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The most popular types of YouTube videos  

Summary What are the most popular types of YouTube videos? We’ll group them into 10 categories in this post! 1) How-to videos, first and…

Marketing Team
Video Marketing The most popular types of YouTube videos  


What are the most popular types of YouTube videos? We’ll group them into 10 categories in this post!

1) How-to videos, first and foremost.

2) Beauty and personal care tutorials.

3) Health and fitness videos

4) Food videos.

5) Gaming videos.

6) Live streams, with their enormous effectiveness in terms of engagement.

7) Video blogs, perfect for creating community and closeness with your audience.

8) Influencer videos

9) Product reviews, which are connected to influencer marketing.

10) Finally, videos built based on the characteristics of the recipients, up to and including personalization.

Why YouTube?

In a recent post we saw how important social media is for video marketing by providing data and 7 practical tips to boost the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Now, however, we’d like to focus on a platform that – after all – is more than social media, and has been part of everyone’s online life for several years: YouTube.

YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, surpassed only by Google, which – as is well known – is part of the same company. (visualcapitalist.com).

More than 2.3 billion people access YouTube at least once a month (businessofapps.com). And, on average, more than one billion hours of video are viewed each day on this platform (brandwatch.com).

Also on average, users over the age of 18 spend about 42 minutes on YouTube each day (emarketer.com).

These are impressive statistics that every marketer should always keep in mind.

At this point, there is a fundamental question to ask: what are the most popular types of YouTube videos?

We’ll look at the 10 most popular types in this post.

1. How-to videos

How many times have you asked Google questions?

Maybe because you had a question about a home repair task, or perhaps because you wanted to find a recipe for a new dish; or even because you wanted to convert a file into another format and didn’t know how to do it.

You’ll often look for these answers in a video, which is certainly the fastest and most effective way to acquire this type of knowledge.

So, it’s not surprising that the how-to is one of the most popular types of YouTube videos. And the data says so, too:

  • Worldwide, 82% of users used YouTube to learn how to do things on their own in 2020. And in India, that percentage rises to an impressive 94% (hootsuite.com).

2. Beauty tutorials

This point is basically a subset of the previous one. But we still feel it’s important to keep it isolated, because of its importance.

In fact, tutorials in the beauty and make-up field, (and not only aimed at the female audience), is a powerful YouTube trend.

In 2020 and 2021, views of beauty tutorials increased by as much as 50% (thinkwithgoogle.com).

3. Health & Fitness

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on habits and lifestyles. And it’s only natural that this is also reflected in the most popular types of YouTube videos.

We’ve seen above how, in 2020 and 2021, there was a surge of videos dedicated to personal care and make-up; the same has happened for everything related to health, wellness, sports.

Here’s another data point that supports this: since March 2020, there has been a 515% increase in videos with “home workout” in the title (hootsuite.com).

4. Food & Cooking

Another type of interest that, on YouTube, had an unprecedented surge during the pandemic phases?

Certainly Food & Cooking.

So, videos about food (with dedicated vlogs, from top-level cooking to street food from around the world) and the preparation of recipes to make at home.

Again, this is a trend that exploded in 2020 and 2021, but was already growing strongly previously and will – no doubt – continue its ascent in the near future.

5. Gaming

Let’s move now to a different side and a different audience to see a trend that especially concerns the younger segments of the population. Let’s talk about videos focused on gaming: from live broadcasts with influencers playing live, to video game reviews, and tips.

We’re talking really powerful numbers here.

According to the most up-to-date data, people watched over 100 billion hours of gaming-related videos on YouTube in a single year.

There are over 40 million active YouTube channels dedicated to gaming.

And about 80,000 have a minimum of 100,000 subscribers. (blog.youtube.com).

As we have already said, this is a sector that concerns above all the youngest: millennials, but above all Generation Z boys and girls. So, it must be taken into maximum account, because this is the future!

6. Live streams

Live streams are certainly among the most popular types of YouTube videos, and they cover all the main categories we have seen above.

In fact, the number of live streams from gamers, chefs (or simple enthusiasts) who share their recipes, personal trainers and athletes, influencers and micro-influencers (a point we’ll come back to), but also companies, consultants, and creators focused on business and the world of work, have all multiplied.

All of us, in short, are increasingly viewing live video.

And therein lurks some very big opportunities for those of us involved in video marketing on YouTube.

Just consider this data to get an idea:

  • The engagement rate of a live video is, on average, 6 times higher than that of a classic video. And, again on average, live videos receive 10 times more comments than recorded videos (99firms.com).
  • The average viewing duration of a live video is 3 times higher than a recorded video (livestream.com). And this is a great indicator related to audience interest and attention.
  • 53% of those who view live stream videos say that while they are doing so, they feel connected to something larger, beyond themselves (hootsuite.com)
  • Finally, it’s no surprise that 80% of audiences would rather watch a live video than read a corporate blog post (livestream.com)

7. Vlogs

We have all become very familiar with the so-called Vlogs, i.e. blogs in video format.

It’s an effective form, because it creates a sense of continuity and community, we could even say a habit of attendance, between those who produce content and those who use it.

So, it works both for individual creators and for companies and brands, especially if they want to give a “closer” and more authentic image of themselves.

Be careful, however, not to fall into the error of improvisation.

The most successful vlogs are always supported by a great recognizable style, tone of voice, but also graphics. And they are always based on a medium to long term strategy, as well as on a deep knowledge of the target audience (and we will come back to this in the final point of this list).

In short: despite appearances, authenticity is never a starting point, but the end result that can be achieved if you work in the right direction.

8. Influencers… and especially micro-influencers

Let’s start with two significant pieces of data related to the gigantic topic of influencer marketing:

  • On average, influencer marketing showed a ROI (Return on Investment) of $6.50 for every dollar spent (adweek.com).
  • About 70% of millennials are somehow directed in their purchases by “influencers” (startupsmagazine.com).

And what is the most powerful tool in the hands of influencers?

There’s no doubt about it, video. Both on social networks and on YouTube. And brands have noticed this for a long time now.

Yet, in recent years, a problem has emerged that undermines the very concept of influencer marketing from within.

Mega-influencers (those with a following that exceeds one million followers) are now perceived by the public as distant and unreachable superstars… in short, something similar to TV and movie celebrities.

In this way, the closeness to the public that lies at the base of the very concept of influencer marketing is lacking.

So what are brands doing?

Quite simply, they are relying on micro and nano-influencers, who are perceived as more authentic, closer, and reliable and who have, therefore, a fan base that is certainly more limited, but almost always more affectionate and loyal.

9. Product reviews

This point is closely related to the one we discussed above. In fact, videos with reviews of products and services are among the most popular types of YouTube videos, and those who produce them often fall into the category of influencers… or, better yet, among micro and nano influencers.

Without saying too much, here’s a significant statistic that tells us just how decisive this field can be for companies:

  • 70% of viewers have bought a product from a brand after seeing it in a YouTube video (blog.google.com).

10. Data-driven and personalization

We conclude this post by addressing a crucial aspect that, after all, concerns all the most popular types of YouTube videos.

We’re referring to the importance of the audience.

To be effective, any type of communication must be addressed to the right recipients. Even more so, it must be built based on the characteristics, behaviors, and desires of its target.

But, on YouTube, the audience is very wide and extremely varied.

So what to do?

The answer lies in data. Today, in fact, you can have a very detailed and dynamic snapshot of one’s audience, apart from Big Data analysis tools.

Once you have this overview, it’s a matter of producing different videos according to different targets, in an automated way, aiming to be more and more specific. This is what we mean when we talk about data-driven video marketing.

The latest frontier?

Personalized videos, designed based on the characteristics of the individual user and distributed through the most diverse channels. These are videos that are taken care of by specialized platforms like Babelee.

If we look at the future of video marketing, this is undoubtedly the most promising trend!

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