The Rise of YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts

First, it was Tik Tok, then it was reels. Now it’s YouTube Shorts. First released in September 2020, YouTube Shorts are now averaging 30 billion daily views, an increase of nearly 4x since last year. Much like Tik Tok, Shorts have seen a quick rise among viewers and creators alike since its inception. If you haven’t heard about YouTube Shorts, don’t worry. We’re going to bring you up to speed on the rise of YouTube Shorts and how to best use this highly popularly short-form video content.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

If there’s one thing we know for sure it’s that users love to binge-watch quick, entertaining video clips. Vertical short-form videos have proven to be so popular that a number of social platforms have sprouted up their own version to get a piece of the pie. YouTube Shorts are short-form content videos that are 60 seconds or less. They were developed as a mobile-friendly way for creators to share bite-sized content on a whim.

Users love this content because it’s quick, easy to digest, and to the point. It’s also easier for creators to connect with users by sharing their everyday life in real environments. While professional videos often require time, production, and equipment, YouTube Shorts provide an accessible space for everyone to use. What’s even better is that these videos are displayed directly on YouTube’s homepage on both the app and desktop.

With the dramatic rise of YouTube Shorts, the platform is definitely giving it a lot of attention in an effort to ensure its success by offering monetization options. Qualifying Shorts can generate revenue between $1000-$10,000 off their shorts based on their channel’s performance and eligibility. YouTube launched a creator Shorts Fund that allocates $100 million to pay creators for content that goes viral. And most recently, Google has confirmed that it’s launched an initial test of ads running between YouTube Shorts clips. Advertisers will be able to connect their product feed to their campaigns and make their video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable. Shoppable video ads are already available in YouTube Shorts’ rival TikTok, so it only makes sense for Google to capitalize on this feature in order to keep up. Google Ads vice president and general manager Jerry Dischler recently stated:

“This is an exciting milestone for advertisers and also a key step in the company’s road to developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for creators.”

With all the positive growth of YouTube Ads, why not give it a try yourself?

How To Create YouTube Shorts

Now that we’ve convinced you about the power of YouTube Shorts, let’s talk about how to create your own. YouTube Shorts can be created in one of two ways: either directly from inside the app or by uploading previously created videos. The latter is ideal if you’re trying to repurpose your Tik Tok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube videos.

If you want to create a native video directly from the YouTube App, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open up the YouTube App on your mobile device and tap the + sign at the bottom of the screen

Step 2:  Tap on create a Short and start recording your video by tapping the red record button. By default, shorts are set up for 15 seconds. However, if you tap on the 15 above the record button you can increase your time to up to 60 seconds

Step 3: Like most short-form video apps you can flip your camera, adjust the recording speed, set a start timer, or add filters to your video. All of these features are available in the menu on the right side of your screen. To record multiple segments, tap the record button when you are finished with your first clip, then tap it again to resume recording for your next segment.

Step 4: Once finished, tap the white check in the bottom right corner of your screen. Here you can preview your video, add music, or include text overlays. Once you are satisfied, click Next.

Step 5: Finally, create a caption for your video and then tap Upload Short. Don’t forget to loop your shorts to increase watch time.

Tip: If you’re uploading your YouTube Short from your desktop, you’ll still need to prerecord your video on your mobile phone.

YouTube Shorts Tips for Success

Pay Attention to Video Length and Format

While you do have a full 60 seconds for your video, you don’t need to utilize every second. Most of the highest viewed shorts are 30 seconds or less.  People watching YouTube Shorts are there to consume content quickly. Get to the point, and make every second count. Additionally, make sure you are always shooting in a vertical format and create a 9:16 aspect ratio. Shooting videos in a vertical format is not only easier to consume, but it’s also the preferred format. Horizontal videos with black bars bordering are annoying to watch, so just stick to vertical.

Use Available Features

Be sure to add subtitles or text to increase the interest and engagement of viewers. Get creative with your captions so the viewer will want to keep watching. Incorporate catchy titles to attract users and let them know what your video will be about. Keep it interesting, informative, and even a little humorous. You can even add pinned comments to each video to encourage viewers to check out your channel, subscribe, or take some sort of action.

Use Trending Songs, Hashtags, and Events

One great way to get your feet wet is to start with what’s trending. Because of the viral nature of video content, you can help boost your visibility and reach new audiences by incorporating songs and hashtags that are already well known and popular. Just make sure you are still staying authentic to yourself and your brand. Hashtags are especially important with shorts, especially the #shorts hashtag. Include necessary hashtags to help increase your visibility and be grouped with like-minded audiences.

Create a Custom Thumbnail

Make sure you create a custom thumbnail – it matters. Why? If you don’t specify a thumbnail, YouTube will pull a still shot from your video, and it’s not always pretty. A title screen or an eye-catching thumbnail can be the difference between someone stopping to view your content or scrolling right past you. Since YouTube has a one-second delay at the beginning of each short, take advantage of this by replacing your intro song with a single frame with your thumbnail at the beginning and end of each video.


Final Thoughts

YouTube is a massive platform and has time-tested staying power. Because of this, it’s a safe place to invest your time in creating content-rich videos. YouTube Shorts are fun, and easy, and have become an increasingly popular form of video content for audiences. They are likely sticking around, so why not give it a try and see how it can benefit your own brand? If you need help developing a video marketing plan for your own business, we’re here for you. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help reach your own marketing goals.