As the second most popular website in the world, YouTube’s impact can’t be overstated. It’s home to hundreds of millions of videos, the latest emerging trends, diehard communities and ample revenue opportunities.
The video sharing site isn’t just for creators. Your brand can (and should) leverage YouTube to grow your community, maximize your SEO value and help reach your larger business goals.
In this article, we share our list of the top 15 creator-led trends. Use these inspiring, educational and entertaining YouTube video ideas to supercharge your brand’s channel.
“Behind the scenes” of YouTube’s influence
First, let’s uncover why building a YouTube marketing strategy is important.
In the early- to mid-2010s, popular YouTube videos were known for featuring extreme pranks, click-bait titles and mega-star influencers. Today, those trends have fizzled out, leaving the platform in a period of transition and ripe for new opportunity.
For example, YouTube recently launched YouTube Shorts, their new short-form video experience. Shorts quickly gained over 1.5 billion monthly active users, a testament to YouTube’s enduring influence.
With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube is more popular than it’s ever been. According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index™, 51% of consumers plan to spend more time on YouTube in the next 12 months, making it the second most prominent platform after Facebook. Yet, marketing efforts are mismatched, with only 35% of marketers planning to leverage the network.
If you want to stand out from your competition during this era of YouTube’s evolution, investing in your brand’s YouTube presence is a must.
“Unboxing” the top 15 ideas for YouTube videos
Let’s dive into 15 video ideas you can use to get more views on YouTube, grow your channel and fuel your video strategy across your social platforms.
- Meet the team
- Day-in-the-life vlog
- Home or office tour
- Product tutorial
- How-to video
- Educational video
- Creator partnership video
- Web series
- Live events
- Webinar presentation
- Video podcast series
- Product reviews and unboxings
1. Meet the team
Kickstart your YouTube channel by introducing your brand. Showcase your company’s culture, values and, of course, team members. By inviting your team to step in front of the camera, you will win over your audience with authenticity.
The Meet the Melbourne Water Team series is a great example of how YouTube videos can humanize your brand. The series acquaints you with the people behind their mission by sharing each individual’s background, passions and daily responsibilities.
2. Day-in-the-life or behind-the-scenes vlog
Give your followers a glimpse into the daily lives of your team (or creators you collaborate with). Whether it’s what they eat in a day or how they structure their work schedule, YouTube audiences can’t get enough of the day-in-the-life video format. Make sure your video strikes the right balance between aspirational and realistic.
In this episode of Sprout Social’s video series, Always On, our Social Media Strategist, Olivia Jepson, shares a behind-the-scenes look at how she prioritizes and manages her time so that she can strategize, grow professionally and keep up with the speed of social.
3. Home or office tour
Whether your place of work includes a top-of-the-line gym, a fairytale-inspired castle or a home office, give your viewers a tour of your company’s set up. These videos are an excellent way to give your audience a peek into your brand’s culture and values.
In Zendesk Dublin’s office tour, they emphasize the people-first, fun-based approach that defines their organization.
4. Product tutorial
Consumers want to see your products in action. According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index™, 59% of consumers like to see content that features a brand’s product or service. In your videos, create easy-to-follow tutorials that demonstrate the efficacy of your products.
For maximum transparency, highlight real customers or creators. On bareMinerals’ channel, they spotlight creators using their favorite products to show viewers how to mimic their skincare and makeup routines at home.
5. How-to video
Chances are you’ve uttered the phrase “YouTube it” at least once. More than half of all YouTube users turn to the platform to learn how to do something they’ve never done before, whether it’s fixing an appliance, cooking a new recipe or learning a language.
On Nike’s YouTube channel, their footwear designers teach viewers how to properly clean their sneakers. The tips help people keep their shoes in their closets (and out of landfills). The video series supports Nike’s wider sustainability initiatives, while still providing helpful information.
6. Educational video
Ask yourself: What’s something your customers wish they knew more about? Use your answer to brainstorm a unique educational video idea. Make sure the topic is relevant to your industry and mission, but it doesn’t have to be about a product or service you offer.
In Greenpeace UK’s video, “What is COP26 and why is it so important?,” they explain the significance of the UN Climate Change Conference. Their channel is full of videos breaking down complex political and scientific concepts, which makes it a valuable news source for their audience.
7. Creator partnership video
The top-performing YouTube ad of 2021 was the Hyundai x BTS For the Earth video. It pays to collaborate with celebrities and creators, but working with them isn’t the end-all-be-all. Your partners need to be authentic and have experience with your product.
When CAVA restaurant company sponsored the mashup between Dessert Person (a.k.a. Claire Saffitz) and Emma Chamberlain, it was a match made in Food Tube heaven. The brand promoted the partnership by offering Emma’s dishes in their restaurants for a limited time. An impressive example of how to use YouTube to support omnichannel marketing efforts.
8. Web series
A web series is a scripted or non-scripted installment of videos published online. They usually follow a narrative sequence, like TV shows and movies.
Take LEGO Friends, an animated children’s series set in a world made of everyone’s favorite blocks. The creative characters, plotlines and fictional world earn the series a massive fanbase, with tens of thousands of views per video. The series also contributes to the massive success of the best-selling LEGO Friends product line.
9. Live events
Tap into YouTube Live, YouTube’s live streaming feature, to produce interactive experiences on your channel. When you go live, you can interact with your audience real-time via video and chat. Use live videos to replicate in-person interaction at scale.
For example, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Live Sea Otter Cam captures the fun of visiting the aquarium 24/7. The live feed not only delivers cuteness overload, it also helps raise money for the aquarium.
10. Webinar presentation
Webinar-style YouTube videos were popularized by TED Talks, but your brand can use the same template to host an event of your own. Think of an industry leader your audience would like to learn from and invite them to speak on your channel.
B Squared Media, a boutique digital marketing agency, used the network to host their expert webinar, “The Aftermath of the Pandemic: How Customer Care Has Changed,” featuring marketing strategist Mark Schaefer. The topic aligned with their audience’s most-pressing concerns—an ideal choice for a timely webinar.
Interview-style videos are educational and entertaining. Whether you interview creators, your executives or other influential people, these videos make your brand seem more personable.
Your interview guests don’t even have to be a part of your industry. Take Alaska Air’s Beyond Interview series, where pilot Captain Swani interviews football stars to talk about family, sports and more. Fans come for the megastars, and stay for Alaska Air adventure.
12. Video podcast series
Promote your podcast on YouTube by sharing videos of your recording sessions. Unlike standard interviews, video podcast series are less formal and more conversational.
On goop’s YouTube channel, the wellness brand turned their podcast into a video series. By repurposing their content on YouTube, they were able to use their most popular episodes to gain thousands of new views.
The best rapid-fire Q&A sessions are quick, fun and entertaining—the perfect combination to try on YouTube Shorts. In your Q&A videos, it’s okay to be more lighthearted than usual. Just make sure you adapt the right tone for your brand.
In Fabletics’ Q&A with actress and collaborator Liza Koshy, they ask her questions ranging from her favorite breakfast foods to which animal she most identifies with. All while showing off their new collection. The result is a playful, funny and attention-grabbing video (in under 60 seconds).
According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index™, 39% of consumers like to see brands they follow on social post customer testimonials or real customer demos.
Gain inspiration for your testimonial video by asking your customers for reviews and feedback. Use this as an opportunity to find your biggest brand evangelists and feature them in your video. You can also source user-generated content from your superfans to reshare on your YouTube page.
For example, on Sprout’s YouTube channel, we created a collection of customer testimonials. Our customers’ lived experience with the Sprout Social platform made for compelling and highly engaging videos.
15. Product reviews and unboxings
Unboxing videos are one of the internet’s most enduring trends. The premise is simple. Consumers open, or “unbox,” a package containing products they received from a brand. Then, the creator will review the products on camera.
The most successful unboxing videos seem authentic. Take this Stitch Fix unboxing video featuring Keegan-Michael Key. The comedian lets his personality—and his new outfits—shine in a way that feels true to his personal style and the brand’s identity.
“How-to” find success with your YouTube content
Now that you’re equipped with some YouTube video ideas, it’s time to start growing your channel. Let’s get started.
1. Schedule your videos ahead of time
In a platform like Sprout, you can use publishing and scheduling tools to make quick work of delivering social content. Upload your video. Write a keyword-driven title and description. Schedule your video. And you’re done.
Publishing and scheduling in Sprout saves you valuable time, so you can put more energy toward promoting your channel.
2. Monitor your video’s performance
After your video goes live, it’s time to gather insights. Use YouTube Analytics to zero in on your best performing videos. Keep track of your views, watch times and engagements.
In Sprout’s YouTube Video Report, you can quickly review your top performing videos at a glance or uncover engagement metrics for each video. The report enables you to easily understand the immediate and long-term impact of your YouTube content.
3. Find the right content mix for your channel
When you have multiple published videos under your belt, determine which content themes pique your audience’s interest. You can use Sprout’s Post Performance Report to analyze your cross-channel performance at the post level. The metrics will help you understand which videos resonate and why.
After you unlock your formula for success, rinse and repeat. Create more videos with similar content themes to keep your momentum going. The ideas in this article can help you get started, but it’s all about finding a creative angle that fits your brand and your audience.
During this period of extraordinary growth and opportunity, the time to breakthrough on YouTube is now. The more you instill authenticity and listen to your audience, the more likely you are to succeed.
Looking to learn more about how your brand can chart your path forward into the future of social media? Download the 2022 Sprout Social Index™, Edition XVIII today.
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