Grow Your Audience by Exposing Content Gaps

if you want to expose content gaps be sure to expose content gaps on platforms like YouTube

In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay pioneering the phrase Content Is King. In a post-pandemic 2022, the phrase is more potent than ever. The rise of social media, remote work, e-commerce, and the metaverse has shifted many organizations’ focus from brick and mortar to click-and-order business models.  

Whether you’re a business, institution, or influencer, content creation is integral to establishing your online brand. However, with over 720,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube daily, it is increasingly challenging to stand out online. Thankfully, YouTube has integrated a new tool that allows creators to expose content gaps.


Content gaps are voids in the content market that need to be filled. YouTube analyzes what your audience searches for. If many people in your audience are searching a specific topic, but there are relatively few results for this search, YouTube will identify it as a content gap. With this insight, content creators can curate their uploads to cater to what people in their audience are searching for in real-time. This allows creators to stand out in less populated areas instead of uploading blindly and hoping that their content meets the needs of their audience. 


Of course, the nature of your uploads should still be catered to your established online identity. If you are a baker and discover that your audience is searching a lot for “how to do an oil change,” catering to this specific gap may not help boost your visibility in the algorithm. However, let’s say you mainly post original recipe videos and find out your audience has been searching for “Betty Crocker cake reviews”. Reviewing a store-bought cake and then adding a link to your original recipe in the description may be an excellent way to diversify your content and meet your consumer’s needs. Finding the ideal balance between brand consistency and exposing content gaps is the key here.


The content gap tool is available to all creators via their YouTube Studio. 

  1. Go to the “Analytics” tab on the left side of your YouTube studio page.
  2.  Click “Research” at the top. 
  3. On this page, you can explore “Your viewer’s searches”. YouTube will display the volume of your viewers’ searches on keywords from low to high. 
  4. By clicking the drop-down menu on “All Searches,” you can specify “Content Gaps only”. Now, YouTube studio will only display your viewer’s high-volume searches with relatively low search results catering to them. Incorporating these keywords into your content will help ensure that you rank higher on people’s searches leading to more views and subscribers for your channel. 

You can also select “Searches across YouTube” to get a more general view of what is being searched for outside your immediate audience. This may help you learn more about the types of videos in high demand on YouTube. For example, you may not see anything related to your niche across YouTube search, but may discover that generally, “how-to” videos are a significant portion of searches. As a result, you can start incorporating “how to’s” relevant to your particular niche and diversify your content arsenal. Visibility into what viewers are searching for helps content creators create from a more informed place. When used properly, these tools can push creators out of their comfort zone into a space where growth happens.


The adage, “you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” still holds true about exposing content gaps. Therefore, making sure your branding is established and consistent before trying to bring viewers to your channel is essential. First impressions are critical, and you may be hurting yourself more than helping if you draw many viewers to your channel without having a consistent brand identity. However, once your page identity is established and you have sufficient video production quality to keep viewers engaged, exposing content gaps can significantly help your brand stand out in the highly competitive market. YouTube understands that the content creator space is highly competitive, so they are constantly updating the tools available to creators to help them out. Content gaps are one of many tools in YouTube studio that help its creators better understand how to serve their audience. It’s essential not to be discouraged or take your page’s lack of growth personally. Your content may be amazing, but without a thorough understanding of all the factors that play into having a successful channel, it may be easily overlooked.

One of our core values at Online Optimism is that “Screens Will Not Replace Handshakes.” It’s important to remember that genuine human interaction is invaluable to any organization trying to connect with its audience. However, creating engaging and relevant online content may be the catalyst to getting an in-person meeting or expanding your visibility to distant markets. A robust digital content strategy is just one of many gadgets in your business utility belt, all of which should be in lockstep. Making sure every aspect of your business model is bulletproof is essential. 

Exposing content gaps can help ensure you are not wasting valuable time and resources on creating content that no one sees. It can spark new creative ideas. If Content Is King, then Content Gaps are the Royal Court. Use them wisely.