6 Places to Find Trending Topics for YouTube Videos

YouTube trends don't just happen inside of YouTube. If you want to find viral topics that grow your channel, it's time to look outside of the platform.

Which topics are trending on YouTube? It’s not always easy to track, but there are a few places to find ideas that can become popular videos.

This requires a small shift in thinking, though. Instead of searching on YouTube only, you would have to browse more of the internet, where the best trends are.

It’s simple math, really: The more places you look, the more YouTube trends you’ll find.

Here are six reliable places to begin your search.

1. Browse the Google Trends Website

Remember how we said the best trends happen outside of YouTube? Well, Google Trends will help you discover those moments. This tool shows the popularity of any topic on the internet over an extended period of time.

Here’s how to use Google Trends for YouTube purposes.

Option 1: Trending Searches

1. Go to Google Trends and click Trending Searches in the left navigation bar.

2. Select a country, then browse the first two tabs on the screen: daily search trends and real-time search trends.

The daily option shows what’s been trending in the last few days, and the “real-time” option shows searches that are trending right now. Both results should give you a general idea of what’s popular online.

Option 2: YouTube Search

1. On the Google Trends homepage, type something into the search bar — preferably a topic related to your channel. As an example, we’ll use “first day of school.”

2. On the uppermost tabs, choose a region, time period, category, and then select YouTube for the search type.

Analyze the graph to see how popular your topic is. In this example, “first day of school” is picking up steam as kids head back to class.

Want to go even deeper? Scroll down and view the related topics/queries panel. You’ll find even more topics related to your original search that could become great video ideas.

2. Check the Explore Page on YouTube

Another place to find trends is YouTube itself.

Head to the YouTube homepage, then click Explore in the left navigation bar.

This page will show you the top trending videos on YouTube by category: music, movies, gaming, news, sports, learning, and beauty. It’s not as detailed as Google Trends, but it’s a great place to see what’s happening within your niche.

3. Get Email Alerts for YouTube Trends

If you’re short on time, an automated tool is your best bet for discovering YouTube trends.

Ideally, this tool would:

  • Use keyword research to suggest trends.
  • Prove which ideas are trending by showing video views per hour.

Fortunately, this dream tool does exist. Trend Alerts from vidIQ can help you track specific keywords, set a views-per-hour threshold, and get notified when any keyword starts trending at a specific view count.

Let’s say you want to know when “grumpy cat” videos are reaching 500 views per hour on YouTube. You would simply type that information into the research tool — keyword: “grumpy cat”; views per hour: 500. When those requirements are met, you’ll get alerted by email that the trend is taking off. Quick and easy!

It only takes a few minutes to set this up. Here are the steps from start to finish:

1. Install the free vidIQ extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge (Chrome version shown below).

2. Go to the YouTube homepage and click Trend Alerts in the left navigation bar.

3. Give your alert a name.

4. Type in some keywords you want to track.

5. Choose how often you want to receive notifications for the trend: daily, every two days, weekly, or monthly.

6. Choose how many views per hour will trigger the alert: 100; 500; 1,000; 5,000; or 10,000.

7. Select a YouTube category, such as gaming, music, or education.

8. Select a language.

9. Click Save Your Alert.

You can create one trend alert with a free vidIQ account. If you want to track multiple trends and complete other actions (customize views per hour, get emails more frequently), upgrade to vidIQ Pro.

No matter which plan you have, you’ll see trending videos below the alert you created. It’s a quick preview of what the trend alert might look like in your inbox.

Without a doubt, this is the best way to see which video ideas are trending on YouTube (within your niche).

4. Find Hot Topics on TikTok

TikTok is where trends are born. If you want to know what’s trending right now (or will eventually trend on YouTube), it makes sense to watch a few TikTok videos.

But “watching” is only the first step. If you want to get up to speed much faster, explore trending videos and hashtags in the TikTok Creative Center.

Here’s how:

1. Go to the TikTok Creative Center and create an account. Then select Trend Intelligence in the main menu.

2. Explore the hashtags or videos page to see recent trends.

On the hashtags page, you can choose an industry to explore and even select a country and date range for your search. There’s also a graph that shows whether hashtags are trending up or down. View more details by clicking See Analytics.

The TikTok videos page is a bit simpler, showing only a time period adjuster and a filter that reads “hot, likes, comments, and shares.” But below that, there are dozens of popular TikToks to explore.

5. Get Daily Video Ideas (with Performance Predictions)

If you’re looking for video ideas that fit your channel, Daily Ideas from vidIQ can help. Every day, you'll get three video ideas when you sign up for a free vidIQ account.

And these aren’t just any old topics. We use the power of artificial intelligence to bring you suggestions that are a good fit for your channel. Plus, each video idea comes with a performance prediction: low, medium, high, or very high views. With that type of data, you can choose topics that are most likely to be in-demand. You can even see top-ranked videos for a particular topic.

Here’s how to get Daily Ideas for your YouTube channel:

1. Install the free vidIQ extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge (Chrome version shown below).

2. Go to the YouTube homepage and click Daily Ideas in the left navigation bar.

3. Browse the idea cards. Click Save to store ideas for later or Dismiss to send them to the dismissed collection.

4. Click the list icon in the top right corner to see more video ideas at once. You can click on any idea to see top-ranked videos for that topic.

6. Discover Trends on Twitter

People go to Twitter to see what’s happening now – as in right now. That makes it the perfect place to find trending topics for your videos.

If you haven’t already, follow some topics on Twitter that relate to your YouTube channel:

1. Go to Twitter and click More in the left navigation bar.

2. Click Topics.

3. Go to the Suggested tab and click any trending topic to follow it. You can also browse the categories list to see more topics.

For any topics you follow, you'll begin to see tweets related to those subjects in your feed. That makes it easier to see trends that would make great YouTube videos.

Now that you know how to find trends on YouTube, learn how to test those ideas before using them on your channel.