“If you build it, they will come.”
That is the famous line from W.P. Kinsella’s book-turned-hit movie, “Shoeless Joe: Field of Dreams,” about a magic baseball field where the ghosts of the greatest baseball players reunite to play ball just for fun.
All kinds of people from all sorts of places journey to the field to watch their favorite players from by-gone eras, united by nostalgia and a love for the game.
In 1965, with money and research funded by the U.S government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) an MIT professor connected a computer in Massachusetts to a computer in California, and the internet was born.
Forty years later, three forward-thinking individuals who worked for PayPal, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, built the internet’s angel-funded field of dreams and called it YouTube.
Instead of a magic field where only players of incomparable skill and renown compete, YouTube is a video-sharing wonderland that, in 16 short years, has grown in power and influence rivaled only by its parent company, Google and Facebook.
Google, which bought YouTube in 2006, is more significant. Facebook has more active users. But YouTube is the #2 most popular social media platform worldwide, and its currency is the most popular medium worldwide – video.
Video traffic will be over 80% of all internet traffic by 2022. That’s NEXT year. Only 60% of the human race is online. Streaming technology improves every year, which makes watching a video online more manageable and more accessible.
Mobile technology, and cellular networks, improve every year, which has a similar positive impact on user-generated video-sharing platforms. More than any other company, YouTube will benefit from the skyrocketing growth and popularity of video streaming, so it’s worth a delve into YouTube’s brief history.
As promised in the title, a barrage of fantastic video ideas for YouTube beginners will follow YouTube’s timeline.
YouTube Essential Facts
Founded: February 14, 2005
Founders: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim
Headquarters: San Bruno, California
Parent Company: Google, LLC (2006-present)
Advertising: Google Ads
The following is anecdotal, but a specific individual and his friends, who may or not be related to an unnamed content writer, live on YouTube. Kids don’t realize something other than streaming exists and prefer user-generated content.
More than that, however, a kid will set up a YouTube channel, swipe the closest iPhone, and start filming. Soon your backyard Spielberg posts original content and gets LIKES from all over the world. YouTube is not just watching. It’s participating.
Anecdotal for sure, but sometimes stories you hear people tell are backed up by hard science. From Backlinko.com (Jan 2021):
- YouTube’s 2020 revenue was $19.8 billion.
- YouTube currently has 2 billion users.
- 9% of global internet users access YouTube monthly.
- Every day, viewers consume more than a billion hours of YouTube content.
- YouTube’s 2.2 billion users make it the #2 social media platform worldwide.
- India has approximately 225 million YouTube users, the most of any country. The United States follows, with 197 million.
- People between the ages of 15-35 are YouTube’s dedicated users.
- Globally, women use YouTube more than men.
- 6% of YouTube channels have fewer than 10,000 subscribers.
- Quarterly YouTube ad revenue is over $5 billion.
- In 60 days. more content is uploaded to YouTube than the combined content created by the three major U.S. networks in the past 60 years.
- On average, individual YouTube content creators receive between $3-$5 per 1000 views.
- YouTube’s ad revenue in 2021’s 2nd quarter almost doubled to $7 billion.
Not too shabby for a company still in its awkward teenage years!
2005 YouTube launches with Jawed Karim’s “Me at the zoo” video.
2006 Google, LLC buys YouTube for $1.65 billion (that was fast!)
2007 YouTube expands into nine countries and launches a mobile site.
2010 YouTube’s market share reaches 43%, with 14 billion video views.
2011 YouTube’s daily video views top 3 billion and 48 hours of new videos are uploaded every minute.
2012 8 million people watch a YouTube live stream of Australian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jump from a helium balloon twenty-four miles above the Earth.
2014 Susan Wojcicki appointed CEO.
2015 YouTube Music, YouTube Kids, and YouTube Gaming launch.
2016 Streaming service YouTube TV launches.
2018 YouTube Premium launches.
That’s the story of how YouTube became one the largest advertising networks in the history of humanity. Oh, the humanity! YouTube is digital marketing, and social media marketing rolled into one giant juggernaut.
Individual creators, potential customers, and regular people with unique ideas for videos are part of the YouTube community — all waiting for the world to discover.
Current YouTube Products/Services
- YouTube Premium (monthly subscription service, YouTube & YouTube Music ad-free)
- YouTube TV (streaming service, monthly subscription)
- YouTube Movies & Shows (Buy, Rent, Free with Ads)
- YouTube Music (Free with ads and limited features, Premium ad-free with all features)
- YouTube Live (live-streaming events)
- YouTube Kids
- YouTube Creator Academy
- YouTube for Artists
Back to the field of dreams. What makes YouTube a field of dreams is that it’s a dream for different reasons to different people.
Some people are addicted to watching user-generated video content, and they can’t get enough. Others are brand builders and marketing gurus who want to reach and influence YouTube’s 2 billion users.
Many are content creators who love producing videos and uploading them for the world to see – not to mention profit share through Google AdSense. Then there’s the top category of YouTube celebrities and influencers who are getting rich through the medium.
Nothing speaks louder than earning money hand over fist. For people who want traditional professional entertainment, YouTube TV and YouTube Premium offer those options as well.
YouTube Video Ideas for Beginners in 2021
Now that you’re an expert on YouTube’s history and clout, it’s time to launch your million-dollar YouTube channel. The best way to stand out on YouTube is to be your category.
However, for beginners, an excellent place to start is with the top ten most popular types of videos on YouTube. Know your audience! These types of content are what viewers watch the most (so these categories are also the most competitive).
1. Product Review Videos
The #1 type of YouTube video are product reviews. Researching products online before making a purchase is an almost daily ritual for most people. Product reviews are popular because viewers trust the source, typically an expert in a related field to the content, a consumer advocate, or an influencer with cred.
The source doesn’t matter as long as it’s a trusted source, isn’t a customer testimonial video from the product’s creator, and isn’t a paid review. Product reviews must be objective and free from bias.
2. How-To Videos
Many YouTube channels are how-to videos only and have millions of active subscribers. When you need to know how to do something, YouTube is the fastest way to find someone to teach it to you.
Warning: beauty influencers may dominate this category, but if you have a particular skill, you believe is worth teaching, and you can do it entertainingly, How-to-Videos may be the category for you.
These personal online video blogs are time-consuming but offer influencers (think beauty and travel) an authentic way to connect with their viewers by inviting them into their daily lives.
More than content, there are technical aspects to producing a Vlog that requires advanced specialized skills, so a successful Vlog has a great deal of dedicated, collaborative work that goes into it. Those efforts pay off.
Vlogs are viewers’ third most popular type of video to watch. For those who profit from their content or YouTube personas, Vlogs are their best vehicle, even if it means producing relevant content on a regular basis.
4. Gaming Videos
The gaming industry is more profitable than Hollywood and U.S. sports teams combined – and one of YouTube’s most popular video formats. If you’re a gaming enthusiast or champion, your gaming channel with Gameplay Video may be your dream come true.
5. Comedy/Skit Videos
If you can make people laugh, you’re the life of the party. The same is true on YouTube. Comedy pushes all of our happy buttons. Beauty influencers like to use comedy skits in their videos to add a more human dimension to what can seem posed and plastic.
6. Haul Videos
A consumer, statistically most likely a woman, shows the world what she bought on her latest spending spree in a haul video. To varying degrees, she talks about the experience or product in greater detail.
Haul videos evolved out of “unboxing” videos (#10) but are more informal and freeform. Brands love Haul videos because they organically showcase their products.
7. Tag or Challenge Videos
Tag videos show viewers multiple content creators performing the same video challenge. The competitive format and watching participants’ unique way of interpreting the same challenge puts tag videos at #7.
8. Favorites/Best of Videos
This category is very popular with beauty and fashion creators and influencers. Favorites videos are an intimate look at the products a YouTuber uses and loves. Like a product review, if you can build trust between viewers, they will tune in to hear your opinion, which may influence the viewer when they turn buyers.
9. Educational Videos
“Knowledge for the sake of knowledge!” That’s Harvard’s motto. Irony aside, the internet is the most resource-rich institution since the Library of Alexandria burned in 48 BCE. Viewers can find videos about any subject and in any form.
PhDs in Ancient History can guide you through the most influential ancient civilizations, and beauty Vloggers can post educational videos about products they love, whether educational in the more traditional sense or commerce; an educational channel is about sharing knowledge.
10. Unboxing Videos
Unboxing videos are the Christmas morning of videos. YouTubers love unboxing stuff, and viewers love watching them unbox stuff. Like Unboxing videos’ younger sibling, Haul videos, brands love this format because it gives their new and existing products an organic unveiling to discriminating consumers from a trusted source.
If you believe these ten video ideas for YouTube beginners are a lot to digest, please keep in mind these ideas are the most popular, not the only ones. Here’s a quick list of other video types to consider (in alphabetical order):
- Explainer Videos
- Daily Routine Videos
- Funny Videos
- Life Video
- Music Videos
- Opinion Video
- Reaction Videos
- Response Video
- Tips Videos
- Travel Videos
If you don’t see a niche in the list above, hundreds of more content ideas exist (not an exaggeration). Enthusiasts of every kind can find a video to match their interest. Any content creator can find a corner of the YouTube community where they can feel connected and contribute.
Your field of dreams awaits. Play ball!