There’s no doubt that short-form videos have been booming over the past couple of years. With the rise of TikTok, other platforms like Instagram (reels) and YouTube (shorts) have caught on.
But should you be using all of them?
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about YouTube shorts – and whether you should be using them or not.
- What’s the Deal with YouTube Shorts?
- YouTube Shorts Benefits
- YouTube Shorts Disadvantages
- YouTube Shorts in Marketing Strategy – Key Tips
- Final Thoughts
What’s The Deal With YouTube Shorts?
With over 2.5billion users, YouTube has been the most popular video streaming platform for a long time.
But as TikTok became more popular, they jumped on the trend of short-form videos too, which is their version, called YouTube shorts.
Like TikTok, the videos are focused on short clips under 60 seconds long. But, of course, YouTube still has its traditional format of longer videos.
Many YouTubers use shorts to promote their main channel and have an additional force in hitting the algorithm.
However, this varies based on industries, as YouTube can be popular with older audiences too (examples: Industries like business, politics, etc. are all very present on YouTube too, in which case they’d attract older audiences).
In general, YouTube is an excellent tool if you’re looking to attract a national or global audience, as the algorithm focuses more on interests than locations (organic traffic for creators).
Pros of Creating YouTube Shorts
We wanted to break down some of their pros to give you a better overview of whether you should use YouTube shorts in your marketing strategy.
Easy To Create
One of the most significant benefits of YouTube shorts is that they are easy to create compared to many other types of content.
This is especially the case if you are creating video content anyway:
- You can snip clips out of interviews to develop YouTube shorts
- If you are recording short-form videos for TikTok or IG reels, you can also use them as YouTube shorts.
The YouTube algorithm has a specific section for YouTube shorts. By creating them, you have access to additional visibility and can increase your reach.
As you can increase your reach, you’re also tapping into another source of brand awareness.
If you look at some YouTubers, who have blown up over the past year, such as Alex Hormozi, you can see that most of them use YouTube shorts as part of their digital strategy.
The simple reason is that you require less commitment from the viewer to remind them of your brand. Whereas, if you’re only uploading long-form video content, you’re asking them to sit down and watch your video for 5, 10, or even 20 minutes just to get in front of them.
With shorts, you’ll probably get a larger audience and, therefore, more brand awareness.
Another benefit of YouTube shorts is that they are speedy compared to traditional YouTube videos.
Because a user consumes more videos in the same period, it’s easier to reach more people quickly, and generally speaking, shorts can get views easier & quicker. This also contributes to the algorithm being more likely to pick them up.
Cons of Creating YouTube Shorts
Not Monetizable Through Traditional Ads
This won’t affect most businesses, as it’s more about pushing the attention and your users toward your brand/funnel.
However, with YouTube shorts, they aren’t monetizable, which shouldn’t be a problem for most businesses. But this news probably won’t please most creators.
Interest Targeting Only
YouTube’s algorithm for shorts mainly works on interests and not on geo-location. This means it may not be the most helpful tool for local businesses (compared to other channels like SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, or Instagram).
Does that mean they are entirely useless for local businesses?
No, there are some ways to make it work, especially for businesses targeting a national audience.
The only thing to remember is that with YouTube shorts, you can’t control who sees your videos – and the local users you may want to target probably have their feed filled up with global content creators.
Lower quality of Attention
One of the main disadvantages of YouTube shorts is that the quality of attention you’re getting is lower than in long-form videos.
With YouTube shorts, there is a designated area of a user’s feed for them, so many of the views will be people swiping through a ton of shorts and not necessarily clicking the channel they are on.
It’s often a case of the user clicking a catchy YouTube video and thinking, “Oh cool,” then clicking the next one.
However, that doesn’t make them entirely useless because they are still a great tool to:
- Get a user to know about your brand
- Offer value very quickly
- Reach a wide audience
Every time a user clicks on your short, they get to know you and what you have to offer a little better.
Using YouTube Shorts In Your Marketing Strategy: Key Tips
As we have seen throughout this article, YouTube shorts have various pros and cons. In general, they make more sense for businesses that sell their products online:
- Ecommerce stores
- Software Companies
- Personal Brands of any type
Why? Because one of the most significant advantages YouTube shorts have is their traffic volume.
Using them also only makes sense if you are already using YouTube as part of your marketing strategy.
One of the most critical factors with YouTube shorts is volume.
No matter how good you create them, they are slightly hit and miss because they depend on the algorithm, which you don’t have that much control over besides the standard CTR factors (Thumbnails, Title, etc.).
When it comes to YouTube shorts, making a good first impression is crucial because you only have 60 seconds.
This means you want to spill out the value (which may be educational, informational, or inspirational) as quickly as possible.
So if it’s a tip about the field you work in, you usually want to give them something with a “wow” factor or make it entertaining.
This way, it will be more likely that they will remember you, and the quality of attention you get increases.
Another way you can use YouTube shorts is to test the algorithm for your longer-form uploads to see which topics perform best.
YouTube shorts can usually get picked up by the algorithm quickly, so it’s a smaller time/budget investment to see what performs well.
From there, you can take the best performing topics and create longer-form videos on them, and you’ll know that your time is better spent.
Converting YouTube Shorts
YouTube shorts don’t have to be used for direct conversions necessarily. For example, if you’re saying something exciting and valuable within the video, your users will often click on your channel, where they will find your other videos that contain links.
However, at the end of the short, you can also use your last couple of seconds to tell the user to click the link in the pinned comment if you want to direct them somewhere else (landing page, website, community, etc.).
We hope you have enjoyed this article and that it has helped you better understand whether to use YouTube shorts – and, more importantly, how to use them.