experiments with new show ideas and other types of vlogging, NERDY NUMMIES is the true break-out hit and the brand that drives her channel.
See it in action
A niche worth viewing: gaming and bakingStarting in February 2012 (arrow), after experimenting with 35 uploads, Rosanna started to post several NERDY NUMMIES episodes per month. The series soon became her channel’s centerpiece and the touchstone of her success. [Monthly Views & Subscribers August 2010 - Feb 2014]
NERDY NUMMIES series stats109 episodes, 225 million total series views, 1.6 million average views in 2013 per episode, 50% more subscriptions per view, 25% more comments per view. [Data compared to channel average]
2. Focus on the most popular series
By focusing early on her NERDY NUMMIES series, Rosanna made consistency in content, branding, and scheduling priorities for her channel. This consistency has allowed her to reinforce the NERDY NUMMIES brand and develop a growing audience. In opening credits, end-cards, video titles, and other areas of the channel, she has built a strong brand name in addition to her own personality.
Rosanna and her producers follow a strict and timely programming schedule, releasing new episodes of NERDY NUMMIES every Tuesday. This strategy has built a consistent routine for her audience, especially subscribers. Traffic from subscribers through the YouTube Guide spikes every Tuesday when a new video is released.
In addition to subscribers who watch the videos every Tuesday, search traffic for the channel spikes on Saturdays. Perhaps her audience finds the time to test out her recipes on Saturdays, following along with their tablets in the kitchen. (One-third of her total audience watch on tablets.) “Nerdy Nummies” is the top search term for her channel and accounts for approximately 25% of the search traffic the channel experiences on Saturdays.
3. Drive discovery with annotations and evergreen content
Many of Rosanna’s NERDY NUMMIES videos experience significant long-tail viewership, garnering a large number of views months or even years after the video’s release.
Though her video concepts are tied to popular gaming characters, they’re often relevant for viewers months and years later. With so many episodes that never get stale, Rosanna always has the perfect video to share with potential fans.
The extended lifetime of viewership is also driven by the channel’s annotations strategy. Rosanna optimizes her videos with end-cards and annotations to guide follow-on viewership and gain subscribers. The channel is a shining example of annotation best practices -- with the CTRs to prove it.
Annotations on her videos never obstruct the visuals and are used strategically to direct viewers to more content. End-card annotations on her channel typically drive a 10% CTR, while the best annotations can reach a 30% CTR.
See it in action
Annotate to more videos with end-cards and annotationsThough her video concepts are tied to popular gaming characters, they’re often relevant for viewers months and years later. Rosanna optimizes her videos with end-cards and annotations to guide follow-on viewership and gain subscribers -- with the CTRs to prove it.
4. Build up a strong brand and reward fan loyalty
Rosanna Pansino did not launch her channel with a single content strategy in mind. She embraced the creative freedom of YouTube and soon found success with her cooking show, NERDY NUMMIES. More importantly, Rosanna was able to recognize what her audience was responding to on the channel and dedicate resources to it. To accelerate the early success of her cooking show, Rosanna built up a library of episodes and established a consistent brand and schedule on which her audience could rely. She took advantage of how viewers discover videos on YouTube, turning long-tail viewership and annotations into assets for the series and her channel. Rosanna still experiments with new show ideas, and she continues to reward her audience’s loyalty with great content as the fanbase for NERDY NUMMIES grows (youtube.com/rosannapansino).
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