Q: Why did the hipster burn his lips?
A: Because he was drinking coffee way before it was cool.
Being as cool as a flat white-wielding hipster may not be essential to your YouTube success but keeping up with what’s trending on YouTube is.
The reason? Timely and topical content gets searched for more often and as we know, more searches equals more views.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a trendsetter to find success on YouTube because it can be near impossible to achieve a viral hit.
Instead you just need to have your ear to the ground so that when someone else’s clip does go viral or sets a trend, you can take advantage of the swell of interest and search traffic that it creates. (I go into more detail on how to create trend-friendly content in my next post – click here to check it out)
It sounds simple, but with so much content flooding YouTube, it can be hard to see the wood from the trees with regards to trends.
And so today I’m going to share with you some amazing free resources that I always use to ensure I know what’s trending and what’s about to blow up:
7 ways to spot what’s trending on YouTube
1) YouTube Homepage:
The content here varies depending on your viewing history (even for logged out users), but there’s still a large chunk of real estate reserved for what’s trending.
Look out for videos that have had a high number of views in their first few days of release, as this will point to viral hits. Note down any that have a connection to your niche and base your next video on a related topic or title.
2) The 4 @ 4am email:
Every weekday morning at 04:00 Eastern time I look forward to receiving this newsletter from the boffins at YouTube. Tips hot off the press.
It highlights 4 videos that they reckon are gaining momentum and are set to go viral. With 20 videos highlighted every week there is bound to be at least one that you think will resonate with your audience and that you can post a response to. And in my opinion, one topical video a week is more than enough to boost your search rankings.
3) YouTube trends Dashboard:
This tool allows you to set filters to see what are the most shared and viewed videos by demographic. Targeting demos like this is a great way to find out exactly what your target audience want and it’s your job then to give it to them in your next video.
It’s a simple to use tool which is great for short term trends, but for more in-depth information I always perform a Google Trends search.
4) Google Trends:
This tool analyses search traffic and has recently introduced a dedicated YouTube filter.
This tool is easy to use and you can check out my How To video to see just how easy it is:
I use it to see what topics are being searched for in my niches and to compare SEO value when I have more than one idea for a title or keyword.
As well as trend spotting it also shows up terms that are being searched for over longer periods of time that I use as inspiration for evergreen content.
5) Vidstatsx.com :
Although this site leans more heavily toward channel performance there is lots you can learn from which channels are trending.
Monitoring the types of channels that are on the rise can help you decide what to double down on for your channel and making content for an existing audience is smart even if competition is tough.
6) Get social:
What people talk about on social media usually reflects what’s happening in the real world, or more importantly the world according to those who make up YouTube’s core audience.
In addition to following FAQ Tube on Twitter I suggest following other influential YouTubers that you know, rate and like, plus related blogs, as both are key to spotting emerging trends.
And make sure to tailor your content pipeline accordingly.
Below are a few accounts that for me are must-follows:
• Tubefilter – a useful aggregator of viral videos and YouTube news
• Reel SEO – another great resource for YouTube news and how-to’s
• YouTube – push what’s trending because that’s where their interest lie
• New Media Rockstars – online mag for YouTube insight and gossip
7) Social content aggregators:
Reddit – dubbed the “front page of the internet” – is often the source of what the world is sharing online and that’s invaluable to a trend spotter. Although it’s r/video page seems to focus on very short term trends, regular visits will also reveal longer term patterns and memes.
By checking these aggregators (also see Buzz Feed, io9) you can spot trends even earlier than people who are only looking directly at YouTube and can get your trending content out in its most effective stages.
If this seems like an ungodly amount of places to check, you can get the most important news and trends delivered to your inbox once a week by grabbing your free subscription to the FAQ Tube newsletter – This Week In YouTube.
If you do your homework and use these resources, then there should be no reason for you to not be aware of the latest YouTube trends.
Find what’s trending on YouTube, create related content and optimize to give your videos the best chance of being swept up in the hype.
Never underestimate the power of search traffic and suggested videos for your content and making reactive pieces in this way will maximise both traffic sources for you.
I’m sure there are other ways of trend spotting that I’ve missed and I’d love to hear what is working for you, so please go ahead and share your methods in the comments below.