Thanks to the rise of TikTok, short-form video content is taking the social media world by storm. This type of content is fun, entertaining, and easy to watch.
After seeing the success TikTok was having, other social media platforms quickly jumped onto the trend, releasing their own versions of short-form video content.
So what’s new with YouTube Shorts? Let’s find out.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
To begin, 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.
In addition to the large following, YouTube Shorts can also be monetized. The company says they will reward users with over $100M in 2021 and 2022 – usually through monthly bonuses between $100 and $10,000 from the YouTube Shorts Fund for qualified creators.
Creators are eligible for the YouTube Shorts Fund based on monthly performance metrics. They also must be at least 13 years old, in an eligible country, follow community guidelines, and have posted an original short within the past 180 days.
What is the YouTube Shorts time limit, exactly? While the maximum length for YouTube Shorts is 60 seconds, they must also be at least 15 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.
How to Make a YouTube Short
Want to learn how to make a YouTube Short that connects with audience and generates engagement? The following is a basic guide to help you get going with your next project:
Step 1: Choose a Topic
The very first step you’ll want to take when creating a YouTube Short is to select the best topic for your video.
There are plenty of interesting and fun types of topics you can choose for these videos, such as:
- 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
You can figure out some specific topics to cover by looking at competitors or brainstorming ideas with your team. You can also ask your own audience what kind of video content they’d like to see from you.
Step 2: Prepare Your Shoot
Next, you can begin preparing the shoot. For a YouTube Short, you may not need as much preparation as you would with a more formal video, but 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
The next step is to record your video using either your mobile device 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. You can edit using your own video editing software or conveniently within the YouTube app to develop your Short.
There are also multiple ways to upload your YouTube Shorts to the YouTube platform, which we’ll go into with the next section in how to make a YouTube Short.
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.
What is the Best Time to Post Your YouTube Shorts?
If you’re not sure when to post your videos, YouTube Shorts’ best time to post is generally on weekdays, particularly 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 3PM 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 mornings. 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.
How to 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.
Is Your YouTube Shorts Feed Based on What You Watch?
You might ask, “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.
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 on the YouTube homepage, 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: YouTube Shorts Fund
A big pro to using YouTube Shorts is the YouTube Shorts Fund. Raking in monthly bonuses could be a great way to add to your profit margin.
However, YouTube only mentions that this will be an option for 2021 and 2022. Whether this is just a two-year prize fund used to encourage users to make Shorts or an ongoing way to monetize your account remains unknown.
You are also at the mercy of YouTube awarding you these bonuses. Qualification is based on varying metrics that change from month to month based at YouTube’s discretion. Since you can’t always be sure of what these metrics might be or what the baseline of the metrics will be, the YouTube Fund is not a reliable source of income.
As the YouTube Shorts Fund continues to grow and iron out the details, only time will tell if this is a big pro for creators or a waste of time.
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.
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.
Who is more attention-grabbing than pop star Jojo Siwa?
In this YouTube Short, the celebrity gossip channel, TheThings Celebrity, used quick clips of the star to tell a story about how she traded her trademark ponytail for a shorter style.
The short-form video is quick, entertaining, and eye-catching while also encouraging viewers who want to know more to follow their other long-form content.
In this mouthwatering YouTube Short, FitWaffle Kitchen does a great job of posting quick, but delicious-looking recipes. She uses captions to describe what she’s doing and expertly blends together various video clips to create one quick, 60-second video that leaves the viewer wanting more.
YouTube Shorts FAQs
1. How long do my YouTube Shorts stay relevant?
Unlike other platforms using short content like Instagram, YouTube Shorts remain active on your channel for much longer than 24 hours, giving people plenty of time to check out your videos.
2. How many times a day should I post on YouTube Shorts?
If you want to drive engagement for your videos, consider posting around two to three times a day. Remember, you can always repurpose other videos and shorten them if you can’t create brand-new content this frequently.
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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