YouTube receives more than 300 hours of video every single minute. That’s around 432,000 hours (almost 50 years!) of videos every day. But due to its very nature, video content is much harder to analyze than text content. While YouTube’s algorithm is becoming smarter and using new, trendy Artificial Intelligence software, it still relies heavily on watching time, likes, shares, and other interaction metrics to judge which videos should come up first on the results and which ones are not so relevant for the user.
This leads to the question: since user engagement metrics are so important, how to come up with ideas that maximize them? Have you ever found yourself stuck while looking for the next big topic for your videos? What if we told you that your audience is already expressing what they want to hear about?
If you look carefully at several engagement metrics, do a bit of research, and pay attention to what is happening on other YouTube channels, we are sure you will come up with more ideas than you can actually implement. Isn’t it great?
We’ve compiled a complete guide with the three most effective ways of generating a steady flow of ideas for your next videos. So let’s move to the practical part!
Leverage the Information You Have on YouTube
If you already have a relatively large channel on YouTube, you have enough information to analyze and look for new ideas for your videos. Here we present the three ways of mining new ideas from your YouTube data.
Look at the AutoComplete Functionality
The AutoComplete box is what shows up below the search bar on YouTube whenever you start typing something. It normally shows the most popular searches related to the terms you are looking at. While it might be a bit hard to rank high for the terms shown in the AutoComplete itself (because everyone will be targeting these terms), they are a great starting point for you to narrow down your content. We will talk about long-tail keyword research later, so keep in mind these suggestions from the AutoComplete as the starting point for further research.
Also, seeing the suggestions helps you define more precisely the contents of your video. Imagine you have a broad idea for your next topic: SEO tips. You can go to the AutoComplete to get more specific ideas about trendy searches and topics related to the category. Here’s what appears to me when I type “ SEO tips for” in the search box.
As you can see, there are a few more specific categories: SEO tips for YouTube (which also includes the “youtube videos” variation), SEO tips for blogs (which also includes the “blogger” and the “article writing” variations), among others. Decide the path you want to follow and start doing more research to define your list of long-tail keywords.
Multiply Content Based on the Traffic Sources Report
The Traffic Sources report shows which search queries lead to your videos. This is a great place to identify which type of content is attracting the most attention and which kind of keywords your audience is searching for. Just like the section above, this is a great starting point to do a deeper keyword research and come up with innovative ideas for your videos.
Visit the Websites that Are Sharing Your Videos to Check Their Content
You can find the places and websites sharing your content in the Playback Locations report. We’ve already discussed how to combine this metric with your Demographics to obtain deeper insights into your audience profile, but that’s not the only reason you should look at your Playback Locations. By visiting the websites embedding your content, you can go through their articles and identify content that still doesn’t have a video embedded. This will give you not only new ideas but also the opportunity to reach out to these websites and try to close a partnership deal.
Here’s a very simple template of how you can approach such websites:
“Hello [NAME OF WEBSITE],
My name is [your name] and I own the channel [your YouTube channel]. I’ve noticed your website embedded some of my videos, and I want to thank you very much for the support. The amount of playbacks from your pages is very expressive, and you have helped me to bring my channel to the next level!
I’m just reaching out to announce that I’ve recently published a few pieces of content that are very well aligned with the following articles on your website:
- [Article name] – [Video name + link]
- [Article name] – [Video name + link]
Perhaps you would be interested in embedding the videos on your pages and add even more value to your users?
And, naturally, I am open for possible partnerships when it comes to potentializing the content of your website through my videos. Please do let me know what are the next steps!
Pretty simple, isn’t it? You start by praising the website, gaining their trust, and emotionally connecting with them. Then, you can mention your videos and the fact that they will add value to the visitors of the website. Finally, you want to touch on the topic of partnerships and already offer something concrete (such as the “what are the next steps” sentence).
This is great because it not only gives you ideas based on their content but also opens a new door to hear their own suggestions for video content.
Use and Abuse Long-Tail Keyword Research – It’s not just for Articles, It’s for Content in General
There is a big misconception about long-tail keyword research. Most people believe that the technique is valid only for defining a bunch of keyword groups to include in your written content. The fact is: long-tail keyword research is one of the best ways of generating new ideas, both for YouTube videos and for written articles. The four free tools I use for long-tail keyword research are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Answer the Public
- SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool (it requires registration, but its free plan is more than enough for the purposes of long-tail keyword research)
Let’s go through a 3-steps approach to generate great, relevant ideas for your new videos.
Step #1 – Focus on a Specific Theme
The first step is to define a specific theme for your research. Say, for example, that you have an online marketing channel and you want to produce a relevant video on how to create a Google campaign. You are not sure exactly about what you want to talk (if it’s SEO, AdWords, Analytics, etc.), so you choose a fairly vague keyword theme: “create google campaign.”
Your keyword theme shouldn’t be too broad nor too specific. For example, you don’t want to choose “Google” neither “how to create a Google retargeting campaign for e-commerce stores” as your keyword theme. Stay somewhere in the middle, leaning more to the general side.
Step #2 – Run Your Long-Tail Keyword Research
Now it’s time to run a long-tail keyword research. Some of the tools I gave you earlier work better with general terms. This is the case for Answer the Public and SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool. Simply take the keyword theme and insert it into the tools to get some very nice, more specific ideas.
For Ubersuggest.io and Google Keyword Planner, it is better if you have something a bit more specific. This is what we call “qualifiers”: supporting keywords that specify the theme of your content. For our example, some qualifiers would be “retargeting,” “AdWords,” “analytics,” “ SEO,” etc. In Ubersuggest.io, you might want to run a separate search for each combination, and in the Keyword Planner, you can insert all the combinations [keyword theme] + [one qualifier] to obtain new possibilities and ideas for content.
Step #3 – Summarize the Data and Create Your Schedule
Once you have the data, all you have to do is to choose one specific topic and select similar long-tail keywords you want to include in your content. While you will focus on a few related long-tail keywords, you will notice that the process itself will create a lot of new ideas you didn’t think of before. You can add them to your “queue” of ideas for future videos and proceed with a long-tail keyword research for these combinations later on.
Monitor Trendy Topics, Ideas, and Influencers
Last but not least, you want to keep an eye on what’s going on around you. What are the most popular queries on Google? What are the main influencers in your field and what are they talking about? Is there any big event or news around which you can create content?
Monitor Content Tools such as Google Trends and Buzzsumo
Google Trends is a great way of searching for the popularity of certain topics and search terms. All you have to do is type the keyword theme you are interested in and observe whether people are searching for it or not. One thing to keep in mind is that Google Trends has a relativistic approach: when you look at a single term, it calculates its popularity relative to the point in time where that term reached its maximum number of searches.
Buzzsumo helps you identify relevant topics that are being shared in social media profiles, as well as the influencers behind the most popular articles. The tool has a lot of limitations in the free plan, but you might want to check it out to see whether it adds value to your content creation process. We’ve shown you several free possibilities here, but if you want to explore more complex tools, you might have to invest a few bucks on a monthly basis.
Keep an Eye on Your Competition
Last but not least, you definitely want to keep an eye on what your competition is talking about. What are their latest videos? Which videos were the most popular ones? How often do they deliver new content?
This is best done by creating a dedicated YouTube channel as an “Inspirational Feed.” Think of it this way: your channel might have a lot of activity going on, so if you start following your competitors there, you might end up getting pretty confused with all the information. The best solution is to create a separate space where you will receive the updates of your competition. This way, you can focus better on analyzing your competitors’ activity without getting distracted by what’s happening on your main channel.