As marketers, seeing every platform pivot to short-form video is overwhelming. You may ask yourself, “Should we really spend our time and money making YouTube Shorts?”
Here are a few reasons why YouTube Shorts might be worth your while:
Your audience is probably already there
75% of YouTube’s massive audience also watches Shorts.
YouTube’s vast audience poses a unique opportunity for brands that may have struggled to find their audience on Tiktok or Instagram Reels.
YouTube Shorts can benefit B2B and B2C brands
Because of Tiktok’s niche younger audience, certain B2C brands have found great success on the platform. However, other types of brands, such as B2B brands, might have difficulty growing awareness on Tiktok.
While YouTube also appeals to this younger audience, tens of thousands of hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every hour. There’s a channel out there for every person, of any age, in any industry.
If you’re a B2B brand that has struggled to connect with your desired audience on Tiktok or Instagram, YouTube Shorts may provide the perfect opportunity to connect with professionals seeking industry-related content like tutorials and seminars.
Similarly, if your content skews more towards an older audience, such as older millennials or Gen X, you may find more engagement on YouTube Shorts than on Tiktok.
The stakes are lower
Before the launch of YouTube Shorts, YouTube was strictly a long-form content platform. For brands, producing long-form video content is not only time-consuming but expensive, causing many marketers to shy away from the platform.
Now, with the advent of Shorts, brands can hop on YouTube in a lower-stakes, more approachable, and affordable way.
Additionally, because YouTube Shorts uses the same vertical format as Instagram Reels and Tiktok, content created for these platforms can easily be repurposed to expand reach and impressions with minimal effort.
And if your brand is already present on YouTube, Shorts offers the perfect opportunity to slice and dice your content into shorter videos. YouTube is unique in that it is popular for both short- and long-form content, so Shorts could be the perfect way to reach a new audience who may become viewers of your long-form content as well.
Blaze the trail for other brands
YouTube Shorts is still a relatively new platform, meaning that now is the time to get on it and start experimenting with what works best for your brand.
And as most platforms do with new features – seen most recently with Instagram prioritizing Reels in their algorithms – it’s likely that YouTube will prioritize Shorts while it’s new to make a big splash with the format, potentially allowing for increased views on Shorts for a limited time.
Advertising opportunities on YouTube Shorts
YouTube is a giant in the advertising game, and the advent of Shorts marks a big shake-up. How should you adapt your advertising strategy for YouTube Shorts?
YouTube has been experimenting with ads in Shorts since 2021, and according to a Google Ads & Commerce blog, they are gradually rolling it out to advertisers around the world.
Later in the year, YouTube has promised that brands will be able to connect their product feed to their campaigns to make video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable.
If your brand sees the benefit of shoppable ads but doesn’t have a large audience on Tiktok, this may be the perfect opportunity for you.
It’s important to note that you will need to consider the vertical format for video ads on YouTube Shorts and work in creative variations, as YouTube ads are traditionally 16×9 dimensions.
SEO & YouTube Shorts
In the past few months, Tiktok has made great strides to assert its place not only as the kingpin of social media but of search engines as well. Google has confirmed that TikTok is eating into their search business, particularly amongst younger audiences that value authenticity and community-validated content.
Creators have begun to understand the importance of optimizing their Tiktoks for SEO by incorporating keywords into their videos, captions, and hashtags, and have seen great benefits to their impressions. But does the same apply to YouTube Shorts?
As of now, it’s difficult to say. In general, YouTube discoverability is all about three things: the text, the thumbnail, and how well the video performs. YouTube also relies heavily on personalization, which means that the videos it recommends to you may not be the same as it would recommend to someone else — even if you searched for the same thing.
For now, YouTube Shorts creators should treat keyword optimization the same way that they would for long-form videos: including relevant keywords in the caption and hashtags of the Short.
YouTube Shorts Best Practices for Brands
So, now that you have a solid understanding of YouTube Shorts, how can you best use them to increase impressions and engagements for your brand? Let’s dive in.
Blaze the trail for other brands
If the first few seconds don’t hook the viewer, they’re going to keep scrolling. This can be done by:
- Using engaging on-screen text
- Saying something intriguing
- Fast movement at the start of the video
- Using trending sounds
Keep it short & snappy
Shorts work best if they’re just that: short. Keep your videos short and to the point, and use them to drive to your longer-form content.
Make your captions count
YouTube Short captions can only be 100 characters, so make them count. Be sure to include keywords where it makes sense, and use each caption as an opportunity to give viewers additional information, a call to action, or to express your brand personality.
Keep it short & snappy
As with Tiktok and Instagram Reels, jumping on trends or trending audios is a great way to reach new audiences and promote discoverability. Trends can also be a great opportunity to establish and express your brand personality.
Maintain an authentic brand voice
Everyone wants to be like Duolingo on Tiktok, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. While YouTube Shorts is a great place to have fun and show your brand personality, you should still maintain a consistent brand voice across all platforms.
The long and short of YouTube Shorts
Short-form video is the future, and YouTube Shorts are here to stay. Although YouTube Shorts are different in many ways from Tiktok and Instagram Reels, the pillars of short-form video marketing stand true across all platforms.
Ready to level-up your content marketing strategy? Chat with us about how we can help elevate your brand with a smart video marketing strategy and flawless execution.