The Ultimate Guide for Making YouTube Shorts1 November 2022 | Mohammed For Red Bangle
Millions upon billions of videos are uploaded and seen every day on YouTube, making it the most popular video-sharing website in the world. When most people think of “video” and “social media”, they think of YouTube.
With “Shorts”, YouTube is now going head-to-head with Instagram’s Reels in an attempt to compete with TikTok, the market leader in the short video space. With the Shorts player surpassing 15 billion daily views globally as of July 2021, the Shorts community is growing rapidly. YouTube’s rich set of creator tools, such as Shorts’ monetization opportunities and its creator app, have helped spur the platform’s growth. But hey, it’s not just YouTube that’s growing.
Businesses across the globe are leveraging YouTube Shorts to build top-of-mind recall and connect with their audience like never before. As a business that lives and breathes video, we figured it’s about time we dropped some real heat on what makes YouTube Shorts tick. Here’s everything you need to get started.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
While viewing Shorts, a large demographic of the YouTube audience is in a perpetual state of “What’s next?” Focus on getting people hooked in the first few seconds of your video to catch their attention as they scroll. There are no thumbnails in the Shorts feed, so your first sentence is very important if you want to reach the right people. Great scripting can go a long way! Other ways to do this are to use incredible imagery, unique edit transitions, and the algorithm favorite: popular music. And, lighting, costumes, or locations can all be keys to taking your content to the next level.
The funny little neurons and synapses in our brain love symmetry! So much so, that they activate pleasure senses every time they process a perfectly symmetrical visual. Apply that to video, and you have loops. If done right, loopable videos are one of the coolest hacks to increase your engagement rate without breaking a sweat. It’s like watching a magic trick unfold. When your YT Short begins and ends with the same frame and sound, it drives–and sometimes even tricks–viewers into watching it over and over again. A cool trick to achieve this is to script your content in such a way that your last and first lines can be combined to form one coherent thought.
Memes make up a large part of what flies on YouTube. Leveraging trends is a fun way to have more people find you on the platform while also making your brand seem more human.
Pro-tip: hop on to the Audio Library and review the list chronologically to see if any song sparks an idea. The list is constantly refreshed based on popularity. So be sure to check back often. When leveraging memes, be true to what puts a smile on your audience’s face. On Shorts, even videos that are random, real, and not edited are celebrated. If you don’t know where to start, think about the multiple facets of your audience persona and think about how your brand can piggyback on that facet by adding creative value.
Numbers Don’t Lie
“Do more of what works” is a content strategy tenet that every single creator or brand swears by. YouTube has an incredible analytics engine that can point you toward your content’s North Star.
Open up a short you want to investigate by tapping on the analytics button. Here you will see a breakdown of the key metrics that drive performance:
Views, likes, comments, and shares are your starting point. Compare these numbers for a few shorts and make note of the ones that get a lot of comments or “thumbs ups”. This is a good sign that the content is unique and worth looking into.
Audience Retention shows how long, on average, people watch and what percentage of the total run time that is. Remember the looping strategy we spoke about earlier? You might have more than 100% retention if people watch your short more than once.
Traffic Sources will show you how people are finding your shorts. Even though the Shorts Feed is likely to be a big reason why people get to your content, Pay close attention to other traffic sources and what they might mean. Perhaps you have a content magnet on a different social media channel that’s driving traffic for you on YouTube. With data, you can be sure these channels are part of your distribution strategy.
Second Vs. Main Channel
Choosing between a same-channel Shorts strategy and a second-channel Shorts strategy is less about performance risk and more about how you want to express your brand creativity. You need to consider two things:
Style of Content: If your Shorts are similar to your long-form content, it might make sense to keep them on your main channel. But if you want to go in a different direction, you might want to make a new channel for your Shorts.
Channel Notifications: This is where the YouTube algorithm comes in, yet again. Viewers who have pressed the bell icon to get updates on your channel won’t be told every time you post a Short. For channels that post both long-form videos and Shorts, YouTube only sends Shorts notifications to your audience that statistically is more likely to engage with your Shorts. This is to ensure your subscribers don’t get overwhelmed with a barrage of same-channel notifications.
Your Content Calendar is one of those pesky little things that has no glitz and glamor for a creator but is absolutely critical. Laying out a clear calendar and religiously following it is one of the most touted methods to build your subscriber base, keep them hooked for more, and prevent your content strategy from drifting away from YouTube. When choosing how often to post, you should think about the following:
Your Attention: You don’t have to jump on every new trend or track added to the audio library. Authenticity is the most important thing, so you should only make content once you have identified content pegs that speak to your audience at a deep level.
Your Schedule: I can’t stress this enough, but be realistic when you set your posting schedule. Committing to your posting schedule is extremely important. If you are unrealistic about barriers you may have, such as the lack of time and resources, you’ll only be shooting your content strategy in the foot.
Creativity: Some people find that a deadline helps them take creative risks, while others might find that a set schedule makes them put out content that isn’t as good. Think about both options and go with the one that makes the most sense to you. For long-term success that is sustainable, focus on quality over quantity.
YouTube has proven to be an incredible content marketing channel for businesses across industries. Want to increase brand awareness and engagement rates? Want to deliver your content to a high-intent audience set while building trustworthy customer relationships? Stay ahead of the social media game with Red Bangle. Tell incredible stories that build your audience and grow your business.
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