How to Dominate YouTube Shorts in 2023 with Best Practices

Read Time: 4 minutes

Research shows that video content drives more engagement on social media than other forms of content. If you’re a marketer, generating social media video content should be among your top priorities.

You should also focus on taking advantage of new video-centric platforms and social media channels. YouTube Shorts is just one example. By experimenting with this channel, you can give your social media marketing efforts a major boost this year.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

Generating and sharing bite-sized video content has long been a popular marketing practice among brands on such platforms as TikTok and Instagram.  It’s only natural that YouTube, the premiere video hosting and sharing platform, would also provide users with the opportunity to share such content. 

That’s all YouTube Shorts are: small chunks of video content that may be ideal for social media.

How Long Can YouTube Shorts Be?

YouTube Shorts are typically less than one minute long. Because the purpose of these Shorts is to at least partially compete with TikTok videos, it’s not uncommon for these videos to be very short. Research indicates that the ideal length for a TikTok video is between seven and 15 seconds.

YouTube Shorts also tend to share other features with TikTok videos and Instagram Reels. Specifically, they are usually shot vertically on mobile devices.

YouTube Shorts Dimensions

The ideal dimensions for YouTube Shorts is 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. YouTube Shorts should be shot with a 9:16 aspect ratio.

(For more information on this topic, check out our guide on social media video specs and dimensions.)

What Are the Benefits of YouTube Shorts?

Promoting your brand via YouTube Shorts is a wise decision for many potential reasons. Benefits you might enjoy as a result of generating and sharing quality YouTube Shorts include the following:

  • Engaging potential audience members who might not have time to view longer content
  • Reducing costs, as generating short videos that users expect to be filmed on a smartphone tends to be less expensive than producing longer video content
  • Taking advantage of trends and commenting on relevant topics in the news

That last point is particularly noteworthy. Although participating in trending conversations and posting content that relates to ongoing news stories is a basic principle of social media marketing, generating timely video content can be prohibitively difficult.

That doesn’t mean it has to be. With YouTube Shorts, you can create quick videos much more efficiently than you can create long-form video content. This allows you to expand the role that video may play in your social media marketing strategy.

How to Make YouTube Shorts

The process of generating a YouTube Short involves the following steps:

  • Opening the YouTube mobile app and signing in to your account if you haven’t done so already
  • Tapping the + symbol at the bottom of the screen
  • Choosing “Create a Short”
  • Waiting 15 seconds for the camera to start (or tapping the countdown so that the camera starts in 60 seconds)
  • Choosing options such as “Flip” and “Speed” to control where the camera points and how slowed-down or sped-up the video is
  • Selecting “Timer” and choosing a countdown if you want the option of recording a video hands-free
  • Choosing filters and using editing tools to make your video more visually engaging
  • If you wish, choosing “Green Screen” to replace your background with an image
  • Tapping the red record button to begin recording
  • Clicking the bottom-right check mark to preview your video
  • Adding filters and other such editing features to optimize your video
  • Creating a title and uploading your video

(Tip: Consider including “#shorts” in your video title. Although your title can only be 100 characters max, including this can potentially boost engagement.)

Making YouTube Shorts: Tips to Keep in Mind

If you’re ready to grow your audience with YouTube Shorts, consider how the following recommendations could help you generate content that resonates with your target audience:

Aim for Concision

It’s important to remember that the people who engage with a YouTube Short do so expecting, well, a short piece of content. Thus, when filming and uploading Shorts, always strive to get your intended message across as concisely as possible.

Customize Thumbnails

A thumbnail is an image a user sees that can entice them to click on and view a YouTube Short. Customize your thumbnails to ensure the images that represent your videos are attractive while also accurately giving users a sense of what the content may consist of.

Share Unique Information

Your goal when producing YouTube Shorts is to make a memorable impression on audience members in a short span of time. One way to achieve this goal is to share surprising information, data, or news stories with your viewers.

Hit the Ground Running

Aim to grab a viewer’s attention within the first few seconds of a video. From the start, you need to give a viewer the sense that clicking away from the video would deprive them of valuable content. Starting with surprising images, unique music choices, or even an image of someone’s shocked face might help you engage viewers right away.

Create a Series

Sometimes, it makes sense to create a series of YouTube Shorts that all relate to and build upon one another. This helps you maintain a consistent audience.

Know What Types of Video Content Are Ideal for Shorts

YouTube Shorts isn’t the ideal format for all social media video ideas you may have. Types of videos that may work perfectly as YouTube shorts include:

  • Very quick tutorials that show how to use a simple product
  • Showcasing creations you (or your customers) have made with your products or services
  • Commenting on a relevant news story
  • Sharing a quick video of a branded company event

Those are just a few examples. The specific types of videos you should create for YouTube Shorts will depend on your brand.

As always, you should monitor the performance of your YouTube Shorts videos. Identify the unique strengths a video possesses when it performs well. When a video doesn’t get as much engagement as you may have expected, try to find out what went wrong.

This is key to social media marketing success in general. If you focus on making constant improvements when refining your YouTube Shorts strategy, you’ll only grow more and more comfortable with this particular marketing channel!

Powtoon Helps You Create Stunning Social Media Video Content

No matter what type of social media video content you may be generating, Powtoon’s intuitive video maker and animation maker ensures producing videos is a breeze. This is true even if you have practically no video production experience! Learn more about what Powtoon could do for you and your brand by signing up today.

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Hanna is Powtoon's Content Marketing Strategist. She joined Powtoon as a copywriter in 2019, after graduating from university with a specialized degree in marketing and business. She continues to inspire people to create incredible video content with blog posts, videos, guides, and more. Hanna's passions include reading, singing, and caring for animals (#proudvegan). Nothing makes her happier than waking up to her two black kitties who, contrary to popular belief, are good luck!
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