The Scene Has Been Prepared…
You’ve probably heard that people’s attention spans are decreasing. Whether this is due to the current, seemingly never-ending barrage of stimuli competing for our attention, or if our technology has neurologically conditioned us this way (or something else altogether) is open to debate.
But when people have multiple browser tabs, lose patience quickly when a site doesn’t load in a few seconds, and have a stream of updates coming in, it’s easy to see how little time people have to invest in one app, video, game, etc.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
When describing YouTube Shorts, a lot of people may say, “It’s like YouTube’s version of TikTok.”
And, that’s understandable: TikTok can be thought of as a short video platform. At first, videos were limited to 15 seconds, then 60, and now, the latest I’ve heard is that they’re limited to 3 minutes.
Of course, we know that TikTok is probably the latest entry into social media, so the short video approach is validated and widely accepted.
Enter YouTube Shorts (which I think is in a sort-of beta stage, as YouTube is still working on some basic features).
Currently, YouTube Shorts are vertically oriented (portrait-shaped) videos that last up to 60 seconds. They’re definitely gaining in popularity, and a strategic content creator can upload the same 60-second video to both YouTube and TikTok, thus using their time efficiently while gaining viewers on both platforms.
Why Do YouTube Shorts?
Well, as we’ve established, there’s a demand for shorter-form content.
That said, I should state a drawback that I learned from the above video: monetization may be tricky on YouTube Shorts. That’s because currently, advertisers tend to prefer longer videos, and viewers, because they’re pressed for time, may skip ads in favor of the video.
Creating a Series of YouTube Shorts
Here’s a good reason why I think YouTube Shorts would be good: for breaking a long video into a series of chunks. (The only thing I don’t like is the vertical/portrait limitation.)
Imagine that you had a makeup tutorial, but you knew you wouldn’t be able to do it justice in 60 seconds. You figure you’ll need at least 5 minutes–and even that’s quick!
Well, why not just plan five 60-second installments? That way, you’d be meeting the time limitations of your viewers, and, if they wanted to watch more, they could move to the next installment.
And that brings up an obvious point: in your videos, you want to capture their attention, and keep it. When you end a video (particularly one that’s in a sequential series), you want to pique their interest for the next video.
So, if I were planning a series, I’d make sure that there’s a build-up to the finale of the final video. And, at the end of one video, you can say something to the effect of, “If you’d like to learn what’s next, move to the next video.”
Here’s another idea: using a YouTube short as an introduction to longer videos. Instead of a series of short videos, just have a short video that’s an introduction to a series of longer videos.
With YouTube Shorts, Your Metrics Might Look…Different
The video above relays the fact that your metrics might say 2 things: you have increased views, but shorter average viewing times.
If you think about it, this makes sense: shorter videos can mean more views, and shorter videos (compared to longer videos) can mean shorter viewing times.
So, do keep that in mind.
All in all, YouTube Shorts are, at least, something worth trying. They can be a key aspect of your content strategy if you take advantage of their short length.
Source: YouTube Creators Twitter channel