In 2020, I looked up more recipes than ever before. Mostly Italian if you ask yourself.

I also spent a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and letting the autoplay guide me down a rabbit hole with videos on all sorts of topics.

Most consumers did the same.

What should marketers expect on YouTube in 2021? Read on to find out.

Top 2021 YouTube trends

  1. Consumers want videos that reflect their everyday lives.
  2. Short-form videos are becoming increasingly popular.
  3. Long-form videos go nowhere, however.
  4. Marketers use audio ads.

Consumers want videos that reflect their everyday lives.

If 2020 showed anything to marketers, it was the need for agility and authenticity.

Every marketer had to shift their priorities and deliver marketing materials that reflected the time we all went through.

YouTube data from July 2019 to July 2020 shows a 215% increase in daily uploads for self-care content. On the part of the viewer, viewing time for videos related to wellbeing such as fitness, meditation and yoga increased by over 180%.

Now, in 2021, consumers are still looking for content that reflects their current state of mind.

This doesn’t mean your brand should start a “30 Days of Yoga” series. It is designed to highlight how closely current events are related to the type of content we consume. Keeping track of how your audience is feeling and what type of content they are looking for is a great way to embed it in your YouTube strategy.

“Viewers really want content that not only educates them but also engages them. Our new style puts a lot of emphasis on the authenticity and personality of its presenters,” said Jamal Meneide, associate video producer / editor and on-screen talent for YouTube -Channel from HubSpot.

Brands now need to be mindful of the social climate and general consumer sentiment and incorporate these elements into their content.

Not sure how to keep your finger on the pulse? Go to this section to learn how to research YouTube trends.

Short-form videos are becoming increasingly popular.

In September 2020, YouTube launched “Shorts” in India, a new short-form video platform on YouTube. Shorts will be available in the US from March 2021.

Similar to other short-form platforms, videos on short films are formatted vertically for display on a phone. Although it’s still in beta, users can create 15-second clips, edit them with various tools, and add music from YouTube’s music library.

According to an article in the Search Engine Journal, Shorts has already gained momentum, getting more than 3.5 billion views per day. But why should YouTube, a long-form content platform, invest in this strategy? Meneide has a theory.

“YouTube is trying to compete with TikTok, which shows in their game of introducing ‘shorts’. For a while it felt like a pendulum was swinging towards really long, unedited content,” Meneide said.

“While this is still widespread,” he adds, “it seems like we’ve turned back the other way with short- to medium-length content. Viewers want easy-to-consume, entertaining content that is not as challenging to them are.” Time.”

This is an opportunity for brands to experiment with short-form content on YouTube and see what the audience will respond to.

One strategy is to use shorts to create teasers for your upcoming videos or to create compressed, shareable versions of your long-form videos.

Long-form videos go nowhere, however.

Even with the advance towards shorter videos, consumers are still enjoying the traditional long-form approach.

In June 2020, YouTube said that 46% of respondents said they watched videos longer than 20 minutes more often than they did six months ago.

Some YouTubers developers credit long-form video content for engagement rates and have data on their side.

A 2019 Pixability study found that branded videos longer than 10 minutes had higher engagement than shorter videos.

But the length won’t be enough to get your audience’s attention.

“Driving music and animation also play a huge role in building engagement. When you see animation as a viewer, you know that it either reinforces a key concept or adds to a joke,” Meneide said.

“In both cases, you were impressed by the additional image that we created. With music, we can change the tone and mood of a video – from driving hip-hop beats to chill jazz.”

He adds that music creates a bed of sound for the viewer to position themselves on, inviting the audience to lean back as you speed things up or sit back and relax when you slow things down.

“These kinds of style and production decisions were made by many of the major channels on YouTube,” said Meneide. “While content with a ‘homemade’ feel still crushes it, there is also an audience that wants to see well-produced, highly engaging content.”

Marketers use audio ads.

In November 2020, YouTube introduced audio ads, a new way for brands to reach consumers.

It was a surprising announcement as the platform is well known for video content. However, according to an article by Think With Google, over two billion people go to YouTube to listen to music.

The article also reported a 100% increase in playback time for live music between July 2019 and July 2020. This sets the stage for marketers to include YouTube as an ad platform for their audio content.

How to Research YouTube Trends

We’ve covered some YouTube trends for 2021, but marketers need to know how to spot trends when they come.

“In the HubSpot YouTube team, we are always looking for trends that we confirm with monthly search volume and keyword research to define our content strategy,” said Meneide. “We want to serve our audience content that they are looking for when they search for it, and being sensitive to when a topic bubbles up is key to the process.”

Your first resource is Google Trends, a free online resource that is updated with real-time data on the popularity of specific topics and search terms on YouTube.

You can also rely on tools like VidIQ and TubeBuddy to help determine which ideas are worth pursuing. According to Meneide, a good rule of thumb is to ask what big “how” or “why” questions your viewers can answer.

Then you have keyword research – this is where you can find out what consumers are looking for and whether it is worth your time and resources.

For example, let’s say your brand wants to cover the latest tech apps in your next video. You go to Google Keyword Planner and find that the monthly search volume is around 100. This may indicate that while there is some interest, it is not enough to warrant an entire video.

It’s also important to watch the news and see what topics are trending. However, do you know the difference between something that is currently in the news cycle and a trend that is worth including in your YouTube strategy.

One way to decipher between the two is to ask, “How far does this go and will it matter in a few weeks or months?”

“Hopping on news can be just as explosive to growth or your marketing strategy as trends, but it makes it a little more difficult when you always rely on the latest, ‘hottest’ news to keep your content strategy informed,” said Meneide. “By focusing on longtail trends, you can overcome a surge of persistent interest in a subject rather than grasping what could possibly be a passing interest.”

As we navigate through this year, more trends are likely to emerge and influence your YouTube strategy. The most important thing is to be flexible and know when it is worth exploring something further.

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