How to make YouTube videos that shine

YouTube Shorts have a lot to offer. They can rack up over 30 billion views per day (yes, with an A), and are a huge deal. If you have a YouTube channel that is thriving, if your clients are already making short-form videos for other channels, and if your audience is looking for new ways to reach you, then shorts can be a great addition to your social media strategy.

How do you start? Learn how to create YouTube Shorts and how to make this video format work for you and your audience.

What is a YouTube Short?

YouTube Shorts are short videos that use a vertical format on full screen. While shorts look similar to TikTok videos, Instagram and Facebook Reels and have their own audio and editing tools, they are different.

YouTube launched Shorts in 2020. This short-form video format was first released globally in 2021. YouTube now makes shorts widely available in the world. They are displayed in their own dedicated feed.

Shorts are a great addition to any social media strategy, regardless of whether your team has a YouTube channel. Shorts can be created to complement longer-form videos, or you can concentrate your YouTube content entirely on short-form video.

What length are YouTube Shorts?

A short can last anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds. You can have one cut or multiple clips glued together.

YouTube Shorts vs. Other short-form video formats

On the surface, shorts look similar to TikTok and Reels videos. Before your team creates YouTube Shorts, be aware of a few key differences.

YouTube Shorts

They have shorter time limits than other social networks. Instagram Reels can be up to 90 seconds long, while TikTok videos can take up to 10 minutes. You can’t ask questions to your audience, launch countdowns or link out your website using stickers. Allow titles that display automatically and disable descriptions. To read the description, viewers must open the video’s menu. Click-through rates (CTRs), due to the fact that the description is not automatically displayed for Shorts, may be low.

Monetization options for YouTube Shorts

YouTube, like Instagram and TikTok has tried different monetization options in an effort to encourage creators. YouTube will be closing its Shorts Fund in February 2023. However, the revamped YouTube Partner Program is going to give Shorts creators more monetization options.

Basically, any Shorts creator with at least 1,000 subscribers or 10 million views in the past 90 days can join the YPP. Creators can now earn a portion of the revenue from the YPP starting in February 2023.

How to make YouTube shorts

YouTube Shorts can be made by social media managers in a variety of ways. These shorts can be filmed in real time, uploaded prerecorded clips or used existing YouTube videos as sources. Let’s go over each of these workflows.

Make YouTube shorts with the YouTube app

The best thing about creating Shorts on YouTube is the access to the built in editing tools. YouTube’s tools are a smart choice if you don’t have a preferred video editor app.

YouTube - create a Short

You can create short videos directly within the YouTube app, unlike long-form videos. Tap the plus sign at the top of the main menu to open the app. Tap Create a short.

Create new content for YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts default to 15 seconds. Tap the time frame icon in the upper left corner to create a 60 second Short. It toggles between 15 seconds and 60 seconds.

YouTube - Shorts creation tools

Next, tap to access YouTube’s content creation tools. Here is a quick overview of all your options:

Switch between the front and back camera. You can slow it down to 0.3x, or speed it up up to 3x. The app will start recording at a preset interval of 60 seconds. A green screen is displayed behind the subject. Retouch the subject to correct any imperfections.

You can also add audio to your recording before it starts. Another option is to add audio in the editing process.

To start recording, press the red button. Tap the back button to re-record or remove a clip. Tap the checkmark to save your edits.

YouTube Shorts can be made from existing content

You can add existing content to your YouTube Short by following the steps below to create a new short-form. Tap the gallery icon at the lower left corner instead of recording. Select a clip from the gallery of your device.

YouTube - add clips to Shorts

To get the timing just right, adjust the start and end times of your clip. To continue creating your video, tap Done. You can continue adding clips until the 60-second limit. In the same Short, you can combine previously recorded and premade content.

Finished? To edit your Short in YouTube, tap the checkmark.

You can edit shorts using the YouTube app

YouTube’s editing tools, while more extensive than Instagram and TikTok, are quite limited. YouTube doesn’t offer transitions or effects.

These are the tools you can use to edit YouTube’s Shorts videos:

Text overlays can be added. Apply video filters. You can make as many overlays and color schemes as you want. Adjust the timeline to make your short-form content more prominent in the feed. You can change the settings of each overlay to display text blocks at specific time stamps.

YouTube - Shorts editing tools

During the editing process, you can also select audio tracks. To browse the YouTube Shorts audio collection, tap the Sound button.

The Shorts audio library, similar to Instagram and TikTok, displays the number videos that have already used each track. This helps you to gauge its popularity. You can also search and browse by artist or genre to find the perfect track for your Short.

Make YouTube Shorts with a third-party application

Do you have a favorite video editing app for your team? To create shorts, you can also use third-party mobile apps such as CapCut or InShot.

Do you prefer to create videos using a desktop device instead? To create short, compelling videos that are both engaging and informative, you can also use desktop apps such as CapCut or Canva.

Canva - create YouTube Shorts

Use a third-party app to edit your video before you upload it to YouTube. YouTube has built-in editing tools that can be used to make your videos unique. YouTube, like other social media networks will deprioritize videos with watermarks or that aren’t original. This can lead to poor results.

Third-party apps don’t provide visual guides that will help you correctly place text and other visual elements. Make sure you account for any on-screen elements when creating YouTube Shorts. Your channel name and video title are located in the lower third of the screen. Engagement buttons appear along its right edge.

Turn long-form YouTube videos into Shorts

Are you a YouTuber who has created long-form videos?

You can often repurpose them to make Shorts. If you have the desire to:

Highlight the key points of your long-form videos.

Open the YouTube mobile app to find the content that you wish to repurpose. You have two options: search for the video, or open the Library tab. Scroll through the list to see the Your videos panel.

YouTube - edit long-form video into a Short

Tap the Remix button to open the video. Select Edit into a short from the menu. You can only convert your channel’s long-form video into Shorts. Other users will not be able access this option.

YouTube automatically resizes the video by using a fullscreen vertical aspect rate and selects a 15 second clip. You can choose another 15-second clip by using the slider. You can choose a shorter clip, but you cannot select a longer one.

YouTube uses the middle of the screen when converting long-form videos into Shorts. To show a different area, drag the window to the left or right. When you are ready to edit, tap the Next button.

YouTube - edit long-form video into a Short - editing tools

Next, you can use the YouTube app’s text overlays and editing filters to capture Shorts style. The same editing tools as we discussed above are available to you, including the timeline feature that allows for time-on-screen elements.

How to upload shorts on YouTube

You can create a Short by following one of these workflows. Then, you can upload it to YouTube. This step is simple if you used YouTube to create a Short or reuse a long-form YouTube video. To publish your Short to YouTube, tap the Upload Short button.

There are a few options if you used third-party video editing apps to create your Short. The Short can be published immediately or scheduled. You can do both with YouTube Studio or Agorapulse.

YouTube Studio allows you to publish shorts

Open YouTube Studio to upload the short-form video that you have created. YouTube Studio recognizes your short-form video as a Short when you upload it and creates a Shorts link.

YouTube Studio - upload YouTube Shorts

Next, give your video a catchy title that includes your primary keyword. For keyword best practices, see the tips section below.

Then write a short description. The description is optional and will not be visible in the Shorts feed. However, it is a good idea. You can use the space to add context, a call-to action (CTA) or a link.

YouTube Studio - YouTube Shorts settings

YouTube Studio currently selects thumbnails automatically for Shorts (as of January 20,2023) and does not allow you to manually choose one. You do have the option of including the Short in a YouTube playlist, or adding tags and locations.

You can also add subtitles to shorts with narration or dialogue. You have two options: upload the caption file, or manually input them.

Now you can publish the Short or schedule it. To instantly publish the video to your channel, select Public. Click Schedule to choose the date and time you wish the video go live.

YouTube Studio - schedule YouTube Shorts

YouTube Studio’s Content tab allows you to manage draft, scheduled, and published videos. Click to reopen the publishing workflow, change the date and/or time, and reschedule a YouTube video.

Agorapulse – Schedule YouTube Shorts

Agorapulse makes publishing and scheduling YouTube Shorts easy. Click to publish to YouTube from your Agorapulse dashboard. Next, upload the short-form video to your YouTube channel using your Agorapulse assets library or your device.

Agorapulse - upload YouTube Shorts

Scroll down to YouTube’s options panel and enter a catchy title. Optionally, you can add a description to the caption field at top of screen. You can choose between Public and Private to set the video status.

Agorapulse - create YouTube Shorts

To add more information, scan the optional fields. You can choose a playlist, select a category and then pick YouTube tags. Your Agorapulse dashboard also allows you to toggle YouTube’s notification and embedding options.

After you have verified your YouTube account, there is an option to create a custom thumbnail. Click on the three dots to select Edit video. Next, upload a thumbnail and choose from one of the video frames.

Agorapulse - YouTube Shorts thumbnail picker

You can publish your YouTube Short from the dashboard when you are ready. Agorapulse also allows you to schedule YouTube Shorts, so that content is published at the best time for your audience.

Here are four tips and best practices for YouTube shorts

This guide will show you how to create and upload YouTube Shorts. How do you create shorts that resonate with your audience? And help your team achieve key YouTube marketing goals. These tips and best practices will help you improve your Shorts to get better results.

1. Begin with a hook

Short-form videos can be swiched away by viewers when they see them in the Shorts feed. It’s important to grab their attention immediately by creating hooks.

Give viewers an incentive to view your Short within the first 2/3 seconds. You can use humor, surprise, and intrigue to keep viewers engaged and not swiping away from the Short.

Are you unsure how to grab viewers’ attention? You can reuse some of the strategies that worked in your TikTok videos and Instagram Reels. You can also look at shorts created by other creators and companies in your niche to see what works.

2. Be creative with your cuts

While longer cuts and single scenes work well for long-form videos they don’t suit shorts. Short-form video is fast-paced and requires frequent cuts and transitions to keep viewers’ attention.

Try different lengths of clips to find the best timing for your content. You might find that audience retention is best achieved by adding short cuts every few seconds.

YouTube metrics can be used to optimize retention. YouTube Studio analytics can show you how long viewers watch each Short and when they swipe away.

3. Optimize your search

YouTube is more than just a video platform. YouTube is also a very popular search engine. Search engine optimization (SEO), which is a way to increase visibility and grow your audience, can be integrated into your content.

Do keyword research before creating YouTube Shorts. Analyze the content of competitors and identify relevant keywords in your industry. Optimize your Shorts by answering commonly asked questions, including keywords in title, and adding your brand’s unique take.

4. Tease YouTube channel content

Do you have a team that creates long-form videos? Shorts can be used to tease longer videos and attract more subscribers. They also help guide viewers through your social media channels.

Call-to-action (CTAs), which are short-form videos, can be used to get Shorts viewers to visit your YouTube channel. Video links can be helpful, but viewers might not find them or follow them without strong CTAs.

Let’s wrap up what we know about YouTube shorts

Shorts are great for any brand, no matter if they have created short-form videos on other social media networks or if you’re just starting with YouTube. Follow these best practices to optimize YouTube Shorts.