Are YouTube Shorts only for Creators or also Brands?

hand holding smartphone with internet access to youtube

Youtube shorts are increasingly becoming a popular form of mainstream media and it’s no secret that the platform is pushing this, so why not take advantage of the trend? As a business owner you probably strive to do everything to get your name out there on the digital landscape but with the increasing amount of platforms it becomes difficult to push your brand. Youtube has the most users across the world and its creators reach many cultures through many countries (Fig 1.1), but recently TikTok has surpassed Youtube in the amount of users it has in the United States as of 2021 (Fig 1.2). This is a huge reason why Youtube is pushing shorts as its popular form of content. Businesses can take advantage of the trend too, it isn’t only for typical content creators. In this article we will discuss how shorts are for business owners and how some have taken advantage of this trend and how you can too.

Image Credit: Global Media Insight. A chart that shows a visual comparison of the amount of users YouTube has across many countries in millions (Fig 1.1). To see more resources and information about YouTube user statistics click here.

A World-wide Audience

Youtube reaches almost every continent because it is an inclusive platform that strives to reach as many individuals as it can around the globe. Creators on Youtube can make whatever content they desire and post to an appealing audience which allows for the exchange of information, culture, current events and it progresses diverse communication. Since YouTube has gigantic user rates in countries like the USA, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Japan (Fig 1.2), it allows for anyone who generates content to reach a mass audience and market their brand. Businesses have the ability to tap into this audience potential if they create content that is appealing to users.

Image Credit: Marketing Charts. Chart showing that TikTok has surpassed YouTube in users as of 2021 (Fig 1.2).

Shorter is Better

An overall trend has been showing that individuals streaming media want content that is shorter and easier to consume. Users would rather watch many short length videos than stream one very long video. The trend can be seen by how many people in the United States are switching over to TikTok versus Youtube. These companies have been competing ever since TikTok’s rise to popularity. This competition is a never ending battle that weighs for one side or the other depending on cultural events happening and economic trends, but the movement suggests that users want shorter content. YouTube is still the most used platform in the entire world and it has been adapting new forms of video content and rolling out creator tools that allow individuals or businesses to post short length videos that are quickly consumed and reach more people on the platform. YouTube launched its Shorts in September 2020 and it has allowed for media to be watched faster and shared with ease quicker than ever on the largest video streaming platform.

Image Credit: Youtube Creators Shorts. YouTube shorts launched in September 2020 and is short length video content that mirrors TikTok style of videos.
Image Credit: Youtube. Chanel Content Tools page for Content Creators on YouTube.

Five Simple Steps

So how do you make shorts? Try these five steps:

1. Get set up 

2. Choose your Music 

3. Record your Video 

4. Time to Edit 

5. Upload a Share 

(Short-form video experience – youtube creators) Last Updated: 2022.

It’s that simple! That’s all folks. End of the article… Okay just kidding, it is not that simple if you really want to get the most benefits from posting content for your business. We won’t go into video creation here or how to make Shorts specifically but there are resources for that available by professionals on Youtube already. What I do want to discuss is the other factors you want to consider before you upload and after a Short if you want to see growth in your business.

Before you upload a short you want to consider what content you want to produce in a short? Your shorts can be entertaining, informative, funny or any tone that you want to present but make sure you use that to tell the story of your business or showcase the benefits of products you are working with.

Brands commonly use Shorts to build anticipation for products they have coming out or to let consumers know the benefits of the products they have available. If you are having a hard time deciding what kind of shorts would benefit your brand then just watch various examples of shorts from other brands or creators and see how they are reaching users.

Video credit: Danessa Myricks Beauty. Sephora using Youtube Shorts to promote is new collection to potential customers (Fig 2.1).

After Uploading a Youtube Short it is important that you utilize the content creator tools so you can understand the type of engagement your brand is having. This means once you have an overview of how many people were reached by the video you should start to look at how long they watched and how many videos before switching off. It is also important to view the engagement which includes the likes, dislikes, comments, shares and other types of interactions or replies people have had to the content. Youtube has come a long way from its early days where data was nonexistent to creators or brands, and it is still working to be more creator friendly, but the ability to view the audience and understand the demographics is a key part in creating your content once you have established a customer base. The tools brands have at their disposal make it very simple and easy to understand the type of engagement your brand is receiving and what type of content appeals most to them. 

Video Credit: Jaime Ibanez. In this video a small business owner, Jaime Ibanez, explains how posting one short length video changed the future of his small snack brand and made him an overnight success.

Small Businesses Should Take Advantage

Small businesses more than any should adopt to use short length content to promote their brands. Users desire shorter and easier to consume content. Whether you post content on TikTok or Youtube Shorts it is important to understand the trend going on so you can adapt your brands to grow with that trend. Youtube has a wide reach and may expose your content to a different audience of potential customers. Sometimes this growth can be unpredictable and you have to be able to adjust your business to maintain that growth.

Youtube and TikTok both are great platforms for brands to increase their engagement with customers. The combination of posting engaging content on these streaming platforms can drive customers to your business and increase sales so it’s important that you learn to adapt your brand to take advantage of what these platforms can offer you.

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