Beluga who makes random videos about discord conversations has become one of the fastest growing channel on youtube and the best part is this was all planned.
You see up until a few months ago beluga was gaining about 800 subscribers a month but then in june this happened beluga with his infamous cat profile picture suddenly started getting recommended all across youtube what makes it more interesting is the reasons for this sudden growth are very hard to identify his thumbnails are often poorly cropped and blurry and his videos are mainly just discord conversations with no voice over.
I mean sure it’s funny but how can a made-up discord conversation between two cats have 25 million views what are we missing what could beluga possibly have discovered about youtube in june that led to this growth well i decided to dig deeper into beluga’s backstory and it shouldn’t surprise you that this guy is a lot smarter than it seems in fact beluga has pretty much discovered the new blueprint for how to grow a youtube channel.
He used the three-step system to beat the algorithm the thing is when beluga first started his channel it was very unclear what his strategy was i mean his first videos included a reaction to a man being attacked by a goose a random minecraft documentary and a commentary video on dream the really interesting thing was hidden inside this video here on the surface it may look like a simple explanation of why he was changing his name to beluga but within these 67 seconds it became clear that he knew something that no one else did.
NO 1 reason for becoming fastest growing channel on YouTube
beluga had a catalyst right now a lot of people say youtube is too competitive and there is some truth behind this there has never been more creators competing for the same audience but here’s the good thing youtube’s algorithm rewards great videos now that might sound overly simple but when you strip back all the noise its purpose is to show intriguing and well-made videos to the right audience as you may know youtube measures this with two main metrics click through rate i.e the percentage of people who click when shown the video and average view duration which is how long these people end up watching the video.
Here’s the difficulty though how can youtube tell if a video is good if no one sees it in the first place it’s a chicken and egg scenario the first 1000 viewers are always the hardest to capture some creators target search using keywords some try to make videos about current trends hoping to get sweeped up into the wave of content and then there’s the shortcut strategy that beluga used utilising a growth catalyst.
You see the truth is this wasn’t beluga’s first channel in fact his youtube journey had actually began in 2019 when he launched a channel about lucid dreaming after growing this channel to almost 1 million subscribers it was clear beluga wanted a new challenge he decided to go all in on cross promotion.
He mentioned and linked his new channel at every opportunity he also made community posts about it and even funneled traffic to his beluga videos through end screens this promotion definitely helped but it only brought in a few thousand viewers so why was it so significant well it was the spark that lit the fire now youtube had an audience to test beluga’s videos with they could show these viewers the videos and if the click-through rate and average view duration was good the algorithm would kick in and start pushing the videos to more people if a channel is set up in the right way an injection of people can lead to a snowballing effect.
But there’s a problem you see a lot of people think getting a shout out from a larger channel is like hitting the jackpot but if the content you’re making isn’t already optimized it can have the opposite effect so how did beluga make videos that the algorithm loved well that takes us on to step two beluga became the session time king we all know watch time is very important to grow on youtube so how can a guy who makes two and three minute videos be getting so much promotion.
Well that’s because beluga makes bingeable loops of content the videos may be short but the average session time is long this phrase is used to describe the total duration that someone is watching youtube content not just one video think about this from youtube’s perspective they could show a viewer a 10 minute video and they might click off halfway through and leave the platform this would result in just 5 minutes of session time but if they show the same viewer a beluga video they might go on to watch three more all the way through leading to a total session time of over 8 minutes this is why the length is irrelevant.
If you can make videos that people watch from start to finish so how does beluga do this let’s take a look at this video here and break it down in action.
The first thing i want you to pay attention to is beluga’s constant use of sound effects. in these opening 10 seconds there were 11 different sound changes the discord pinging almost forces you to stay engaged the explosion sound effects and music add variety and the awkward pauses emphasizes the humor .
It’s very hard to feel bored with so much happening a lot of creators focus all their attention on the visual edits and not enough on the sound also you might have noticed just how fast-paced the messages appear and disappear see if you can follow this conversation without having to rewind [Music] the main reason beluga does this is to keep the viewer as an active watcher beluga demands your full attention if you look away for even a second you will miss vital context there’s also a bit of a sneakier reason he does this the speed that messages go by means you’ll naturally have to pause and rewind a few times per video.
This can lead to spikes in retention and actually count for a longer average view duration but the real genius comes from beluga’s storytelling i know on the surface he might not seem like the shakespeare of our times but hear me out each of his videos follow the same storytelling template a relatable situation is presented the main characters clash or there’s a misunderstanding new characters enter the conversation and then the video builds towards a punchline.
In my opinion the main reason beluga gained 4 million subscribers in 3 months which takes us on to step 3 beluga discovered the ultimate title and thumbnail strategy.
Let’s start by looking at the titles beluga always covers topics that are very relatable even the titling style of when you is very inclusive he never writes a title that limits the video’s potential every single one in theory could appeal to millions of viewers also notice how concise they are on average beluga’s titles are 33 characters long for context this is almost half the average title length on youtube.
This is actually a competitive advantage viewers can fully understand the concept of the video in just a glance another really smart tactic is how often he uses random numbers in his titles notice here how he uses 9.17 seconds or 97.1 percent success this might seem irrelevant but trust me it’s very purposeful they add an element of uniqueness to each title if he had said 10 seconds it just wouldn’t stand out as much it almost looks too perfect.
There’s even more to learn from his thumbnails first of all they capture something that’s very recognizable in the first person it’s meant to feel like your own screen whether it’s discord frame requests or the iphone time limit this complements the broad appeal of his titles the real key though is how his thumbnails are always paused just before something happens they leave you with an unanswered story.
Look at this one for example you need to click to get the reward what is beluga about to say that will end the argument he also deliberately keeps his thumbnails amateur looking even leaving in stuff like the typos and blur is all intentional trust me this guy knows enough photoshop to make these images higher quality.
But he chooses not to he does this as a way to stand out in a world of highly polished thumbnails his videos stick out like a sore thumb which is a strategy in itself they also add realism to the video the best memes and viral videos always feel homemade overall his title and thumbnail formula is what i like to call statement plus intrigue his title sets up the video and states what it’s about and his thumbnail creates the intrigue by teasing a storyline it’s simple but when combined together he sells the video to the viewer.
I think if there’s one thing we can be certain of this guy’s growth was far from an accident beluga executed the perfect plan and who knows maybe there’s someone reading this article right now who can learn from this story and grow even quicker if you found this article interesting share this article with budding youtubers.