Video Category Choice: The Basics

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Video Category Choice: The Basics

youtube marketing tools category matters blog post

When uploading a video the category seems the easiest choice. No big deal right? Pick a category and move on with the more important choices you have to make, like light or dark beer.

Categories Matter More Than You Think

So we are all on the same page, in this post we are talking about the video category that is chosen when a video is uploaded to YouTube.

The list is as follows:

• Autos and Vehicles
• Comedy
• Education
• Entertainment
• Film & Animation
• Gaming
• Howto & Style
• Music
• News & Politics
• Nonprofits & Activism
• People & Blogs
• Pets & Animals
• Science & Technology
• Sports
• Travel & Events

So why do they matter other than an organizational tool for your videos? A couple of important reasons.

1. Not all categories are in all regions.

2. The amount of competition in each category is staggeringly different.

3. The viewer demographic and expectation is different in each category.

4. The expected and accepted tone of video is different in each category.

First and foremost, category dictates median length. Check this image for reference.

The average length of videos uploaded to YouTube by video category

youtube median video length by category chart

If you are in the decision phase to what your video content is going to be, what your channel will be about and how many videos you are going to create in the long term, category matters a LOT. We’ve put together a few rules for picking category that we feel will help you on your road to success.

The video content should dictate the category, not the uploader./h2>

For instance let’s say you have a travel agency that wants to use YouTube to bring traffic to their website.
Obvious choice is obvious right? FYI See above video. The real answer is it depends, since you can’t automatically shoehorn a company into a category, even if it may make logical sense. In this instance if the video is about the correct use of travel insurance then education may be the better fit, if we are talking traveling Africa to help refugees, then NonProfit is where that video should go. Just because you are a travel agent does not mean you should blanketly be uploading your videos to the travel category. This goes for any niche, especially twitch gamers.

Know the audience.

If you haven’t read the free YouTube Starter's Guide e-book, go check it out FREE YouTube Starters Guide

Read it? Good.

Now you understand that each category has its own built in audience and you are going to have to match that audience’s expectation of entertainment to win them over. You have to be able to adapt to the surroundings you find yourself in with each video. Knowing the type of people who presumably will be watching the video will help you adapt faster as you learn their needs.

Know the competition

If you are just breaking into a category or a niche you need to do some recon first. You will be able to find the best video channels by doing a very small search. Take 10 keywords that you feel would even generally describe the videos you want to create. Put each video uploaders username of the top 100 videos in each category into a spreadsheet. That will give you 1,000 entries. Find the duplicates. You then need to go and stalk those people, use our Tools to spy on their keywords, tags and descriptions. Use SemRush to check their backlinks. Basically you want to get as much information about how they got to where they are and what they are doing to stay there. As long as you do more of what they are doing, especially if it’s better quality, you will win. Basically you want to get as much information about how they got to where they are and what they are doing to stay there. As long as you do more of what they are doing, especially if it’s better quality, you will win.

Know the region

Not as important as the other points, but you need to know which region people will be watching your videos in. Each region has its own category and median length. The research referenced in this post is for the United States and Canada, other regions may be completely different.

So you know now that category is something more to think about than a simple classification. It’s the beginning of the experience of your viewer and your connection. Pick the wrong category and you will have a backfire.

Let the content determine the category fit and watch the views roll in.


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