Explode Your Subscriber Count with YouTube Shorts
This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture a new audience with YouTube’s latest video format
If you’re a small YouTuber like me or someone who has been struggling to grow your subscriber count, you’ll want to pay close attention to YouTube’s latest feature.
YouTube recently came out with their new shorts vertical video format to compete with TikTok, and they are promoting it right now on the platform.
SEO expert Jim Harmer of Income School.com predicts that YouTube creators who take advantage of this new video format by posting video shorts to their channel could see massive subscriber growth in a very short amount of time.
Currently, YouTube has not monetized shorts; however, the goal for creators is to take advantage of this new opportunity to bring awareness to their channel.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
According to YouTube, “shorts are a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”
YouTube shorts are shot in a vertical format.
Unlike YouTube stories that are only available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers, the shorts format is available to all YouTube creators regardless of the subscriber count.
Shorts now appear in their own section on YouTube’s mobile app within the main video feed.
What Makes YouTube Shorts Such a Powerful Marketing Tool?
YouTube is heavily promoting this new video format, resulting in a lot more views for creators since the inventory of shorts is still fairly low.
In fact, short videos that were created years ago are now seeing a tremendous increase in views because of this new feature.
Each short also has a subscribe button for your channel on the video itself. Therefore, if a viewer likes your video, they can subscribe immediately.
Basically, by creating very short videos that won’t take much time or effort to put together, you can dramatically increase the number of subscribers for your channel in a short period of time due to the increased exposure from YouTube promoting them.
How Long Should YouTube Shorts Be?
Nate from Channel Makers recommends that YouTube shorts be less than 58 seconds.
Even though it is recommended that shorts be 60 seconds or less, apparently videos that are exactly 60 seconds haven’t been getting added to the YouTube shorts feed.
Therefore, keeping your videos under 58 seconds will give your video the greatest chance of being included in the shorts video feed.
Tips for Creating YouTube Shorts
Here are some quick and easy tips for creating videos for YouTube’s new short format.
Recording YouTube Shorts
The easiest way to record vertical videos is by using your smartphone in an upright position. You can also use a traditional camera or Go Pro to film your videos if you turn it on its side.
Create Standalone Videos
Even though 58 seconds isn’t a lot of time to get your message out, your shorts should feel like a complete standalone video since they play in a continuous series. The goal is not to simply create a preview video for your channel.
Repurpose Video Content
Even though YouTube shorts are in a vertical video format, that doesn’t mean that they have to be shot with your smartphone.
You can create a custom template inside your video editor that is 1080x1920 pixels (the inverse of the standard 1080p template) and cut up your existing videos into smaller segments or mash multiple videos together.
If you have a niche channel, you should strive to keep your shorts consistent with your brand messaging.
For example, if you normally create videos about dog training, your short could be a video of your dog demonstrating an interesting trick.
At the end of the video, you can say something to the effect of, “if you like this type of content, subscribe to my channel for more dog training tips.”
Use the Hashtag #Shorts in Your Video Title
If you want to let YouTube know that your video was created specifically as a short, you must use the hashtag #short at the end of your video title. You can also put the hashtag in your video description if you like.
Currently, YouTube selects an image from your video that is used as the thumbnail for shorts on the YouTube mobile app.
It is possible to upload a custom thumbnail for the desktop version, but since most people won’t be watching shorts on desktop, you don’t need to worry about creating a custom thumbnail for your shorts right now.
30-Day Shorts Challenge
If you are interested in experimenting with this new YouTube video format, I would encourage you to create and upload a “short” to your channel for the next 30 days.
It will only take a few minutes each day to shoot and edit. However, the potential payoff to your brand and channel could be massive.
Opportunities like this don’t come around every day, and they certainly don’t last forever. If you're a small YouTuber like me, let’s take advantage of the new video format and grow our channels together.