YouTube Shorts: Should You Be Jumping On The Bandwagon?
YouTube Shorts is the latest and greatest feature that is blowing up thousands of new YouTube channels instantly!
With only 60 seconds, any average Joe can record a short! All he has to do is open YouTube, click on the shorts features, flip the camera to selfie mode, and immediately start recording!
Many are saying that this is the easiest way to reach a million subscribers with minimal effort!
Becoming viral on YouTube has never been easier, and you should jump on the Shorts bandwagon because EVERYONE is doing it!
HOLD YOUR HORSES! You almost fell for the trap!
The YouTube Shorts bandwagon is the new “get viral fast” trick plaguing beginner YouTubers into mediocrity.
Instead of putting in the work to consistently recording scripted and live-stream content, beginners will try to justify that 60-second videos will turn their channel’s into gold mines!
With today’s short attention span culture, TikTok and Instagram Reels have created a new age of social media, where quick entertainment is the number one priority.
Can you watch a 60-second video that has bits of value? Sure! But how many of those videos you watched on TikTok, Instagram, and now YouTube Shorts are educational and entertaining at the same time?
Not that many (cough cough… Girls dancing on-screen…)
And guess what? If you watch Netflix’s Social Dilemma, social media companies create systems that brainwash viewers into watching pointless videos in endless loops.
And the scariest thing is, viewers will watch your short video and then scroll to the next video that isn’t yours!
They’ll completely forget about you and focus on the following entertaining creator.
Does short content sound like an innovative method to build a social media business, especially on YouTube? It sure doesn’t sound like it!
We’ll explain why YouTube Shorts is yet another overhyped feature on YouTube that gives thousands of new creators unrealistic hope.
YouTube Shorts Suck At Building Loyal Audiences
YouTube is dominating every social media business platform right now because it can transform small creators into full-time digital marketers.
YouTube succeeds because of its precise ability to recommend videos to suitable viewers.
No offense to TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but YouTube is by far the most challenging social media platform to grow a successful brand on. YouTube’s nonorganic algorithm rewards the hard workers and punishes those who do not try.
That is why you’ll see so many popular TikTok and Instagram Influencers FAIL at building successful businesses.
However, it seems like YouTube Shorts is trying to copy TikTok and Instagram Reels by implementing similar organic discovery systems for some weird reason.
It’s baffling to think that a platform like YouTube, one of the largest recommendation sites on the internet, all of a sudden created YouTube Shorts, an algorithm that recommends random videos to the wrong audiences. Of course, organic recommendation engines have upsides, but the flaws outweigh the positives.
As a YouTube Marketer, you need to be thinking about spreading your message to the right audience.
You don’t want Star Wars Fanatics watching your videos about dating. That wouldn’t make any sense to the viewer!
Some of you might argue that spreading your message to unrelated niches is a good idea, but it’s not. The new viewer will watch your video; they might enjoy the 60 seconds, like the video, maybe subscribe, then forget about your channel.
They’ll forget about your channel because YouTube short videos are so fast that YouTube’s algorithm will not even register that they enjoyed the video. Remember, watch time is what determines if your videos get recommended in the user’s feeds.
With 60 seconds of watch time, how do you expect YouTube to recommend more of the creator’s videos in your home or suggested feeds? They won’t, and you will not even notice the videos, ESPECIALLY after you subscribed to the channel.
The other problem is that YouTube Shorts are designed to give viewers an endless loop of 60-second videos with a swipe-up feature that allows users to watch the following video quickly.
After the video finishes playing, viewers will swipe up and focus all of their attention on the following video. It’s hard to build an authentic audience when viewers are getting coked out from all the other videos they watched before your video showed up.
That is why YouTube short creators struggle to grow a sustainable channel.
For example, a small YouTuber can upload a video, get a million views, attract thousands of subscribers, get super excited, and develop high expectations for the new YouTube Shorts feature.
Then, when he goes back to upload a batch of new short 60 second videos, he’ll be very disappointed to see that his latest videos are not performing as well compared to the viral videos he posted.
Don’t be make the mistake of relying solely on short videos to create videos that get millions of views!
If you do this, you’ll get thousands and sometimes millions of views and subscribers, but the audience you built will rarely watch your other videos and not want to invest money into your brand.
Meanwhile, the smart YouTuber is working hard to build an audience, filming longer videos that engage his viewers, develop lead magnets that capture emails, release products and services that make money, and, most importantly, create videos that change people’s lives.
Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket with YouTube shorts. Instead, focus on building a tribe of viewers who will watch your videos, comment every time you post, subscribe to your email list, purchase your merchandise, and invest in your services.
YouTube Shorts Organic Discovery Is Dying Down
When YouTube came out with the YouTube shorts feature, everyone went crazy and started posting loads of content to take advantage of the new feature.
This gave channels with small followings the ability to go viral from 60-second clips.
The difference between long-form content and YouTube Shorts was night and day. But now, the feature has died out.
When a feature first comes out, YouTube opens the gates of the Holy Algorithm that prioritizes these new features. There is plenty of data to support this.
Naturally, when new things come out on any platform, the developers want that unique feature to be seen and interacted with; otherwise, why bother?
So when new YouTube features come out, there is plenty of “free real estate” to acquire, meaning that there’s an entire space on YouTube waiting to get filled with content.
YouTube shorts also have an additional problem. Not long ago, YouTube had separated long-form content, and the new shorts feature on mobile.
You’ll notice when you study the analytics of any standard video and compare the number of impressions the video earned compared to a short, you’ll see that the impression amount on the short is significantly less.
When someone navigates to the shorts section on their phone, it comes up straight away with the first short video for the viewer to watch.
Meaning that the audience can only add an impression to one short at a time as they scroll through; essentially, it’s the same as Tik Tok.
In comparison, going back to the YouTube homepage, most content is a long-form video and the usual content you see on YouTube.
A viewer will see many thumbnails of different videos on YouTube on the homepage, which will cause far more impressions than scrolling through one short at a time.
Now keep in mind this acts as a curse and a blessing in a way. As mentioned, the ability to earn an impression from a viewer on a short is significantly lower.
Yet, a viewer is far more likely to watch a short all the way through because content creators understand that shorts are designed to grab your attention for up to 60 seconds and no more. This is not hard to do when compared to engaging your audience with an 8-minute long video.
Thumbnails Are Useless For YouTube Shorts
One thing to keep in mind, since YouTube added the mentioned feature regarding the separation of long-form and short-form content, thumbnails aren’t seen on YouTube shorts anymore.
In 2019 up to 79% of users on YouTube reported they view content on the platform from their phone, which is certainly a majority.
We can conclude that essentially all those people don’t see any thumbnails you create for your YouTube shorts, so don’t bother… it’s a waste of time.
However, YouTube Shorts Can Be Useful For THESE Reasons!
The good news is putting out content in the form of YouTube shorts does have a range of benefits.
The first significant benefit is that you’re appealing directly to viewers who primarily consume video content on their phones; as mentioned, up to 79% of people watch content on their phones.
As mobile usage continues to trend upwards, you’re not going to see short-form content die down any time soon.
This brings us to the next point; YouTube shorts are easy to consume. Watching a short is a minimal time commitment for the user and the content creator regarding how long they take to create.
If a viewer lands on your short, they are far likely to watch it all the way through compared to the first 60 seconds of a long-form video.
It’s obvious; think about it…
Usually, in longer-form videos (8mins or longer), the viewer sticks around for them to watch the intro and the context of the video.
On the other hand, a YouTube short gets right into the fray, and you know what’s going on within a few seconds.
This is another reason why shorts are worth making; you have the opportunity to deliver impactful content in a very condensed amount of time.
Which creates even more urgency to ensure you’re hooking in your audience IMMEDIATELY.
Don’t be stuffing around with the context of the situation on a YouTube short. You’ll simply be wasting time, and the viewer will lose interest quickly.
YouTube is all about keeping your audience watching your content as much as possible.
YouTube Shorts are also great at getting your new and existing audience to watch more of your videos through the end screen.
Let’s say you posted a scripted video in the past, and you wanted to promote it a bit more.
All you would have to do is film a mini version of the scripted video in 60 seconds or less. During the last seconds of the video, you could say something like, “and if you want to learn how to solve this problem more in-depth, check out this video HERE.”
Then, add an end screen card at the end of the video.
If the Short performs successfully and you made the recommendation clear to the viewer, you will see a spike in views for your old video!
How Do You Create YouTube Shorts?
Creating YouTube shorts is a relatively simple process; it’s merely setting up the correct dimensions and resizing your content correctly, and you’re good to go.
Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that filming with a phone or camera vertically. It doesn’t matter what device you use; make sure the footage is vertical. (Horizontal also works, but it requires you to resize and edit the video)
If you don’t want to edit your shorts through editing software, you can record a video using your phone’s camera by pressing “Add New,” “Create a Short,” then adding a clip you recorded that is below 60 seconds.
You can also record directly from YouTube-like you would get through TikTok or Instagram Reels.
And if you’re not satisfied with the YouTube Shorts in-app edits, you could always drag the video into a program like Adobe Premiere Pro to make more advanced edits.
So if you want to edit your videos through Adobe Premiere Pro, preferably record the video vertically, then upload the file to your computer.
From there, import your content into Adobe Premiere Pro and create a new sequence.
Set the sequence to custom and then change the dimensions to 1080 (horizontal) and 1920 (vertical.) It’s essentially 1080p quality but just in reverse.
Now you can resize your content to fill the screen. Then add fancy effects to your videos if you choose to.
Once you’re done, you can start preparing the video for export. As for the export settings, be sure to have the format selected as H.264 and the quality to “Match source – High Bitrate.”
Once the rendering has finished, you’ll have a short ready to upload to YouTube!
Your decision to use YouTube shorts will depend on whether or not you want to put extra effort into recording a batch of 60-second videos.
Will YouTube shorts suppress you in the Algorithm? No. Will it substantially grow your loyal YouTube audience? Hell no!
Treat YouTube Shorts like a handy tool you can pull out if you want to give your viewers quick and straightforward advice. You could also use it to boost your older video’s watch time and viewer count.
We’ll be honest, when someone asks us how they can grow their audience just by using YouTube Shorts, we get annoyed. It’s not a tool you should avoid altogether, but it’s clearly the weakest feature on YouTube compared to YouTube regular uploads and streaming.
Your focus as a YouTuber should always be to provide a value exchange. No one cares how many views, likes, comments, and subscribers you have if you give no value.
If your channel has only a couple thousand subscribers but provides a wealth of knowledge that your viewers crave, those videos will beat every short-focused channel.
YouTube isn’t an easy platform to build your brand. However, with the proper guidance, your learning curve gets entirely cut in half, so you don’t have to make the mistake of listening to guru marketers who claim that Shorts are the next groundbreaking YouTube feature.
And if you want to receive the best raw YouTube strategies simplified, so you don’t have to be scrolling through hundreds of articles and videos that have differing opinions, make sure to hit the red button below.
We won’t bullshit you. Instead, we’ll point out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. We’ll give you some tough love, but all of it is meant to evolve you into a more impactful YouTuber.