6 min read

Discover Untapped YouTube Ideas Using Idea Gaps

Discover Untapped YouTube Ideas Using Idea Gaps
Photo by Sebastian Pandelache / Unsplash

Today I want to talk about a powerful strategy for coming up with entertaining video ideas that I'm going to call Idea Gaps. This is something that lots of successful creators use every day to come up with new video ideas. Once you understand how to use it, you'll be in a much better place to create successful videos on the topics you care about.

You may have heard about content gaps. It's the idea that there are topics without enough content to satisfy the demand for it. Maybe a new boss fight for a game you play game out and nobody else has released a guide? Perhaps you're at a high rank in a competitive game and none of the other players produce content for it. Suddenly you have the opportunity to uniquely be the source of top-level content for that game.

YouTube actually has a good primer on Content Gaps in their official documentation

What's the catch? Many creators probably have the same idea so viewers end up with tons of choices on things to watch. By the time you release that guide, you're suddenly competing against 5 other guides that have all been uploaded on the same day as yours. For a lot of obvious things, you can expect competition. Is that reason to not make the video? Not necessarily.

The top results when I search for "ffxiv reaper guide"

You can still create advantages by being first, making something more helpful, or even just something more consumable than the others. A viewer might like your videos just because of the way you speak or the visuals you decide to use even if the information is technically the same. There are lots of things to consider on this topic alone but that's a read for another day.

The Idea Gap

Now that we understand what a content gap is, it'll be easy to explain what an Idea gap is and how it's useful.

In the same way that we can look at the lack of a topic being covered, we can use that same lens for ideas themselves. Even if a topic is heavily covered, that doesn't mean that every possible way to experience that topic has been. This is why Minecraft is incredibly successful on YouTube over a decade after its release. The amount of potential you have to come up with unique ways to experience the block-building survival game is infinite.

This is also why new creators can have breakout success even amongst tons of other creators. Despite being competitive with tons of Minecraft YouTubers posting videos every day, the opportunity to break in and build an audience is extremely high even if you're starting from zero. How is that possible?

Lots of YouTube analysis and advice focuses on Minecraft so why don't we take a look to see how other games utilize these same ideas? Let's take the "100 days in a Minecraft world" trend for example. This trend has taken Minecraft by storm over the last few years.

It's at the point where people have had successful videos analyzing the trend itself (or just ranting about it being annoying)

This is where the idea gap comes into play. Does the "100 days" trend only work with Minecraft? Of course not! This is where watching YouTube comes into play. Someone who watches other parts of YouTube to see what's working has an endless supply of ideas that can be applied to their niche and content. Look at how other YouTubers have applied the 100 days concept to other games (it even works outside of games!)

Most people don't want to put in the time to do challenges like this. They just want to experience the end result and reward.

The Why

Taking an idea from other niches to apply to your content is simple enough to understand but it's important to think about why it works. What you always have to do when thinking about applying an idea to your content is the "Why?" Why is this interesting? How can it appeal to others? What causes someone to click on this besides the banger thumbnail? (Spoiler! The idea is made for great thumbnails already!)

The magic of the 100 days concept is that doing lots of things for 100 days in a row can be interesting. It's an amount of time that most people will never have or want to give up for just one thing. They want to experience what it's like to really focus on or master something without putting in the work to get there.

I should note here that you don't have to do 100 days exactly. "100 days" really just means "a really long amount of time that could be interesting" and then it's up to you to deliver on that.

The 100 days concept is just one example of this.

The "1 vs Many" has been heavily used across YouTube as another example. Going against crazy odds is a concept as old as time itself. It doesn't even have to be one person or thing. You'll start to pick up on how commonly these trends are used once you're aware of the idea.

It's important not to limit yourself to YouTube when looking for ideas to pull from. Where else have you seen the idea of being outnumbered in a story attracting mass appeal? What about movies like 300 or The Hunger Games?

I'll leave you with some others to think about:

  • ___ Iceberg explained
  • Doing/beating X thing with only Y
  • Top 5/10 lists
  • What happens if you (insert silly/uncommon/awkwardness here)
  • Reacting to

Here are some thumbnails of those ideas to give you some inspiration

Hopefully, this has given you some new ways to approach brainstorming video ideas. Increasingly, YouTube is becoming more and more about interesting stories and creators are getting better at that every day. Learning how to leverage idea gaps can help you to come up with interesting ideas that haven't been made before in your niche!

If you enjoyed this, consider subscribing to my newsletter to get my posts directly in your email once a week! I'd love to read comments and chat about this in my discord server as well!