If you’ve been on social media for a good while, you’ve probably heard of Instagram Reels or TikToks.
Well, YouTube came up with the same bite-sized content concept, but it’s called YouTube Shorts.
YouTube Shorts can be about anything, whether they’re small bits of videos you have previously created or a video you recorded on the go in a few minutes of time.
They can contain golden nuggets of knowledge, or be specifically designed to entice your audience and get them interested in something specific.
Shorts are a great way of increasing engagement and growing a YouTube channel, but they do require a bit of work and effort, along with some strategies in terms of when to upload them or what software to use to edit them.
Read on to find out everything you should know about YouTube shorts -- from what they are to how you can use them to your advantage.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts are specifically made to be viewed on mobile devices because they are usually filmed vertically.
They aren’t a long form of content, so they last for up to 60 seconds, and they can only be defined as the platform’s response to what other types of networks out there are doing and achieving success with.
Your YouTube Shorts audience can interact with this type of short-form content in much of the same way they do with your long-form content. They can share it, like it, or dislike it, or they can comment on it.
Why Make YouTube Shorts?
One of the first reasons to give some thought to is that the algorithm now suggests shorts based on their popularity and the preferences viewers seem to have, which means that you can use YouTube shorts to gain more subscribers.
You can also monetize YouTube Shorts, and have an additional income stream. How much money can you earn from YouTube Shorts is defined by the popularity of the videos.
In fact, some channels have a few hundred or thousand of views on their traditional long-form videos and manage to get more than 10,000 views per YouTube short -- so that should give you a clue as to whether you can make some cash with this.
If the short is really interesting, not only will more people want to subscribe to your channel, but they’ll also want to see what kind of content you have created before, therefore adding to your total view number.
It is also much easier for someone to have a look at YouTube shorts while they’re waiting in line for their doctor’s appointment, for example, rather than trying to focus on a 25-minute-long video about a more complex topic.
Besides, the YouTube mobile app made it super easy for users to explore short-form content through an endless scroll format, which is why so many shorts get so many views these days.
If you are still struggling to get more views on YouTube Shorts, make sure you read our in-depth guide designed to help you increase your viewership.
Do consider that the age group that tends to watch YouTube shorts the most is 15 to 35. So if your content doesn’t address this group at all, you might have to rethink your strategy or focus on long-form content exclusively for the best results.
How to Use YouTube Shorts?
Promote Your Own Channel
60 seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but if you run a channel on entertainment, whether that be playing music, teaching people how to do stuff, doing pranks, or gaming, you can always create a ‘best of’ type of short where you show your potential followers what you’re all about.
Every view can make a difference if you’re trying to increase your subscriber number.
Promote Someone Else’s Channel
Collabs exist for one reason, and they are extraordinary when it comes to growing two different people’s channels at the same time.
You can promote a friend’s or online buddy’s channel with a short on your own, and they can do the same -- especially if you’re in the same niche.
Let’s take this example.
You create video recipes for your audience, and you’ve recently built a relationship with another recipe creator who doesn’t make the same type of food, so you two aren’t going to be butting heads in any way.
By promoting each other’s channel through Shorts, the chances of both of you getting more views and gaining more subscribers are quite high.
Give A Teaser
If you’re preparing an event, the launch of a product, or even a series of videos on something in particular (for example, a series of vlogs on a wedding and all the preparation that goes into it), you can give your followers a little 60-second preview or announcement so that they can look forward to it.
Try a New Trend
One of the reasons TikToks and Instagram Reels are so popular is that they give people what they want in a concise amount of time.
Some of the best videos in this sense are those that showcase people’s dancing techniques on catchy tunes -- so if your channel is in the right niche and you come up with a new set of moves, you can actually hit it big with a short of this kind.
Surely, you will have to think of another example that can be tailored to your specific industry and the trends that influence it.
While YouTube does reward content creators that create videos that are at least 10 to 15 minutes long, when it comes to engagement, the shorter the video, the better.
People are not going to have to wait for a long time to find out the solution to a problem you’re solving -- in 60 seconds, they’ll find out exactly what they want to know, so they’ll be more likely to hit that Like button, leave a comment, or just watch it until the end and subscribe to you.
How to Make YouTube Shorts?
Get the YouTube App
Given that shorts are filmed vertically, they are best filmed on mobile devices, whether that be your tablet or your smartphone.
The YouTube app is available in a wide range of places, from the iOS App Store to Google Play Store and more.
There are even ways of getting it even if you do not own a device that runs on Android or iOS (including on Huawei units) -- just do a little research on that.
You cannot create and upload a short unless you have the app.
Create the YouTube Short
If you go to the ‘+’ button on the app and click on the ‘Create a Short’ option from the menu, you can start recording your short immediately.
You are not restricted to filming something at that moment -- you can add videos from your video library, too, especially bite-sized ones that you might have already edited with another software, and that might make the short more appealing.
This is an advantage because if you are also active on Instagram or TikTok, you can basically post the same type of content you have already used for these two platforms.
In-App Creation Tools For The Win
The Creation Tools within the app are very handy and allow for a number of edits, such as modifying the speed of your recording, undoing actions, or adding text to your short.
There are multiple little edits that you can make to turn your videos into more entertaining pieces of content.
There’s even a magic wand icon that can be utilized for retouching your video, so you do not have to be equipped with top-notch editing skills and use separate programs.
Adding Music or Other Effects
Using sounds, whether effects or actual tunes that you have bought or that you get access to from YouTube’s library, is definitely one way of making your shorts more interesting.
You can add music to your video by clicking the ‘Add Sound’ button under your progress bar.
You have the option of adding music as you are recording or uploading your short or, in post-processing, as you are editing it.
Try to decide beforehand what sounds or music you might want to use, as you can’t add it smack in the middle of the short, especially after you have uploaded it.
How to Upload YouTube Shorts
This is the easiest part of making a YouTube short.
The app is very straightforward when it comes to the process.
After clicking on the checkmark of the short, you’ll have a saved version of the video that you may or may not have finished editing.
Once you add your descriptions, title, thumbnail and set the audience you want for your short, all you have to do is click on the ‘Upload Short’ option, and then your short is available in your library right away, whether you’ve set it to Private, Unlisted, or Public.
YouTube Shorts: Top Strategies
Keep It Short
As previously discussed, shorts aren’t full-length videos, so if you don’t keep everything snappy, you’ll end up wasting your potential audience’s interest instead of gaining new subscribers.
Use a variety of special effects to make sure your shorts are enjoyable and engaging.
Get To The Point
Since your YouTube Short is going to last for less than 60 seconds, you should get straight to whatever you are trying to convey in the first few seconds of the video.
People are going to scroll down to another one unless you manage to grab their attention right away.
Give As Much Value As Possible
Whether you are organizing a giveaway, announcing an event, or just creating a short for pure entertainment, you should always keep your viewers’ behavior in mind.
While you’re at it, make sure you match your short with what you are looking to achieve, whether that be increasing your subscriber count or increasing engagement by a specific percentage, such as 5% or 10%.
Think Of Your Hook
You obviously want people to interact with your content as much as possible because the algorithm of the social network still bases its suggestions on views, likes, and comments.
Whether you ask a question and expect people to answer it in the comments or present a problem that needs to be solved so that viewers go back to your video time and again so that they can find the answer to the riddle, try to use your creativity for your hook.
Use Custom Thumbnails
If you manage to convince people to give your short a watch just by using a visually appealing thumbnail, whether that be for an action they need to perform or a mystery they need to solve, you’re likely to get a lot more views than by allowing the platform to choose a random image instead.
If you have already acquired a decent subscriber count and you’ve gotten your followers used to a schedule where you upload once or twice a week on specific days, why not do the same with your YouTube Shorts?
Try to put together a content plan ahead of time at least with ideas and other materials that you might need to use for your shorts -- whether that be equipment or anything else.
This type of plan will help you be consistent over a period of time.
Also, if you know you’re going to leave on a trip and you don’t want your audience to go without any content from you, you can simply film a bunch of shorts and long-form videos beforehand and then use the YouTube scheduling tools to post them as per your normal schedule.
How Different Brands Use YouTube Shorts
If you haven’t been watching a lot of YouTube shorts yourself, you might not be aware of the fact that a lot of large companies have started using this new feature to their advantage.
Here are a few examples.
- Sephora always relies on shorts to promote launches of products, especially if they also offer extras in their packages.
- Glossier asked a number of influencers to create shorts using the hashtag #WrittenInGlossier by sending them a new pencil eyeliner for free. Anyone who clicked on the short ended up on the Glossier website, specifically on the eyeliner page.
- Food52 uses shorts to promote older videos and offer sneak peeks of what’s about to come on its kitchen and home channel.
- ESPN uses shorts to showcase some of the highlights or trending videos that they’ve released in the past
- NBC’s The Voice promotes its new seasons with YouTube shorts either by showcasing their new hosts or some of the best up-and-coming singers that end up on the show
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Create a YouTube Short On PC?
You can use a variety of editing applications on your computer and then upload the short to your library using studio.youtube.com, but since the web app doesn’t come with a ‘Create a Short’ option, you’ll have to upload a regular video and then use the #shorts hashtag if you want it to show up in the right section.
Keep it under 60 seconds, of course, and make sure that the format is a vertical one instead of a horizontal one.
How Short Can You Make a YouTube Short?
The shortest YouTube Short can be 15 seconds long. The maximum length is 60 seconds.
Can You Make An Existing YouTube Video a Short?
The platform has had an update that allowed creators to rehash some of their older and long-form videos into new shorts.
Under the video that you have previously uploaded, you will find a ‘Create’ button in the YouTube app, with the help of which you get access to a button called ‘Edit into a Short’.
This feature basically allows you to use any of your clips and trim them as per your needs and preferences.
The rest of the process is similar to uploading new shorts, meaning all of the editing in terms of adding music, descriptions, thumbnails, and everything else you should expect.
Creating YouTube shorts is a great way of interacting with your audience and of acquiring new subscribers.
Shorts can be used for a plethora of goals, whether that be promoting your services or products, entertaining your followers, asking a question, showcasing your channel or one of your friend’s channels, and more.
The YouTube Shorts built-in tool is very handy and can be used by influencers and social media managers alike, especially since it comes with multiple add-ons for editing this form of content so that it looks as professional as possible.
And since YouTube shorts can also make you a decent income, if you make a number of viral ones, why not give them a try?