Quick and entertaining to watch, fun and easy to create – these are what make short-form videos like YouTube Shorts increasingly popular in this age. With most people living such busy and active lives, they want to consume and create as much content in as little time as possible.
For content creators, short-form videos open an opportunity to engage better with their audience and build a wide subscriber base without spending too much time or money on creating content. For several years now, we’ve seen social media platforms enabling users to consume and create such content. Approximately 59 percent of Gen Zs use short-form video apps to discover new things before watching longer versions for more information.
For brands and advertisers, short-form videos present an opportunity to grab the attention of users before leading them to long-form videos with more information. According to the Vidyard 2022 Video in Business report, 56% of videos are under two minutes long. This gives just enough time to pique curiosity and compel the audience to gain more in-depth information about products and services.
To meet these evolving needs, YouTube launched Shorts globally in 2021 after a beta run in 2020. It offered a new way to create and watch videos on the platform. If you are a content creator or a digital marketer, having a deep understanding of YT Shorts can help you leverage it for growing your brand. So, here’s everything you need to know about Shorts and their impact on industries.
YouTube Shorts are vertical short-form videos that are less than 60 seconds in length. The Shorts can be a continuous 60-second video or a string of 15-second videos. You can find Shorts on your YouTube homepage, notifications, and subscriptions. Many of them are featured on channel pages. Once you tap into a Short, you can scroll to watch more featured videos.
Shorts creation tools are integrated into the YouTube app, so anyone can easily create content with just a smartphone. A multi-segment camera allows Creators to string multiple clips together, and speed controls offer more creative control. A vast library of songs offers a plethora of audio samples users can add to their videos. Editing tools include text inlays and graphic effects. Aside from these, YouTube is constantly iterating and adding features to give users more power to create.
Through Shorts, YouTube brings its users an engaging short-form video experience allowing them to easily create videos anywhere they are. Moreover, there is a great potential to monetize the Shorts channel.
The subscribers gained from YT Shorts count toward Creator Awards Program milestones. This provides Creators with more opportunities to earn either from creating sponsored content for big brands or being a YouTube Partner. With advertisers grabbing the chance to deliver more targeted ads and content through Shorts, content creators stand to gain more as their views and engagement increase.
With over 2.5 billion people accessing YouTube each month, creators know that boosting visibility on the platform is crucial to getting their content to their target audience. This is especially true for gaming content creators. In 2021, YouTube reported a massive 800 billion views on gaming-related videos. Approximately 250 million videos were uploaded by gaming creators in the same year. These outstanding numbers show that gaming content has always been popular on YouTube.
Gaming video content is multi-dimensional, and creators leverage VODs and live streaming to engage with their audience. Last year, YouTube Shorts presented them with a new format that empowered them to create catchy videos and capture new audiences.
According to Tubular Labs, YouTube Shorts made up 24 percent of gaming views in 2021. Gaming videos less than 60 seconds in length attracted the most views and engagements. The 30 to 60-second videos had an average of 354k views, more than double the average 162k views generated by videos longer than five minutes. The trend is increasing, so brands and Creators should grab the opportunity to meet demands using short-video formats.
At the onset, Minecraft animators were among the first to touch ground with viewers. They leveraged the Shorts tools to produce unique Shorts featuring animated Minecraft creations. More gaming creators followed suit posting gameplays, hacks, speed runs, trailers, and other gaming-related content.
Popular influencers and creators are also leveraging YT Shorts. You’ll see Shorts featured on the channels of MrBeast, Slogo, Vegetta777, FGTeeV, Ranboo, Dream, Mikecrack, and other gamers. While these big names still have the highest subscriber counts, less popular gamers are gaining traction on viewership through Shorts.
In December 2021, Blu3Angels surprisingly gained more unique views than MrBeast. The 263 videos they uploaded in 2021 had an average duration of just three minutes. This high-frequency posting of short-form content proved to be a good strategy as their subscribers/reach ratio increased by 14.3x.
Jake Fellman is another pioneer in Shorts. When Shorts was first launched, he started publishing witty animations of Among Us. He hit it big when he started posting original Minecraft Shorts. By September that year, he had surpassed 440 million views on his YouTube videos. Today, he has more than 13 million subscribers.
There’s also Lachlan, a Fortnite player who turns highlights of his live streams and VODs into Shorts. His dedicated short-video format channel Lachy Shorts is nearing a million subscribers and generates millions of views per upload.
Another name that’s making it big in YouTube Shorts is Greg Renko. His short skits on gaming and tech culture will have you ROFLing. As an avid gamer himself, he creates relatable content for his fellow gamers.
Many content creators are also integrating Shorts with their other channels. For instance, Caylus has created a dedicated Infinite Shorts channel that links to their gaming channel and the Infinite main account. Since its launch in March 2021, Infinite Shorts has 1.33 million subscribers and over 400 million unique views.
To make Shorts work for your brand, identify your target audience and make your content relatable to them. Watch out for trends and events and find a way to incorporate them into your Shorts. Keep in mind also that Shorts viewers want information fast and make sure to capture their attention in the first few seconds. It’s always best to create both shorts and full-length gameplays. You can upload different clips of your original gameplay as Shorts and link them to the full video.
Caylus applies this strategy with his multiple channels. He promotes PK XD by leveraging a short-form video to drive attention to the new in-game event “Zero Gravity.”
Then he uses his main channel to share a long-form video to dive deeper into the event details.
With a plethora of gaming brands out there, you’d also need to be creative to stand out. Don’t get stuck producing the same type of Shorts that eventually bore viewers. Mix it up and experiment with unique content that has never been published. Aside from gameplay highlights and mini-tutorials, you can post about unexpected glitches, funny antics by characters during a game, and sneak peeks into the latest games and trends. Watch uTure for an inspiration and come up with content ideas that use gaming as a vehicle for storytelling and creative expression.
Last but definitely not least, turn casual viewers into loyal followers by including a strong call to action. Ask them to subscribe to download the game, subscribe to your channel or visit your website. If you can, give them incentives to compel them to do so.
Short-form videos are not just a passing trend. We see them becoming a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Viewers, creators, and brands alike stand to gain value from this format. Whatever industry you are in, you must understand how to optimize the use of short-form videos to grow your brand. YouTube Shorts presents you with an opportunity to tap into this type of content and make it work for your brand.