For years, YouTube has been the home of long-form video content. However, with changing audience behavior/demand and rivals creeping up and booming with short-form content (we’re looking at you Instagram and TikTok) - YouTube also wanted to keep up with the cool kids. In late 2020, YouTube launched it’s own version of short-form content - YouTube Shorts.
But, as a YouTuber, how important is creating YouTube Shorts for your influencer strategy? In short - very important and will become more and more crucial. So, what are YouTube Shorts? How long are YouTube Shorts? And the question on all our minds - can you make money from YouTube Shorts? Here’s everything you need to know about YouTube Shorts.
YouTube shorts is a short-form, vertical video feature that YouTube introduced to its platform back in 2020. This feature allows YouTubers to record, edit and upload short videos (of up to 60 seconds) directly on the YouTube app. Its main competitors are Instagram Reels and TikTok. Since its launch, YouTube shorts has accumulated over 5 trillion views.
Viewers of YouTube shorts can share, comment, like, dislike and most importantly, subscribe to your channel all while viewing the video. Although shorts are intended to be watched on smartphones, they can also be viewed on tablets and computers.
YouTube shorts can be up to 60 seconds long - any video uploaded to YouTube will be automatically categorized as a ‘YouTube short’. But, a Shorts video doesn’t need to be 60-seconds long - it can also be shorter.
Now let’s get into what we are all interested in - how can you make money from YouTube shorts? So, let’s start with the bad news, because YouTube shorts are just a minute long, you can’t run an ad on them - which means, monetization is quite tricky.
However, the good news is that there are a few ways to profit from YouTube shorts:
One way to make money from YouTube shorts is through YouTube’s $100M Shorts Fund. In 2021, YouTube announced this creator fund which promises to reward creators with a monthly ‘bonus’ that comes from the $100M fund pot. Every month, YouTube reaches out to thousands of YouTube short creators based on their Shorts performance in the previous month. Selected influencers can get anywhere between $100 to $10,000 from the Fund. The exact amount is based on different performance metrics, including monthly channel Shorts views and where their audience is located.
So, what are the requirements for monetizing YouTube Shorts and being eligible for a bonus from YouTube’s Shorts Fund?
As long as you meet these requirements, you are in the running to receive a bonus from the Shorts fund. And, don’t worry, if you are selected, YouTube will contact you within the first week of the month.
Getting a bonus from the YouTube Shorts Fund is obviously no piece of cake, but there is another way to make money from these short videos - brand sponsorships. Just like with sponsorships on regular YouTube videos, brands have partnered up with a number of YouTube Shorts creators to promote their products and services. Obviously, the brand pays the creator in exchange for the promotion and it can be for pretty much any product/service - cereal, clothing, sunglasses, or productivity apps.
Interestingly, according to reports, more and more brands are dipping their toes into YouTube Shorts sponsorships - 51% of marketers say they plan to invest in short-form content more than they did in 2021.
Unlike YouTube sponsorship calculators, there isn’t currently an accurate calculator available specifically for YouTube Shorts. However, you can check out our YouTube sponsorship calculator to get a pretty good estimation of how much a sponsorship may cost on YouTube Shorts.
As a YouTuber, you are creating engaging, creative content on your channel and obviously you want to get as many eyes as possible on these high-quality videos. And, YouTube Shorts is a great way to bring attention to your regular channel. Think about it, people who come across your Shorts video and enjoy the content may immediately subscribe to your channel and click in to see even more of your content.
YouTube Shorts appear in a number of different locations on YouTube - viewers may come across your short-form video while they scroll through the main Shorts page or on the homepage of the YouTube app. This allows you to get your content in front of potential viewers who aren’t already subscribed to your channel but have shown an interest in content similar to yours.
YouTube is highly favoring Shorts content so the short-form videos uploaded to your channel can help you get on YouTube algorithms’ good side - there will be an increase in engagement on your channel (which is one of the key factors for YouTube when prioritizing content). All in all, YouTube Shorts will help you increase the number of people exposed to your channel and in turn increase your viewership and subscriber count.
Whether you like it or not, audiences (especially the younger generation) are increasingly drawn to shorter videos circulating the web. If you want to not only stay relevant, but keep your audience interested in your content and channel, you have to keep up with the everchanging audience demand.
Talking about trends - YouTube Shorts is also a great opportunity for creators to jump on online trends that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to on their regular channel. This may include ‘challenges’ (adjusted to your content of course) or trending songs - just another way to increase viewership to your videos and channel.
Creating YouTube videos is quite a rigorous process - filming, editing, creating engaging thumbnails, etc - but, YouTube Shorts gives creators the opportunity to create less polished videos that still bring engagement and views. You can even use Shorts as a way to show a behind-the-scenes look at your channel - show your audience a different side to you and your channel (which wouldn’t be as effective on your regular channel).
Hint hint, this is also a great way to keep up with your upload frequency - you are uploading original content that brings engagement to your channel without having to tediously film and edit a full-length video. Keep in mind - you can record and edit your Shorts video right on the app, making it even easier to get them done and dusted. Not to mention getting on YouTube algorithm’s good side, which means better reach, improved viewership and increased subscribership - what more could you ask for.
If it wasn’t clear, YouTube wants to become a major player in the short-form video content sphere - and they are depending on creators to help them rise to the challenge. As mentioned above, YouTube’s algorithm favors creators uploading Shorts videos and the platform is increasing its efforts to reward influencers creating this short-form content on the YouTube app. So, in short - YouTube Shorts are easy to make (especially compared to regular long-form content) and are a really great way to catch the attention of millions and millions of viewers, get your channel noticed and attract new viewers to your channel.