YouTube has published its annual list of the top videos and creators on the platform, showcasing the content that's gaining the most traction, and the stars and topics that are seeing the biggest focus in YouTube clips.
The listings could help you improve your YouTube content approach. First off, on videos - the top trending videos on YouTube in 2020 were:
- Netflix Is A Joke - 8:46, Dave Chappelle
- Mark Rober - Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
- SNL - First Debate Cold Open
- JeffreeStar - We Broke Up
- MrBeast - I Bought The World’s Largest Firework
- NikkieTutorials - I’m Coming Out.
- Dream - Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE
- NBC - Ricky Gervais’ Monologue - 2020 Golden Globes
- Dude Perfect - Quarantine Stereotypes
- SomeGoodNews - Some Good News with John Krasinski - Ep 1
There aren't really any definitive content trends here, with a fairly broad range of topics and types. Comedy is still a big winner, though the comedy videos here also align somewhat with social justice messages, while gaming and positive-themed clips have done well amid the challenges of the year.
The listing of top platform stars provides a little more insight into what's gaining traction on the platform.
The most consistent focus here is gaming - five of the ten channels listed are largely aligned with gaming-related content, with Fortnite, Minecraft and Among Us being the top games getting attention from these creators.
Gaming is a massive influencer of modern youth culture - if you haven't considered the significance of gaming, and how it relates to emerging content trends, you could be missing major opportunities. Not all brands will have products or offerings that align with gaming, but it's worth considering the influence of gaming culture, and how that might fit within your messaging in 2021.
The other key themes among these influencers are large-scale projects (hard to replicate), fitness videos and make-up tutorials.
That could suggest that investing big in your videos could help boost performance - Mr. Beast and ZHC, for example, take on massive, expensive projects, which include donations to various people and causes. This aligns with the broader focus on social good initiatives among younger audiences, and there is some evidence to suggest that could be a good approach. But as noted, it's difficult to the replicate success of these channels.
But even so, it is worth noting what they're doing, and how that could relate to your own YouTube content approach. If you're looking for ways to up your YouTube performance, these are the channels worth investigating, and the top clips may also provide some further guidance on what works.