Have you heard of trendjacking? It’s when creators capitalize on trends by making content related to popular topics and the keywords that are associated with them. Jumping on a trend can genuinely boost your video views and subscriber count, and we’re going to show you how.
Creators like Airrack, Emily D. Baker, and even MKBHD use the same strategy to see explosive growth on their channels. And here’s the best part, you don’t have to be a spectacle creator or spend a ton of money on your videos to make this work. The most successful creators we’ve seen use this strategy do it with basic gear from any room in their house. There are plenty of ways that creators get more watch time, hours, and subscribers, but this is the method that really works. Read on, or watch our video for more information:
Trendjacking Example: 2023 Super Bowl
February 12th, 2023, was Super Bowl 57. 113 million people tuned in to watch the game. A quick look at Google Trends will show you that people were searching the internet, too (see below). The keyword ‘Super Bowl’ was trending and peaked the day after the game.
The top content posted to YouTube around this time was from the NFL and companies who paid to be a part of Super Bowl commercials. But there was a third group of creators. They posted content related to the Super Bowl in the form of skits, cooking videos, business breakdowns, animations, commentaries, reactions, and so on. This is trendjacking.
These creators capitalized on the trend by focusing their content on the conversations and topics that people were having around the event. So when people searched for Super Bowl or related keywords, their content came up in search results or got recommended to viewers based on their watch history.
These trendjacking creators saw massive growth in watch time and subscribers during and after the Super Bowl. This creator posted the fifth most popular YouTube short related to the Super Bowl in February, and at the time, he only had around 1,700 subscribers. The video has super simple editing and appears to have been filmed in his bedroom, but it still has over 7 million views.
How to Jump on the Trendjacking Trend
Now, let us show you how to do the same. It’s really simple:
Step one: Identify Trends
You have to spot rising trends or anticipate regular trends early. Spotting them is as simple as keeping your eyes and ears open while online. Ask yourself, what are people talking about, or where is attention being drawn to? It’s easy when you’re browsing Reddit, watching the news, scrolling through TikTok, or pretty much doing anything on social media.
A good example is Emily D. Baker. Her channel is about law and pop culture. We first discovered her during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial. She created content about the trial, and her channel exploded during this period. That’s all because the trial was trending, and people were talking and searching about it nonstop.
Those are examples of rising trends, but anticipating regular trends is actually much easier. All you have to do is look at the calendar and figure out which big tentpole events are coming up, but this time, ask yourself, what will people be talking about or where will attention be drawn to soon? Then plan for it.
The Super Bowl, Oscars, and Olympics are all examples of regular tentpole events you can anticipate. Anything with a set date is easy to plan for, whether it’s a big event, holiday, or even an upcoming release that you know people are going to be interested in.
Step Two: Trendjacking Tailoring
This is the process of taking something that’s trending and tailoring it to fit your unique niche or audience. Now, it’s completely okay if the trend falls outside of your niche. With some creativity, you can find ways to tie it back to what you love to do and make it interesting to your audience and the audience that you want to capture.
It’s time for some examples. Imagine that MrBeast just released a new Feastables flavor. He announced it to his 19 million Twitter followers and 137 million YouTube subscribers. You know that people are going to start talking about it, Googling it, and watching videos about it, and within the millions of people who do, plenty of them will be interested in your niche. This is your chance to create content that taps into the trend but also connects to your audience. For example:
- If I’m a cooking channel, I’m baking a cake using the new chocolate bars.
- If I’m a reaction channel, I’m reacting and reviewing the new flavor.
- If I’m a finance channel, I’m talking about the business side of starting a chocolate bar business,, and estimating how much MrBeast is earning.
- If I had a challenge channel, I’d try selling the bars at school for a slight upcharge, then see how much money I can make.
- If I were a fitness channel, I’d be talking about how many calories and sugar are in the bar. Then I’d show my viewers how they could make a healthier alternative at home.
- If I were a commentary channel, I’d go out in public and get people to vote between the Feastables bar and another popular candy bar.
- If I were a design channel, I’d show how I’d recreate the packaging. If I were a filmmaking channel, I’d make a short commercial, then document the process.
- If I were an art channel, I’d draw a hyper-realistic version and see who could guess which one is real. I could go on for days.
The point is you want to take something that people are interested in and searching for, hijack it, and make it work for your niche.
Step Three: Strategic Timing:
This is all about identifying a trend that people will be rushing to YouTube to learn more about. This is something that’s super easy for smaller channels to do. It only requires you to act quickly, and if you do, you will see a huge boost in views, subscribers, and watch time.
The creators who saw the most success with the Super Bowl videos were the ones who posted their content shortly before, during, and shortly after the game while the interest was still high. If they posted the same video today, it wouldn’t nearly have the same impact.
When something goes viral or starts trending, don’t delay. As soon as something big happens in your niche or is a trend that you can tailor back to your niche, Make a video about it immediately. Publish it the same day because if you wait until tomorrow, there are going to be dozens of other creators to compete with. Find a way to twist it and make it work for your niche because a single well-timed video can help you reach all of your monetization requirements, help you get tons of watch time, tons of views, and tons of subscribers, but you have to get on it fast.
You don’t have to do trendjacking forever. It’s just a great way to get attention to your channel fast, especially when you’re new.
Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO