Hit by content paralysis and want to get inspired fast? Here are nine foolproof YouTube video ideas to get you started.
1. How-to videos
Create how-to videos to show off your skills!
When you break down a solution in steps and share an insider’s look at your process, you prove to clients one thing: You’re the best person for the job.
However, how-to videos are a dime a dozen (unless you’re in a unique niche, then that’s a different story). Do a quick search on “how to write a blog post” on YouTube, and you’ll see what we mean.
But don’t worry. Here are two ways to differentiate your how-to videos:
(i) Educate via a real-world example
We learn better when we see advice in action.
Back up your claims with results featuring an actual company, so viewers can see how a solution works in a real-world context.
Watch how Joel Klettke flexes his conversion copywriting chops in this 13-minute video. He shows viewers how to write for two audiences on a web page featuring a supply chain company as an example.
(ii) Feature subject matter experts
There are two main benefits of roping in experts in your how-to videos.
One, you feature a wide range of unique insights from all walks of life.
For example, here’s Amanda Natividad, VP of marketing at SparkToro, chatting with Chi Thukral about creativity on her YouTube Live talk show, The Menu.
Note that The Menu is more of an interview-style than a how-to video. Nonetheless, the idea of inviting guests on your show (especially if they teach your audience something new) is just as helpful here.
Two, you bake distribution naturally into your videos. After you publish the how-to video on YouTube, invite the subject matter experts to promote it to their followers.
2. Product reviews
It’s tough reviewing a product and its competitors without sounding biased. As business owners, of course, we think our product’s the best. It’s the fruit of our labor!
Fortunately, there’s a straightforward solution.
Pick a brand that (a) indirectly relates to your own business and (b) shares your target audience.
Let’s imagine you’re the founder of a lead scoring platform. Instead of stacking up your tool against competitors, review complementary tools like:
- Product analytics platforms (e.g., Pendo, Appcues)
- Marketing automation suites (e.g., HubSpot, Marketo)
- Customer experience automation platform (e.g., ActiveCampaign, Zoho)
Product review videos are a no-brainer, especially if you’re in the SaaS industry and your product integrates with these tools.
It allows you to naturally weave in your product as a complementary solution without sounding sale-sy.
3. Reaction videos
Reaction videos are basically that—videos of you reacting to videos.
True, these casual videos are nowhere near as educational as your standard tutorial videos, but they can add a fun touch to your marketing.
To make this work, pick a show relevant to your business (e.g., If you run a martial art school, talk about shows like Cobra Kai or superhero movies like Shang Chi). Bonus if it’s popular and everyone’s talking about it.
Joanna Yung, a social media manager, recorded a video of herself reacting to Emily in Paris, a show about a young American woman working a social media job in Paris.
Since its premiere, the Netflix show has received flak for its unrealistic depiction of social media marketing. In one scene, Joanna talks about how it’s absurd for Emily, the protagonist, to post a picture to a client’s account without editing and sending it for approval first.
Towards the end, Joanna promotes her social media workshop. It would have been weird if she’d announced it in a Cobra Kai reaction video, but in this case, it works.
Reaction videos are often silly.
But when done correctly, they add a memorable touch, show off your personality, and differentiate your business from the boringly predictable pack of competitors.
4. Opinion videos
Did a recent viral tweet tick you off?
Disagree with a leading company’s alleged best practice?
Need to get something off your chest about your industry, but for some ridiculous reason, no one’s talking about it?
Create an opinion video.
These types of thought leadership videos are perfect, as you grab attention from a wider audience and share a contrarian view that gives prospective customers a new perspective.
In this video, Ross Simmonds, CEO of Foundation Marketing, makes his case about niching down in the SaaS industry and backs it up with a case study.
Pro tip: You don’t need to create every YouTube video from scratch. This one-minute video was created out of a live event. That’s right, Ross shortened and repurposed it as a video!
5. A day in the life videos
If you work in an unconventional field—think organizer consultant like Marie Kondo—or you’re a thought leader with a huge social following, you can’t go wrong with a day or week in the life videos.
These videos are often inspirational, as they give viewers a no-holds-barred look at what it means to be scrappy in business.
Take our Chief Sumo, Noah Kagan. This video gives Sumo-lings a peek into his daily life as an eight-figure entrepreneur.
6. Comparison videos
Comparison videos help users decide which product works best without requiring them to try them out.
Similar to product videos, comparison videos revolve around products or services indirectly related to your business.
- If you’re a project management coach for freelancers, compare Asana and Monday
- If you’re a nutritionist for busy working parents, compare HelloFresh and Sunbasket
- If you’re a marketer from a startup that sells metrics reporting dashboards, compare SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush
Here’s a video of Scott Friesen comparing two popular productivity tools: Trello and Notion.
Note how the productivity specialist breaks down both tools in ease of use, pricing, integrations, and more.
Toward the eighth-minute mark, he shares the following two videos: a tutorial of Notion and a set-up guide on Trello.
These comprehensive videos reinforce Scott’s authority as a productivity coach. Undoubtedly, viewers will subscribe to his channel to learn more about project and time management.
7. Round-up videos
Round-up videos are a collection of great (and sometimes worst) content on a chosen topic.
If you’re a freelance videographer, create a round-up of the best video editing suites. If you’re a marketing agency owner, do a round-up of the best SEO tools. You get the picture.
Here’s Stuart Thomas, a technology content creator, highlighting the best and worst tech announcements for CES 2022.
Round-up videos also let you promote your affiliate links. In Stuart’s case, he promotes it in the video description.
If you want to earn passive income via affiliate marketing, consider giving round-up videos a shot.
8. Testimonial videos
Testimonial videos visually capture your clients’ emotion and body language.
Enough said, they’re a lot more convincing than the standard written testimonials.
Depending on the resources and nature of your business, your testimonial videos can be as polished as a Hollywood film or as simple as a 27-second video.
Below, we see Ashley Carter commending the Case Study Buddy team for their successful collaboration.
Testimonial videos make powerful sales magnets. You should definitely create them to convert prospects further down the sales funnel.
9. Explainer videos
Explainer videos are product demos usually recorded in under three minutes.
These videos share how a product works and often highlight the features, benefits, and unique selling proposition.
Watch how Eman Zabi, founder of The Scribesmith, explains how her launch planner app works in this short video.
The video cuts to the chase and intrigues you to download the app stat.
Which YouTube video ideas will you bring to life?
Videos shouldn’t only generate views. They should also funnel your viewers outside of YouTube and get actual business results.
AppSumo is home to 12,000+ tools that take your video from okay to outrageously awesome. Browse our store to optimize video files, streamline scheduling, and sell to millions of viewers today.