Whether you’re making corporate training, educational videos, or videos to sell and promote a product or business, video creators all have the goal of producing relevant, engaging content for their audiences.
No matter where your video audience comes from, we all want to make YouTube videos that resonate with our audience. We need content that keeps them entertained, and keeps them wanting to come back for more.
In this post, I’ll share the tactics I use to come up with great YouTube video ideas for my audience.
Whatever the purpose of your video, your number one priority must be to find YouTube video ideas that are relevant to your audience. In my case, my goal is to reach people on YouTube and educate them about video editing, video marketing, YouTube creator skills, and Camtasia.
A key consideration is to be sure that you are all about your audience and not just about ‘you’. Sure, you need to create content that inspires your artistic or creative juices, but if you aren’t paying attention to your audience, then you are not serving them. And that’s not good for growth. In my case, my YouTube Channel growth is an important goal. But if it’s not your goal, then you may choose to publish whatever content suits your fancy.
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Where to look to find YouTube video ideas
Here are some of the paths I follow to find inspiration for YouTube video ideas:
1. YouTube search
Often, coming up with YouTube video ideas is about solving problems and dealing with pain points. So I always keep that in mind when I’m researching topics. I keep in mind how my videos can help my audience learn how to do something better, or solve an issue they might be experiencing.
I start out by viewing content where my audience likes to find their content – YouTube. Since I have my own ‘how-to’ YouTube Channel, my favorite source for YouTube video ideas is other YouTube content that may be relevant to my intended audience.
YouTube search is one of the best ways to find what people are looking for. When I come up with a content idea, I will do a quick YouTube search and see what comes back. I then look at the search results and decide if it’s a saturated area or there’s room for me to create my unique version. I want the content to light up my creative juices and be relevant and inspiring for my audience.
When I have a topic of interest (but not a concrete content idea yet), YouTube helps me narrow it down. I search YouTube by typing some keywords into the search bar. Then I tinker with the auto-suggest/autocomplete feature to see what additional keyword search terms YouTube suggests.
This process helps me better understand the type of content people are searching for. Here’s an example where I typed “camtasia text” into the search bar, and a list of suggested topics appeared below.
That list of topics represents subject matter that people are looking for on YouTube and therefore provides a great springboard for me to come up with relevant YouTube video ideas.
2. Comments section
The comments section of videos can be a great resource for YouTube video ideas and topics. Often, viewers suggest additional topics for you to cover, or ask questions that suggest areas of interest for them that may merit a deeper dive in your content plan.
And don’t forget to view the feedback on your competitors’ videos. By observing the comments on your own videos as well as those of other creators, you’ll find lots of inspiration for subject matter.
One way to determine the success you are having with the topics you serve is to observe your feedback.
With YouTube videos, you can get an indication by looking at some of the different measures for engagement:
- Comments (as discussed above)
You can also gain a better appreciation for interest by looking at various YouTube watch-time metrics that are available in the YouTube Creator Studio application, and by checking out the YouTube watch time report.
3. Communities and groups
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer is not to just sit in your own vacuum of creative space. Surrounding yourself with inventive people can often create a real sense of deeper creative pressure to come up with new ideas and topics on your own.
I discovered that by participating in various communities, my scope of interest and knowledge grows exponentially. In fact, I often get inspiration for new YouTube video ideas to share with my audience from my participation in these groups.
For example, I belong to a few membership groups, like Roberto Blake’s Awesome Creator Academy, where like-minded people participate in sharing perspectives and challenges. Many great topics present themselves organically, just from participating in these groups and forums. Here’s an example post extolling the virtues of LinkedIn.
I also like doing topic research in various Facebook Groups.
Many influencers in your content area of interest often post questions in their communities seeking ideas for new content to create and serve their audiences.
Here’s an example post from the Tube Ritual Facebook Group that has 239 ideas so far:
4. Polls or surveys
Polls and surveys are another effective way to find out what your audience is interested in. For example, you can do a poll/survey inside social media ( e.g. poll in a Facebook group), in your videos – just by asking people to leave a comment, and in webinars. With webinars, you can even run a live poll!
5. Courses and other how-to content
Inspiration can come from numerous other sources as well. If you’re thinking of making your own ‘how-to’ videos on subjects relevant to your audience, why not check out the material produced on course platforms like Udemy or Lynda.com?
There are many other free and paid online educational courses where you can also look. Do a Google search for online courses or learning, and you’ll find many more potential sources of information.
Many of the influencers in your area of expertise likely have content that you can draw inspiration from. You can look at and study existing published material to validate topical interest and provide great resources for your content inspiration.
Make sure that you create your own content with ‘relevant’ added value that resonates well with your particular audience. After all, every one of us is a unique creator with a unique communication style.
How to capture and organize your YouTube video ideas
I’ve only scratched the surface of where the inspiration for new YouTube video ideas can come from:
- Viewer feedback
The list is endless. The more you consume, the more you’ll be bursting with and inspired by ideas of your own.
Another piece of advice I can offer here is to write down and organize these ideas immediately as they come to mind.
I often find the moment the inspiration comes from a topic idea I must write it down or it’s easy to forget.
You don’t need a sophisticated, involved plan to get started jotting down your ideas. Just make sure record an idea whenever the inspiration hits. Maybe you’ll combine a few different small ideas into a video on a larger topic. So always write down your ideas – big or small – immediately.
Some of you may choose to use a good old-fashioned notebook and pen to jot down your thoughts. Or maybe you’re out walking and get inspired by a podcast you’re listening to. Record a quick voice memo and at least you’ll ensure you don’t forget your light-bulb moments.
I strongly suggest you use some sort of electronic note-taking or productivity tool/app to keep track of your overall ideas and content plan. If you use hand-written or voice-recorded notes, transfer them to one of these apps every so often (say, once a week). I love Trello, but you could also use Evernote, Google Keep, Snagit, or even a spreadsheet to organize your ideas and topics. Use whatever tool resonates with your particular productivity style or preference.
Organizing by topic in one app goes a long way to helping with your overall content strategy and plan.
Once you have a bank of ideas to choose from, you can work on planning the frequency of publication. You can also group your ideas into playlist themes that you know your audience will want to consume.
By organizing a pool of ideas, you’re able to ramp up the consistency and frequency of your video publishing. You won’t start from scratch to come up with topic ideas every time you want to produce a new video.
Now that you have a few ways to help you come up YouTube video ideas, check out TechSmith Academy to learn how to start creating videos for your YouTube channel.
And check out our post on 3 Reasons Your Learning Videos Need to be on YouTube.