If you’re looking to get started with YouTube, whether it’s for your business or just for fun, one of the hardest parts is coming up with ideas.
To help you get the ball rolling—so you can dive in and make a YouTube video already!—we’ve rounded up 21 YouTube video ideas to get you started. We’ve separated them out into three sections:
If you’re just starting out, you may be wondering, “What YouTube videos should I make first?” We think it’s a good idea to start with videos in two buckets—videos that introduce yourself and videos that answer questions that people are searching for on a regular basis.
We’ll start with video ideas for introducing yourself. But first: why is this important? You can use an intro video as a YouTube channel trailer to provide viewers context about who you are, what you do, and what they can expect from your channel.
Additionally, people subscribe to YouTube channels because they are invested in the ongoing stories of the creators or businesses, so sharing your story is a must.
When people who aren’t subscribed to your channel come through, a video explaining who you are and what your channel is all about can help get them to take the plunge and click that “Subscribe” button.
Speaking directly to the audience, as in our YouTube Trailer template, is a great way to draw viewers in on YouTube. But if you’re nervous about getting in front of the camera, don’t worry. We’ll also share some ideas that don’t require putting yourself in the spotlight.
If you’ve got a YouTube channel for your business, an About Us or explainer video that showcases what you do is a good video to start with. Like the channel trailer example above, this can also serve as an introduction to your business for potential customers that make their way to your channel. Be sure to incorporate the ways in which potential viewers may benefit from your product or service.
Let viewers get to know you by showing what goes on behind the scenes. This example from educator and photographer Sue Bryce gives viewers the opportunity to imagine what experience of booking a shoot with Sue would be like.
Sharing your personal story—challenges you’ve overcome or the journey you’ve been on—can be another effective way to connect with viewers and make them want to subscribe and get to know you even better.
This idea is similar to a behind-the-scenes video, but focuses on showcasing your company culture or, if you’ve got a personal account, your family culture and values. This is yet another way to give viewers a glimpse into your life or business, who you are, and what you stand for.
For businesses, this can also be helpful when it comes to recruiting. Show potential job candidates what it would be like to work with you. Here’s an example made by the team at Lever.
Once you’ve got a video introducing yourself created and uploaded, it’s time to start creating content for your YouTube channel. And, as you likely know, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, so a good place to start is with videos that answer questions that people are searching for regularly.
Here are some ideas for types of videos to try, complete with templates that you can customize to make your own.
Explain a trend within your industry that people are searching for. For example, this video explains a plant that’s trending in the floral industry. What trends can you think of to explain in your own industry?
On YouTube, people are searching for how to do all kinds of things! Being there to show them how is an easy way to showcase your expertise and get discovered by potential customers or new subscribers.
Share the answer to a frequently asked question in your domain. For instance, here’s a video that answers the question “How should I price my house?” that might be posted by a real estate agent. Make a list of the questions you hear the most about your industry or yourself and answer them in video form.
Sometimes there’s not just one answer to a question—there’s a whole list! And a top 5 list, top 10 list, or top however-many-things-you’ve-got list is a simple format for sharing information on YouTube. The template below starts as a square video, but you can change it to a horizontal aspect ratio to make it work better for YouTube.
A best-of video is basically a list that compiles all of the best information on a specific topic. Posting a video where you share the “Best Of” can help you stand out when there’s a sea of videos on a particular topic. Sharing this type of video also gives you the opportunity to give shoutouts to other YouTubers, which we’ll get into more later on in this post.
Tasty-style recipe videos are all the rage and can be a fun addition to your YouTube channel if you’ve got a food-related business or channel, or just about anything that you can demo on a tabletop.
If it’s sales your after, we’ve compiled some YouTube video ideas for you. The videos in the sections above are mostly focused on creating videos that’ll make it more likely for you to get discovered by people that haven’t already heard of you.
These ideas, on the other hand, are designed to provide more information for potential customers that are searching for information about you, your business, and your products or services.
It’s not uncommon for consumers to head over to YouTube to search for more information or reviews when making purchase decisions. Sharing a video on your channel that dives into details about a product is a good way to provide these potential customers with more information and help them decide to buy from you.
PRO TIP: Be sure to include your brand name in the title and description, along with keywords related to the product itself so you can catch people that are searching for you specifically, or for products similar to the one featured in your video.
To give a broad overview of your offerings to potential customers looking for you on YouTube, create a video that showcases your full collection of products or a new collection. A portfolio video is also a nice option for artists or craftspeople to show off their work.
Many consumers turn to online reviews to determine whether a local business is reputable. Video testimonials are a great way to bring positive online reviews directly to your potential customers. Highlighting customer stories is a fantastic tool for building trust. Plus, seeing that other people have been successful with your business in the past will make new customers more likely to decide to do business with you in the future.
Even if you can't get any of your customers on camera, you can still create a customer testimonial video easily. Just find reviews from happy customers and pair the text with images.
While the other ideas in this section are for videos designed to show up in the results when potential customers are searching for you, this idea is for reaching potential customers that aren’t searching for you on YouTube yet.
You can reach millions of viewers across YouTube with ads based on actions they’ve taken on your website or topics they’re searching for on YouTube. Check out our blog post on getting started with YouTube ads to learn more, and check out how Animoto can help you get started with YouTube video ads.
We’ve shared some YouTube video ideas for beginners and YouTube video ideas for driving sales. Now, we’ll share some ideas for videos you can make to grow your YouTube audience.
A YouTube collab is a collaboration between two or more YouTubers. Teaming up with other YouTubers in your industry or with similar audiences to your own can help you gain exposure.
A YouTube collab can take on a variety of forms. You could do a tutorial together, swap and create some content for each other’s channels, or give each other shoutouts in videos you create. How it works is up to you.
Go live on YouTube and share the details of the event with your friends, fans, followers, and customers outside of YouTube to drive more people to your channel. Here at Animoto we go live pretty regularly and stream to both YouTube and Facebook. Check out one of our previous live streams.
A question-and-answer or ask-me-anything session offers an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and drive new people to your YouTube channel. Send out a message on social media or via email, if you’ve got an email list set up. Let people know you’re going to be doing a Q&A and ask them to submit questions ahead of time.
Ask your audience to participate by sharing something with you—a quote, a video, a photo, the answer to a question–anything goes! Then, create a video featuring what your audience shares. The benefit of this is that your featured audience members will be more likely to share your video with their friends, getting you in front of more potential subscribers.
For instance, we shared a video from Hair's Kay Beauty Salon explaining how their business used video at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
We should note that one of the best ways to grow your audience on YouTube is to share regular content. Be consistent and offer value on a regular basis and people will subscribe to that value. Try vlogging or posting regular videos about trends or current events.
Last—but certainly not least—ask your audience what they’d like to see! This includes your audience on YouTube, as well as on other social channels, so you can draw new subscribers to your channel.
Have another idea for a YouTube video? We’d love to hear it! Share it with us in the comments below. And if you'd like to learn more, check out our YouTube marketing 101 guide. Happy video making!