YouTube Competitor Evaluation: How I Do It in 5 Simple Steps


YouTube competitor evaluation is crucial to your video content material technique this 12 months. Take it from me — I lead HubSpot’s YouTube development technique, overseeing content material technique, pattern monitoring, efficiency reporting, and competitor evaluation.

As of 2024, YouTube is the most important video-sharing platform and the second-biggest social media on this planet, with over 2.70 billion customers. And imagine me, it’s not slowing down anytime quickly, the variety of YouTube’s world customers is estimated to succeed in 2.85 billion by 2025.

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With this ongoing video development on the horizon, it’s vital to evaluate your competitors.

Desk of Contents

What’s a competitor evaluation on YouTube?

Competitor evaluation on YouTube entails finding out the content material created by rivals in your required area of interest or material space. These insights enable you to perceive your rivals’ strengths, weaknesses, and methods.

This evaluation may be performed on a month-to-month, quarterly, or annual foundation. Your purpose is to study what rivals are doing nicely and to emulate it in your individual model.

You’ll additionally wish to determine what they aren’t doing so you are able to do it and stand out within the aggressive YouTube panorama.

Why is a YouTube competitor evaluation vital?

Competitor evaluation helps you perceive the aggressive panorama in your goal market.

That is essential in my position as a result of it permits me to realize worthwhile insights into what different manufacturers are doing on the platform.

By understanding rivals’ methods, content material efficiency, viewers engagement ways, and total presence on YouTube, I can determine business developments and pinpoint areas the place content material gaps exist.

I can even uncover alternatives for enchancment, and make knowledgeable selections to remain forward.

This evaluation will enable you to higher perceive your viewers and create a complete YouTube content material technique.

The way to Do Competitor Evaluation on YouTube

Step 1: Create an inventory of your high rivals.

You need to begin your competitor evaluation by figuring out 5 to 10 YouTube channels which can be rivals.

These rivals may be primarily based in your particular business (e.g., cosmetics), area of interest (e.g., clear, cruelty-free cosmetics), and/or audience (e.g., environmentally aware cosmetics customers).

In my expertise right here at HubSpot, I’ve realized the artwork of choosing a various vary of rivals.

This considerate method acknowledges the presence of area of interest rivals inside matters we cowl whereas aligning seamlessly with our channels which will discover broader topics.

I discover these rivals by trying to find particular matters I wish to cowl on YouTube and by discovering the top-ranking movies for every search outcome on YouTube.

Within the instance beneath, you may see the top-ranking outcomes for the subject “Instagram advertising,” primarily based on the outcomes, Adam Erhart and Be taught With Shopify often is the present key rivals for this matter.

You can too use YouTube Shorts to determine key rivals.

Begin by trying to find the main focus key phrase and clicking the “Shorts” tab.

For instance, the present top-ranking Shorts rivals for the key phrase “Instagram advertising” are Vanessa Lau and Adam Erhart.

Make sure to go to the YouTube creator’s account to evaluate the movies they’ve posted prior to now 12 months to make sure that the matters they cowl align with the general content material pillars or matters that you simply intend to cowl in your channel.

Step 2: Analyze competitor YouTube movies.

When you’ve recognized 5-10 rivals, it’s time to research the content material your rivals have printed for the 12 months.

For instance, I simply performed a 2024 competitor evaluation for HubSpot analyzing all of the movies created by our rivals in 2023.

I like to recommend contemplating the next issues when finishing a competitor evaluation:

  • What matters are your rivals discussing?
  • What sort of movies are they making (tutorials, vlogs, opinions, and so on.)?
  • How typically are they publishing content material?
  • How lengthy are their movies?
  • What are their hottest movies from the previous 12 months?
  • Do rivals have a video sequence or recurring theme?
  • Are rivals utilizing interactive parts equivalent to polls, clickable hyperlinks, or end-screen options?

Let’s proceed with the Instagram advertising instance from Step 1.

Beneath are examples of information and knowledge you might discover out of your evaluation of top-ranking Instagram advertising rivals:

  • Subjects mentioned: Common Instagram advertising, Instagram updates/developments, Instagram advertising instruments, Instagram advertising technique
  • Sort of movies: Ideas, how-to tutorials, explainers
  • Publishing cadence: As soon as per week
  • Size of movies: 10-20 minutes
  • Standard movies: “Instagram Advertising and marketing for Enterprise” / “The way to Create a Instagram Content material Planner Calendar”

Professional Tip: I wish to discover how rivals arrange their playlists and video sequence. I assess the technique behind grouping sure movies and making a seamless viewing expertise.

And don’t skip out on thumbnail analysis. I take note of the visible model of our rivals’ common video thumbnails. I additionally determine developments in design, colour schemes, and parts that seize consideration.

When you’ve aggregated this information, you need to use it to determine and make notice of any recurring themes.

These insights can be instrumental in crafting your content material technique as a result of it’ll help you create content material that resonates together with your audience and ensures your channel is aggressive with different creators in an analogous panorama.

Step 3: Determine search engine optimisation key phrases and methods.

Subsequent, it’s time to look at your competitor’s video titles, descriptions, and tags.

It will help you perceive how your rivals are optimizing their movies for YouTube search.

You should utilize competitor analysis together with search engine optimisation instruments like TubeBuddy and VidIQ to evaluate the month-to-month search quantity of the key phrases your rivals are utilizing.

Video Titles

For video titles, study how every competing video is structured and determine any widespread key phrases/phrases. These titles talk what key phrases resonate together with your viewers and inform their searches on YouTube.

This evaluation will inform the way you form your titles to incorporate key phrases or phrases that your audience desires to see.

In our Instagram advertising instance, the title within the top-ranking video says: “The Full INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS GUIDE (Reels, Tales, Verification, Instagram Buying & Extra!)”.

This title contains the main focus key phrase “Instagram for enterprise” in all caps, it signifies that it’s the full information, and provides a preview of what is going to be mentioned within the video.

Video Descriptions

For video descriptions, analyze your competitor’s video description primarily based on construction, if/the place they embody related key phrases, hyperlinks, and extra context. It will assist develop the framework in your video descriptions.

In our Instagram advertising instance, an outline from a top-ranking social media advertising competitor could say: “Instagram For Enterprise Tutorial: Develop your Instagram and use it to drive your on-line gross sales.”

This means that the competitor is utilizing the first focus phrase (“Instagram for enterprise”) throughout the first sentence and tells the viewer precisely what to anticipate within the video.

Video Tags

For video tags, make notice of any tags rivals use to boost discoverability.

Video tags assist categorize your content material and point out to your viewers what your movies are about.

Utilizing the suitable video tags in your video will greatest enable YouTube to share your content material with viewers who’re serious about that content material.

In our Instagram advertising instance, video tags from a top-ranking Instagram competitor could also be: #instagramtutorials #instagramforbusiness.

This communicates to YouTube and the viewer that they are going to obtain details about Instagram, a tutorial, and particularly for companies.

Professional Tip: Past content material evaluation, I dive into rivals’ viewers interactions. I determine recurring key phrases in feedback and observe how rivals have interaction. Pinned feedback provide worthwhile insights into favored phrases. I then leverage these findings to tailor my engagement technique.

Step 4: Observe group engagement and viewers suggestions.

On this step, I like to watch how rivals have interaction with their YouTube group and the way the viewers responds to their content material.

Group Engagement

Group engagement may also help a creator join with their viewers.

You’ll wish to look into how your rivals are utilizing group options on YouTube to have interaction with their viewers.

I search for patterns in how rivals reply to feedback, run polls, and tackle suggestions.

Additional, you’ll wish to maintain an in depth eye on whether or not your rivals are partnering with different creators to create their content material. It will help you refine and adapt your group engagement technique.

For instance, beneath the “Instagram for enterprise” video a viewer left a remark asking for readability about part of the video. Be taught with Shopify responded and supplied extra sources for the viewer.

This means to the Channel’s viewers that Be taught with Shopify is actively reviewing feedback and trying to reply questions and supply academic sources for his or her viewers.

That is one thing you’ll wish to make notice of and incorporate into your technique.

Conversely, in case your competitor has a number of questions beneath their movies which can be left unanswered, which will function some extent of differentiation in your movies.

Chances are you’ll wish to create movies about these unanswered questions, and/or create an interesting presence in your feedback to harbor a larger sense of group together with your viewers.

Viewers Suggestions

Analyzing the viewers interplay on competitor movies equivalent to likes can even help you perceive how the viewers acquired the video.

For instance, if I discover {that a} video has a variety of views and ranks #1 for the subject, nevertheless it has restricted likes, this will counsel that the viewers didn’t benefit from the content material that was delivered.

Reviewing feedback on competitor movies can provide you a variety of useful perception too. Viewer feedback could let you know precisely what they preferred or disliked concerning the video, what they wish to see subsequent, and what they wished was included.

These feedback can set the stage for what you need to embody or keep away from in your movies.

Within the instance beneath, beneath the “Instagram for enterprise” video, viewers left a number of optimistic feedback about how a lot they loved the video. It is a nice indicator that the video efficiently delivered worth to viewers.

You possibly can take inspiration from this video by analyzing how the video is structured, how info is offered, the size of the video, together with different insights.

Bear in mind, taking inspiration from a competitor doesn’t imply copying. You wish to create authentic content material that delivers worth to your viewers independently and initially.

Viewers don’t want one other video like this, they want one thing distinctive.

Additional, there’s a remark requesting a step-by-step information on the best way to create movies. This remark signifies that there’s a want for this sort of video.

If it matches your content material technique, this can be a video you can create in your viewers.

Step 5: Determine content material gaps and use them to face out.

It’s time to take all the competitor insights you’ve discovered and switch them into content material methods in your YouTube channel.

You’ve evaluated and made notice of what your rivals are doing nicely and the place they’re falling brief. You’ll attempt to use what they’re utilizing nicely as inspiration.

The areas the place your rivals are falling brief are referred to as content material gaps.

To spherical out our Instagram advertising instance, let’s say I observed that rivals are making lengthy movies with out outlined chapters.

This is able to be a fantastic likelihood to not solely undertake their profitable parts however to additionally improve the viewer expertise by incorporating clear chapter markers.

This strategic differentiation is your key to standing out amidst rivals and delivering extra refined and fascinating video content material.

Professional Tip: I wish to discover how rivals use captions and transcriptions. I additionally assess whether or not they present participating supplementary content material. For instance, HubSpot supplies its viewers with free content material affords on the HubSpot Advertising and marketing Channel as supplementary academic content material.

Degree up your content material technique with a competitor evaluation.

YouTube competitor analysis may also help take your content material technique to the following stage.

Competitor analysis and evaluation function a compass for guiding your content material technique, providing insights into developments, viewers engagement, and content material gaps for alternative.

These insights lay the inspiration for a powerful well-informed content material technique.

The digital panorama is constantly evolving and with that it requires us to each stay vigilant and versatile. These competitor insights lay the groundwork in your content material technique, however they’re meant to evolve with rising developments, viewers preferences, and platform modifications.

Whereas adhering to the framework you’ve outlined from competitor analysis, you need to proceed to experiment and take a look at new methods.

With the mix of competitor insights, experimentation, and monitoring developments, you’ll know the best way to create content material that your viewers desires to see.

That’s all from me for now — good luck together with your analysis.

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