What are YouTube Shorts?

What are YouTube Shorts

There are so many popular social media platforms that knowing which one to try is hard. However, if you’re a publisher already making short-form videos or looking to start, you may want to consider jumping on YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Shorts are 60-second videos that are fun to watch, quick to binge, and memorable enough to create a loyal audience. Videos have been trending on social media for a while now, as they tend to gain higher engagement than other types of content. With YouTube already sporting billions of active users, Shorts is a low-risk opportunity for publishers to explore or expand on their video marketing strategy. You don’t have to learn a new platform or fear that the platform will flop after putting in so much effort to start.

In this article, we’ll break down what YouTube Shorts are and why publishers should take the leap. We’ll also compare YouTube Shorts to other platforms so you can get the most out of your video content and help plan out your strategy for success. 

YouTube Shorts basics for publishers 

Okay, so what are YouTube Shorts? Essentially, Shorts are YouTube’s way of making space for short-form content. These videos closely mimic the ones you’ve seen on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. The difference? The potential for growth with YouTube Shorts compared to other platforms is enormous. 

For starters, YouTube is already a thriving video platform with over 65 billion active users and at least 30 billion users consuming shorts. YouTube has been the king of long-form videos for years. It has a history of building loyal communities that no social media space matches. If you have YouTube, Shorts is another way to connect with your audience. If you don’t, signing up will give you access to a vast audience to explore. 

Publishers with an existing YouTube account are already set up to share shorts. Just click the Shorts channel on the left sidebar and then the Video Create button on the top right to start uploading. Upload new content or use your existing long-form content to make snippets of longer stories. You can even link related longer videos to your Shorts to bridge long-form and short-form audiences. 

Video ideas for publishers

Publishers and broadcasters can use YouTube Shorts in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • A behind-the-scenes look at your brand or staff.
  • Product/service announcements 
  • Brand updates
  • Teasers for longer videos 
  • Quick tips 
  • Spontaneous content 
  • Niche related updates 

YouTube Shorts is also a great way to seek engagement and feedback from your audience. YouTubers love to be involved. Shorts is a great place to run a poll, ask questions, or invite comments from your audience on your brand and content. 

How do Shorts compare to other platforms?

If you’re already creating short-form video content for social media, you can certainly repurpose these on YouTube’s Shorts platform. However, there are a few differences between YouTube Shorts and other platforms to keep in mind that may change the way you share your content: 

  • Time limit: YouTube Shorts have the shortest time limit of the video platforms: 60 seconds. Instagram Reels allow 90 seconds, TikTok allows 10 minutes, and Pinterest has a 15-minute timeline for videos. While you won’t be able to share the longer videos you create for the other platforms, you can edit the videos or take pieces of them to share on Shorts.
  • Style: YouTube Shorts are similar to TikTok-style videos. Many Instagram Reels and Pinterest videos can be more aesthetically focused. Remember who you are targeting and what they are looking for from your content when determining your style. 
  • Watermarks: If you create content inside the YouTube Shorts platform, it will come with that dreaded watermark if you try to reuse it elsewhere. Creating outside of the platform so you can market on different platforms will help you get the most out of your content. 
  • Music: YouTube has different rights to different music than other platforms. Another thing to keep in mind and do your research on so you don’t get your sound taken away!

Importance of YouTube Shorts for publishers

Videos are an important marketing tool for brand development, so any platform where you can use videos to connect with your audience holds value. 

We know that putting your eggs in a new social media platform basket is always risky, but YouTube isn’t new. Shorts are just an addition to the already successful platform with access to an established audience. Yes, this means making sure you are consistent in scheduling and creation. But the benefits are worth the effort if you can make it work within your strategy. 

Here are a few more reasons to take a chance with this platform: 

  • High engagement with your audience. You can build a community on YouTube Shorts. Get your followers involved and create a space for building trust. 
  • Reach more people. Access the millions of people already on YouTube and those who are trying to explore. 
  • Higher social media ROI. Get more out of your video content by repurposing videos you already make for other platforms on YouTube Shorts. 
  • Develop your brand’s voice. Tap into YouTube’s already curious audience by posting informative videos on Shorts. Establish yourself as a trusted expert in your niche. 

We explore the importance of YouTube for publishers in this article if you’re looking for more guidance. 

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