Google is the #1 most used internet search engine in the world. It’s true, Google it! Did you know that Google owns YouTube, another highly powerful search engine? It’s true, Google it! And yes, YouTube is also considered a Social Media Platform with 2 BILLION users. That’s something I didn’t know until I ‘Googled’ it. So, let’s talk about YouTube, that amazing corner of the internet where you can get lost for hours being entertained, getting informed and, let’s be honest, waste hours absorbing empty-mental-calories into your cranium. But what if it wasn’t hours, but seconds, lost in the said quest for education, entertainment and a good ole mind numbing experience…just 60 seconds or less to entice you to want to see and yearn to learn more?
Introducing…YouTube Shorts. Imagine it as the video equivalent of a fun-size Snickers. Think byte-size. Today we’ll be referencing a Hootsuite article entitled, “How to Make YouTube Shorts: Everything You Need to Know” to help you understand why this recent YouTube video option could be valuable to your business.
Initially launched in India in 2020, YouTube Shorts were rolled out in March of 2021 in the USA, so if you weren’t aware of them, don’t be too concerned, they’re relatively new. YouTube Shorts are 15 to 60 second vertical videos created using a smartphone and uploaded directly to YouTube from the YouTube app. You can use YouTube’s creation tools and add major label music, animated text, edit together multiple 15 second clips and even control the speed of your footage to create your Shorts. They’re all accessible on YouTube’s main site or in the YouTube app.
Many of you may be saying “Oh, this is just their cheap knock-off of Snapchat, Instagram Stories/Reels and TikTok, right?” Well, yes and no. There are notable differences in the platforms. For one, the content doesn’t disappear, it remains on YouTube, unlike Snapchat or IG or Facebook Stories which go away after a day. Moving forward, any content you create for YouTube that is :60 seconds or less will be automatically categorized as a ‘Short’.
So, what are the benefits and why are we talking about them? Because YouTube Shorts have the ability to convert viewers into subscribers for your channel, which is a must have for brands. This could be your gateway to opt-ins… the proverbial Sunday at Sam’s Club sample tray day that gets new people to become subscribers.
Already have a company YouTube Channel? We recommend placing the ‘Shorts’ widget on your main channel. Aligning your main YouTube feed content with your Shorts makes it easier for your audience to stay engaged with your content and your brand. The overall end goal is to give more people the opportunity to hop from your posted ‘Shorts’ to subscribe to your channel and keep up-to-date with all the longer form content that builds your brand, generates brand loyalty and of course, income.
Our friends at Hootsuite shared seven ways businesses can use ‘Shorts’.
- Use Shorts to promote your regular YouTube Channel. It’s neat that YouTube keeps the subscriber box visible making it easy to subscribe if viewers appreciate your ‘Shorts’ content.
- Use Shorts to showcase less-polished videos. They are great for behind-the-scenes updates, product launches/updates, workplace updates and more. It helps keep your brand authentic and engaged, something quite important to Gen-Z.
- Use Shorts to ‘tease’ your audience. Got something you want to whet the appetite of your audience/clientele about? Use a Short to drive your viewers to a longer YouTube Video, or a landing page to sign up for early access details (and database building).
- Use Shorts to create engagement as it happens. Short, snappy content ensures the audience watches to the end and can absorb your brief content in its entirety.
- Use Shorts to jump on trends. You know how many platforms/creators/influencers are all about the latest dance trend, using the latest/freshest audio clips, etc.? Hit the right timing and content, and your Short could go viral, all while keeping your brand current and cutting edge.
- Use Shorts to level up user generated content. Ask followers to create YouTube Shorts and showcase an unboxing experience which they’ll inevitably share and expand the reach of your brand. (Imagine the possibilities and potential of this!!!)
- Use Shorts to save money. Face it, have Smartphone (and YouTube app) will travel. Become the star of your company’s Shorts, even if you’re short on funds or talent. If your content is engaging and well thought out, you will save cash in hiring video production companies to shoot your Shorts content for you. ‘Real’ will overshadow ‘production value’ in a Short. Use the professionals for long-form videos though…
If any of those ways to use Shorts appeal to you, Hootsuite offers up a few ‘best practices’ when creating your 15-60 second video. They are:
- Get straight to it. Make the start of your Short exciting and attention grabbing ASAP.
- Keep it snappy. Play around with different cuts and edits to keep your viewers engaged. Shorts are not a full-blown video and work best if the video isn’t one continuous shot.
- Think about replays. Since Shorts play back in a loop, think about how your video will come across when on ‘repeat’. Annoying, or something that bears repeat views.
- Add value. Your Short should give your audience something of worth to them, while aligning the content with a goal, like increasing engagement or getting more subscribers.
- What’s your hook? When you’re creating a Short, think about how you can keep your viewers coming back for more.
- Get the vibe right. Shorts is the place to give your audience brief, easily digestible content. If you’re already creating videos for IG Reels or TikTok, think of Shorts in the same way. Think behind-the-scenes content or viral trends. Don’t make your Shorts shortened versions of your long videos, if anything, make them teasers to entice viewing of your long-form video content.
Because this is a new platform in a competitive space, on the second most visited website after on the planet, Google Search, YouTube is really pushing it hard, and as such, the algorithm will reward you. It’s also a huge bonus for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Shorts have high organic reach so far, so you don’t need a big following to get significant views.
Want or need some more guidance on why we think YouTube Shorts are worth your creative time? Let’s talk about how YouTube Shorts can help grow your followers, your business and your brand.