One of the major trends I’m spotting in 2024 is a larger adoption of YouTube shorts. What are YouTube Shorts? YouTube Shorts are short (hence the name), vertical videos, typically under 60 seconds, designed to be consumed on mobile, much like those videos seen within TikTok or Instagram. These videos offer a more dynamic and engaging way for audiences, YOUR audience, to interact with content that is of interest to them.
Why Should You Adopt YouTube Shorts Into Your Existing Social Media Strategy? Let’s dive deeper into each strategy and the good and bad that comes with each one.
1. Enhanced Reach and Engagement
The Good: YouTube Shorts provide an excellent opportunity to reach a broader audience. These videos often have higher engagement rates due to their brevity and entertainment value. People go to YouTube to seek information and often be entertained. If you lead with this “edutainment” lens you will win leveraging this content type. Right now — which it could all change tomorrow — shorts are attracting high levels of viewership which position content creators well for gaining new followers.
The Bad: The algorithm aint all that. Compared to the mind-reading, dialed in algorithms of TikTok and Instagram, YouTube could stand to “do better.” Although it’s getting served to many, its not choosy as to whom it’s showing your content to…this feels similar to the early days of Instagram Reels where the reach was broad to encourage adoption of the content type.
Pro Tip: No matter what, when adding YouTube Shorts to your social media strategy, remember to make the content always tie back to your business. Why? The worst thing you could do is focus on a trend that goes viral and then continue with your regularly scheduled Shorts, only to have the followers leave as fast as they came.
2. Leverage YouTube’s Massive User Base
The Good: With over 2.7 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube offers a vast platform for businesses to showcase their brand. According to TechCrunch, 2 billion of those users are watching Shorts…for real. Typically people are used to consuming long form video on this platform which is still true, however, the way YouTube’s mobile app is currently designed it’s placing Shorts front and center.
The Bad: Your Short is taking off and getting massive amount of views and then…the views stop and you see your data plateau. Why is this? Well, YouTube, being that you may be new to Shorts or perhaps have a new channel, is trying to find your ideal audience who would benefit from your content. Your Short enters the explore phase, where your content is served to a “seed audience” that is randomly selected by the YouTube algorithm based on watch history and niche. My internal control freak is unwell. THEN, if the content hits well with this random seed audience, YouTube shifts your Shorts visibility into overdrive and serves it to more people, if it does not well, it plateaus.
Pro Tip: Always aim to create Shorts for your ideal audience so you can shorten the path it takes YouTube to serve your content up to the right people.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits
The Good: Being a content type within YouTube, Shorts can benefit from the platform’s robust search and recommendation algorithms, increasing visibility. The best way to do that from a SEO standpoint is to conduct keyword research before pressing record. By knowing what your audience is searching for and incorporating those keywords in the video, the caption and the tags, you’ll be more set up for success.
The Bad: The caption on YouTube Shorts as the writing of this blog post is only 100 characters. This means, you have to be super strategic with your keyword selections and tags when crafting a compelling caption that hooks your audience AND encourages them to engage.
4. Barrier to Entry is Low
The Good: Extremely easy and accessible to do straight from your mobile device. In this mobile-first world adding a YouTube Short has never been easier and personally I’m starting by having my incredible YouTube editor, Sam with Sam Dee Video Strategy, slice and dice my existing videos as teasers to then utilize the “feature video” setting to get Shorts viewers to jump in to the long form video.
“Always try your best to keep your Short at or around 7 seconds,” said Sam. “As with any short form video content, people are looking for a quick hit of entertainment on YouTube Shorts so always keep it short and concise while also giving them a burst of education.”
The Bad: Consistency is key. If you’re not ready to add another platform to your marketing strategy, then don’t. The consistency is where the gold is at the end of the rainbow. Not only does this help YouTube algorithm find your ideal audience, but it also gives those on mobile short snippets of content to get to know you a bit more.
So let us know, are you going to take a peek at what YouTube shorts could add to your social media strategy? Not sure what your social media strategy should be? Take a look at our existing services to get a plan in place!