How to Search YouTube for Marketing Purposes

On all social media platforms, one of your first steps as a marketer is to search the platform for interesting content. This is certainly true for YouTube.
In this video, I’ll explain how to search YouTube to find videos and channels that interest you. I’ll also explain how to find what’s trending on YouTube, and how to subscribe to channels, plus snoop a bit into their analytics. Let’s get started.

Watch the Video

Browsing YouTube: Seeing What’s Popular

Remarkably, YouTube doesn’t make it easy to see what’s trending and what’s popular on YouTube. There’s actually a channel called popular on YouTube, and you have to sort of know it’s there to find it. You can actually drill down by category as in ‘that’s a good question‘ or ‘shared and popular.’ The high volume stuff on YouTube definitely reflects pop culture / the youth culture, but don’t get discouraged – there’s something for every type of marketing on YouTube. To browse it by channels, login to your YouTube account, and on the left scroll down until you see ‘browse channels.’ You can then literally browse by channel and see what’s popular in a given genre.

Searching YouTube: Searching via Google or Directly

Since YouTube is owned by Google, you can also go to Google, and then search for videos. Guess what? You’ll prominently see YouTube in the video results.  Let’s say you’re in the turkey hunting industry. You can search for turkey hunting on YouTube via Google, and also use search tools to find the latest and greatest videos about turkey hunting.  You can also use the site: command and search Google as in makeup to find videos on makeup. Whatever your keywords or themes are, you can use Google to search (and find) YouTube videos.

You can also search YouTube directly, and there are some tricks here.  You can start out at YouTube by typing into the search box, for example, organic food.  Then click on filters, and you can filter into a time period, and a view count. In this way, you can find the most popular videos on any topic! It’s a great way to get ideas for what’s popular and what you can produce that might be popular. Imitation, after all, is the highest form of flattery. Be sure to subscribe to channels that interest you (either as a private citizen or as a marketer).  These then appear on the left when you sign in as “subscriptions.”  You’ll also often get email alerts from Google when someone to whom you subscribe uploads a new video.

Learning about the Competition: Inventorying Videos and Channels

Once you’ve identified some videos that you like or admire, then you can drill into the video and the channel and learn some things about them. At the video level, click into the video and then click on the ...more > statistics to learn views, time watched, subscriptions driven and shares. Try it, for example, for this video: Is Organic Food Better for Your Health? Here’s a screenshot with some arrows indicating interesting public statistics –


How to Search YouTube


Next, after inspecting some highly popular videos and learning their statistics, take a look at various channels that you admire – either those of your competitors or those that you just generally admire. Do you like their set up? Their cover photo, and their information? There’s not that much customization popular on YouTube.  For example, here’s a channel I admire – Lisa Irby. Watch her “unsubscribed trailer” and notice how nicely she explains her channel, and why you should subscribe. The unsubscribed trailer is a little tricky to set up, so click here, to read the official help file on how to set one up. You can watch our unsubscribed trailer, here.

Produce Great Videos and Promote Them

Remember, throughout, that 99% of the action on YouTube is really at the video level. So research great videos, first, and then produce your own. Be sure to promote your videos through advertising, influencer marketing, and SEO for YouTube videos as it’s a shame to produce videos that no one watches!


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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.