The popularity of short-form video content has skyrocketed online, with social networks like TikTok being the primary drivers of this trend. However, other social networks have noticed and launched their short-form video platforms.
Most people wouldn’t associate short-form videos with YouTube. Instead, it’s the place where they go to watch lengthy vlogs, tutorials, clips from their favorite news shows, and more. Yet, the Alphabet-owned video streaming service had to come up with something to counter the rising competition from TikTok and Instagram Reels.
It’s not like YouTube doesn’t have a short-form video pedigree. The very first video that was uploaded on YouTube was just 18-seconds long. But, as vertical video continues to dominate the online landscape, YouTube had to come up with an offering that would capture the interest of both creators and viewers.
In September 2020, it announced YouTube Shorts. This is a new short-form video experience built right into the video streaming service for 15-second videos. The feature was first tested in India, becoming an instant hit. The following year, YouTube Shorts would then be released across the globe, bringing in over 6.5 billion daily views.
YouTube Shorts sees incredible community engagement, thus providing brands with a great opportunity to further expand their reach.
What is YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts is a new short-form video format that enables creators to express themselves in 15 seconds or less. Creation is at the heart of YouTube Shorts, so it’s easy and fun to create these short-form videos on the platform.
Tools like a multi-segment camera that allow creators to string multiple video clips together and the option to record with music from an extensive library of songs provide new creative avenues. It has also been made easier for viewers to discover new content. YouTube Shorts gets its row on the home page, and viewers can quickly swipe vertically to move from one video to the next so that it’s even easier for users to keep watching these short-form videos.
Why should you be posting YouTube Shorts?
Most brands already focus on creating a YouTube presence. It’s the leading video streaming platform, and it demands the attention of brands looking to expand their presence online. Think of YouTube Shorts simply as an extension of your YouTube presence. The ease with which YouTube Shorts can be created is a big plus point. You don’t need equipment other than a smartphone to create this digestible content that viewers can easily consume on the go.
YouTube Shorts enables you to tap into the massive base that uses YouTube through their mobile devices. That’s when this new experience should be a part of your marketing strategy. As more and more people start using YouTube Shorts, your brand must also maintain a presence there.
Why incorporating YouTube Shorts in your marketing strategy is a good idea
1. The demographics may work in your favor
TikTok may be the leading short-form video app, but its relatively younger demographic may not be suitable for all brands, particularly those in the B2B space. On the other hand, YouTube is home to a more diverse demographic as there’s something available for everyone on the video streaming platform.
For example, brands can share industry insights or thought leadership content through YouTube Shorts even though that duplicate content may not find much traction on the likes of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
2. The content sticks around for longer
YouTube Shorts fundamentally differs from other experiences such as Instagram Stories and Reels. The latter focuses on ephemeral content that disappears after 24 hours. Unfortunately, this means your audience may never see the content you produce.
This isn’t the case with YouTube Shorts. Instead, the short-form videos remain on the page, so whenever someone comes across your content, they’ll be able to see all of the short videos you’ve created, regardless of how long ago they were posted.
3. Gain the first-mover advantage
This is still a relatively new platform
and there isn’t as much competition for eyeballs here as there might be on other platforms. Brands incorporating YouTube Shorts in their marketing strategies will now be in a better position to gain the first-mover advantage.
They will be able to establish themselves as an authority on this platform. In addition, YouTube users who view the short-form videos will be more familiar with the brand and are thus more likely to gravitate towards their content in the future.
4. Lead the conversation on short form topics
There may be industry trends or events in your niche that can be adequately addressed with short-form content. With YouTube Shorts, brands have the opportunity to drive the conversation on such topics.
This content could be anything from short videos that provide quick tips or data points to recap of industry news. It would help build authority among the viewers, particularly those that may have only just discovered your brand.
5. Differentiate yourself from the competition
If you have competitors that aren’t capitalizing on this trend, it gives you even more incentive to dive head first into YouTube Shorts. The competition is essentially giving up the space to you, and it’s an incredible opportunity to get a leg up on it.
A brand’s online presence is the first thing most people evaluate before they try one of its products. Having a presence on a platform where the competition is effectively non-existent gives you a much higher chance of winning more customers.
YouTube Shorts aren’t going anywhere
It may seem like an experiment, but there’s no indication that this platform will disappear. YouTube is serious about its Shorts experience, which is why it has been gradually rolled out to more than 100 markets since the initial test.
The sooner brands start incorporating YouTube Shorts in their marketing strategies, the higher the chances of them growing their audience on the platform as it grows further in the years to come