What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (2023)

Did you know that the first video published on YouTube was only 18-seconds long?

While short-form content on YouTube isn't new, it does have a new name: Shorts. Launched in 2021, Shorts is YouTube's answer to TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other viral video platforms. But is it worth your time?

Let's talk about what YouTube Shorts is, how it works, and how brands like yours can leverage it.

Table of Contents

What is YouTube Shorts?

How to Make YouTube Shorts

What Makes YouTube Shorts Different from Its Competitors

How 7 Brands Use YouTube Shorts

How to Prepare for YouTube Shorts

What is YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are vertical, short-form videos that you can create or watch on YouTube. You can enhance Shorts with features such as video segmenting, app-based recording, and musical overlays. Shorts must be 60 seconds or less and do not disappear like Instagram Reels or Snapchats.

The launch of YouTube Shorts comes at a time when many social media platforms are making a drastic pivot towards video content — specifically short-form content.

Even in its most basic beta form, the Shorts feature saw solid performance in India. In March 2021, less than a year later, the Shorts beta was fully released in the U.S., quickly surpassing 6.5 billion daily views. By July 2021, Shorts officially launched globally in over 100 countries.

Today, a few things have changed. Most notably, the time limit on Shorts has expanded to 60 seconds, and many creators take advantage of every second. In fact, more than 70% of Shorts are longer than 15 seconds.

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (2)Although Shorts is still in its infancy — and only time will tell how viable it is as a marketing tool – this feature still deserves your attention, especially if you already have a video strategy on YouTube.

Below, I'll walk through the basics of YouTube Shorts and what opportunities it presents for marketers pivoting to short-form content.

How to Make YouTube Shorts

When you have the YouTube app, creating a Short is one tap away.

(Video) How and Why to Make YouTube Shorts (Tutorial) - This is URGENT

When you land on the home screen, you'll see the "+" icon on the lower center navigation. Once you click it, you'll see "Create a Short" from the menu.

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (3)

When you tap Create, it opens to a camera screen that allows you to:

  • Record segments of a 60-second clip or a full minute-long video.
  • Upload pre-created content from a camera roll.
  • Film a "short" with back or front-facing cameras.
  • Adjust video speed.
  • Set a recording timer.
  • Pick sounds for musical overlays.
  • Add filters and text.

Here's a quick screenshot of some of the platform's features.

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (4)

Image Source

Watching YouTube Shorts

YouTube has a dedicated tab for Shorts which can find to the left of the "+" icon.

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (5)

Additionally, in an effort to promote YouTube Shorts, you can find a scrolling menu of recommended Shorts on the home page (see below).

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (6)

When watching a Short, you can tap icons on the right bottom of the screen to "Like," "Dislike," or comment on the video. If you enjoy what you see, you can also tap "SUBSCRIBE" to follow the channel.

What is YouTube Shorts & How to Make One [+7 Brand Examples] (7)

Once a viewer finishes a Short, they can swipe up — like on Reels or TikTok – to see a more Shorts from other creators.

What Makes YouTube Shorts Different from Its Competitors

As a marketer, seeing every social media platform pivot to short-form video may feel overwhelming. So much so, you may be asking yourself, "Is YouTube Shorts worth my time?" or, "Will it provide more opportunities than Instagram Reels or TikTok?"

Because YouTube Shorts is still in its infancy, it's too early to measure its impact. That said, there are a few noteworthy factors that differentiate it from the pack:

1. Shorts provide a funnel to your long-form content.

To state the obvious, people like to engage with different videos throughout the day. For instance, someone may scroll through TikTok during their lunch break but then play a 2-hour long podcast on YouTube when they get home.

Unlike TikTok and Snapchat, which are entirely dedicated to short-form content, YouTube is positioning itself as the go-to destination for both short-andlong-form content.

In this way, Shorts could be a way for creators to reach a new audience who may become regular viewers of their longer content — giving you the best of both worlds.

2. Shorts do not expire.

While Instagram Stories and Snapchats expire after 24 hours, Shorts are permanent — which can help your grow awareness long-term on YouTube.

For example, if someone's in a rush and searching for a quick how-to video related to something you've filmed, they might find and watch your short videos on that topic — even if you published them months ago.

3. Short-form creators could see a bigger reach.

While Gen Z users flooded TikTok, causing its astounding early growth, YouTube, the second largest website globally, launched Shorts to more than 2 billion monthly active users.

(Video) How to Make a YouTube Short - Complete Beginner Guide

Rather than wondering, "Will YouTube Shorts get awareness?", ask yourself instead, "How do I tap into YouTube's huge audience with Shorts?"

According to Nelson Chacon, HubSpot's principal YouTube content strategist, you'll want to know which segment of YouTube's huge audience you want to market to before producing Shorts — or any other YouTube video for that matter.

Additionally, if you have a solid subscriber list, continue to create content that's still relevant to them — even if it's shorter-form.

"Your subscribers know your channel for its content and Youtube, as a platform, works best with consistency," Chacon says.

For example, say you regularly create long-form content related to your product or industry and find that it engages your audiences. Chacon notes that you can use Shorts to create quick tutorials or step-by-step videos around those content topics.

4. Brands in most industries could leverage Shorts.

Because TikTok has a somewhat niche user-base filled with younger consumers, some types of brands, such as B2B companies, might have a harder time growing awareness there.

While YouTube shares similar popularity with young adults, the content on its platform is so vast that it brings in people from all sorts of age groups, countries, industries, and niches.

Ultimately, there's a video for everyone on YouTube. With Shorts, more brands will be able to engage with audiences from a much wider range of audience targets.

For example, while a B2B brand might have difficulty connecting with Gen Z consumers on TikTok, they might be able to connect with professionals looking for industry-related content on Shorts.

Similarly, if you target older generations, such as Gen X, your short-form content might get more engagement on YouTube than TikTok.

5. YouTube Shorts could be less vulnerable than other viral platforms.

Throughout most of 2020, TikTok was facing threats of a ban and censorship regulations.

If you're a marketer who spends time mastering content strategies on a social media app, a ban or regulation of that app could mean that the content you've worked so hard on might never be seen.

However, because YouTube is one of the oldest and most successful online platforms, and it's owned by the publicly traded Alphabet, it might be seen as more trustworthy than viral apps that provide less public data security information – like TikTok.

How 5 Brands Use YouTube Shorts


Looking for bite-sized news about your favorite pro athletes? ESPN has you covered by providing Shorts that showcase trending videos, highlights, and fiery commentary.

ESPN's YouTube channel has a loyal audience with over 8.5 million followers. By utilizing Shorts, the network is leveraging another format to connect with its audience online.

2. MrBeast Shorts

For Youtube megastar Mr. Beasts, Shorts are a great way to repurpose content from longer videos.

If you've been in the YouTube game for a while, consider clipping segments from your existing long-form content to make minute-long Shorts. While it may take some finessing, creating Shorts can breathe new life into your past content.

Plus, YouTube's new "Edit into a Short" feature makes it easier than ever to cut videos into bite-sized snippets.

(Video) YouTube Shorts: The COMPLETE Guide!

3. The Voice

To promote its new season, NBC's The Voice created a Short featuring this year's hosts.

What works well here:

  • It serves as an ad for the brand.
  • It utilizes text to emphasize certain phrases and keep the audience engaged.
  • It includes a banner at the end with clear directions for viewers on when and where to watch the show.

4. LYFE Marketing

Who said informative content had to be long? LYFE Marketing shows that you can create fun, engaging, and informative content in under 30 seconds.

In this Short, the brand breaks down color psychology. The talent in front of the camera simply points to the text which appears on different parts of the screen during the video.

If you don't have a big media budget, this is an effective, low-effort method of creating content your audience will be interested in.

5. WebFX

Shorts are a great way to repurpose content. You can take content from a blog post, live stream, or downloadable report to create a short-and-sweet video.

Digital marketing agency, WebFX, created a short to explain the costs behind social media marketing.

With the use of graphics, WebFX delivers great information in a succinct way. It's likely the brand has an article or other form of content that dives deeper into this topic.

But for social media, snippets are the way to go. When done right, they pique your audience's interest and lead them to your website.

6. Danessa Myricks Beauty

Have exciting news you want to share with your audience? Take a page out of this brand's playbook.

(Video) Stupidly Easy $2,000/Day YouTube Shorts Method For Beginners To Make Money Online!

In this countdown-style video, Danessa Myricks Beauty used a short to promote its launch in Sephora and build some anticipation.

In the first half of the video, multiple people can be heard saying "One more day." Then, we see the CEO sending off a package to be sent to Sephora stores.

Here's why this works: There's no time wasted in this Short. It's engaging from the very start and every frame serves a purpose. Secondly, there's a clear message – the audience leaves knowing the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why).

Lastly, this Short creates excitement for the brand's growth and invites the audience to join in the countdown.

7. Satori Graphics

Here's another great example of how graphics and illustrations can take your Shorts to another level.

Satori Graphics is a popular YouTube channel to learn graphic design. The channel features hundreds of long-form videos on the topic and this Short serves as an extension of what's already on the channel.

This tactic can work well for attracting new viewers to the channel, as a one-minute video is less intimidating than a 20-minute video. It's similar to how you present a content offer at the end of a blog article.

A reader may be more likely to read a blog post first than read a 20-page report, as it's an easier point of entry. The same concept can apply to Shorts.

How to Prepare for YouTube Shorts

While we aren't sure how Shorts will evolve, it's not too early to consider how you could implement it into your social media or video marketing strategy. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind.

  • Optimize short YouTube videos: Chacon says global creators should begin to add, "#shorts" to descriptions of videos that are 60 seconds or less.
  • Identify short-form topics: Are there any topics your team creates content around that could be distilled into a few quick tips, steps, or data points? If so, you might be able to repurpose this information by creating a Short.
  • Audit your short-form videos: Have you created Instagram Reels, TikToks, or other social media videos that would only need a few light tweaks to engage your YouTube audience? If so, you could test them on Shorts when the platform launches.

To learn more about YouTube Marketing, check out our Ultimate Guide – or download the free resource below.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March of 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Aug 23, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated August 23 2022


How are brands using YouTube Shorts? ›

Brands are using YouTube Shorts to tell stories

They can be made for 60 seconds or less, and are much easier to view than a 20-minute video. If you love storytelling, then you can take advantage of shorts to reach a dedicated audience on YouTube.

How do you make YouTube Shorts? ›

Learn more about Shorts
  1. Sign in to the YouTube app.
  2. Tap create. ...
  3. To make your Short longer than 15 seconds, tap 15 above the record button to record up to 60 seconds (60). ...
  4. To record a clip, hold the capture button or tap it to start recording and then again to stop.

Which topic is best for YouTube Shorts? ›

Here are the ideas we will talk about in the article:
  • Customer reviews.
  • Industry facts.
  • Motivating content.
  • Unique facts.
  • Repurpose long-form content.
  • Share stories.
  • Unboxing videos.
  • News & events.
16 Feb 2022

What is the content of YouTube Shorts? ›

Get the vibe right. YouTube Shorts isn't the place for shortened versions of your long videos. Much like Instagram Reels and TikTok, Shorts is the place to give your audience short, snappy, and easily digestible content, for example, viral trends or behind-the-scenes looks.

Which YouTube Shorts are most popular? ›

  • NigaHiga.
  • Filthy Frank.
  • Rhett & Link.
  • Fine Bros.
  • Game Theorists.
  • Jelle's Marble Runs.
  • Angry Grandpa.
  • Scott The Woz.

How do YouTube Shorts make money? ›

Overall, there are three ways to monetize YouTube Shorts: Get a bonus through the YouTube Shorts fund. Get a brand deal or sponsorship. Collect ad revenue from YouTube Shorts views (coming in 2023)

How can I make my Shorts go viral? ›

How to Make a YouTube Short Go Viral in 1 Minute (Complete ...

Can you monetize YouTube Shorts without 1000? ›

That leads some people to wonder, “Can I get monetized on YouTube without 1,000 subscribers?” And the answer is yes. In 2022, there's more than one way to fund your YouTube channel. Keep reading to learn the best tips and strategies.

What is a good YouTube title? ›

It's easy to fall in love with the words you've written, only to realize you have too many. On YouTube, you have a title limit of 100 characters. But even that's too long. The best titles are around 60-70 characters and display fully on most devices.

Why are YouTube Shorts popular? ›

YouTube Shorts Are Way Easier to Create

With Shorts, creators can produce content in less time, which means they can put out more content than usual. It's also easier for Shorts to go viral because they can be quick and punchy, unlike YouTube videos and live content, which can drag and lose viewers' interest.

How do I use YouTube Shorts for affiliate marketing? ›

Since a lot of people are making money with YouTube Shorts, you can also use it as part of your YouTube affiliate marketing strategy. Create short videos in which you recommend a product, or get snippets from your longer videos, and share them on YouTube Shorts with a link to the product.

How can I make my YouTube channel grow faster? ›

16 Proven tips to promote your YouTube Channel
  1. Write engaging, must-see titles. ...
  2. Optimize your videos for visibility. ...
  3. Figure out what your audience wants. ...
  4. Engage with the YouTube community. ...
  5. Customize your thumbnails. ...
  6. Cross-promote your own videos on YouTube. ...
  7. Target Google search results. ...
  8. Run a contest or giveaway.

What is the best time to post YouTube Shorts? ›

In general, for short-form content, the best time to post YouTube Shorts is during the evenings or on weekends as that is when most people get on the regular YouTube app.

Which shorts get the most views? ›

LankyBox: 10 Billion Views with Shorts

Their most viewed Short to date is a 47-second prank about coffee, which has attracted a staggering 173M views.

How do YouTube videos go viral? ›

With the advent of social media and the rise in popularity of websites like YouTube, viral videos quickly began to pop up.
5 easy tips on how to make a video go viral
  1. Keep it short and sweet. ...
  2. Have a clear point. ...
  3. Stay relevant. ...
  4. Try to be relatable. ...
  5. Be consistent.
15 Feb 2022

How do you find trends on YouTube Shorts? ›

How to find YouTube trends?
  1. YouTube Trending dashboard (based on the user's country)
  2. Popular on YouTube page (globally)
  3. Google Trends for YouTube.
  4. Keyword Tool for YouTube.

How much do YouTube Shorts Pay Per View? ›

How Much Does YouTube Pay per View on Average? On average, most people earn between $1-10 for every 1,000 views. In other words, most YouTubers earn $0.01-0.10 per view.

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube Shorts? ›

Views of YouTube Shorts count toward a channel's total watch time, but do not count toward monetization eligibility. To monetize YouTube videos you need to accumulate 4,000 hours of watch time within a 12 month period.

How is a YouTuber paid? ›

YouTube monetizes videos via pre-roll, display, and other advertising formats. Advertisers pay based on clicks and impressions. YouTube gives the content creator 55% of this revenue and takes 45% for itself. 2 Content creators must adhere to advertising guidelines.

How many YouTube Shorts can I post a day? ›

You can upload as many shorts as you would like. YouTube's Shorts creation tools makes it easy to create short-form videos that are up to 60 seconds long with a multi-segment camera. The public(you) can create as many videos as you like.

Are Shorts monetized? ›

YouTube announces Shorts will soon be eligible for monetization, and creators will keep 45% of the revenue generated from viewership. This is a significant update for creators who earn income on YouTube. Unlike long-form videos, which allow creators to profit from ad revenue, Shorts has no direct path to monetization.

How much money do you get from 1 million views on YouTube Shorts? ›

How Much Does YouTube Pay You For 1 Million Views in 2022? On average, you can make more than $5700 if you get over 1 million views. The average revenue per million views (RPM) is approximately $5.75.

How do you get 1K views on YouTube? ›

How to Get More Views on YouTube
  1. Create Compelling Content. ...
  2. Encourage Viewers to Subscribe. ...
  3. Create Playlists to Keep People Watching. ...
  4. Promote Other Videos with End Screens and Cards. ...
  5. Add a Watermark to Your Videos. ...
  6. Make Sure Your Videos Are Embedding Enabled. ...
  7. Promote Your Videos on Other Social Channels.
12 Mar 2022

How do you get 1K views on YouTube Shorts? ›

How to Get More Views on YouTube Shorts as a Small Creator
  1. Set the country filter to Any so you get results for as many videos as possible.
  2. Go to the search bar and type #Shorts. ...
  3. After typing #Shorts, hit the spacebar and add your channel's niche or a similar topic. ...
  4. Set the channel filter to Up to 1K subscribers.
4 Mar 2021

Why do my Shorts get no views? ›

YouTube Shorts: Why You're Not Getting Views

Do you need subscribers for Shorts? ›

The most exciting benefit of Shorts is potential exposure. Like TikTok, it can be very easy to quickly get in front of a large audience, which is ideal for reaching viewers with shorter attention spans. Even more exciting is that your content can be served to non-subscribers, opening up a new potential audience!

How can I increase my subscribers? ›

8 Ways To Get More Subscribers on YouTube in 2022
  1. Tip #1: Create engaging and informative content.
  2. Tip #2: Create and publish videos frequently.
  3. Tip #3: Optimize your YouTube videos.
  4. Tip #4: Optimize your YouTube channel.
  5. Tip #5: Create high quality videos.
27 May 2022

Can you make money from YouTube Shorts alone? ›

You can, in theory, make money from your first video if you meet the eligibility criteria: You have a YouTube channel. You've uploaded a Short within the last 180 days. Your content is in line with YouTube's community guidelines.

Which videos attract the most subscribers? ›

If so, here's a handy list of ten types of video content that will attract more views.
  1. Product Videos. Product videos create an emotional connection between a product and consumers. ...
  2. Interviews. ...
  3. Explainer Videos. ...
  4. Testimonials. ...
  5. Tutorial Video Content. ...
  6. Reviews. ...
  7. Vlogs. ...
  8. Webinars.
10 Jun 2022

Which YouTube content makes the most money? ›

1) Make Money Online

The “make money online” niche is by far amongst the best and most profitable niches to start a Youtube channel around. The content of these channels can include affiliate marketing, internet marketing, blogging tips, and more.

How many subscribers do you need to make money? ›

To start earning money directly from YouTube, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Once they reach that threshold, they can apply for YouTube's Partner Program, which allows creators to start monetizing their channels through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships.

What should I name my first YouTube video? ›

5 Tips on How to Title YouTube Videos
  • Keep your titles within 70 characters (including spaces)
  • Mention the search term you'd like to rank for naturally in the video title.
  • Promise value to the user with the title.
  • Sparkle interest by using words like Without, Although and To.
  • Do A/B tests.
12 Jun 2022

What is a good channel name? ›

Keep It Simple: Make your Channel Name easy to pronounce and spell. In general, it's better to use 2-3 word phrases (The Film Theorists) vs. one complicated word (FilmTheorology). Use a Tool: If you're stuck, I recommend checking out the Shopify Business Name Generator.

How long should your YouTube title be? ›

Titles. While you can use as many as 100 characters in your YouTube title, the optimal length is 70 characters (including spaces) as anything over that will in any case be shortened. In other words, only the first 70 characters will be visible to users.

What does Shorts stand for? ›

They are called "shorts" because they are a shortened version of trousers, which cover the entire leg, but not the foot.

How long should a YouTube short be? ›

The maximum duration of a Youtube Shorts video is 60 seconds. The ideal duration is between 15 and 60 seconds.

Do YouTube Shorts expire? ›

Do YouTube Shorts expire? Unlike YouTube Stories, which expire after 7 days, YouTube Shorts don't expire on their own unless you delete them from your channel.

Is YouTube Shorts good for marketing? ›

If we specifically talk about YouTube Shorts, you can add them to the arsenal of your content marketing campaign to speed up your growth. Just to give a brief idea, 15 billion Shorts are viewed daily. Shorts can help you attract millions of subscribers in no time compared to your regular YouTube video content.

How do YouTube Shorts go viral? ›

How to Make a YouTube Short Go Viral in 1 Minute (Complete ...

Can you advertise on YouTube Shorts? ›

Ads between YouTube Shorts

YouTube is already a well-monetized social network. With many new creators, YouTube is now testing ads on Shorts with products like App Install and Video Action Campaigns.

Can YouTube Shorts be monetized? ›

YouTube Shorts Monetization

Starting in early 2023, creators in the YouTube Partner Program will be eligible to monetize Shorts videos. This will allow creators to make money from ads that run between videos in the Shorts feed.

How can I improve my shorts views? ›

How to Get More Views with YouTube Shorts
  1. Part 1: Get More Views by Adding Shorts Video to the 'Featured' Section.
  2. Part 2: Create Attractive Thumbnail for YouTube Shorts to Get More Views.
  3. Part 3: Optimize YouTube Shorts to Get More Views.
  4. Part 4: How to Analyze YouTube Shorts Performance.
30 Aug 2022

How can I promote my shorts? ›

Key Takeaways
  1. Keep them 58 seconds or less.
  2. Shoot them in the vertical format.
  3. Good audio is important — but not absolutely necessary.
  4. Put the hashtag 'shorts' at the end of the title and in the description.
  5. Create a wide variety of content as you never know what will stick — or what YouTube will promote.

What is a good YouTube title? ›

It's easy to fall in love with the words you've written, only to realize you have too many. On YouTube, you have a title limit of 100 characters. But even that's too long. The best titles are around 60-70 characters and display fully on most devices.

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube Shorts? ›

Starting in early 2023, YouTube Shorts-focused creators can apply to be part of the platform's revenue-sharing program if they have at least 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days.

How do you go viral? ›

What to Know
  1. Pay attention to current and breaking news/events. Videos usually do very well on social media. Use keywords.
  2. Get noticed by a bigger influencer. Hold a contest to drive engagement. Use humor (or controversy) to stand out.
  3. Use eye-catching visuals. Share to Reddit. Be as unique as possible.
5 Jul 2022

Can you monetize YouTube Shorts without 1000? ›

That leads some people to wonder, “Can I get monetized on YouTube without 1,000 subscribers?” And the answer is yes. In 2022, there's more than one way to fund your YouTube channel. Keep reading to learn the best tips and strategies.

Do YouTube Shorts expire? ›

2. Shorts do not expire. While Instagram Stories and Snapchats expire after 24 hours, Shorts are permanent — which can help your grow awareness long-term on YouTube.

How much money do you get for 1 view? ›

According to a variety of sources, YouTubers can make anywhere between $0.01 to $0.03 per view with AdSense, with an average of $0.18 per view. However, the amount of money YouTube.com will pay depends on a variety of factors, such as: The number of views your video receives. The number of clicks an ad receives.

How do I claim my Shorts bonus? ›

How do I claim my Shorts bonus from the Shorts Fund? Qualifying creators can select CLAIM BONUS in the email or in-app notification to go to the Shorts Fund page in YouTube Studio. From this page, creators need to complete two steps to claim their bonus: Accept the bonus terms.

How many subscribers do you need on YouTube to make money? ›

Do you need 1000 subscribers on YouTube to get paid? Yes. You need a minimum 1000 subscribers and at least 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program – which is necessary to get paid by YouTube.


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