How to Use Trending Topics and Events to Inspire Online Videos

There will come time when your online video content ideas hit a slow period. It happens to every brand. Maybe a product launch is postponed or perhaps it’s just a slow time of year for your industry. Regardless of the reason, you’ll need quick and creative ideas to drive video content for your website or social channels. So what do you do in this situation? Look to trending topics and events!

The most important thing to do here is make sure that the content complements your brand. No matter the topic, genre, or creative direction, you have to make sure the video addresses your target audience. The last thing you want is to confuse your audience or dilute your brand.

You may already be thinking there is no chance you can use trending topics for your brand videos. Perhaps the examples below will spark ideas on how to make this strategy work at your company.

TrendingTopics01Leverage Twitter: One of the easiest ways to spot trending topics is by visiting the Twitter homepage.

With more than 310 million active users, Twitter does us all a big solid by featuring a top ten list of trending topics from around the world. These topics change on a daily basis and often correspond with news-related events.

Marketers can use any relatable topics and leverage them for their own videos. Using the hashtag for the topic is a nice way to attract more eyeballs to your video and capitalize on the buzz.

The Sesame Street YouTube channel offers several great examples of trending topics in its videos. Look how Sesame Street piggybacked on a trending television show to create this Game of Thrones parody.



While the show’s primary audience is children, its creative team realizes that parents often watch what their kids watch. By playing off popular shows for adults, Sesame knows parents and older viewers will enjoy the same content as their kids. The results speak for themselves: The video generated more than 3 million views, but more impressively has over 19,000 thumbs up and many positive comments.



Use Holidays: It seems like there is holiday for every day of the year. Rather than overlooking these days, marketers can use them as trending topics for videos. The examples below from Mashable and Disney demonstrate this in a great way.

Trending Topics

Trending Topics



Mashable produced this video and released it on Earth Day last year. It’s a smart marketing strategy, as people talk about holidays as they occur. This video from was a powerful example of using Mother’s Day to drive a video campaign.


TrendingTopics06 also used a hashtag in its title that didn’t directly give away the answer to the question posed in the video. The content, suspense, and mystery of the entire video presentation helped get people to click play. However, at its core, the video was created based on a holiday that made sense for the brand. Think about how holidays could play into some of your own videos.

Think Technology: It’s hard not to hear about the latest advancements in tech these days. Thanks to smartphones, mobile devices, and abundant Wi-Fi, we’ve become a tech-driven society. With that in mind, focusing on technology-driven topics can be easily achieved across many industries.

One of the latest trends in tech is virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video. At the moment, we are in the early stages of this type of content. Some of the pioneers below dove right into producing VR and 360-degree videos.





These publishers are reaping rewards knowing that VR is a popular topic discussed across several platforms. They’re carving out their stake ahead of the competition, while satisfying audience demand.

There are also other ways to use tech topics for your own videos. Does your company have any industry experts who can offer value or opinions on trending tech topics? Online audiences love to hear from legitimate experts who can offer reviews, testimonials, and other information that helps them along a buying process or content journey.

Here’s an example from popular cinematographer Devin Graham, who used drones as the topics of a recent YouTube video.



While Devin’s company doesn’t sell drones, it uses them and can offer expert knowledge. Since drones are a hot topic, this video is a perfect example of using tech-driven topics for an online video.

Create a Music Parody: Another reoccurring event is the release of new music videos. Artists release new videos all of the time, and an agile marketing team can parody them. Just be sure to keep it funny.

The video marketing team at What’s Up Moms understands this concept. While it has published several music parodies, it’s careful to make the genre and tone always complement their brand. In 2014, it was one of many video publishers to parody Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”.



However, it tied the parody in with Pinterest, a platform actively used by the site’s primary audience. While anyone could watch the video and laugh, the biggest win came with the target audience experiencing a cross-platform piece of content that went viral.

If you think that a music parody is right for your strategy, check out this page on YouTube which explains fair-use guidelines.

Work With Local Events: Using events and trending topics to drive online video creation doesn’t mean you have to be as big-scale as using trends from Twitter. Think about looking at local events or niche industry tradeshows that have something to do with your market. Here’s an example from YouTuber fashion vlogger Hello Batty.



This YouTuber seized the opportunity to release video content around a local event that attracted potential fans to her brand. Identifying your target audience and knowing where it is can help make your campaign a success.

Some of these examples may not work for your brand, but getting creative and approaching your videos differently can add variety to your content. These ideas are also excellent for creators who are establishing publishing calendars, as they’ll know when holidays and events occur well ahead of time.


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  1. Great ideas here for when you need to drive customer awareness or simply don’t know what to vlog about next. besides who doesn’t love Game of Thrones sesame street.

    Posted by Clockworkmoggy | July 6, 2016, 7:42 am
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