Shorts are a fantastic way to share attention-grabbing, short videos to attract new subscribers. There’s a rising demand for bite-sized videos like those on Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, TikTok, and now YouTube.
YouTube Shorts are a response to the powerhouse of TikTok, which was luring users with their snackable short-form videos. YouTube launched Shorts to over 2 billion monthly active users. Here are some stats showing their popularity.
- YouTube Shorts get 30 billion daily views
- Over 70% of YouTube watch hours are from mobile
- Most YouTube Shorts are longer than 15 seconds
- YouTube has a $100M Shorts Fund for creators
Below we cover how to make YouTube Shorts, strategies and ideas for using them, and some best practices for short-form video content.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts are the latest in short video content aimed at competing with the popularity of TikTok. They are simply videos of less than one minute, filmed in a vertical format, aimed at creators and watchers using mobile devices.
How YouTube Shorts Can Be Useful
For YouTubers, Shorts are an excellent way to mix up the content on their channel. Especially for those who normally post long-form content, Shorts will allow you to reach different audiences more interested in a fast experience. It is also easier to be discovered on Shorts since these short videos are often watched back-to-back. Here are some other benefits and strategies if you make a YouTube Short.
Promote Your Channel
Viewers can also subscribe to a channel directly from a Short. Since Shorts are fast and easy to watch, they are a great way to collect new subscribers. All you have to do is create some engaging short videos that users will encounter when scrolling through Shorts, and some of them will subscribe to your channel or come to see what other types of content you have available.
Develop User-Generated Content
If you have avid fans who like to interact with your branded channel or create content of their own, Shorts can be a great way to collaborate. Sharing snippets from fans or creating Shorts in response to fans is a fun way to create new content and connect with your audience on a more personal level. For example, if you create a Short addressed to specific fans, they will likely share it on their socials.
It doesn’t take much to create a one-minute video, meaning Shorts are a relatively low investment for new content on your channel. Don’t think Shorts require little effort, though. Many YouTubers will spend more time editing a Short than actually filming it. But in general, it takes less time and money to create a brief video on your phone than a long-form video with camera equipment, and the engagement can be comparable.
Jump On Trends
TikTok is overrun with trends, and the same can be said for YouTube Shorts. If you are looking for new content ideas, there is no shortage of challenges, dances, or trending ideas for you to follow.
Create Snappy, Engaging Content
At the end of the day, no matter what kind of short videos you want to make, the goal is for them to be quick and engaging. You want viewers to stop scrolling to watch them, stay engaged for the entirety of the video, and ideally watch again and share. All other factors aside, your Shorts won’t be very successful if you don’t achieve those objectives.
Requirements for YouTube Shorts
To make a YouTube Short and upload it to your channel, you must meet the following requirements.
- Video timeline should be less than a 60-second clip
- You must use vertical videos
- Approved music from the YouTube library
Note that you can also use audio clips from other videos that don’t exceed 15 seconds, though the audio will be removed if the source video is deleted.
The Shorts beta was first rolled out to users in India and the U.S. (the two countries with the most YouTube users), but is expected to expand quickly.
How to Make YouTube Shorts
To start creating Shorts, sign in to your YouTube account on the YouTube mobile app. Then follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Tap the “+” Create symbol and click Create a Short.
Step 2: After that, you’ll see the camera starting at 15 seconds. You can tap on that to bump it up to 60 seconds.
Step 3: You can opt for “Flip”, which changes between the front and rear cameras.
Step 4: Select the “Speed” option to slow down or speed up the video.
Step 5: If you want to record hands-free, select the “Timer” and choose your countdown ranging from 3 to 20 seconds.
Step 6: Choose appropriate filters and editing tools to enhance your video.
Step 7: If you want an eye-catching background, select “Green Screen” to replace your background with a different image.
Step 8: Select the record button to start recording, and select it again to stop filming. Note that you can stitch different segments together this way.
Step 9: Preview your video by clicking the checkmark in the bottom right. You can then add more edits like filters, text, and music. When you are done, press Next at the top right.
Step 10: Create an interesting title with a max of 100 characters, include #shorts for better engagement, then upload.
Note that audio tracks can only be added before you start recording or after in the editing process.
Using the “Shorts Camera”
The “Shorts camera” has a default video time of 15 seconds. This means that you can record videos up to a max of 15 seconds. The timer is a helpful reminder to be quick. 15-second shots can be looped or combined into a continuous video with a 60-second maximum.
You can then add your music or audio, apply slo-mo if you that effect, speed up videos, or add enticing messaging and text.
Ideas for YouTube Shorts
It may seem scary since you only have 60 seconds to show your brand’s message. That’s not much time when creating Shorts.
However, Shorts can sometimes take longer to create than long-form videos because it’s not easy to demonstrate your message this quickly. Ensure your Shorts revolve around one central idea or your niche. Keep it simple, and don’t muddle the message. Check out these Shorts ideas.
- Do a quick tutorial
- Share a stunning visual
- Summarize a blog post that performed well
- Start a challenge
- Provide tips or hacks
- Share interesting facts or shocking news
- Create myth-busting videos
- Dramatize a compelling story
- Create a comedic sketch
Whatever idea you decide to work with must be within 60 seconds. Make something creative that’s worth watching, remembering, and sharing.
How You Can Monetize YouTube Shorts
Currently, there is no way to directly monetize YouTube Shorts aside from the Shorts Fund, which isn’t guaranteed. So rather than looking at monetizing these videos, include them in your funnel for driving traffic and revenue to your channel indirectly. Shorts can be a great way to grow your audience (increasing your regular ad revenue), and you can also include CTAs in your Shorts to help accomplish other objectives.
Tips & Tricks for Making Better Shorts
There are many enticing videos in the world grabbing your target audience’s attention. You must break through all the noise. Create unique, catchy, and interesting content that retains attention. Here’s how you can ensure your Shorts pull their weight:
Create a Catchy Title
Every Short needs its own brief and catchy title. Increased clicks and views begin with compelling titles. Your title will tell your viewers what’s in your Shorts, and can also help with SEO. Include #shorts for easy identification, too.
Write a Compelling Video Description
Descriptions that summarize your video in a charismatic way are great for audience retention. Many people read descriptions of videos before watching the full-blown video. Popular videos have great descriptions that add a little extra spice to their Short.
Leverage YouTube Shorts Editing Features
YouTube Shorts featuring things filters, text, and catchy music are more eye-catching for channel viewers. Having YouTube Shorts with a unique visual will draw viewers, and eventually subscribers, to your YouTube channel.
Utilize Custom Thumbnails
In addition to the Shorts page, viewers can also see your short clips on their feeds. For this reason, you want to have a quality, customized thumbnail for each Short. Use click-grabbing thumbnails to increase engagement. Shorts are specifically generated to keep the scroll going.
Promote your Shorts by putting them as highlights in your Stories. Don’t forget to ask viewers within the story to subscribe and hit the notification button on your channel. You can also encourage them to leave comments for extra engagement.
Strive for Consistency
As with other social media platforms, consistency is key with Shorts. Posting only one Short per month isn’t likely to garner your desired results. Instead, create a weekly schedule and implement it. The frequency will depend on your overall goals, like becoming a brand ambassador. On top of that, make sure the quality of your content is always consistent.
Start Making YouTube Shorts Today!
You don’t have much to lose by rolling the dice and making a few one-minute videos. Worst case scenario, nobody watches or engages with them, and you waste a few minutes. Best case, you gain some traction, go viral, attract tons of new followers, and boost the success of the rest of the content on your channel.