Beginner Guide

What are YouTube Shorts and how to use them

If there’s one thing we know for sure about social media, it’s that you can always expect to see new features, content types, and ways to engage your audience.

One of the latest features of YouTube is YouTube Shorts.

Didn’t hear it? No worries, you are not behind the curve. In fact, you’re probably already creating this type of short-form video content on other platforms.

What are youtube shorts?

Because vertical micro-videos have proven so popular, many platforms are trying to get a piece of the pie (we have our eyes on you too, Instagram reels).

YouTube is also making up for the lack of vertical short-form videos on its platform.

And while many brands are repurposing content and sharing them across platforms, it provides another way for brands and businesses to engage with their YouTube customers.

And if you’re new to micro-video content in general, here’s a great example of a YouTube short (click image to view):

How Can Brands Benefit From YouTube Shorts?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk more about why this matters. YouTube shorts can be a great way for brands to further engage with their customers and increase brand awareness.

Additionally, over 70% of all YouTube viewing time comes from mobile devices. And since YouTube Shorts is a mobile-first feature, you can reach that expanded audience with more than just horizontal, long-form video content. It’s time to change things.

Since YouTube Shorts was released in July 2021, the feature has reached 15 billion daily average views. People are watching—and liking—YouTube shorts. So if your brand already has a presence on YouTube, consider adding some micro-vertical video content to your YouTube marketing strategy.

Plus, if a new potential customer finds your brand through shorts and subscriptions, they’re automatically subscribed to your long-form content as well. So it gives you a completely new outlet to increase your channel subscription. Win-win, isn’t it?

how to make youtube shorts

Ready to start creating your own YouTube short? You can create them directly from inside the app or upload previously created videos. The latter strategy is ideal if you are reusing your TikTok, Instagram reel or YouTube videos on your channel.

But if you want to create original, unique YouTube short content, follow these steps:

Phase 1. Open the YouTube app on your mobile device and tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen.

step 2. tap make a small, If you’ve never made a short before, here’s what you need to do allow access to your camera.

A screenshot showing how to start creating a YouTube short.

step 3. Start recording your video by tapping the red record button. By default, shorts are set to be up to 15 seconds. But if you tap on 15 Above the record button, you can change it to 60 seconds.

Like most short-form video apps, you can flip your camera, adjust recording speed, set a timer before recording, or add filters to your videos. Each of these options is available in the menu on the right side of your screen.

To record multiple segments, tap the Record button when you’ve finished recording your first clip, then tap it again to resume recording for your next segment.

Screenshot showing how to record and edit a YouTube short.

Or, instead of recording a new video, you can tap your Camera Roll in the lower left corner of the screen to upload an already recorded video.

step 4. Once you’re happy with your video, tap the white check in the bottom right corner of the screen. Here, you can preview your video, add music, or include a text overlay. then tap next,

A screenshot showing how to add sound, text, and filters to your YouTube short.

Step 5. Create a caption for your video, then tap upload short,

YouTube Short Best Practices

Let’s cover some best practices first to help you make the most of this new marketing avenue.

post continuously

As most platforms do with the new features, it’s safe to assume that YouTube is prioritizing shorts for performance and views. One creator’s analysis seems to verify that after noticing “a huge jump in views over the past month since uploading a short every day”.

Consistently creating YouTube shorts will help you expand your brand’s reach to a wider audience. If you’re struggling to stay organized, create a content calendar that will help you plan ideas and stay on time.

keep it under 58 seconds

Although your shorts may last 60 seconds, the sweet spot seems to be 58 seconds or less. And with this type of video content, the shorter, the better. After all, people are looking to YouTube shorts as a quick way to consumer content.

be creative with your captions

your caption could be max 100 characters, then make it count. Tease the content, use a funny line, summarize what the audience can expect to see and what it’s like.

While your video is the most important part, captions are shown even when shorts pop up on the YouTube home feed, so having a compelling caption can help someone decide to watch your video or keep scrolling.

Screenshot of YouTube shorts on the YouTube Home feed.

record in vertical format

No one wants to turn on their screen because they watch YouTube shorts, so make sure you’re always shooting in a vertical format to make your videos easy to use. Even a horizontal video with black bars making it vertical doesn’t have a perfect viewing experience. So just keep it simple and stick to the verticals.

Make content relevant to your audience

What will your audience like the most? If you’re not sure what to build, spend some time exploring the platform to see what other businesses are doing. Some ideas include:

  • how-to videos
  • quick review
  • a relevant story
  • industry tips
  • Fun facts
  • an experiment
  • Use trending sound bites

If your short-form video content is relevant, engaging, educational and valuable to your target audience, then you are on the right track.

Focus on making the first few seconds attractive

If those first few seconds don’t immediately captivate your viewer, they’ll keep scrolling. The first few seconds of your video are the most important part. Find a way to reel in your audience right as they start watching your video that makes them want to stay tuned for the rest of the clip.

Use trending songs, hashtags and events

Using trending songs, events, audio clips, hashtags and challenges is a great way to drive views and drive interest in your content. Due to the viral nature of content, you can increase visibility and reach new audiences. Just make sure it’s still relevant to your business and a good fit for your brand.

use your authentic voice

Don’t forget your brand voice when creating YouTube Shorts. You still want to follow your guidelines to ensure that your video content still makes sense to your brand and aligns with your message and mission. If your content seems inappropriate for your brand, it could hurt your image and reputation.

show behind the scenes

Consumers love a good behind-the-scenes moment. Use your shorts video to showcase product creation, product packaging, office tours, behind the scenes filming, bloopers and other fun video clips. Giving your audience a glimpse behind a logo can help humanize your brand and make your audience more interested in what you share.

Remember that shorts loop

YouTube shorts (and all other micro-videos) revert to the beginning after the video clip ends. Use this to your advantage by tying the beginning and end of your video together, creating a seamless loop that will keep viewers entertained and interested in watching more of your videos.

Monetize Your YouTube Shorts

You can earn from your YouTube Shorts using YouTube Shorts Fund. This is a $100 million fund dedicated to creators who are exclusively publishing YouTube shorts to encourage creators and businesses to use this new feature. If you have monetized your YouTube channel, creating short is another way to increase the revenue you generate.

Start creating your own YouTube short

YouTube shorts are a great way to improve the overall performance of your YouTube channel. Don’t forget to check out our guide to discover more ways to increase your video views. Then start creating, publishing and promoting your YouTube video content.

What are YouTube shorts and how to use them This post first appeared on Sprout Social.

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