What’s something every video creator wants?

(Besides more views and subscribers of course.)

My guess…

A compelling content idea generating machine!

Steampunk-inspired machine with light bulb structure on an open book in a library with floating digital icons simulating a magical compelling content idea generating machine.

Who knows… if you read until the end—you just might find one. 🧐

In this comprehensive guide, I share the necessary element for creating impactful content ideas that are perfect for your audience… plus, 5 practical ways to uncover those ideas.

Finally, I’ll share a simple but powerful strategy to leverage AI for specific, targeted content.

By the end of this article, you’ll have multiple strategies to come up with and validate content ideas your audience will love.

So let’s get to it!

How to Come Up with Great Ideas for Video Content

Coming up with great ideas for video content can be a real challenge.

Or—perhaps for you, the hard part isn’t coming up with ideas… but rather, deciding which ideas are the best to act on.

After all, creating videos can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, so it’s important to ensure that what you’re going to create will resonate with your audience.

The good news is: There are plenty of strategies you can use to to come up with engaging video ideas.

But, like it or not—there is a catch:

👉 You must know your audience.

How to come up with great ideas for video content.

I know, you’ve probably heard this advice many times at this point… but it’s 100% true.

Once you know exactly who you are creating video content for… the content ideation process instantly becomes easier.

Want Engaging Video Topics? Conquer Your Audience’s Problems

As Josh Spector likes to say… having an ideal audience doesn’t mean these are the ONLY people you can serve… it simply means they are your ideal audience.

For the following exercise to work, you’ll need to know who you’re creating for.

Need some help? Josh has a great article that shares 5 ways to identify your ideal audience.

Ok, got your ideal audience in mind? Ask yourself these questions about them:

  • What do they want?
  • What do they believe?
  • What do they value?
  • How do they currently feel?
  • What are they struggling with?
  • What are their current challenges?
  • What are they unsatisfied with right now?

If you don’t know the answers to the above questions… sorry to say—you’ve got some research to do (lucky for you—I’ve included some specific ways to help later in this article).

But if you do—you just discovered a content-idea goldmine.

The answers to these questions reveal your audience’s pain points—specific areas where you can help them improve, enhance, or streamline.

Set aside some time to write out answers to these questions—I guarantee it will be time well spent.

Want to do it the right way?

I’m a huge fan of this idea from Jay Clouse, who suggests you create a PROBLEMS database:

This is a great way to start building a catalog of future content ideas.

Now, using your unique experience and skills—create content that directly answers the specific questions your audience has:

  • Make content that offers solutions to the challenges they’re running into.
  • Make videos that show how to address the things they’re struggling with.
  • Write articles that teach how to overcome the obstacles they’re currently facing.

Go deeper by asking yourself these questions:

  • What problem am I helping to solve?
  • What did I learn (the hard way), that I can make easier for someone else?

And poof! You have some highly relevant and valuable content ideas.

But are we going to stop there?

No way!

As busy creators, we can use all the help we can get to come up with great content ideas.

5 Simple Ways to Come Up With Content Ideas Your Audience Will Love

Believe it or not, there is already so much research about your audience freely available… you just need to know where to look.

1. Use Autocomplete

This is a simple SEO trick that can help you fine tune your ideas.

Google, YouTube, and many other platforms have a predictive auto-complete feature in their search bar that gives you exactly what info people are searching for.

Use google search autocomplete suggestions to research ideas and inspiration for content

Start by typing a challenge your audience is having, and see where the autocomplete takes you.

2. Use Reddit

Find a subreddit, which is a reddit a sub-forum or category where people post about specific topics, in your niche. For example, r/editors is a subreddit for video editors. Regularly check in to see what people are asking about.

Look for questions, challenges, and difficulties people are facing that you can solve with content.

Want better results?

Sort by Top posts, and change the timeframe to “This Week” or “This Month”—Reddit’s smart upvoting system is already showing you what’s popular with an audience.

Screenshot of Reddit with highlighted sections indicating sorting by top posts and potential video ideas

To prove just how well this can work…

While I was taking the above screenshot, I clicked on the post called “What now? I’m stuck.” — about how to deal with being stuck on a video edit… this sparked a great idea for a future article or video. Consider it in the queue now!

3. Use YouTube

Need to come up with YouTube video ideas?

Visit the YouTube profiles of some of your favorite creators that have a similar audience or are in a similar niche… click on their “Videos” and sort by Popular. It’s a great way to see the type of content that has worked with an audience similar to yours.

** YouTube PRO-tip 👇

Go to your YouTube Studio dashboard, click on Analytics, and click the RESEARCH tab.

Here, you can input a idea you have for a video topic… and YouTube will provide you with similar terms that are being searched for on YouTube.

YouTube analytics showing the research tab and search queries for video content ideas to discover popular search queries for content creation inspiration.

You can save that term for reference later, or click “SEE ALL” for tons of relevant and popular search terms that are similar. Very handy!

4. Go Outside

Turn OFF your brain for an hour or two.

Reframe your thoughts. Get some rest. Relax, talk to a friend, touch grass…

Give your attention to what’s really important.

Happy child in a helmet waving from a toy ATV in a beautiful park with large trees

When you least expect it, you just might come up with the big idea you were searching for.

5. Ask Your Audience

Seems obvious, right? Directly ask your audience what they’d like to hear from you…

In fact, while we’re here…

Would you mind taking just 2 minutes to fill out this short form for me? 🙏

It’s super quick and easy (anonymous and multiple-choice), and will help me make better content for you!

Did We Cover Everything?

And that’s it for how to come up with great—

WOAH, woah… wait just a second!

Wasn’t there a promise of some magical compelling content idea-generating machine at the beginning of this post?

Oh yes, of course!

But before we get to that, I want to thank you for making it this far.

In-depth articles like these take a lot of effort to put together: researching, writing, editing, coming up with imagery, tweaking to ensure it delivers value, linking to relevant content, and more…

If you’re finding this post valuable, you’d enjoy my newsletter: Create Smarter, where I share insights on how to become a more efficient and effective video creator.

Screenshot of the Create Smarter newsletter with featured posts on video editing tips. On-screen text says: Become a more confident video creator with weekly useful insights from a pro-video editor.

Subscribe for free today, and get it delivered right to your inbox every Sunday!

Oh, and please share this article and the newsletter with any friends or colleagues you think would find it valuable!

And now, without further ado, I’m excited to present…

Illuminated steampunk light bulb machine with gears and floating icons in a modern room that is depicting a fantastical content idea generating machine.

The Compelling Content Idea-Generating Machine

As content creators in this fast-paced world, it’s well worth your time to dig into AI-powered large language models (LLMs) such as:

  • ChatGPT by OpenAI
  • Claude by Anthropic
  • Bard by Google

While I DO NOT recommend having them write your actual content—as it won’t have your unique voice and perspective—they can be very powerful for things like brainstorming, strategy, and market research.

Here’s a simple technique I’ve used to find specific, targeted content ideas:

Head to ChatGPT, Claude, or Bard.

Copy and paste the following into a chat… and fill in your expertise, ideal audience, and their goals:

My expertise: 

My audience: 

Their goals: 

What are some questions they might have for me? 
Please list 20.

Remember: The more specific and detailed you are, the better the results will be.

The AI chatbot will generate relevant potential questions based on your inputs.

Take it even further by copying and pasting this follow-up:

What challenges or struggles are they currently facing?
What are they unsatisfied with? 
Please list 20.

This simple 2-minute process provides you with a great list of potential questions and challenges your audience may currently have—giving you plenty of starting points for relevant content ideas.

Curious about what the outcome looks like?

Here’s the exact result of this strategy using ChatGPT with my expertise, ideal audience, and their potential goals as an example:

Screenshot of a video creation market research document with ChatGPT.

Want a closer look? 👉 Click here to view/read the full chat.

Final Thoughts

If you take anything away from this article, it should be this:

Ideas are the most important element of a successful video.

And now, you have plenty of strategies for how to come up with great ideas for video content:

  • Determine your ideal audience, then ask and answer questions like:
    • What are they currently struggling with?
    • What are they unsatisfied with right now?
  • Create a ‘problems’ database, and add to it when you find new challenges.
  • Find specific issues by using Autocomplete, Reddit, YouTube, and simply asking your audience directly.
  • Leverage AI for even more relevant questions and content ideas.

And finally… take those ideas, and start to create content that directly addresses your audience’s wants, needs, and challenges.

You Turn

If you enjoyed this: subscribe to Create Smarter—my free weekly newsletter that helps you become a more confident video creator in just 5 minutes per week.

Every Sunday, I share tips, strategies, and insights from my 20+ year experience as a video editor.

Did you find this article valuable? Feel good about the strategies for coming up with relevant content ideas?

What strategies do you use to come up with great video content ideas?

Feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below!

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