Brands and Creators Jump in on Shorts

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As we go into 2023, people’s love for short-form videos reigns supreme. 

TikTok popularized short-form videos, and once it took off, other platforms like Instagram and Facebook jumped on the bandwagon by creating Reels. 

People’s love for short-form video content, whether it’s caused by the love for bite-sized entertainment, the addicting forever scroll, or their longing to return to the days of Vine, this love has not gone unnoticed by brand marketers. According to our 2023 trends survey, 57% of brand marketing leaders stated that short-form video is their most used content format.  

Hello YouTube Shorts! 

YouTube Shorts, YouTube’s short-form video feature, was launched in 2020. Shorts must be under 60 seconds long and mirror the forever scroll of other platforms. With Shorts, creators can access editing tools that are unavailable when editing long-form videos, keeping their platform up to par with competitors. These editing tools include filters, voiceovers, remixing, a green screen effect, and more. 

What’s exciting and unique about Shorts is that creators can use audio from any public YouTube video, so long as the creator does not opt out of this option. This allows creators to use audio from hundreds of millions of YouTube videos. Considering YouTube has been around since 2005, there are millions of ✨iconic✨ sounds for creators to play with.

Shorts have been gaining sizable popularity; as of 2022, they have 1.5 billion monthly active users who spend an average of 56 minutes per day on the app. Shorts has surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally. Additionally, Shorts attract a wide range of viewers, 49.3% are aged 13-24, and 44.3% are aged 25-44. 

Should Creators (and Brands) Jump in on Shorts?

Absolutely! Shorts are a great way for creators to generate viewership.

Shorts also allow creators to experiment with the types of content they create, as Shorts give short-form content a chance to shine on YouTube. 

Why is it that Shorts gives short-form content a chance to thrive? According to Tubefilter, due to the auto-play aspect, there’s no real distinction between impressions and views, making CTR irrelevant. This allows creators to create short-form video content that would have no chance of competing against YouTube’s traditional long-form content. 

Shorts open the door for creators to make relatively low-effort content, giving them the space to create content more quickly. Creators can then post content in between the time it takes them to release a new long-form video allowing them to maintain publishing frequency. Additionally, if they are struggling to produce long-form videos, Shorts help creators maintain viewership.

Tubefilter also reported that while Shorts would not necessarily support viewership of a channel’s long-form content, YouTube is considering updating its algorithm to recommend long-form content based on a channel’s Shorts viewership. 

YouTube is also encouraging and helping creators to produce creative content with the launch of the YouTube Shorts Fund. This $100 million fund rewards thousands of creators with bonuses for making engaging and entertaining Shorts content. 

It has also created an exclusive Shorts Creator Community which provides creators with support, advice, workshops, collaboration opportunities, and other perks to help their Shorts content flourish.

The Key to Successful Shorts

YouTube is the home of long-form videos, but audiences are magnetized to short-form. The new feature and algorithm on YouTube make it possible for short-form to thrive; now, creators must figure out how to get audiences to love their content.

Start by captivating audiences in the first few seconds. If a video does not entice a viewer in the first few seconds, they will scroll right past it without hesitation. Make upbeat, authentic, and straight-to-the-point content to lock them in for the remaining 60 seconds.

Create relevant and on-trend content. A creator’s audience subscribes to them for a reason; make sure to produce content that will make the audience laugh or teach them something new. Then blend your content with current trends to ensure you are maximizing what social media does best.

Encourage replays. Entertaining content paired with excellent timing and editing skills will encourage more replays, in turn assisting in further boosting viewership.

Repurpose long-form content and make content that supplements long-form videos. Breathe life into your past content by repurposing past content into bite-sized snippets. Additionally, suppose your content intrigues audiences or offers one small bite of education. In that case, they will likely wish to learn more, and you can use Shorts to drive audiences to long-form videos.

Optimize your titles. Create the best possible title for your video by researching keywords, using hashtags, limiting the number of characters, and overlaying titles onto captions. This will ensure audiences can find you in the YouTube search engine and have your content discovered by the algorithm.

“Titles on YouTube Shorts are a powerful and relatively easy tool to utilize in strategic ways by brands. Because titles act as mini descriptions on the platform, users are able to include clickable hashtags right in the forefront of their content. For sponsored posts, using branded and vertical specific hashtags allows brands to decide what conversations they want their content to be a part of, as tags are an integral part of how users find content and how the algorithm pushes it out to viewers. As YouTube Shorts continues to gain traction as a social media platform, capitalizing off of these trends and ideas early can only benefit brands who are looking to expand their reach with creator marketing.”

-Caroline Clausen, Account Manager

Take either a quality or quantity approach but be consistent. Tubefilter’s study found that either strategy (whether releasing content daily or putting maximum effort into posting high-quality content a couple of times a week) can produce good results. If you choose quantity, you play a numbers game, and the possibility of one of the videos succeeding is high. If you choose quality, you release a strong piece of content with a good chance of succeeding. With either strategy, it is crucial to monitor what content performs well. The key is to be consistent with posting and use your learnings to your advantage. 

Additionally, they found some niches perform better than others. The study showed the average views per video in the first 90 days (VP90) across various niches, pointing out that comedy, travel, entertainment, science and tech, and how-to and style are the most successful. Take your niche into consideration when planning a campaign. Will your niche work better as long-form or short-form content?

Brands 🤝 Shorts

YouTube’s efforts to make Shorts shine on their platform, plus the high viewership of the content, makes it beneficial for both brands and creators to jump in. 

Shorts are thriving and it is important for brands to establish their place in the growing space to stay ahead of the competition. Shorts allow brands to boost their engagement and visibility and offer a lot of room for highly creative campaigns. 

Take a look at how Target utilized the platform to create a wonderful and creative holiday campaign: 

And Disney worked with creators to cross-share content across YouTube Shorts and other short-form content platforms for multiple campaigns, including the Tamron Hall and Strange World campaigns:

Have you considered running a YouTube Shorts campaign? If not, now is the time! And if you have, we can help you create a magical one. Reach out to Open Influence today to get started. Open Influence is a global creator marketing agency renowned for working with the world’s largest brands.

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