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Case Studies

Case Study: Video Ideas – What Method Works Best?

To build a successful YouTube channel, you’ll need a constant flow of good video ideas to keep viewers coming back for more. Not only that, but you need to find a way to make them binge-worthy if you want YouTube to keep showing them. So, where do you get decent ideas for videos?

That’s where this particular case study comes into play.

In this post, I am going to examine the data from three different YouTube channels, all within different niches, to see what method works best. Although I am relatively certain that each niche will have varying results from the other, it’ll be interesting to see those differences in real-time.

Purpose of This Case Study

Running experiments and trying new things is how you come across methods that work best for your channel. That’s because every creator and audience is unique. What works for one person may not work for another.

For instance, Casey Neistat can rake in tens of thousands of views from a vlog while WriterSanctuary may get 20 on a good day. Yet, WriterSanctuary’s Scrivener videos perform exceptionally well for the writing channel.

This means WriterSanctuary’s core audience prefers “writing tutorials” over “writing vlogs.”

In this case study, I am pitting different methods of finding ideas for videos to see which is the more effective. Using three different channels with varying niches, we can get a better cross-section of those methods across the board.

So, if one method works best for all three YouTube channels for video ideas, we can safely assume that it’s a superior method.

At the end of the day, I am simply creating future video strategies by using the data I’ll collect in this study. It’ll be time-consuming, but the end results will lead to an improved method of publishing video content for my audiences.

The ultimate point is to demonstrate to you just how effective running case studies or experiments on your own can be for building a successful channel.

Case Study for Video Ideas Setup

This is probably going to be an exceptionally long case study simply because I don’t have the time to make videos every day for all three channels. And who knows what changes YouTube will make to its algorithm in the next few months?

At any rate, the following is how I am going about this particular case study.

If you’d like to follow along with your own channel, you probably don’t have to worry about varying niches. It all comes down to what works best for your specific channel and audience.

Channels and Niches

This study will include the three YouTube channels that I am trying to build. As I said before, though, time is not on my side. Still, I’ll do what I can to get the videos up at least once per week.

The reason I am including three separate niches is to demonstrate the differences in audience types and what people expect from specific channels.

Writing – 1,936 Subscribers (26 subs per 28 Days)

WriterSanctuary

The writing channel is essentially my flagship on YouTube. That’s because I am a freelance writer, blogger, and published author. I’ve been teaching others how to do what I do for a living since 2013.

It’s also the only one of the three that has nearly 2,000 subscribers and closing in on being monetized. The idea is to see if I can rake in enough watch time to join the YPP after this case study.

Fitness and Weight Loss – 338 Subscribers (31 subs per 28 days)

CrossingColorado

This channel centers around my weight loss journey and diving into fitness in my 40s. So far, I’ve lost 80 pounds but haven’t really done much with the channel outside of a weekly podcast.

I would like to share more of what I’ve done to lose more than 80 pounds while approaching the middle-age mark.

The problem with this channel is how much traffic it gets from guys just watching Sam’s update videos. None of them are our target audience…just looking to flirt.

That’s one of the biggest issues with health and fitness channels; desperate fools looking for love across the globe.

Gaming – 101 Subscribers (>1 sub per 28 days)

ColoradoPlays

The gaming channel was designed mostly as a way to help us support various online charities, such as Extra Life and Operation Supply Drop. Unfortunately, we just haven’t had the time to really explore what we could do with the channel.

With any luck, perhaps the gaming channel might gain a bit more traction at the end of this case study.

Out of the three channels, this one will perhaps be the most difficult to build momentum. Mostly because we really don’t know what we want to do with the channel yet.

Methods I’m Using for Video Ideas

In this case study, I’m going beyond the basics of “review video” or “instructional video.” Those ideas are essentially a dime a dozen. What we’re looking for here are specific ideas that people are actually looking to watch.

Yes, review videos or tutorials work exceptionally well on YouTube. But what reviews and tutorials are people looking for regarding your specific niche?

Below are the five primary methods I’m using for video ideas on the various channels.

vidIQ AI Coach

An exceptionally effective tool for getting video ideas comes in the form of the vidIQ AI Coach. The last couple of video ideas I used from the AI Coach resulted in some of the best-performing I have on the writing channel.

In fact, one of them has been securely in the number-one spot for views on the channel since it was uploaded months ago.

I am hoping to see if it was just a fluke or if vidIQ can consistently provide high-quality ideas. Keep in mind that I don’t use the title, description, or anything else generated by artificial intelligence. I am only using the idea and creating my own layouts.

Blog Posts

A lot of experts tout how using blog posts can power a YouTube channel. And in a lot of ways, this has panned out fairly well for me in the past. However, not all blog content translates to the same popularity on YouTube.

In reality, it’s possible to have your best article on a blog only get a handful of views on YouTube, and vice-versa.

This is because readers and viewers are two very different types of content consumers. However, I am interested to see how much of a difference this makes overall.

Keyphrase Research

Keyword research is perhaps one of the most involved methods for getting video ideas. It will require a lot of work to find terms people are using and then figure out what kind of content they want regarding that phrase.

This is called search intent. What is the intent of the person searching for that keyphrase? Do they want a list, tutorial, or a review?

One of the best ways to do this is to search for the keyphrase on YouTube and then take a look to see what videos are performing the best. This will give you an idea of what people are expecting during that particular search.

Audience Suggestions

Your audience is a valuable element when coming up with viable video ideas. They can suggest something that can easily take off and boost the visibility of your channel.

Then again, a suggestion could just as easily fall flat.

Nonetheless, one of my top 10-performing videos for the writing channel was a suggestion from one of my regular viewers. So, I am curious to see how many suggestions work comparatively in terms of viewership and subscribers.

YouTube Analytics

Lastly, YouTube Analytics is a treasure trove of video ideas. That is as long as you are willing to dive deep into the data, which I am because I am a geek.

By monitoring what works best for your specific audience when it comes to views, average view duration, click-through rates, and impressions, you can get an idea of what types of videos you should make next.

The bottom line is that Analytics can do wonders for your channel once you learn how to manage the data. That’s a big reason why I like using the vidIQ AI Coach, as it will access your data and provide ideas specific to your audience.

Procedure for This Case Study

Aside from the research for the video ideas themselves, this case study is relatively straightforward.

  • 10 Videos Per Each Method
  • Tracking 28-Day stats
  • Consistent Uploads

I also plan on sharing the actual spreadsheets below to show you the data of what I’ve collected.

10 Videos Each

Normally, I would like to do a much larger sampling. But as I mentioned a couple of times earlier, I just don’t have a lot of time available. And since I create, edit, and publish videos myself, I need to jockey quite a few things around during the week.

Nonetheless, 10 videos for each method should be sufficient to at least form an educated opinion based on the data collected.

At some point, I might revisit this case study and aim for a much larger sampling, such as perhaps 25 videos. But for now, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible given my work day.

Tracking 28-Day Stats

I am tracking the stats for the first 28 days of performance. This is because YouTube often sinks a video after 10 days or so, depending on viewer interest and quality.

However, I have a video in particular that has a 10% CTR and a 58% view duration. Even the searched keyphrase has a relatively high volume. Yet, it hasn’t been shown to anyone after the first 12 days it was published. People clicked and watched it, so why isn’t YouTube pushing it out to others?

In any case, I’m only keeping an eye on how videos perform for the first month.

The stats I am tracking are views, total watch time, percent of the video viewed, and subscribers gained.

Consistency is Key to YouTube

One of the most important elements of building a strong YouTube channel is consistency. Like Google, YouTube emphasizes channels that are active over those that are not. I’ve seen this plenty of times across client channels as well as my own.

Because I don’t have a lot of disposable time, the health and fitness and gaming channel video ideas will only be uploaded once per week at a minimum. If I can set aside a bit more time, I’ll see what else I can upload during the week, though.

In any case, a regular upload schedule can go a long way to building momentum for the YouTube channel. In fact, I’m also setting up a case study to demonstrate this very point.

Results for Video Ideas

So, how did this little experiment fare in the grand scheme of things? Well, it’s currently active. This means that I don’t have enough data collected to show results of what methods are best for video ideas.

However, you can follow the current study for each channel below.

Writing Channel

As I said, the writing channel is my flagship on YouTube. It is the one with the largest audience and is essentially the center of my career path as a blogger, freelance writer, and author.

Out of the three, this is perhaps the channel that will qualify for the YouTube Partner Program first, as it is already incredibly close.

Health and Fitness Channel

The health and fitness niche traditionally performs better than many niches on YouTube. It’s also considerably higher when looking at Google trends compared to writing and gaming.

As this is such as small channel, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly it can gain subscribers as long as I put in the effort to publish regular video ideas.

Gaming Channel

The gaming channel is perhaps the newest out of the three, and also the one with the least content and effort. Although we’ve returned to streaming every Sunday night, it doesn’t have a lot of high-performing videos at the moment.

It would be nice to see this channel explode with viewership, mostly because we donate so much to charities that a channel generating some income would be amazing.

In Conclusion…

The entire premise of this case study is to determine efficient methods for getting video ideas. It also demonstrates why you should experiment with your own channels.

You can follow the best advice for YouTube from some of the top creators. But many of them don’t really dive into the individuality of YouTubers and their audiences. Everyone will have a unique experience.

Too many variables are at play to say any one technique or method is going to work across the board. It mostly comes down to what you deliver and who is watching your content.

What kind of experiments have you set up on your YouTube channel?

Michael Brockbank

Michael Brockbank

Michael has been managing YouTube channels for the better part of a decade. He's continuously working to find the best methods that work for various types of content from gaming to website tutorials.

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