YouTube Shorts has been an underground sensation ever since it came out in September last year. The short-form video format helped numerous small creators break out and reach a massive audience.

This year the secret on Shorts is out as the company claimed it’s already getting 6.5B views a day. YouTube will continue focusing on this short-form video format this year as it wants to open the video platform to more creators who can start their channels. Let’s look at three case studies of how creators have leveraged YouTube Shorts to their advantage:

1. Jake Fellman

Like any usual educational creator, Jake was creating tutorials around a popular software: Maya. His videos used to get a slew of a few thousand views at best.

In September 2020, he experimented with animated videos in the newly launched Shorts video format on YouTube. They were an amalgamation of his skillset in 3D art and storytelling. Moreover, he had picked up on a massive trend to create his skits —- the game “Among Us.”

You can see a clear difference in how Jake’s channel blew up the moment he started creating this entertaining series of videos in the Shorts format:

Some of his videos have touched 127M views (at the time of writing this article). Sure he creates merely under 30-second short videos. On his channel’s about page, though, Jake mentions putting in up to 8 hours to make every single one of them.

Short, punchy, and entertaining videos by hijacking a huge gaming trend — that’s the summary of what’s working for Jake.

For certain tech niches, quick and snappy videos make sense. Phone Repair Guru specializes in such short tutorials showing how to replace your iPhone camera lens:

They also create video tutorials on screen replacement of the Samsung Galaxy A70, and tips & tricks around phone customization as well. The channel was focused on such short videos before the Shorts format launched on YouTube, but they have blown up majorly now and their older videos are also racking up views:

Such tutorials have the “Will it blend”, a viral YouTube campaign from a decade ago, shock or wow value to them. I mean, who doesn’t like to see an iPhone battery almost explode?

3. vidIQ

If you’re a SaaS company, long-form educational content is probably your bread and butter for driving leads. But how can you use this short-form video format in a seemingly intricate niche? Take cues from vidIQ’s YouTube channel, a company that sells software for YouTube creators.

The main host for the channel, Rob, often creates quick one-minute news updates about what’s happening at YouTube like the one below:

Or even a timelapse showing how a YouTube video gets views — something that will intrigue their audience of video creators.

vidIQ even created a dedicated Shorts channel separate from their existing channels where they post such shorter videos more frequently:

If you feel this format is too risky and could disrupt the experience of your existing YouTube audience, then creating a dedicated channel for Shorts seems like a great bet. One of the most popular creators, Mr. Beast, also runs a separate Shorts channel. Remember short videos can still build your brand.

Shorts Were Limiting, But They Can Be Monetized Now!

If you want to make a living from YouTube, being a part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) is among the first important steps. It lets you make money from AdSense and access a slew of other features on the video platform, including Super Chat, merchandise shelves, YouTube premium revenue, and more.

The eligibility criteria for applying for the program are having 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of public watch time in the last 12 months. And this is where Shorts had a limitation.

The watch time resulting from viewing Shorts isn’t going to count towards the YPP criteria. If the viewing is happening from the Shorts shelf, it counts as a Shorts view.

However, if your audience watches your Shorts videos from the watch page (the standard YouTube player), then the watch time would be counted towards YPP.

Given that YouTube has announced a $100M fund for Shorts creators, you can expect better-earning opportunities in the near future from the short-form video medium.

Once you start leveraging the format, you can check out your channel analytics and hover over to ‘traffic sources’ to determine the number of views and the watch time they are driving for you. Here’s an article on how YouTube Shorts views impact channel analytics to get a more thorough understanding of the same.

Final Thoughts

Shorts lets you shoot videos from your mobile phones alone. If you’ve found the bar for creating YouTube videos “too high” before, then this format is perfect for you to get more YouTube views for free and expand your audience.

Hope the case studies in this article inspired you to experiment with the YouTube Shorts format.


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