Understanding YouTube Shorts

You may have seen the rise of short-form videos on YouTube with the following hashtag #Shorts using in the titles and descriptions. In this blog, you will discover what YouTube Shorts are and how you can start taking advantage of this new type of content.

What is YouTube Shorts?

It is a new way to watch and create on YouTube, featuring a short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. (Sound familiar? Youtube looks to have taken a leaf out of TikTok and  Instagram’s books).

Yes, this is Google/YouTubes answer to the continued rise of TikTok as a platform. This is great for their current content creators on YouTube that already have an established audience to create new type of engaging content outside of what they normally create. The current YouTube landscape is filled with established content creators that make videos from 5-10 minutes or longer (these are long-form videos for educational, inspirational and informative purposes).

Why would we use it?

The fear of creating long-form engaging content can sometimes put people off from starting at all so this will be a great way to get started in more shorter and creative ways.

Some companies will not consider YouTube as their social media channel as they sometimes associate the cost of productions that may come along with creating videos for YouTube.

Since you will be able to create Shorts with just a mobile phone, this will make it easier to make video content.

The only limitation is down to your imagination and creativity and be willing to try something different.

This platform also enables more people to find their voices in video content creation.

Who will YouTube Shorts be for?

The new platform will make it easier for any content creator that to get started. With the success of platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok, there is no reason why YouTube Shorts cannot be used in your digital marketing strategy.

The short videos offers creators to break that mould and start producing more creative videos. The Shorts will allow new content creators to try shorter form of content creation, in which may have found producing long form videos a challenge.

As it’s still new, like with any platforms, there’ll be plenty of money behind it to promote and push it forward to make it work so they’ll be paying creators to make content and focus on getting consistent content out onto the platform. They will be promoting and pushing your shorts because they want more successes to be shown and demonstrate the platforms power for discoverability.

Although the more established creators that have a large audience will already be engaged with their content, it is still a level playing field for the opportunity of new eyeballs and fresh content.

As with any platform, to see any decent return and success, you will need to be publishing on it consistently and allocate a strategy with your digital marketing plans.

Where can we use it?

The platform will be hosted on its own YouTube platform as well as its own App similar to TikTok. You can still upload directly to your own YouTube channel with the right sizes and descriptions such as #Shorts in the title.

When will this be released?

The YouTube Shorts beta has already been launched in India back in September 2020, receiving over 3.5 Billion daily views already. It’s released in the U.S in March 2021 and no doubt it will be released internationally in the coming months.

How can I use this?

Although it is not officially launched in the UK, it doesn’t stop users from creating and experimenting with shorts videos, just would need to manually upload via YouTube App on both Android and iOS or Web Platform with the right descriptions using #shorts and video requirements under 60 seconds.

The video editor for Shorts is only currently in beta in India and U.S at the moment. You can still use external editors to upload to your YouTube channel as well as being able to use YouTube’s music library, the music selection isn’t as extensive as it is on TikTok or Instagram.

YouTube is currently just looking for the criteria of a short-form video so remember to use the #shorts hashtag in your titles and descriptions.

As the Shorts beta is still in development, no one really knows how to get your video featured in the Shorts homepage carousel and where your video would potentially blow up in views.

The fun begins in knowing your target audience and the attention rate of them. Each generation has a different audience and each have their own attention spans on what is engaging and what needs to get straight to the point as well as the type of content that you have.

As these are short-form videos, I would advise you not to get too attached to them.

Get in early, try it out and see how creative you can be with them.

The more data you get from your reports regarding your target audience, the easier it is for you to know what type of content they enjoy and to create for the future. Especially if you decide to make longer-form content that requires more information.

Some great examples to look at are Phone Repair Guru & MrBeast.

MrBeast has set up a dedicated channel just for his video footage that he may not have used in other videos mixed with some of his TikToks and have achieved amazing results.

As we are entering the world of short-form video content, a lot of users have been using their TikTok videos for YouTube Shorts. The problem is that some of the videos they have been using may contain music that YouTube does not have the license for and causing some issues to use the same content across multiple platforms.

The key point when creating content is to make sure it aligns with your brand. Your audience may not be used to your new form of content if you are already established and looking to try something different.

When it comes to creating a successful short, it needs to bring your content to life and give clarity to what the video is about and what they are about to watch is worth their time. Whether it’s to be entertained, educated or inspired.

Austin Walters
Austin Walters

Austin Walters is Operations Director at WSA The Communications Agency. He steers the agency’s digital offering and works with all departments and marketing disciplines. Austin writes about business modernisation, management, sales and digital marketing. A young son, a busy job and social life mean that leisure time can be hard to come by, but he spends it keeping active and can often be found running, hiking, surfing or bending into shapes.

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