What We’ll Cover
- What Are YouTube Shorts?
- How to Make a YouTube Short in 4 Steps
- 5 Unique YouTube Shorts Features
- How to Upload YouTube Shorts (Mobile vs. Desktop)
- YouTube Shorts vs. Other Competitor Platforms
- Pros and Cons of YouTube Shorts
- 4 Important KPIs to Track
- Examples of Brands Using YouTube Shorts
- YouTube Shorts FAQs
What Are YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts are short-form videos between 15 and 60 seconds. They are a fantastic way to get information out quickly, entertain your audience, and help amass a large following.
YouTube Shorts are just that – short. The minimum length is 15 seconds and the maximum is only 60 seconds. Generally, somewhere right around the middle is best – around 21 to 34 seconds.
So, are YouTube Shorts worth it? Let’s find out by exploring these videos and what they’re all about.
YouTube Shorts Get Billions of Views – How to Make Your Mark
The original YouTube platform gets over 900 billion views each month. Of those views, 2 billion are on YouTube shorts alone.
A solid content strategy will help you tap into those views and make your mark, even with more and more content being pushed out by other creators and brands daily. Keeping your videos short, making content that appeals to your audience, and working to add value to their lives are great cornerstones to build your strategy around. Don’t forget to create an eye-catching thumbnail for your YouTube Short and give it a catchy title.
Just like any social media platform, you’ll need to post consistently before you start to see a large ROI. However, because YouTube shorts are easy to make and don’t require any fancy equipment, you have a good chance of hitting your goals quickly.
How to Make a YouTube Short
Want to learn how to make a YouTube Short that connects with your audience and generates engagement?
Start by doing some research into what type of content appeals to your audience and will be fun or easy for you to create.
You’ll also want to keep in mind aspects such as:
- Lighting: make sure your lighting is complimentary. Take advantage of natural lighting by recording in a well-lit room or outside. If natural lighting is out of reach, set up a ring light.
- Angle: No one wants to watch a video that is shot at a weird angle. Instead, use a tripod or other mechanism to prop your phone up at a good angle. Make sure your phone stays steady!
- Orientation: YouTube Shorts were made for vertical videos so avoid creating content in a horizontal orientation.
Now that you know the basic things to worry about, follow the steps below to make the most of your next YouTube Shorts content creation session.
Step 1: Choose a Topic
The very first thing you’ll want to do when creating a YouTube Short is to select a topic for your video. Choose something that is interesting and fun but also related to your brand.
Some ideas include:
- Educational videos, such as quick and helpful tips in your industry
- Brief how-to videos
- Behind-the-scenes footage of you and your teams at work (or at play)
- Brand story videos
- Before-and-after videos
- Industry news and updates
- Long-form content converted into short-form videos
If you need some help coming up with a specific topic, brainstorm ideas with your team or check out what your competitors are doing. You can also ask your own audience what kind of video content they’d like to see from you.
Step 2: Prepare Your Shoot
Once you’ve selected your topic, it’s time to prepare for your shoot. YouTube Shorts don’t need as much preparation as you would with a more formal video, but you’ll still want to ensure everything is ready to go to create a strong and appealing video.
Make sure the lighting is right, have all of your points figured out when giving tips or relaying news, and record a few takes and ample footage overall to give you some options in post-production.
Step 3: Record Your Video
Now it’s time to record your video! You can use either your mobile device, a tablet, or another camera.
Just remember that YouTube shorts are in vertical format, so it’s best to use a mobile device with a vertical camera option to record.
Step 4: Edit and Upload
Once you’ve recorded your video, you can begin the editing process. There are plenty of editing apps and software that you can use, or you can take advantage of the convenient tools within the YouTube app to put the final touches on your short-form video.
Now that you know how to make YouTube Shorts, let’s talk about some features you can try.
Special YouTube Shorts Features to Try
To help make the Shorts process more fun and creative, YouTube recently launched some fun features to help brands get more creative.
The Collab tool allows you to record videos in a side-by-side format with other creators. The tool also includes multiple different layouts so that you can play with the split-screen format.
Effects & Stickers
The Effects & Stickers feature makes YouTube Shorts more interactive. Brands can insert questions and other interactive options directly into their video. Viewers can respond in the provided text box and creators can then reply to comments with another YouTube Short.
YouTube Shorts also now allows creators to go live right in the Shorts feed. Viewers can leave comments that will show up in real-time on the video, allowing brands and creators to interact as they’re filming.
The Remix button within the YouTube Shorts dashboard lets you mix and match sounds, including ones you see on other creators’ videos. If you feel especially inspired after watching a certain view, the Remix feature will help you capture that feeling and produce content of your own.
The Shorts Playlist
See a YouTube Short you really liked? Now you can save it to your playlist! This will help creators keep track of sounds or trends they want to use in their own content while also helping other viewers curate playlists of related content, exposing your content to people who may have not seen it before.
As YouTube Shorts continues to develop, don’t be surprised if you see more features and options to help improve your experience!
How to Upload YouTube Shorts
With a better idea of how to make a YouTube Short, let’s look at the different ways to upload your videos to YouTube before posting.
From Your Mobile Phone
YouTube Shorts can be created and uploaded in five simple steps.
To get started, log in to your YouTube account. Touch the Create button, then Create a Short.
From here, you’ll choose your music and record or upload your Short. To record your clip, press and hold the record button. You can also tap it to start and tap it again to stop. You can also set the recording speed and timer, as well as edit clips together on this screen.
After you’ve recorded your short, add filters and captions to your video. Adding captions is always a good idea so that people with hearing impairments can still enjoy your content.
Once you’ve edited your video and added your captions and filters, share your YouTube Short!
Click Upload in the upper right corner and get ready for the comments and likes to roll in!
From Your Desktop
If you’re uploading your YouTube Short from your desktop, you’ll need to prerecord your YouTube Short on your mobile phone.
Make sure your recording is still under 60 seconds.
Pro-Tip: record vertically to create a 9:16 aspect ratio.
Now you’ll upload your YouTube Short the same way you would upload a regular YouTube video.
From your YouTube Studio account, click Create and then Upload a Video. Select your file and start filling in the required fields.
Include the word “Shorts” somewhere in your title and your description to indicate to YouTube that your video is a Short, rather than a full-length video.
YouTube Shorts vs. Other Competitor Platforms with Short-Form Video
There are a few differences between YouTube Shorts and other short-form video platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels.
The first is the length of the video. Both YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels cap the content at 60 seconds. TikTok just recently raised the time limit to 3 minutes per video.
Another difference is the use of an in-video shopping option. TikTok and Instagram Reels let creators insert links to help their followers buy products directly from their videos. Although it could be added to the feature, Shorts does not offer that option yet.
The final difference between the three is the editing abilities. While all three are very user-friendly and make editing and personalizing videos fairly easy, Instagram Reels and TikTok offer a lot more options in terms of special effects and AR features. You can use filters, music, and captions when making Shorts, but their special effects and AR features are non-existent.
Pros and Cons of YouTube Shorts
Like any digital platform, there are pros and cons to using YouTube Shorts.
Pro: Exposure Potential
The biggest pro of YouTube Shorts is the platform’s reach. Over 3 billion people visit YouTube every month. That is a lot of potential eyes on your content.
The content is also placed in multiple places throughout YouTube: in the Shorts tab within the YouTube app, and on your channel’s homepage. With other platforms, you are limited to exposure within the app and sometimes only on your own page. With Shorts, you’ll capture both the mobile and desktop audiences.
Pro: Traffic to Your YouTube Channel
YouTube Shorts also serve as a lead magnet to your larger, more monetized videos. When a viewer watches your short video, they can automatically flow to your channel. They don’t have to click out of an app like they would if they were watching a TikTok or Instagram Reel.
Pro: Less Time Consuming
YouTube Shorts are also a lot less time-consuming and expensive than making full-length YouTube video content. Some YouTubers and brands spend a lot of money on influencers, backdrops, props, and video production. All of that expense adds up. Even low-rent full-length videos that may be cheaper financially take time and energy.
With YouTube Shorts, time, energy, and money aren’t an issue. All you need is an idea, your phone, and video marketing strategies. Any editing that needs to be done is done directly on the app.
Pro & Con: Shareable Ad Revenue
When YouTube Shorts were first introduced, creators were paid through something called the YouTube Shorts Fund. Over time, this complicated 2-year program evolved into the Shareable Ad Revenue Fund.
The fund works by sharing revenue from ads running between videos in the Shorts Feed. This revenue is then used to reward creators for views and content while also covering the cost of music licensing for sounds.
In order to be eligible for the Shareable Ad Revenue, creators must opt into the Shorts Monetization Module and abide by the YouTube advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Shorts that contain non-original content, content that is inconsistent with the guidelines, or shorts whose views have been obtained through automated bots are ineligible to earn revenue.
Con: Fewer Optimization Options
As far as the cons of using YouTube Shorts, the biggest is probably the customization options. Videos become more eye-catching when you can use interesting and creative special effects and AR features. As YouTube Shorts grow, however, this is one con that may go away over time.
Con: YouTube Server
Another big con to using Shorts is that they are uploaded through the YouTube server. If you have a poor connection, the server is down, or the app is undergoing maintenance, you lose access to your channel.
4 Important KPIs for YouTube Shorts
Since YouTube Shorts are still in the beta phase, things are constantly changing and the key performance indicators are still evolving.
However, you can monitor your performance by looking at the same KPIs you would use for any video posted on the YouTube platform. These KPIs include:
1. Total Engagement
This metric accounts for all forms of engagement your videos attract. It specifically measures the amount of people who like, comment, and otherwise engage with your videos.
You can calculate the average total engagement rate by taking the total engagement rate per post and dividing it by the number of total posts.
You can increase total engagement by creating more enticing content, interacting with audiences in comments or responding to content requests, and optimizing your video titles and thumbnails.
2. Total Amount of Video Views
Another KPI to look at is the total number of video views. This indicates how many people are viewing your videos, which you can then measure against watch time to determine whether people are actually watching your videos or clicking away soon after landing on them.
You can see this metric in your dashboard, including total views for all videos and views for individual videos.
To attract more viewers, optimize your videos’ thumbnails and titles, and create consistently engaging content that hooks people into your channel.
3. Number of Subscribers
You can also see this metric in your dashboard, including the number of people who’ve subscribed within a certain period. This metric is helpful in determining how effective your videos are at making people loyal to your channel and brand.
You can grow your subscriber base by creating compelling content, but you can also encourage people to like and subscribe in your videos and descriptions. Also, posting consistently will make people more likely to subscribe as they look forward to seeing regular posts from you.
4. Traffic Sources
This KPI indicates where people are coming from to view your YouTube Shorts. You can see which sources are drawing the most traffic to your videos and determine which sources may need a bit of a lift to increase traffic. The YouTube Analytics dashboard will let you know the sources behind your video traffic.
You can boost more traffic to your videos in a number of ways. For instance, you can create high-quality content that people are eager to share on social media and other platforms.
You can also boost traffic from various sources by posting your Shorts on your website, blog, social media profiles, and other locations where your audiences are likely to see them.
Examples of Brands Using YouTube Shorts
Here are some great examples of brands that have already started using YouTube Shorts.
Here at Ignite, we’ve tapped into the YouTube Shorts phenomenon with a high rate of success.
This recent short, which discussed a huge shift in social media trends, received over 10,000 views. It was a great way to get time-sensitive information out to our audience, while also grabbing the attention of new viewers.
Healthcare-related brands, such as Bubble Skincare, have also seen success with YouTube Shorts.
In this YouTube Short, the skincare brand partnered with a popular influencer to do an unboxing of their latest products. The short was a success, obtaining over 113,000 views.
YouTube Shorts also work for brands in the automotive industry, such as WrenchWay.
In this short, the automotive brand showcased what their service advisors do in a day. Even better, they repurposed a TikTok video and posted it on YouTube Shorts. They only had to create one video to be used on multiple platforms and seen by multiple audiences.
Financial services creator, Sprouht, has also found success through YouTube Shorts.
Sprouht gives advice on how to create a better life using the tools, insights, and experiences around us. Through his YouTube Shorts, he captures the attention of audiences with catchy titles and consistent posting.
YouTube Shorts FAQs
1. How do I create a YouTube Short?
All you need to create a YouTube Short is a good camera, complimentary lighting, and a great topic. The rest is easy!
Keep your video between 15 and 60 seconds and be sure to film it vertically.
Once it’s recorded, you’ll upload it the same way you upload a regular YouTube video. Click Create and then Upload Video. Pick an attractive thumbnail and a catchy title, making sure to include the word #Shorts somewhere in your title and description so that YouTube knows the video is a Short and not a full-length upload.
2. What is the maximum length for YouTube Shorts? Is there a time limit?
Yes. YouTube Shorts must be at least 15 seconds but no longer than 60 seconds.
3. When were YouTube Shorts created?
First introduced in India in September 2020, YouTube Shorts are short-form videos that are 60 seconds or less. Creators can use musical overlays, text, and graphics to spice up their content.
Though the beta version was only released in India at first, the platform still saw immense success with the new offering. Within a few short months, YouTube Shorts were receiving over 3.5 billion daily views.
So, when were YouTube Shorts created and released around the rest of the world? After the successful initial launch in India, they were introduced to the United States market in March 2021. YouTube Shorts’s success continued to grow. Shortly after the launch, daily views were topping 6.5 billion views.
4. When is the best time to post a YouTube Short?
When it comes to posting YouTube Shorts, the platform suggests posting early in the week during peak hours on either Monday or Tuesday. Specifically, you’ll want to post either in the afternoon around 12 PM to 3 PM or in the evening between 7 PM and 10 PM.
These times will vary, of course, depending on your audience. Some audiences might be more active in the afternoon or evening, while others might consume more video content in the morning. Take a look into your target audience to learn about their viewing habits, which can indicate the best time to post YouTube Shorts.
Also, consider experimenting with different times to see which times generate the most views. This could help you better determine YouTube Shorts’ best time to post.
5. How can I watch YouTube Shorts?
Unlike other apps, YouTube Shorts are available both on the mobile app and on a desktop.
To watch a short on your desktop, open the YouTube website. Shorts will appear both on the homepage, similar to TikTok’s For You Page and on the specific channel’s homepage.
Watching a YouTube Short on the app is similar to the website version. Open the YouTube app on your phone and you’ll find Shorts on the homepage and on the specific channel’s homepage.
You can also search for YouTube Shorts by using specific hashtags. Similar to Instagram, this technique will produce YouTube Shorts you might like based on the hashtags you are searching for.
6. Are YouTube Shorts based on what you watch?
The short answer is yes, these videos work much like other YouTube videos in that an algorithm looks at what you watch and enjoy to bring you new content to view in your feed. However, this algorithm is separate from the one used for long-form YouTube videos.
7. What are the specs on YouTube Shorts?
Videos on YouTube Shorts must be 9:16 vertical videos with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.
8. How do I search YouTube Shorts?
You can search for YouTube Shorts the same way you search for regular-length YouTube videos – the search bar at the top of the home page. Whether on mobile or desktop, you can type in what you’re looking for and then navigate down to the Shorts tab. You can also go directly to “Shorts” and search that way.
Ready to Give YouTube Shorts a Try?
To answer the original question: Are YouTube Shorts worth it? We’re going to say yes… for now.
They are engaging, entertaining, and educational. It’s a great way to build your brand awareness, increase your reach, and find new lifelong fans. I think that YouTube Shorts are definitely a trend worth exploring, especially if you already have a long-form video channel on the platform.
Reach out to our social media marketing experts to help you make some YouTube Shorts of your own. Leverage the power of social media marketing to help your business secure valuable followers while achieving its marketing goals.
Our expert strategists work closely with clients to understand their unique needs and design customized social media strategies that maximize return on investment. Whether it’s creating scroll-stopping content or building impressive ads, we handle every aspect of social media across various platforms to ensure our clients receive optimal results.
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