Often, the toughest part of being a content creator is coming up with ideas for new videos, especially if you aren’t a regular uploader. One thing common to the top online video creators: their content is current. Whether it’s celebrity talk, big events, or political news, touching on trends is a sure way to grow your channel.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably aware of at least a few trends. But to really capture what the rest of the world is tuning in to right now, here are a few places to start.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
Both social networks display currently trending topics in the sidebar—in some cases you can update it to focus on a specific city, state, or country. Clicking on a trending topic will typically show you the top posts that are being talked about by the users of each network.
Twitter’s trending topics
Facebook’s tending topics
In most cases, the trends on Facebook and Twitter are updated in real time, focusing on events that are occurring at the very moment you’re logged on. If you’re a spontaneous uploader, creating content around these trends can give you an edge on your fellow YouTubers!
The best place to find out what people are searching for is . . . the place people are searching! Google provides a fantastic service called Trends that highlights what’s trending now and what was trending in the past. If you don’t come across a currently trending subject that catches your interest, check out what was trending previously. There’s a good chance audiences the world over are still searching for those terms.
Unlike Twitter, Google Trends lets you focus in on the categories you’re interested in to see what’s trending on a more specific level. This is great if you cover niche topics like sports, travel, or science.
Some trends come out of the blue (like news and current events), but many are predictable! If you want to get your videos as much attention as possible, plan them out around topics that’ll likely trend at some point in the future. For example:
- The release of a big movie
- The public launch of a hyped video game
- The season finale of a hit TV show
- A sports championship
- An election or other big public event
You could plan any of the above examples in advance and release them when the event occurs. And many websites list out upcoming events!IMDB has a section on movies that are set to be released, and IGN has a similar section for video games.
Putting trends to use
Creating content around topics that are currently trending can drastically boost your search visibility and viewership. Even though these will be highly competitive search terms, with hundreds of thousands of people performing searches on a daily basis, you’re bound to be seen! As with any newly trending topic, the earlier you jump on the bandwagon, the better your content will perform.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT META!
When it’s time to upload your newly created video, make sure you’re including the trending keywords in your title, description, and tags. Including the same keywords in all three locations can greatly heighten the chances that your content will be found. *Special note: Do not list tags in your description field. Doing so can lead to suspension or termination of your channel.
Even if you’ve previously covered a topic, you can bring it back to life later if it makes future news. For example, when I released my Photoshop tutorial on the “Frozen” text effect, it did very well at the beginning, then leveled out, as expected.
But when the Oscars came around, I saw a spike in views due to Frozen’s success. Some of those views came organically through increased search activity—but I also made sure to share the video across social media, knowing that the movie was fresh in people’s minds. Covering topics that have the potential of making a comeback can help keep your viewership strong.
Engage your audience
Talking about trending topics is one thing, but engaging your audience can help grow your channel even further. The more your audience is engaged, the higher the chance your videos will be viewed—and the more likely people will subscribe.
One simple way to get people to engage is to ask questions and encourage subscribing.
“What do you think about XYZ? Leave your comments down below!”
“Make sure to subscribe to keep up to date with future content!”
Directing your audience to chime in on a subject is a proven way to boost engagement significantly.
Don’t forget to share!
As with all trending topics, there’s bound to be heavy attention across social media and on forums. When sharing your video, here are a few tips to help drive viewership:
- Take note of hashtags. If the topic of your video is trending, include any relevant hashtags in your Tweets and status updates.
- Spread out your updates throughout the day. Spamming your followers all at once can annoy them.
- Post on forums, but don’t spam. It’s okay to include your video within threads. But keep it relevant to the subject, and limit the number of times you share your content.
- Join communities. Many social networks, like Facebook and Google+, have groups or communities dedicated to specific topics. Feel free to join and share your content—but remember, no one likes a spammer!