Now, the team behind one of the world’s most visited websites has jumped on the short video bandwagon by creating YouTube Shorts. These 15- to 60-second videos are designed to entertain audiences and help brands and creators gain engagement.
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has been home to countless video trends and many forms of entertainment.
What are Youtube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts are short vertical video content created with a smartphone and uploaded directly to YouTube from the YouTube app.
Using YouTube’s built-in authoring tools, you can capture, edit, add music from major labels (such as Sony, Universal and Warner), add animated text, control the speed of your footage and edit together multiple 15-second video clips to create your shorts.
Initially launched in India on September 14, 2020, YouTube Shorts quickly surpassed 6.5 billion daily views worldwide. Shorts finally launched in beta mode in 100 countries worldwide on July 12, 2021.
YouTube’s vice president of product management described the video format as “a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to record short, catchy videos using only their cell phones” and goes on to say, “Shorts is a new way to express yourself in 15 seconds or less”.
Viewers of your shorts can share, comment, like, dislike, or subscribe to your channel while watching the video. The content does not disappear and remains on YouTube, unlike other short video apps such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat.
Why try YouTube Shorts?
YouTube’s attempt to create short-form video content is not far from other video ephemera on social networks, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Spotlight, and even Twitter Fleets and LinkedIn Stories (RIP).
And short videos are no stranger to YouTube. The first video uploaded to the channel was only 18 seconds long.
But what sets YouTube Shorts apart is its ability to convert viewers into subscribers to your channel, a must-have for brands and creators.
When you set up YouTube Shorts, you can either create a completely separate channel for your shorts or place the Shorts widget on your main channel. But we recommend that you keep your shorts on your main channel. This is because aligning your main YouTube content and your shorts content in one place will make it easier for your audience to stay engaged with your videos and give them more opportunities to jump from shorts to YouTube videos and ultimately subscribe to your channel.
Viewers can find your Shorts by tapping Shorts at the bottom of the YouTube app.
Alternatively, the audience can access Shorts:
- On the YouTube home page
- On your channel page
- Through notifications
How long do YouTube Shorts last?
YouTube shorts are vertical videos that are 60 seconds or less. Shorts can be one continuous 60-second video or several 15-second videos combined. However, if your short film uses music from YouTube’s catalog, your short film will be limited to 15 seconds.
Pro tip: YouTube will automatically classify any YouTube content that is 60 seconds or less as a short film.
How to make Youtube Shorts?
Step 1: Download the YouTube application
Sólo puedes crear cortos de forma nativa en la aplicación de YouTube. Esta es una jugada inteligente de YouTube para mantener todo en un solo lugar, en lugar de pedir a la gente que descargue y se registre en otra aplicación para crear cortos.
You can only create short films natively in the YouTube app. This is a smart move by YouTube to keep everything in one place, rather than asking people to download and sign up for another app to create short films.
To access the YouTube app, do the following:
- Access your preferred app store (iOS App Store or Google Play) and search for YouTube.
- Download the official YouTube app
- Sign in with your Google login or other YouTube login.
Step 2: Start creating your short on YouTube
- Tap the (+) icon on the button on the home page of the application and then tap Create a short movie.
- To record a 15-second video clip, press and hold the red record button or tap it to start recording and then again to stop
- If you want to record a full 60-second video, tap the number 15 above the record button to change the length of the video to 60 seconds
- To add effects and special elements to your video, navigate the toolbar on the right side of the screen.
a. Touch the rotating arrows to change the camera view.
b. Speed up or slow down your short by tapping the 1x button.
c. Tap the clock icon to set a countdown timer to create hands-free videos.
d. Add filters to your short film by tapping the three circles icon.
e. Add touch-ups to your video by tapping the magic wand.
f. Tap the person icon to change the background and add a green screen or a photo from your smartphone library.
g. Tap the ghost icon to help align transitions between video clips.
- To add sound to your Short Film, tap the Add Sound icon at the top of the screen. Note that you can only add an audio track to your short film before you start recording or later in the editing process.
- Made a mistake? Tap the back arrow next to the record button to undo it.
Step 3: Edit and publish your Youtube Shorts
- Once you have finished recording, tap the check mark to save your short film.
- Next, finalize your short film by adding a music track, text and filters.
- If you want to edit further, tap the timeline icon to change when the text appears on the video timeline.
- Once you have finished editing, tap Next in the upper right corner.
- Add the details of your Short Film and select whether you want the video to be public, non-public or private
- Select if your video is suitable for children or needs an age restriction
- Press Upload short film to publish your video.
7 ways to use Youtube Shorts
Ideal for reaching consumers with shorter attention spans, short YouTube videos are the perfect solution to increase engagement on your channel, grow your subscribers and showcase the authentic side of your brand.
Just under 40% of businesses are already using short-form videos to promote their product or service. If you wait much longer, you may be left behind. So, get creating!
1 Promote your usual channel
Use YouTube shorts to promote and grow your regular channel. Every time you post a short, it’s an opportunity for your content to get a view, and that view could turn into a channel subscriber or someone who engages with your main channel’s content. Don’t forget to advertise your YouTube videos don’t just focus on shorts.
The subscribers box is always visible when you post a short film, which makes it easier to subscribe if people like what they see.
Short films also help you navigate YouTube’s algorithm because your channel will see an increase in engagement, one of the key ranking factors for how YouTube prioritizes content. This should increase the number of people who are exposed to your channel.
2 Show less polished videos
Not every video you create for YouTube needs to be pre-planned and polished to perfection. Behind-the-scenes (BTS) footage will give your audience a glimpse into the background of your channel, brand and products or services.
Behind-the-scenes footage can take many forms. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Company events
- Product launches
- Product updates or upcoming updates
- Workplace updates, e.g., a renovation.
BTS videos help keep your brand authentic (a huge advantage in reaching the authenticity-driven Generation Z) and help reinforce consumer trust. After all, people buy from people, and showing the human side of your brand with BTS is a great way to establish a strong relationship with your potential customers, subscribers and viewers.
3 Seduce your audience
Think of short films as the appetizer of video marketing and use the format to whet the appetite of potential customers. For example, you can post a 30-second short film about an upcoming product launch, along with a CTA that takes viewers to a longer YouTube video that goes into detail and directs your viewers to a landing page to sign up for early access.
4 Creating commitment on the fly
Short YouTube videos allow your audience to interact with your brand on the fly rather than spending the time it takes to watch a full video. And since 5% of viewers stop watching videos after the one-minute mark, short and snappy content ensures that your audience watches the video all the way through, gets the entire message and engages with your CTA.
5 Jump to trends
In 2021, world-famous K-pop group BTS (not to be confused with the acronym for behind-the-scenes!) partnered with YouTube to announce the Permission to Dance Challenge and invited audiences around the world to record and share a 15-second version of their recent hit.
YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, said, “We are honored to partner with them (BTS) on the Permission to Dance Challenge on YouTube Shorts, helping to spread happiness and build lasting connections among their YouTube fans around the world.”
Shorts offers brands and creators the opportunity to jump on a trend, for example, a dance move or challenge that’s making waves on social media. We’re not saying you have to engage with every dance challenge circulating on social media, but staying on top of trending videos will position your brand as topical and have a better chance of going viral.
6 Raise the level of your user-generated content
YouTube Shorts are an easy format for asking for user-generated content (UGC) because the shorts can be created by anyone, anywhere, with access to a smartphone. So, for example, you can send your new product to a group of brand loyalists and ask them to create YouTube Shorts that show the unboxing experience to help extend your brand’s reach.
7 Saving money
Creating YouTube Shorts is a very cost-effective video marketing strategy. The format can be created by anyone with a smartphone and eliminates the need to hire a creative agency or video marketing firm to create your video content.
YouTube Shorts should be an essential part of your social video strategy, not become your entire social strategy. Work with your social and content teams to discover opportunities to incorporate Shorts into campaigns, and always have a purpose for your video. For example, to retain and delight current customers, push your audience to subscribe to your channel and generate more engagement on YouTube.
How to monetize YouTube short films
As a business owner or creator, you may be thinking, “How can I monetize YouTube Shorts?” After all, using YouTube for additional revenue is commonplace for many creators and brands.
Let’s start with the bad news. Because YouTube Shorts are shorter than standard YouTube video content, you can’t place an ad in them, which makes YouTube Shorts difficult to monetize.
The good news is that, to counteract the fact that the shorts are ad-free, YouTube has launched the YouTube Shorts Fund, a $100 million endowment in which anyone can participate by creating unique shorts that “delight the YouTube community.” YouTube will reward creators based on “the short films that have received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions.”
YouTube Shorts: best practices
Get straight to the point: Make the first few seconds of your video exciting and grab the audience’s attention right from the start.
Be snappy: Short films are not a complete video and work best if the content is not one continuous sequence. Instead, play with different cuts and edits to help keep your viewers engaged.
Think about replays: Short films play on a loop, so consider how the content will look if it is continuously repeated.
Add value: Don’t just create for the sake of creating. Instead, bring value to your audience through your short film and tailor the content to a goal, for example, increasing engagement by 10% or acquiring 1,000 more subscribers.
What’s your hook?: What will keep the viewer coming back for more? Think about how you can hook your audience into watching your short films repeatedly.
Get the mood right: YouTube Shorts is not the place for abbreviated versions of your long videos. Like Instagram Reels and TikTok, Shorts are the place to offer your audience short, quick and easy-to-digest content, for example, viral trends or behind-the-scenes looks.