5 ways YouTube Shorts can help superpower your channel
Editor's note by Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer:
Developing new products and seeing how they help our creators grow and innovate is one of my favorite things about working at YouTube. When we first introduced Shorts, we knew that we were bringing an important new format to the YouTube repertoire for creators, and we couldn’t wait to see what incredible things the community would do with the product. We knew Shorts would allow creators to experiment with a fresh content format, expressing their creativity and allowing them to connect in new ways with their communities. But what we didn’t expect was the amazing array of new ways that Shorts would help invigorate a creator’s existing channel. In this installment of our Innovation Series, we’ll share five ways Shorts can help superpower your channel so you can best realize your goals.
Every creator on YouTube has their own definition of success, whether it’s to express themselves creatively, build a pathway to fame and fortune or to uncover new ideas from global communities. That’s why YouTube offers creators a range of video formats for the creator to use as they see fit — from Video on Demand to Shorts to Live to Audio — all while earning money from multiple revenue streams.
Currently, YouTube Shorts is averaging over 30 billion daily views — that’s four times as many as a year ago
Some of our most innovative creators are taking this multi-format approach and leaning into the freshest one available on YouTube: Shorts. These bright bursts of video allow creators to engage in different ways, whether they’re just getting started on the platform or are tried and true YouTube creators looking to test a new approach. Currently, YouTube Shorts is averaging over 30 billion daily views — that’s four times as many as a year ago. So to say the opportunity is ripe for creators would be an understatement!
To help supercharge your channel, here are five creators who, in their own words, have made Shorts work for them in extraordinary ways.
Drive views: The Beverly Halls
When we first heard about Shorts, we saw a great opportunity for growth that we had always wanted to achieve on the platform. We actually started our channel in 2019 but found it difficult to break into long-form, so when Shorts came around, we went for it. Since investing, we’ve gained a ton of new subscribers, the majority of which are loving our short-form content, but a lot have also migrated over to watching our VODs as well.
We’ve created a really cool thread through our Shorts and long-form content where we expand on themes from our Shorts in our longer videos. In fact, just by adding Shorts to our content mix, we’ve been able to reach more people than we could’ve ever imagined.
Diversify audience: SimplyJaserah
For as long as I’ve been on YouTube, I’ve wanted to grow my channel and find a large community I could relate to with tons of engagement. My subscribers were mostly based in the U.S. and acted more like ghost watchers; I got a few thousand views but with little to no engagement.
Now that I’ve started with Shorts, my community has totally transformed. A lot of my followers are now from overseas like India, Pakistan, and the UK. My engagement has turned into more of a “fan base,” where my new subscribers are more invested and more responsive to my content.
This sea change is due to a shift in my approach: Shorts are more focused on bite-size, digestible fun, easy and entertaining content to get in front of a new audience whereas a VOD is more thought-out, informational, and heavy in topics for my subscribed community. I also use Shorts as a supplement to my VODs — like posting a 15-second Hijab Hacks which then leads to full reviews on VOD. If you’re looking for a channel refresh, try Shorts, it’s worth it!
Build subscribers: Lisa Nguyen
When I first heard about Shorts in November 2020, I knew I had to give it a try because I believe that short form content is the future of media. So I kicked off my first YouTube channel, with the hope of building a community that could join me in my food adventures. Fast forward to today: Shorts has helped me drive a channel of more than 3.3 million subscribers.
Shorts helped me build this rapid growth by giving me the chance to connect with my audience in almost real-time. I can quickly answer questions, and I let my viewers choose many of my video topics so they’re a part of the experience. So for creators thinking about getting started on Shorts, it’s a great way into YouTube and to building a strong community quickly.
Increase channel memberships: Caleb Marshall, The Fitness Marshall
The business of fitness is all about memberships — whether it’s at the gym or in my case, on YouTube! When I first got started on Shorts, I was looking for a way to drive traffic to my memberships, which allow me to offer exclusive perks and content to viewers who join my channel as a monthly paying member. This is my main revenue source. Shorts allow for snack-sized content that gets a lot of viewers excited very fast, and this allowed me to draw in an entirely new group of members that had no idea what kind of content they had been missing from me.
For my members, I take a handful of my single song workouts from my YouTube channel and pack them into super-sized livestreams every single week. This means the YouTube community can widely see my Shorts, while my VOD content remains much more personal for my core fan base.
Broaden off-platform business opportunities: Cassey Ho, Blogilates
When I first got started on Shorts, I wanted to show people another side of myself. Since 2009, I’ve been posting long-form workout videos, and because of the growth of Blogilates on YouTube, people recognize me for my pilates workouts. But what people don't know is that I spend about 95% of my day working on design, product development and the business side of the brand. Shorts has allowed me to connect with people who appreciate this other part of me, and in return, it's really helped to grow the business.
Creating Shorts drives a lot of traffic and serious customers to my website which translates into REAL sales. When a Short goes viral (which has happened numerous times!), the product will sell out in as quickly as a few hours. Viewers turn into customers when they get to see the soul behind a product and a brand, and Shorts give you another opportunity to do that to the huge audience on YouTube.
We hope hearing from these creators inspires you to take advantage of Shorts and all the video formats available on YouTube. Give them a try, Shorts may be the boost you need to supercharge your channel!