Whether you’re looking for a movie trailer, product tutorial or gameplay video, your first destination is probably YouTube. The platform, which has been around for nearly two decades, is known for its baffling amounts of video content of different genres and lengths.
In recent years, YouTube extended to new frontiers with Shorts — intended to capture the short-form video market that younger audiences have pioneered.
As a small business owner, is it worth investing your time and resources in YouTube Shorts? This guide answers all your questions, including what YouTube Shorts are, why they’re helpful and how to create them.
YouTube Shorts are short-form videos of up to 60 seconds long. They are vertical videos that look best on a smartphone screen.
You can shoot, edit and upload Shorts using the YouTube app on a mobile device. Once you upload a Short, viewers can engage with it via likes, comments and shares.
It sounds similar to a traditional YouTube video, but the delivery is also different. Shorts are scrollable; without searching for anything, users can continuously swipe for new content to appear from any creator or topic.
YouTube Shorts are on par with other video platforms based on scrolling culture and micro-content, most notably Instagram Reels and TikTok. Despite the competition, many well-known brands like Sephora and Nike use YouTube Shorts to market their products.
Now that you know what YouTube Shorts are, learn how using them will boost your marketing strategy.
- Tap into the YouTube audience.
- Increase engagement with your brand.
- Build curiosity for your product.
- Monetize for extra revenue.
To summarize, YouTube Shorts creators reach a wider audience by leveraging the popularity of short-form video content. Additionally, they use YouTube’s huge user base to build brand awareness for small businesses and turn visibility into sales.
In more detail, here’s how creating YouTube Shorts will help your business.
Short-form videos are becoming popular on YouTube, with a large audience preferring them over long-form content. Viewership for YouTube videos under 60 seconds grew by 135% in 2022 compared to two years ago.
Creators are uploading more short-form content on other platforms as well. In 2022, people uploaded 4.7 million videos of a sub-minute duration. Compare that to around two million short video uploads in 2017.
Creating Shorts means you keep up with this trend and make content people want. You’ll reach an audience by knowing exactly what they’re looking for, and you’ll effectively compete with other brands by using top-tier content formats.
Audience engagement is crucial for brands to grow online and strengthen customer relationships. The right engagement encourages people to purchase and stay loyal to your brand.
There’s quantifiable evidence. Brands that invested in digital customer engagement saw a 90% revenue growth on average, a 2022 study found.
YouTube Shorts lets viewers engage with your brand’s content while scrolling on their phones. Viewers can like, comment and share videos they enjoy. Hence, many brands actively encourage viewers to react to their Shorts. For example, try:
- Asking users to send an emoji in the comments.
- Foreshadowing giveaways when a short gets a certain number of likes.
- Encouraging people to share the video with others they know.
A higher level of engagement indicates people are connecting with your brand and are interested in your products.
When you’re creating content as part of a marketing strategy, incorporate sales funnel management — this means publishing something for customers at each stage of their buying journey.
Here are the consumer journey stages you need to know:
- Top-of-funnel (TOFU): This is the first stage of the sales funnel, filled with consumers who just became aware of a brand, its identity and its offerings.
- Middle-of-funnel (MOFU): In this intermediate stage, consumers start evaluating a brand and its products, so they need enough information to form opinions.
- Bottom-of-funnel (BOFU): In the final stage, people make conclusions about a brand — this can lead to a purchase or siding with a competitor.
YouTube Shorts are best for TOFU content that builds brand awareness and guides viewers further down the sales funnel. Use Shorts to generate initial interest, then redirect viewers toward longer BOFU and MOFU content that describes the product’s features and pricing.
This sales funnel management tactic generates website traffic and leads by using Shorts as a hook to deliver bite-sized information about your brand.
Shorts are one of the many ways to make money on YouTube. If you’re learning how to create YouTube Shorts from a branding perspective, monetizing your videos is a win-win, with little to no extra effort.
You’ll profit from ad revenue while simultaneously accruing leads to convert into sales. Short-form videos bring the highest marketing ROI at 10%, compared to other social media strategies like influencer marketing and direct message customer service.
To use micro-content to its fullest, you need a step-by-step strategy for creating compelling YouTube Shorts videos.
1. Choose a fitting idea for your video.
2. Record some footage for your YouTube Short.
3. Edit your footage on YouTube or an editing app.
4. Upload your Short to YouTube.
The goal is to deliver videos preferred by your target audience. With that in mind, here’s a walkthrough of how to create YouTube Shorts in four simple steps:
YouTube Shorts are capped at one minute long. To make an impact in that short duration, you need to carefully plan content before creating a marketing video.
Popular brands typically use the 60-second duration to showcase products, discuss core values or interact with viewers. If you’re not sure what to include in your Short, here are a few ideas that work on YouTube:
Behind the scenes (BTS): Make videos that show the candid work culture of your brand. This includes creating everyday vlogs, airing fun interviews of employees and recording interesting production processes. BTS shorts are usually casual and freeform instead of scripted and heavily edited.
Product sneak peeks: Showcase a new product or drop hints to build curiosity about the brand. You can supplement these videos with a link to the product page or landing page for additional info.
User-generated content (UGC): You can make Shorts out of customers speaking about your brand or product. UGC involves unaffiliated social media users sending their opinions — so it’s different from influencer marketing, in which your brand partners with a creator.
Content repurposing: If you have long-form videos, break them down into multiple parts and upload them as Shorts. This is an excellent strategy if you have a limited content budget or an archive of footage to repurpose.
Keep your YouTube content fresh by mixing different video ideas from the list above — and introducing new ones, like product tutorials and Q&As.
Once you’ve selected your main video ideas, start filming Shorts for your YouTube channel. The mobile app has an inbuilt recorder with multiple features to make great videos using your phone.
To quickly learn how to create YouTube Shorts from your phone, follow these steps:
1. Visit the YouTube homepage on the mobile app.
2. Click on the plus icon at the bottom of the screen. From the pop-up menu, tap on the Create a Short option — if you have prerecorded video clips, select the Upload a video option instead.
3. The default time setting for Shorts is 15 seconds. If you want a longer video, tap the 15 at the top of your screen, then choose the 60-second option.
4. To start recording a video, tap the red record button at the bottom of your screen.
If you’re new to shooting videos for social media, here are some basic filming tips to follow:
- Shoot YouTube Shorts vertically to fit the smartphone screen layout.
- Use natural lighting to get a clear video. If you’re shooting indoors or with an artificial light source, ensure it evenly highlights the video’s subject.
- If your recording involves sound (especially talking), use a good microphone. Importantly, add subtitles and captions to help people easily understand, even if they’re watching with low or zero volume.
YouTube Shorts offers several built-in editing features. Some can be used before filming, while others become accessible after you finish recording.
Before creating a Short, check out the editing features; in camera view, see the right side of your screen for a vertical panel.
- Flip:Swaps between your phone’s front and back cameras.
- Speed:Controls the recording speed. You can slow or increase the video’s pace.
- Timer:Sets a timer to auto-start the video.
- Effects:Adds fun video filters like Skeleton Face or AI Cubed.
- Green Screen:Eliminates or replaces the original video background with your desired image.
- Retouch:Virtually enhances the video’s visuals to make it smooth and clear.
- Filters:Adds colors, highlights and shadows to change the look of the video.
- Lighting:Changes the screen brightness to add lighting to an unevenly-lit video.
- Flash:Turns your phone’s flash on or off.
After creating the Short, you can access more features through the side vertical panel or from the bottom of the screen.
- Align:Adjusts the video alignment to another angle.
- Trim:Cuts the video at the designated points to shorten it.
- Sound:Adds a background sound from YouTube’s music library.
- Text:Adds text or emojis over the video.
- Voiceover:Records your voice (or any other sound), then superimposes it.
- Timeline:Displays the video timeline along with all edits and timestamps.
After you’ve edited the video and added your favorite elements, your Short is ready for viewers.
To proceed with the upload, tap Next on the upper right corner of your screen. Here, you’ll need to optimize some video settings.
- Adjust the visibility of the Short: You can make videos accessible to everyone (Public), just you (Private) or only people with the link (Unlisted).
- If you prefer, add the location you shot the video.
- Define your audience: Indicate whether your video is made for kids or only appropriate for viewers of a certain age.
- If your Short is sponsored, add the paid promotion label to maintain transparency with your audience.
You can also schedule the video to automatically post later by using the Visibility option on this screen.
Once you’ve selected satisfying options, tap the Upload Short option at the bottom of the screen to upload the Short to your YouTube channel.
If you want to stand out, create engaging content, not just content. Here’s how to create YouTube Shorts that grab the viewer’s attention.
Keep the information limited: Shorts are only a minute long at most. It’s natural to consider packing it with details, but too much information in a single minute will overwhelm people without conveying a memorable message.
To avoid this, create each Short around a single idea. Establish a few key points, offer bite-sized info and keep the pacing snappy.
Use continuation: If you want to share a lot of information overall, divide it into multiple Shorts and use continuation to keep the audience curious. Tease the next and previous videos so users head to your channel for more.
Set a theme: Use memorable and engaging brand colors alongside a particular aesthetic to set your videos apart. Eventually, viewers will identify your consistent style and easily recognize your Shorts among thousands of others.
Follow trends: YouTube perpetually has many audio, topic, visual and challenge trends making a splash across the platform. Identify these trends and use some in your Shorts to stay relevant and keep your audience interested.
Give a clear CTA: At the end of each Short, use a powerful call to action statement to guide viewers on what to do next. You can ask them to visit your website, subscribe to your channel, use a discount code or simply leave a comment on the video.
Experiment with multiple video ideas: Check which of your videos receive the highest engagement, and reverse-engineer why. This helps you deliver content that your audience quantifiably enjoys.
- Use compelling thumbnails.
- Implement relevant hashtags.
- Share on social media.
- Engage with your audience.
If you’re making a small business marketing plan based on YouTube Shorts, reaching a wider audience through your content is essential. Let’s consider promotion methods in more detail so your YouTube Shorts have better reach.
Use compelling thumbnails because they create the Short’s first impression when users are on the homepage. Use attention-grabbing visuals and text to induce curiosity and prompt more people to click on the video.
Use hashtags: Their main purpose is to make your content more discoverable. Learn to research the best hashtags; try a mix of trending hashtags and evergreen ones to keep your content relevant for longer.
Share your Shorts on social media.Use your brand’s social media pages to promote the Shorts. Share the link and ask your followers from other platforms to check out your YouTube channel as well.
Engage with your audience by replying to comments, hosting giveaways, answering questions and incorporating their requests. This keeps people engaged with your brand.
Now that you know how to create YouTube Shorts and promote them, you can effectively market your brand. But with many companies including YouTube Shorts in their marketing strategy, you’ll need extra effort to stand out on the internet.
Bluehost can help pump up your online presence by providing digital marketing services. Whether it’s SEO or PPC, you can get everything you need from Bluehost.
Want to expand your audience through YouTube Shorts and more? Get digital marketing services by contacting Bluehost for a consultation.
FAQs: How to create YouTube Shorts
Yes. While you can’t film YouTube Shorts on a desktop, you can upload a prerecorded clip through the YouTube website. Importantly, choose a video shot vertically with 1080 x 1920 pixel dimensions — YouTube will automatically upload such videos as Shorts.
To begin the upload, sign in to your account through YouTube Studio, click on the Create option and select Upload videos. Next, fill out the options and click Publish.
There are no eligibility criteria to create YouTube Shorts. Even if you have a brand new account, you can still create and upload Shorts.
No, YouTube Shorts are permanent content and always accessible through your channel. Unlike some content forms (e.g., a WhatsApp Status or Instagram Story), Shorts don’t disappear after 24 hours.
To view Shorts on the YouTube app, open the app and click on the Shorts option at the bottom of the screen. You can also view them through the Shorts section that appears on your home feed after every couple of videos.
To make money off your YouTube Shorts, join the YouTube Partner Program; the program has two eligibility criteria.
First of all, you must have over 1,000 followers on your channel. Second, you need a minimum of 4,000 watch hours on long-form videos, or ten million public Shorts views clocked within the last 90 days.
Once you meet these requirements, you can apply to monetize Shorts for ad revenue and fan funding.