YouTube Shorts has become the most popular short-form video platform for viewers, surpassing even TikTok. There’s a huge potential audience waiting to be tapped on YouTubeShorts.
Given that, it’s wise for content creators, influencers, and their producers to consider how to make YouTube Shorts part of their content strategy.
But what is YouTube Shorts exactly? How to make YouTube Shorts that will both retain and engage your current subscriber base, and gain you new audiences? Is it even worth your time to post on a new short-form video platform?
Let’s find out.
YouTube Shorts is YouTube's version of TikTok. A Short is a vertical or square video that is less than 60 seconds long. They’re optimized for viewing on a phone, but are also viewable on a desktop or Smart TV.
YouTube Shorts videos are designed to be consumed quicker than regular long-form videos. With regular YouTube videos, a viewer has to click or tap (and sometimes scroll) over to the next one.
Once a viewer taps a YouTube Shorts video though, they simply swipe up to view the next one. If a viewer does nothing, the YouTube Shorts video will continue to play on loop.
The YouTube Shorts player makes interaction with a video or channel easy for viewers , and great for driving engagement and subscriptions. They can easily:
Viewers can find YouTube Shorts videos by tapping the “Shorts” icon at the bottom of the YouTube App (there is no separate YouTube Shorts App). On desktop, Shorts live on the panel on the left side of the home screen.
Viewers can also find YouTube Shorts suggested on the YouTube homepage, featured on your channel page, or through notifications.
Once a YouTube Shorts video is published, it will stay on the channel – it won’t disappear. Anyone with a YouTube account can create a YouTube Shorts Video, and anyone (with or without an account) can view them.
Once they’re watching a YouTube Short video, a viewer can tap to pause and to play. However, they can’t fast forward, rewind, or scrub through like with a regular YouTube video.
What is YouTube Shorts (or any platform) good for if you don’t use it strategically? As with any conversation about YouTube channel, your strategy depends on your goals. Monetization? Growth? Reach? YouTube Shorts can help with any of those.
Let’s talk about how to make YouTube Shorts that boost your income. YouTube recently announced an expansion of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) – the program through which creators make money from their YouTube channels. Shorts are a big part of the change.
Ad revenue sharing for Shorts ads will begin February 1, 2023. Currently, qualified Shorts creators, whether in YPP or not, are paid by YouTube via The YouTube Shorts Fund. The expansion of YPP means the Fund will be phased out starting February.
Starting in mid-January 2023, if you live in a YPP-eligible country, you’ll be able to join YPP by either:
Keep in mind that meeting the eligibility requirements doesn’t mean your Shorts will automatically make you money! For those who are currently in YPP, you’ll need to sign the applicable agreements to opt into Shorts revenue sharing.
If you’re not in YPP but do meet the new eligibility requirements, you’ll need to apply to join the program. To do this, look at the Monetization tab in YouTube studio, starting mid-January 2023.
When you join YPP, you’ll also need to make sure your channel and content align with all YouTube channel monetization policies. Of course, these shifting requirements may have implications for Multi-Channel Networks as well, since their creators could potentially start earning more.
Since ads play between YouTube Shorts videos, revenue share for Shorts will look a little different than it does for long-form videos. YouTube will add up the monthly revenue from Shorts ads and distribute it to YPP Shorts creators based on the number of views their Shorts got in each country.
Note that the total amount of ad revenue is used both to pay creators and to cover the music licensing costs of Shorts. This means creators keep 45% of the revenue.
The rest goes towards music licensing, regardless of whether you use licensed music in your Shorts.
In addition to the above, YPP creators will have lower eligibility thresholds to access “Fan Funding” tools that enable viewers to make a one-time, voluntary payment to a channel.
If you’re currently not enrolled in YPP, good news – starting October 2022, your eligible Shorts views already count toward your eligibility for the program! Once you’re in the program, you’re eligible to receive revenue sharing from ads on long-form videos, not just Shorts.
All the more reason to get serious about your YouTube Shorts presence now.
The YouTube Shorts player is designed to drive engagement and expansion for your channel – that’s why it makes it easy for viewers to interact with your video. YouTube Shorts are brief, so it’s more likely for your Shorts to be seen by potential new subscribers.
That means the more Shorts you post, the more likely it is that a non-subscriber will be shown your Shorts!
Because viewers generally expect less polished videos from YouTube Shorts, creators can post Shorts more frequently. This makes YouTube Shorts a great way to keep your current subscribers engaged with your channel between long-form video posts.
Sampling, or “remixing” other channels’ YouTube Shorts and regular videos is a great tool for reaching new audiences on YouTube.
When you sample other people’s video or audio in your Shorts, the app will credit and link their video. Viewers can also tap “Sound” in the Shorts player to find a link to the source video, alongside other Shorts using the same audio.
All of this means potentially increased discoverability for your videos.
You will also be notified if someone else remixes your Shorts. There is currently no way to opt out of your Shorts being sampled. You can limit sampling of your regular long-form videos in YouTube Studio, but as being sampled increases your reach, we don’t recommend it.
Important to know: If a video you sample is deleted or restricted, your video will be muted and set for deletion after 30 days. YouTube will send you a notification before this happens so you can download a sample-free version of your Short before it’s deleted.
If you’re looking to reach new audiences, sampling Shorts with a high view count is a good strategy. You can sample any Short, but using one from a channel that has potential for audience overlap with yours is best.
For example, musicians can focus on sampling from the channels of other musicians with similar genres and styles. Livestreamers can sample from new game footage, while film critics can sample from short films or trailers.
A sound bite from a popular Short or long-form video from another channel could be excellent audio for your product demo Short.
You could also use the “Clip” feature to demonstrate your expertise in your area. For example, if you’re a choreographer, you might sample a clip of a popular Short featuring dance, and offer your expert commentary on the dance technique in the original Short. “Green Screen” can also be used for this.
It’s ok to get a little abstract and creative with the Remix feature. The original Short is always credited, so it’s going to be obvious to viewers that you’re sampling. Just be clear on the goal of your Short and how your sampling supports that goal.
Regardless of the process you use to create your YouTube Shorts videos, here are a few best practices to make sure you’re taking the best possible advantage of the format:
With Shorts, all a viewer has to do is swipe up to move on – no scrolling or tapping required. So capturing their attention within your first couple of seconds of video is a must.
Put time into crafting that opening moment for maximum retention, and consider your video title a part of this first frame.
A consistent posting schedule lets your subscribers know what to expect from your channel, which means they’re more likely to stay subscribed and engaged. Consistent posting is also key if you’re looking for how to make YouTube Shorts that may be more favored by YouTube’s algorithms (and shown to more non-subscribers).
Consistency may actually be even more important than frequency when it comes to posting. For example, say you post a new Short every day, but the quality is only so-so.
Even if you’re able to reach a lot of new audiences that way, they may not want to subscribe or stick around. A smarter strategy is figuring out how many high-quality Shorts you can post per week, and sticking to that schedule. Two to three times a week is a good starting place.
Many content and channel types can do well on YouTube Shorts, because the audience for Shorts is huge and varied. The best way to connect with the audiences that are going to want to engage with you long-term is to stay true to your channel’s voice with each video. Check out our chat with CollegeHumor for some inspiration on how to do this.
That said, incorporating trends into your Shorts can be good for audience expansion if you’re able to use them in a way that’s authentic to your brand. Because YouTube Shorts are consumed faster than your regular long-form videos, they’re an ideal place to try things out, like sampling trending audio or jumping on a viral challenge.
Here’s how to make YouTube Shorts that will look good in the Shorts player. When filming your Short and adding elements like text, remember that the player will add your channel, title, and interaction buttons on the bottom and right side of the screen.
Try not to overlap with those elements as you frame your Short. And remember that your video will automatically loop – factor that into the rhythm and tempo of your Short.
You don’t need to plan and create a new Short from scratch every time you want to post! There are smart ways to leverage already-existing content.
First, you can make YouTube Shorts using your own regular long-form YouTube videos.
Mining your channel’s long-form videos for YouTube Shorts content makes sense. It’s a time-saver as well as a way to get more mileage from older, evergreen videos.
It’s also a relatively light-lift strategy for getting as many views on a newly posted long-form video as possible, since the original video will be just a tap away for the viewer.
Here’s how to make YouTube Shorts from one of your existing long-form videos on the platform. You’ll use the YouTube app (this process currently isn’t available on desktop). You can choose any of your long-form videos set to “Public”, and edit them into Shorts (or use them to make a new Short). Check out this step-by-step guide for details on how to do this.
Ideas for using these features:
In addition to leveraging your long-form YouTube videos, you can make YouTube Shorts using your own video from a different platform.
Take advantage of the fact that both the technical requirements (verticality, time limit) and audience expectations for tone are the same across these platforms, and repurpose your content!
By taking a couple of extra steps every time you upload a video to a different platform, you’re potentially reaching entirely new audiences on YouTube Shorts. You could be opening up new revenue streams as well .
Say you’re an influencer with an established presence on TikTok or Instagram Reels. Maybe you have a YouTube channel with some regular videos, but you haven’t gotten into YouTube Shorts yet.
You can very easily re-purpose the content you’re uploading to other platforms by downloading your videos and uploading them to YouTube Shorts.
Both TikTok and Instagram Reels allow you to download your videos. Then, just upload to YouTube Shorts on either your phone or PC.
Using YouTube Shorts doesn’t have to be a heavy lift and it could potentially pay off big time for you and your channel (or channels). Use the techniques we taught you to make YouTube Shorts and, more importantly, make YouTube Shorts work for YOU!
If you’re an influencer creating sponsored content on YouTube and other social media platforms (or looking to hire one), start by learning more about SAG’s Influencer Agreement for Branded Content.
At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.