The popularity of short form video content has skyrocketed online with social networks like TikTok being the major drivers of this trend. Other social networks have taken notice and launched their own short form video platforms.
Most people wouldn’t associate short form videos with YouTube. 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 the likes of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
It’s not like YouTube doesn’t have short form video pedigree. The very first video that was uploaded on YouTube was just 18-seconds long. 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 that’s built right into the video streaming service for 15-second videos. The feature was first tested in India where it became 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 is seeing incredible engagement from the community and thus it provides brands with a great opportunity to further expand their reach.
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 and as such, it’s easy and fun to create these short form videos on the platform.
Tools like multi-segment camera that allow creators to string multiple video clips together as well as the option to record with music from a large library of songs provides new creative avenues. It has also been made easier for viewers to discover new content. YouTube Shorts gets its own row on the home page and viewers can easily swipe vertically to move from one video to the next so that it’s even easier for users to keep on watching these short form videos.
Most brands already focus on creating a YouTube presence. It’s the leading video streaming platform and as such, 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 really need any 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 really when this new experience should be a part of your marketing strategy. As more and more people start using YouTube Shorts, it’s important that your brand maintains a presence there as well.
- 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. YouTube is home to a more diverse demographic as there’s essentially 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 same content may not find much traction on the likes of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
- The content sticks around for longer
YouTube Shorts is fundamentally different from other experiences such as Instagram Stories and Reels. The latter focuses on ephemeral content that disappears after 24 hours. This means your audience may never see all of the content that you produce.
This isn’t the case with YouTube Shorts. 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 that you’ve created, regardless of how long ago they were posted.
- 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 that incorporate YouTube Shorts in their marketing strategies now will be in a better position to gain the first-mover advantage.
They will be able to establish themselves as an authority on this platform. 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.
- 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.
- 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 that most people evaluate before they decide to try one of its products. By having a presence on a platform where the competition is effectively non-existent, you have a much higher chance of winning more customers.
It may seem like an experiment but there’s no indication that this platform will go away. YouTube is serious about its Shorts experience which is why it has been gradually rolled out to more than 100 markets across the globe 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.