by Charlotte Westlake
Dec 12, 2022
Youtube’s answer to TikTok entered the chat back in 2020 and with 15 billion shorts now viewed daily, it’s safe to say that the medium isn’t going anywhere. If they’re still new to you, don’t worry you aren’t behind the curve, but it’s definitely a great time to begin to incorporate them into your digital strategy.
What are Youtube Shorts?
Since its inception in 2005, Youtube has remained the most popular video-sharing platform. While longer-form content has been its staple (think 3 to 30 minutes), the platform has more recently pivoted to short-form content (15 to 60 seconds). Why? TikTok has stormed onto the social scene and with it, consumers’ viewing appetites have changed, with more users preferring to consume content that is less than 3 minutes long. Additionally, more than ever users are using mobile devices and apps to access content, which has driven vertical-formatted videos and swipe-friendly formatting of apps.
“Users consider short-form video content to be 2.5x more engaging than long-form video content.”
What are the benefits of Youtube Shorts?
Youtube Shorts can be an excellent tool for brands and creators to drive engagement and reach among new audiences. The platform is continuing to see great growth – views of YouTube Shorts videos hit 30 billion per day in the first quarter of 2022, which is up four times from Q1 2021.
One very tantalising feature for brands is how easy it is for users to hit subscribe while viewing a Short – really increasing the potential for fast growth. Add to this the fact that almost half of Youtube ‘watch time’ is generated from mobile devices, this makes Shorts a cornerstone for brands to master if they want to leverage their Youtube channel.
What content works best for Shorts?
The key to shorts is to create engaging, snappy content that provides value – whether that’s educational, behind the scenes or viral trends. It’s important to find your hook and to communicate that very quickly so you can grab the audience’s attention immediately.
Popular formats include:
- Company events
- Product launches
- Service updates
- Workplace updates, e.g. an office move
- How-to videos
- Quick reviews
- Industry tips
- Fun facts
- Jumping on a trending topic with your own take
What best practices do you need to consider?
Get straight to it
Ensure you jump straight into the relevant content – this isn’t the time for intro music or graphics. Make the first few seconds count to hook them in.
Short and sweet
Restrain your inner Quentin Tarantino and keep it snappy. Play with different cuts and edits to keep your audience engaged and entertained.
Optimise for replays
Shorts are played on a reply loop – so think about how your content appears in this format.
Keep them keen
What is the hook that will keep your audience coming back for more – and encourage them to subscribe?
Consistency is key
Make sure you have a content plan in place so that you never run out of ideas or inspiration. Take a look at your competitors and what works for them, or what the top-performing creators are up to.
Optimise your shorts
Optimise the title of your video with relevant keywords and limit the title to between 50 and 70 characters. Label your video with #shorts so that Youtube can categorise it correctly.
As well as the #shorts hashtag, make sure that you have a hashtag strategy in place. Currently, Youtube will allow you to use up to 15 hashtags in your video caption – use any more and the algorithm will ignore all hashtags. Our advice is to use between 3 and 5 for optimum results, but the best thing you can do is test what works for your brand.
Music – a word of warning
For a lot of brands, it makes sense to repurpose content from TikTok and Instagram Reels, which in and of itself is a great idea. However, Youtube has a much stricter policy regarding copyrighted material and so it’s important to ensure that any music taken from TikTok doesn’t run afoul of these rules or you might find you run into issues with Youtube.
Get help with your Youtube Shorts strategy
Brands are still new to Youtube Shorts and so they remain an amazing way to get ahead of the competition. If you need help with your Shorts strategy, the Peaky Digital team can assist you with your advertising efforts by creating campaigns, tracking and optimising performance, and overseeing the running of your account. Get in touch with us today.
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