About The Author
Ashley Olive

As Phase 3's lead social media expert, Ashley drives brand awareness for clients primarily in the lifestyle industry, focusing on influencer relations, social media content creation and media relations. Her clients include Avocet Hospitality, Hansgrohe, Just Salad, Backyard Burger, Emmy Squared Pizza, Beechwood Homes, and Northeastern University. Ashley received her Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Journalism from Queens University in Charlotte. She excels in combining the latest trends with a client’s vision to create campaigns that are relevant and unique.

The Ins and Outs of YouTube Shorts

By Ashley Olive
February 02, 2023



Did you know that our average attention span these days is 8.25 seconds? The length of time varies, of course, depending on your age, environment, and the type of activity you are doing. Still, that average has been declining over the years. Why? It is due to both the rise in access to technology and choices in the information we consume. This is likely both the cause and effect of the influence short-form video has on our culture in 2023.


The Power of Short-Form Video

According to Sprout Social’s US Social Media Trends for 2022 & Beyond, customers consider short-form video content 2.5 times more engaging than long-form video content. (Short-form videos by definition are less than 60 seconds.) In 2022, 66% said they paid the most attention to short-form video content. In contrast, 24% thought long-form video was the most engaging. They are "snackable," which means they are easily consumable pieces of content that viewers can scroll through quickly.



There is an Opportunity on YouTube

When it comes to short-form video, TikTok and SnapChat immediately come to mind, for good reason. TikTok has been the fastest-growing platform recently, generating 1 billion users in just six years. Sprout Social’s data reports that 38% of consumers planned on using TikTok to discover new brands, more than double the 17% planning to use it in 2020.


However, you can’t count out YouTube. The same survey found that 51% of consumers planned to spend more time on YouTube to discover new brands, but only 35% of marketers planned on using the platform, decreasing from 52% in 2020. The new short-form video functionality available on YouTube is a clear opportunity for a brand focused on building a loyal and engaged customer base in 2023.



What Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts rolled out globally in June 2021 and by June 2022 YouTube reported that Shorts had more than 30 billion global daily views. Shorts are 15 to 60-second videos viewed on a YouTube page or through the home page. Shorts count as views for creators and are more likely to attract a wider audience because they are viewable outside of a channel and are easier to share. Like regular videos, viewers can share, comment, like, dislike, or subscribe to your channel while viewing a Short. Plus, Shorts don't disappear, unlike other short-form videos on Instagram Stories and Snapchat.



5 Reasons Why YouTube Shorts are Better than Other Short-Form Content Platforms
  1. Building a subscriber list: One of the most compelling reasons to use YouTube Shorts is the ability to convert Shorts viewers into subscribers. If a viewer finds your Short in the Shorts feed, it takes just two clicks to get to your YouTube channel and subscribe. By contrast, TikTok's user interface is more focused on delivering viral content than building an audience.

  2. Giving customers a choice: When you use YouTube Shorts to build a subscriber list, you've covered both the short-form and long-form video content needs of your customers. As a result, you are giving consumers more choices to engage with your content.

  3. Shorts do not expire: While Snapchats and Instagram Stories expire after 24 hours, Shorts are permanent. This helps you grow long-term brand awareness online because your content can be saved for future reference and engagement.

  4. YouTube Shorts could see a bigger reach: YouTube has universal appeal with a broader demographic audience and has about 70% more monthly active users than TikTok. More brands have a viable reason to create Shorts than other short-form video content because more customers are using YouTube.

  5. YouTube is probably not going to get banned any time soon, unlike TikTok, which has been facing threats of a ban and censorship regulations for a few years. Several states have already banned the app on government-issued phones. YouTube is part of one of the oldest and most successful online platforms, Google, and therefore regarded as stable and trustworthy. 

10 Best Practices for YouTube Shorts

Creating short-form video is not as simple as it sounds. Our short attention spans mean that you've only got 8 seconds to grab and hold our attention before we scroll to the next video. Keeping that in mind, there are several best practices to remember as you create Shorts.

  1. Don’t bury the lead: The first few seconds of any video must be visually exciting and have a strong and relatable point of view that speaks to the target audience. Make sure you know your hook and use it at the beginning of the video.

  2. Add value: Don't just post Shorts because your competitor is doing it. Instead, identify a goal and strategy for each video, and ensure you create something that adds value to your customers' experience with your brand. 

  3. The shorter, the better: Shorts must be 60 seconds or less. On many occasions, 30 seconds will get your point across. If so, don't embellish.

  4. Edit appropriately: Shorts are more engaging when they are not one continuous shot. Instead, edit together different shots to keep viewers interested.

  5. Remember the replay: Shorts play on a loop, so think about how your content will be received if it's continually repeated.

  6. Consider the audience: Just like any other marketing channel, it's important to remember your audience and create content that captivates them. The consumers who watch your long-form content may differ from those who will watch your Shorts. 

  7. Consider the format: Yes, it's all video, but sometimes your long-form content may not naturally lend itself to short-form content. Shorts are best for quick, snappy, and easily digestible content, not whiteboard lectures on complex topics. 

  8. Jump on trending hashtags, news, and events: Shorts lend themselves to trend jacking, which is the practice of using trending topics, events, and news to engage audiences and build awareness for a brand. Because Shorts are easily created and shared, they are a great way to increase visibility. Just make sure the trend makes sense for your brand.

  9. Get creative with your captions: Captions are an effective way to involve your audience. Captions can be up to 100 characters. Include a strong call to action, use a clever quote, or make a funny comparison. Also, include strong hashtags in the caption to make sharing even easier.

  10. Be authentic: Don't be dazzled by shiny objects. Maintaining your brand voice is critical when creating content, including YouTube Shorts. Follow your brand guidelines, so your content appropriately reflects your brand and aligns with your messaging and mission.

5 Ideas for YouTube Shorts

Want to get started on a YouTube Shorts strategy for your business in 2023? We’ve got a ton of ideas to share with you. Here are just a few.

  1. Unboxing Video: Enlist influencers and customers to create an unboxing video of your products, capturing their authentic reviews and feedback for viewers.

  2. How-to: Post a short step-by-step video on how to use or assemble one of your products.

  3. Day in the Life: Provide a behind-the-scenes look at how someone on your team spends a typical day or how a team does their job. For example, you could highlight a day in the life of a leader in your DEI office or film a product photo shoot for the website.

  4. FAQs: Answer common questions your sales or customer service team receives from customers

  5. Hacks: Provide new or out-of-the-box ideas on how to use a product you sell or highlight a customer who has creatively hacked one of your products.

The options are endless. YouTube Shorts provide all types of businesses the opportunity to highlight their brand to millions of consumers daily. It’s a growing marketing channel that will only get more powerful in 2023.


Our experts at Phase 3 are at the forefront of developing marketing strategies for emerging marketing trends and channels, and YouTube Shorts is no exception. So if your brand is looking for a new way to engage consumers with video, we'd love to show you what Phase 3 can do. Contact us today for more information.