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With the increasing popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, it’s no surprise other platforms are trying to catch up. In 2021, YouTube released Youtube Shorts, a feature dedicated to short-form videos.

YouTube Shorts is making it easier for users to increase their discoverability and build their followers on YouTube. Below, we’ve created a quick guide to YouTube Shorts: What it is, how it works, and how brands can leverage YouTube Shorts in their social media marketing strategies.

What are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts is a feature within the YouTube platform for short-form video content. Shorts is YouTube’s way of appealing to the increasing preference for short vertical content over the traditional horizontal 10+ minute videos the platform is accustomed to.

Shorts can be captured, edited, scored, and shared all within the YouTube app.

FAQs About YouTube Shorts

How Long Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts can be up to 60s long (with 15s being the most popular length).

What is the YouTube Shorts Resolution?

The aspect ratio for YouTube Shorts is 9:16 with a resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels.

Where Are YouTube Shorts?

On, shorts are located on the left sidebar beneath the home button. In the YouTube app, you can access shorts in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, to the left of the upload button.

YouTube Shorts are Not…

YouTube Shorts does not have its own app. Currently, it’s only available as a feature within the existing YouTube platform.

YouTube Shorts are not TikToks or Reels. While you can share your TikToks and Instagram Reels as YouTube Shorts, they are not the same thing. Plus, Shorts shared from TikTok or Instagram will appear with their respective platform’s watermark, which could affect how the Shorts algorithm interprets your video.

Woman wearing a white jacket adjusting a phone on a tripod to make a YouTube Shorts video on the city street.

How to Make YouTube Shorts in the YouTube App: Step-by-Step Guide

To get started making Shorts, this is what you will need to do.

Part One: How to Create a YouTube Short

  • Step One: Tap the plus sign (+) button in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, then tap “Create a Short.”
  • Step Two: You’ll have the option to film a video in real time or upload a video from your photo library.
  • Step Three: To adjust the recording length for your video, tap the “15” in the top right corner and change to your desired length (up to 60 seconds maximum).
  • Step Four: Use the toolbar on the right side of the screen to switch your camera view, adjust the playback speed, countdown before recording, add filters, retouch, use a green screen, and choose transitions between clips.
  • Step Five: To add sound to a YouTube Short before or after recording, tap the “Add Sound” button at the top of the screen.

Bonus Tip: The reverse symbol to the left of the record button allows you to undo any edit or recording during your creation process.

Part Two: How to Edit a YouTube Short

  • Step Six: Tap the check mark at the bottom right side of the screen to save your work.
  • Step Seven: If you didn’t record with any special effects, music, or filters, you can add them now.
  • Step Eight: After editing your video, tap next in the top right corner of your screen. Add a short description and hashtags to your YouTube Short, select your privacy and age restriction settings.
  • Step Nine: Tap Upload Short to post!

How to Download YouTube Shorts

If you lost original footage from your photo library or created a YouTube Short entirely within the app and want a copy for yourself, here’s how to download a YouTube Short.

  • Step One: Access your YouTube Studio from your YouTube account. You can do this by clicking on your profile icon and then clicking on YouTube Studio.
  • Step Two: In the YouTube Studio sidebar, click on Content and scroll through your channel library until you find the Short you’d like to download.
  • Step Three: Hover over your selected video, click on the ellipses, and select Download from the menu.

How to Use YouTube Shorts in Influencer Marketing

YouTube Shorts offers a unique opportunity to connect with and grow your brand’s audience.

Instagram and TikTok appeal to a generally younger audience, which means integrating YouTube into your social media and influencer marketing strategies will help your products land in front of a wider range of potential consumers.

Plus, short form content requires less time and resources than traditional 10-minute or longer videos. Thus, YouTube Shorts make it easier for brands to post more and post consistently on their channels.

So, what kind of YouTube Shorts should brands post on their channels to grow their audience and increase engagement?

1. Behind the Scenes

Users today, especially younger demographics, like to see realistic, authentic content. Use YouTube Shorts to give your followers an inside look at your brand: take them on a mini tour of the office or warehouse, what goes into packing an order, new product teasers, and interesting aspects of your business followers wouldn’t get to see otherwise.

2. Product Demonstrations

Product demonstrations are a great way to familiarize your audience with your products and services. Provide a rounded view of what the product looks like, what its features are, and a quick demonstration of what it looks like in use.

3. How-to-Use Video

If some of your products aren’t selling as much as you like, it could be because consumers are confused about how to use them or what their benefits are. A how-to video can clear up any confusion and renew interest in your products.

4. Product Reviews

Honest reviews of your products can increase your brand’s authority within your niche and increase sales.

5. Unboxing Videos

Similar to showing your audience what goes into packing an order, when done right, an unboxing video can get consumers excited about ordering from your brand.

6. Audience Engagement

Use Shorts to answer your audience. Look through the comments on your posts and on competitors’ posts, check Reddit forums related to your niche and products, and create short videos answering pressing consumer questions. As a source for solutions, you’ll further develop your brand’s trustworthiness and authority.

Bonus: Product demonstrations, how-to videos, product reviews, and unboxing videos can all be done in partnership with an influencer. Authentic engagement from trusted influencers in your niche can help position your products in front of the right audience at the right time, which is key to successful social media marketing.

Can You Make Money from YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts monetization is a hot topic for creators. Unfortunately, YouTube Shorts themselves are currently not monetizable. However, YouTube started the Shorts Fund to reward creators with a cash “bonus” for participating in the new feature. The fund is worth $100 million, and creators are selected on a monthly basis and rewarded with varying amounts based on their content’s ability to generate engagement from the YouTube community.

Key Takeaways

YouTube Shorts has created a great opportunity for brands to optimize their social media presence. The short-form videos you post on Instagram and TikTok can now be used to generate traffic to your YouTube channel. And if you don’t have a YouTube channel because the traditional video style YouTube is known for didn’t accommodate your brand, you now have a way to break in and increase your online presence.

Work with Sway Group

If you’re interested in adding YouTube Shorts to your social media and influencer marketing strategy, our social media experts at Sway Group are excited to help!

Sway Group is a full-service influencer marketing agency that has been facilitating successful and impactful brand-influencer partnerships for 12 years. When you develop an influencer marketing campaign with Sway Group, you gain access to a network of over 30K vetted, professional influencers and an assigned team of social media experts dedicated to the development, execution, and reporting of your campaign.

Level up your social media and influencer marketing by working with Sway Group! Contact us here.