The saying “video is king” has never been more appropriate; and now, shorter videos seem to be emerging as a favourite.
YouTube has recently introduced “YouTube shorts – the shorter side of YouTube.” This allows content creators to trim down videos that have already been published to their channel, in a shorter version. This feature created by YouTube, takes after TikTok’s approach of producing short, snappy and engaging content for users to enjoy. This can be forms of entertainment such as music and comedy; as well as sports clips.
Almost anyone with a smartphone or camera can create clips. Videos must be 60 seconds or less, and unlike Instagram or Snapchat, they do not disappear once they have been posted.
As mentioned, one of the major pulls YouTube shorts has compared with competitors is that their short videos do not disappear after 24 hours. Users of Snapchat and Instagram reels will have to create content constantly to keep the audience engaged, whereas, YouTube shorts videos are available for visitors to explore whenever, as long as they are published.
There are a few other ways which YouTube shorts differs from it’s competition:
Short-form videos can reach a bigger audience
HubSpot's principal YouTube content strategist, Nelson Chacon, believes YouTube works best with consistency. He said: “Your subscribers know your channel for its content and YouTube, as a platform, works best with consistency”.
Long form videos are used to build and create content that relates to a product or industry. The use of short form videos allows brands to create tutorials and step-by-step videos around relevant content subjects.
The fact that YouTube shorts do not have a time span, could see huge long term benefits for brands. This could help grow brand YouTube awareness; especially now with the use of hashtags. If a user was to search with a hashtag and come across a YouTube channel, they can then browse all of the published short videos, as well as long ones.
Short videos are perfect for someone who may be in a rush or looking for a quick how-to tutorial. ‘Shorts’ will still be there even if they were published months, or years ago.
Considering platforms such as TikTok are geared for a younger audience, B2B businesses may have the challenge of trying to grow awareness and attract consumers on there. However, YouTube has a video for all ages and interests. Brands can not only post long form videos, but they can also now post short videos that relate to a wide range of audience targets.
If they would like to target digital professionals, TikTok may be less effective. They may have an easier time publishing industry related shorts, featuring trends, news and statistics on YouTube. These are quick and informative videos professionals can enjoy.
Censorship and protecting users against harmful content has been a main priority for many platforms, including YouTube. In 2020, TikTok was threatened with a ban in the US, due to national security concerns (politically related).
If a brand relies on regular content to engage and retain users, a potential platform ban could seriously halt their progress, risking that the content they create does not get seen. As YouTube has been around for years, is one of the most successful platforms and owned by Google, they may be seen as a more trustworthy platform.
Security of private information is also a concern for other existing apps.
As well as brands, influencers are also taking advantage of the feature with funny videos to bring a smile to their followers:
Social media shorts are becoming an effective part of digital and social media marketing. Finding ways to engage with a target audience with only 60 seconds, benefits both the brand as well as the audience. Identifying relevant hashtags and topics that go hand-in-hand with the desired content is bound to create positive results.
With the success of TikTok and Instagram reels; YouTube is in for some good competition, whilst leaving us with great options to choose from!