Should YouTube Shorts be a part of your content marketing strategy?

Should YouTube Shorts be a part of your content marketing strategy?
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Remember when videos had to be long in order to be good? Well, times have changed, and YouTube Shorts have quickly become a big deal in the world of short-form video content. With each video clocking in at 60 seconds or less, YouTube Shorts are quick, they’re catchy, and their popularity is impossible to ignore; after all, they’ve racked up more than 5 trillion views since their debut in 2020. (That’s trillion with a T.)

Because of this, YouTube Shorts might be what your digital marketing strategy is missing! These videos allow your brand to play around with different messages and creative approaches, in a format that’s easy to share and can go viral quickly. And with their ability to hook viewers almost instantly, YouTube Shorts can increase your reach, engage more viewers, and boost your brand’s visibility in a competitive marketplace.

So, in a world where bite-sized videos are king, the big question for any digital marketer or content creator is: should you jump on the trend? The short answer is probably yes, as long as you create a clear strategy that considers your overall marketing goals, your target audience’s preferences, and how YouTube Shorts can fit with your brand’s story. This article will give you a YouTube Shorts overview and explore how YouTube Shorts might be smart to include in your brand’s content marketing strategy.

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What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are vertical videos up to 60 seconds long, designed specifically for quick consumption. Launched by YouTube as a response to the rising popularity of similar formats on platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts allow creators to capture fleeting moments or messages in a format that is easily digestible to audiences.

Unlike regular YouTube videos, which can span from a few minutes to several hours, YouTube Shorts give you a literal minute to make your point and make it memorable. In this way, YouTube Shorts can serve as the spark to ignite interest in your brand, and bring in viewers who might then stick around for longer content pieces or dive deeper into your product offerings.

Related: YouTube Shorts: Should you make them?

Benefits of using YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are not just about capturing fleeting attention; they offer tangible benefits that can elevate your digital marketing strategy. From boosting viewer engagement to expanding your reach across younger demographics, these short-form videos offer a lot of value. Let's take a look: 

  • Engagement and reach: YouTube Shorts really knock it out of the park with their ability to significantly boost engagement. The short duration of the videos encourages users to watch multiple videos in one sitting, increasing overall watch-time from a single user session. This works wonders in reaching younger audiences who prefer quick and entertaining content snippets over longer-form videos. 
  • Algorithm leverage: YouTube loves content that keeps viewers glued to the screen and on their platform longer, which is exactly what YouTube Shorts can do. Their favor by the YouTube algorithm means that YouTube Shorts have a better shot at appearing in feeds and recommendations. So by folding YouTube Shorts into your strategy, you can get more eyes on your content without the heavy lifting required by traditional SEO tactics. 
  • Visibility benefits: YouTube Shorts are also a fantastic way to increase a channel’s visibility. Since they are featured prominently on YouTube, even new creators have a chance to reach large audiences if their content is engaging and meets the algorithmic preferences of YouTube. 
  • Opportunity for creativity: With only a minute to tell a visual story, you can tap into some incredible reserves of creativity, finding unique ways to showcase your story. 

Related: How to make YouTube Shorts: An in-depth guide

YouTube Shorts vs. other platforms

While TikTok definitely pioneered popularizing short-form video content, YouTube Shorts offers a distinct advantage with the added benefit of YouTube’s massive audience and sophisticated analytics. So participating in short-form video content on YouTube Shorts isn't just about going viral; it's about strategic visibility and data-driven content tweaks.

Similarly, when compared to Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts often offers better integration with the rest of the YouTube ecosystem, including the ability to easily share and promote content across platforms and use existing YouTube channels to boost Shorts visibility.

Related: TikTok vs YouTube Shorts vs Instagram/Facebook Reels: Which platform is best?

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Examples of how to use YouTube Shorts in marketing

Many successful YouTube Shorts creators and businesses have leveraged YouTube Shorts to great effect. Let’s take a look at a few creative examples of how different businesses could use YouTube Shorts to uplevel their marketing efforts.

Fashion Retailers: Product Launches and Style Guides

A fashion retailer could use YouTube Shorts to create buzz around new collections or product launches. Imagine quick, visually appealing videos showcasing models wearing new outfits in everyday scenarios or offering a sneak peek behind-the-scenes of a fashion shoot. Additionally, Shorts can be used for quick style tips or fashion hacks, like how to style a scarf in 5 different ways in under 60 seconds. This not only engages the audience with useful content but also highlights multiple products in a single, digestible format.

Tech Companies: Feature Highlights and Quick How-Tos

Tech companies can utilize YouTube Shorts to demonstrate new features of their products. For example, a smartphone manufacturer could produce a series of Shorts, each highlighting a key feature of their latest model, such as camera capabilities, battery life, or special apps. Another approach could be quick how-to videos, like setting up voice commands or customizing widgets, which help users get more from their purchases while subtly promoting the product's ease of use and versatility.

Food and Beverage Brands: Recipes and Quick Tips

Brands in the food and beverage sector can create engaging Shorts featuring quick recipes, cooking tips, or even food challenges that encourage viewer participation. For instance, a coffee brand might post Shorts showcasing different ways to brew a morning cup at home or tips for making the perfect espresso shot. These videos could also highlight the versatility of a product, such as using a popular snack in various recipes, thereby driving interest and multiple uses for a single product.

Fitness and Wellness Brands: Mini Workouts and Health Tips

Fitness brands have a great opportunity to use YouTube Shorts for quick workout routines, such as "60-second high-intensity workouts" or "one-minute yoga stretches for office workers." These can be exceptionally engaging and useful for viewers looking for fitness inspiration without the time commitment. Additionally, wellness brands could share quick health tips, like mindfulness exercises or hydration reminders, which fit perfectly into the concise format of Shorts and encourage daily engagement with the audience.

Each of these approaches not only capitalize on the brevity and visibility of YouTube Shorts, they also align with the brands’ goals to engage their audiences more creatively. Not only will these efforts help in building brand awareness, they can also drive actual product usage and customer loyalty.

Related: How to make YouTube Shorts: An in-depth guide

Creating effective YouTube Shorts 

Okay, let’s dive into actually creating effective YouTube Shorts! Honestly, the sky's the limit when it comes to how you approach it, but there are a few keys that can make your content strategy sing. 

Choose good content that fits your brand 

Focus on high-energy, visually appealing content that fits your brand and is immediately captivating. Quick tutorials, humorous skits, visual transformations, fun behind-the-scenes, before-and-afters, intriguing information, DIY projects, and clear calls to action all perform well as YouTube Shorts. The key is to keep it engaging and packed with value, even in just a minute.

Pay attention to your production

The best YouTube Shorts are those that are well-planned and excellently executed. Good lighting, clear audio, and high-quality video are essential, even for brief clips. And remember, the first few seconds are crucial—include an engaging hook to keep eyeballs on your video.

Optimize it

Optimize each YouTube Short by using relevant hashtags, catchy titles, and engaging thumbnails. Also, encourage viewer interaction by asking questions or prompting viewers to comment, which can boost the algorithmic performance of your videos.

Challenges and Considerations

While YouTube Shorts can offer significant advantages, there are a few YouTube Shorts challenges that could impact your strategy. Keeping these things in mind, as well as other short-form video considerations, will help you seamlessly weave YouTube Shorts into your broader marketing efforts.

  • Content saturation: To say it’s a crowded medium would be a serious understatement. One of the main challenges with YouTube Shorts is the sheer amount of content being uploaded daily, which can make it difficult to stand out. However, it is possible to combat this by maintaining a unique brand voice, consistently producing high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, and bringing fresh angles to common topics.
  • Quality vs. quantity: While producing a high volume of content can be beneficial for staying relevant, it should not come at the cost of quality. High-quality, well-thought-out content often performs better than large quantities of mediocre content, so focus on creating memorable YouTube Shorts rather than churning out forgettable ones.
  • Strategic alignment: Make sure your YouTube Shorts strategy aligns with your bigger marketing goals. YouTube Shorts should be a part of a content strategy that supports your brand message and business objectives, and they should complement, not complicate, your overall brand narrative. 

Related: The ultimate guide to YouTube Shorts monetization & strategies

Integrating YouTube Shorts into your content strategy

By now, you know that incorporating YouTube Shorts into your existing content strategy can open up new avenues for engagement and audience growth. But you might be asking yourself how to go about achieving this. 

Thankfully, it’s as easy as 1-2-3, and this section of our content strategy guide is devoted to walking you through the steps to blend YouTube Shorts into your broader digital marketing efforts. 

Step 1: Planning

Develop a content calendar specifically for YouTube Shorts that complements your other content efforts. This should outline what types of videos will be created, when they will be released, and how they tie into other marketing activities. Remember: your YouTube Shorts should be part of a larger plan, not just random shots in the dark.

Step 2: Execution

Consistency is key. Regular posts keep your audience engaged and your channel favored by YouTube’s algorithms. Additionally, monitor trends within the Shorts community to adapt and innovate continuously (while still staying true to your brand).

Step 3: Performance tracking

Use YouTube’s analytics tools to track the performance of your Shorts. Insights such as view count, watch time, and engagement metrics are super valuable for refining strategies and understanding what content works best.

Get started with YouTube Shorts

“To short or not to short; that is the question.” Well, there’s no denying it: YouTube Shorts offer a fresh, engaging way to connect with an audience that craves quick, entertaining content. They can amplify your reach, boost engagement, and even give you a leg-up in the YouTube algorithm game. 

Soooo…. to answer the above question… we’d say, yes, give YouTube Shorts a try! Experiment, analyze, and tweak your strategy to see how these under-a-minute short-form videos can work for you. Here at Teachable, we’ve got our fingers crossed that this YouTube Shorts overview has given you the tools to create a clear YouTube Shorts strategy that fits well with your overall marketing goals, your target audience’s preferences, and your brand’s story.

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Bethany Clark

Bethany Clark is an Atlanta-based content marketer and freelance photographer. When she's not running her blog, TheCityDweller.me, she loves to bake, roller skate, and give her passport a workout every chance she gets.

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