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3 million and counting

Car Throttle recently hit 3m YouTube subscribers. James Evelegh looks at the secret of their success.

By James Evelegh

3 million and counting

Car Throttle is a social first publisher, publishing car-enthusiast content to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook et al.

Earlier this year, it celebrated its three millionth YouTube subscriber.

Unlike the traditional publishing model which starts with a print or digital brand and then looks to see how social can add reach, social is the beginning and the end for Car Throttle.

Yes, it has a website, but I get the impression it doesn’t really need one.

And… they’re doing pretty well. Acquired by Dennis in 2019, they are now part of the Autovia stable of automotive brands, spun off by Dennis before their recent acquisition by Future.

Listening to Alex Kersten, editor-in-chief and front man on their videos, who was the guest on our latest podcast, I would say that the following are prerequisites for success on YouTube:

  1. Find a viable and differentiated niche; not too narrow, not too broad.
  2. Create relatable and sharable content. Car Throttle specialises in videos their millennial audience can “watch on a Friday and replicate on a Saturday”.
  3. Know your stuff and know your audience. You have to be able to speak to them on their level and you have to put the hours in researching the subject.
  4. Get yourself a charismatic presenter who can engage with your audience. If your presenter is not appealing to your audience, then it’s a non-starter.
  5. Put out really good videos. This means great content, high production values and ruthless editing. Strictly no waffle. Was the joke you all laughed at in the editing suite really funny? If you listen to it three more times, and you’re still laughing, then keep it in. Otherwise, not.
  6. Post consistently and to schedule. You need to be top of feed; out of sight is out of mind.
  7. If branded content is one of your principal revenue stream, then don’t, whatever the financial inducement, risk alienating your audience with branded content they won’t be interested in.
  8. Engage with your audience. Comment back, pin and like stuff and show that you’re reading their comments.
  9. Collaborate with other YouTubers brands to extend your reach and don’t be afraid of giving exposure to possible rivals, a concept traditional publishers struggle with. “It costs you nothing to namecheck another channel and it gets you loads of respect,” says Alex.

Perhaps the secret is simply to start social. Rather than being constrained by your existing brands, why not make your next launch a social first venture?

Where next for Car Throttle, I asked Alex? More growth: “There is no limit to how big it can get.”

Now, that’s an exciting place to be.

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.