Maybe you’ve been using YouTube shorts for awhile or maybe you haven’t even bothered with it. But, shorts have changed a lot in the past few months and we want to talk about how you can best leverage them for channel growth. And if you aren’t making shorts yet, you’re missing out. Today, we will tell you why.
David Eden-Sangwell started his YouTube channel focusing on Apple Products (sorry Ingrid) during the start of the pandemic. He credits a lot of his growth to focusing on community content. It might be easy to see community content as a waste, but every view count represents real people who are giving you their time and an opportunity to speak into their lives. Don’t waste that.
Shorts are now monetized! (Hooray!) But monetization for shorts works a bit differently than for traditional videos. On traditional videos, YouTube surfaces ads directly on your video. But that is not the same with shorts. Ads are featured in-between shorts in the feed. Because of this, no video is directly associated with a specific ad. So, YouTube pools and distributes the revenue from the videos around the ad. This obviously gets a little tricky. Then, it gets even trickier once you start factoring in trending music copyrights and other creative tools. If you want more nitty-gritty details directly from YouTube, you can click here or here .
But this is all still evolving. It will take awhile for the pool of money to grow as advertisers get more comfortable on the platform and as viewers, creators and advertisers get more aligned in their goals. And as always, YouTube will continue to analyze, evaluate and make changes as they assess the data. So don’t get discouraged. Use this time to perfect your craft.
When shorts first came out, it really threw off the algorithm. So much so, that people started separating their long and short form content into separate channels. (Facepalm) Even YouTube themselves admits that they really struggled with this new form of content and how it would affect the algorithm.
But, data scientists at YouTube have looked deep at channels that do both long & short form content. They are continuing to build bridges between the two forms of content. Now, if you engage in a creators short term content, YouTube will begin recommending their long-form content. Also, they have corrected the analytics analysis as well and you can see your shorts data completely separately from your long-form content. All forms of content are starting to play nicely together and we are incredibly thankful for that.
But no matter what type of content you have, the viewer signals all play the same role. The difference is that you only have 60 seconds to accomplish the same goals. So your first seconds REALLY matter in shorts. If you don’t intrigue them in the first 3 seconds, you’ll be swiped away. Make this your goal.
Why do Shorts?
Evidence now shows that channels that do both short and long-form content, perform better when it comes to sub growth and watch time.
Is doing both helping your channel? Check out your analytics. Are you gaining new viewers? How are your returning viewers? Are they coming back and watching more of your content?
Shorts are also especially helpful for channels that post fewer videos. This is a great opportunity to bring people back into your content between those uploads. I really think of channels that are limited because they create giant projects in each video and those take time. Show sneak peaks or behind the scene footage. Your audience will be glad to see you in between uploads.
Also, shorts really allow a chance for discoverability to a new audience. If you feel stuck, stretch a new muscle and try something new out in shorts. If you’ve been resistant, change your mindset. Instead of thinking, how is this going to hurt me? Think, what does it open up for me?
Debunking the Myths
1. Shorts are not evergreen content. Sometimes it seems like shorts explode and then drop off the face of the planet. But that’s not true! Just this week, we had a client who uploaded a short months ago and it didn’t do much. But then this last week it just exploded. So don’t lose heart. They aren’t dead if they don’t perform immediately.
2. Don’t upload a short on the same day of a video. We get asked all the time, “How many days apart should I publish my shorts from my video? ” And also, “What’s the best time of day to publish a short?” YouTube themselves has said that there is no evidence at all that it matters when you publish a short. So don’t worry about it! Just do it!
3. YouTube is pushing Shorts right now. YouTube is NOT pushing shorts. They are simply making space for shorts and satisfying viewer demand.
Shorts is a great place to test new ideas. It gives you the freedom to try things that you are nervous about trying in your normal content. You can widen your audience and breathe a little more life into your content. You might have a content idea that doesn’t fill a full video. That might be perfect for a 60 second short! Try it!
We always would encourage you to make new content for shorts. But if you don’t have the capacity for that, you can absolutely use clips from your long-form content as shorts. There are people out there that only consume shorts. You can reach them this way. And hey, it might be just the taste that they need to dive into your full video.
You can also remix your own content and YouTube will actually add a link back to the original video. Doing this can breathe life into an old video that you know is excellent and it never really got the credit you believe it deserved. Try it and see if it works!
YouTube just rolled out new analytics for shorts. The new analytics is “% viewed vs. swiped away.” This is vital to know how you are connecting with your audience. Think about it. Why are people swiping away? Would it be better if the shorts were shorter? (-Answering the age old question, “ Who likes short shorts?? “…Sorry, I had to.) Try a shorter hook or using a visually creative intro. Experiment away and see what happens.
Keep Changing Lives!