How to Test a YouTube Video Idea Before You Start Filming

Some video ideas will bring you views, and others will hardly scratch the surface. Here are 4 ways to test your YouTube ideas before you film them.

Do you have a list of video ideas you're dying to shoot? Well, not so fast: You have some work to do before those ideas become popular YouTube videos.

After all, these concepts are somewhat new to you. Should you really let them go untested? It's better to be skeptical of your ideas and put them through a validation process. For example, is your next video timely enough to get thousands of views? Will your subscribers appreciate the topic? Does the idea stand out from similar YouTube videos?

There's only one way to find out for sure. Here's how to test your ideas and see if they're worth pursuing on YouTube.

1. Is Your Video in Demand?

Some videos get more views because they're posted at the right time. Knowing this, it makes sense to ask a few questions before hitting the record button. For example, is the topic in demand right now? Or can it wait until a later date?

This is typically the case with holiday content. You wouldn't expect a turkey and dressing tutorial to go viral on Halloween because its still "spooky season." Viewers are clicking on videos about candy, costumes, and Halloween games. If you post the same video closer to Thanksgiving ⁠— when turkeys are top of mind ⁠— you'll get more views.

But trends come in all variations, not just the holiday kind. That's why checking Google Trends is an excellent way to discover what's hot and what's not. You can view trending topics worldwide or search any term to see how popular it is now versus other time frames.

For example, the Nascar Cup Series is happening this month. Google Trends shows that "Nascar race today" was searched heavily in the last few days.

2. Did You Ask Viewers What They Want to Watch?

The days of guessing what viewers want to watch are long gone. If you have 500 subscribers, you can ask them directly using the YouTube Community tab.

The Community tab is a social network inside of YouTube itself, and you can post images, videos, GIFs, and more. But the best part? You can use polls to collect viewers' opinions of what they would or wouldn't watch.

We do this often on the vidIQ channel. If we don't know which angle to take for a video, we leave the final decision to the viewers!

3. Did You Bring a Fresh Perspective to a Popular Topic?

These days, YouTube is more competitive than ever. Thousands of channels dominate the most popular topics on the internet, from gaming to beauty to music.

But all's not lost. You can penetrate a saturated niche with solid YouTube research.

Once you have a video idea, research the top videos that already exist for the topic. Ask yourself what's good about those videos and what's not so great about them. Overall, you're trying to see what's missing from the conversation and use it to craft a unique video.

Need an example? Watch the first 20 seconds of this video, "NFTs, Explained."

Johnny Harris doesn't begin the video by introducing himself or his channel like most finance creators. Instead, he strings together news articles and broadcasts about non-fungible tokens. Everything is moving quickly, and there's the sound of a ticking clock ⁠— or perhaps a bomb about to explode. It's intriguing, hard to click away from, and most importantly, a unique approach.

4. Did You Personalize the Experience for Viewers?

Don't forget to consider your audience when you're testing video ideas. Each one should connect with them personally and not a broad group of viewers.

In fact, 65% of Gen Z says personally-relevant content is more important than viral videos, according to YouTube's Culture and Trends Report. That's a revelation in the era of viral TikToks and YouTube Shorts.

Even if your audience isn't Gen Z, making personalized content is essential. After you've done everything you can to find YouTube keywords and trending topics, the only thing left is…you. Your personality (and relatability) is the tie-breaker that keeps viewers on your channel instead of someone else's.

Here's how to understand viewers and create a bond with them:

  • Learn what they like, dislike, and dream of in their daily lives.
  • Talk to them on the YouTube Community tab.
  • Respond to video comments.
  • Join the Facebook, Discord, or Reddit communities they love.

Take the insights you learn from this journey and weave it into your content. That will help you make better, more relevant videos for your audience.

And while you're at it, here's a guide for coming up with amazing video ideas.