As a content creator, you're always looking for ways to reach more people and grow your audience. After TikTok, short videos have gained massive popularity as they allow you to get in front of a lot of people in a short amount of time. YouTube also adopted the idea and introduced YouTube Shorts. But are YouTube shorts really worth it? In this article, we'll explore the benefits and drawbacks of creating YouTube Shorts, how they affect your channel's performance and whether you should focus on long-form videos instead. Let’s dive in!
The Benefits of Creating YouTube Shorts
Long-form content still makes up a major part of all content on YouTube. It has the potential to earn the most amount of ad revenue and allows creators to deliver extreme value to their viewers. However, a sound YouTube Shorts strategy can help you expand your reach, especially if you combine it with your regular content. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
1. Shorts give you more visibility
One of the biggest benefits of creating YouTube Shorts is the potential for increased reach and visibility. Shorts are prominently featured on the YouTube homepage and the Shorts tab, which means that they're more likely to be seen by users who couldn’t have discovered your content otherwise.
Since Shorts don’t rely on the search function (and are mainly promoted by the algorithm), you’ll be able to even reach users who are not searching for keywords related to your content. The algorithm will simply show your videos to people with interests that align with your channel.
2. Shorts are easy to share
Shorts are quick, fun and “snackable”, which means they are also easy to share with others on social media. Audiences are more likely to share Shorts with others because it takes a few seconds to consume them without committing a lot of time.
3. Shorts are easy to create
Creators generally post one to two videos a week on YouTube because it takes a lot of time and effort to produce a quality long-form video. However, with Shorts, you can keep touch with your audiences and push out new content on a daily basis. Shorts are really simple to create. You can film and edit them literally on a smartphone. If you’re starting out on a budget, Shorts are a lot cheaper to produce and you can use them as an entry point until you build a bigger audience.
4. Shorts get more views
One of the big selling points of creating Shorts is that they have the potential to get more views than traditional YouTube videos. While this is certainly possible, it's not a guarantee. Just like with any type of content, the success of your Shorts will depend on a variety of factors, including the quality of your content, the timing of your upload, and the relevance to your audience.
Drawbacks of Creating YouTube Shorts
Shorts come with their own set of drawbacks, so consider the cons before you invest too much time and energy into them.
1. Shorts earn less ad revenue
Since Shorts usually last less than 30 seconds, it’s hard to place ads on them. The entire point of Shorts is for audiences to quickly consume lots of content without breaks. If YouTube starts adding non-skippable ads in videos that only last a few seconds, this will hurt the viewer’s experience. YouTube introduced ads between Shorts in February 2023, so ads are shown when people scroll from one video to another.
However, those ads are more likely to get ignored because audiences of Shorts generally have very low attention spans. This means that marketers and brands are more likely to avoid placing ads on Shorts, which reduces their monetization potential for content creators.
2. Shorts aren’t searchable
Another problem with Shorts is that they cannot be searched through keywords. YouTubers have always relied on search-engine optimization and trends to make their content more discoverable. However, you’ll have no choice but to rely on YouTube’s algorithm when it comes to Shorts.
3. Shorts don’t offer long-term growth
Since Shorts aren’t searchable, they don’t add long-term goodwill to your channel. Great YouTube videos stay relevant for years and even decades because people keep coming back to them over and over again. Effectively, these videos become long-term assets for the content creators.
However, we now live in a TikTok era, in which content is more about providing viewers with quick gratification in exchange for a few seconds and content on the internet is highly saturated. Shorts, just like TikTok videos, are short-lived and are easily lost underneath mountains of content from other creators. The only way to sustain your growth to Shorts is by creating them consistently and knowing that they will become irrelevant in a few days.
4. Shorts are not included in suggested videos
One thing to keep in mind is that Shorts are not factored into YouTube's algorithm for suggested videos. This means that if someone watches one of your Shorts, YouTube won't necessarily recommend your other videos to them. However, if someone discovers your channel through a Shorts video and likes your content, they might be more likely to subscribe and engage with your other videos. All in all, Shorts shouldn’t always be compared with usually YouTube videos as they are meant to serve a different type of purpose and audience.
Tips for Creating Successful YouTube Shorts
If you're interested in creating Shorts for your channel, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep it short and sweet
Remember, Shorts are meant to be snackable and easily digestible. Keep your content focused and concise.
Use eye-catching visuals
Since Shorts are displayed vertically, it's important to use visuals that will catch users' attention as they scroll through the Shorts shelf.
Experiment with music and sound effects
Music and sound effects can add an extra layer of engagement to your Shorts. Try experimenting with different tracks and sounds to see what works best for your content.
Repurpose long videos
Get the most out of your long videos. Since you spent a lot of time and effort creating them, you might as well turn them into clips and turn them into Shorts. This way, Shorts can function as a mini trailer to your long videos. If people find your Shorts interesting, they are likely to go to your channel and check out the full video as well.
Why is it Hard for New Creators to Get More Views?
Your success on Shorts depends a lot on how the algorithm perceives your content. The algorithm is designed to promote content that easily improves the audience time spent on YouTube. YouTube, being the biggest video hosting platform on the planet, has intense competition. If you’re just starting out as a creator, your content is likely to get overshadowed by established creators with large followings because the algorithm prioritizes their content. To make your breakthrough, your only option is to post high quality content consistently for a very long amount of time. However, with the right monetization tools, new creators can increase their chances of success with Shorts.
What are Monetization Tools?
Due to intense competition, it’s impractical to rely primarily on YouTube ad revenue to sustain your content creation business. Relying on YouTube ad revenue alone doesn’t allow growth and in most cases, creators have no choice but to add additional revenue sources such as monetization platforms. Here are some monetization platforms for your consideration:
Paysenger is a social marketplace where you can monetize your content using a number of tools as a new content creator. To create new content on a consistent basis, you need a reliable source of revenue to grow as a creator. On Paysenger, you can use monetization tools such as:
- On-demand content: Sponsors and idea makers can easily pay you to produce content for them. Content is jointly owned by everyone involved and everyone gets a share of the earnings.
- Paid communication: Everything on Paysenger is paid. People can send you a high-priority paid message to get your attention and to request exclusive content (such as shoutouts or UGC). You get paid each time you reply.
- Collaborations: The best way to grow on the internet is by collaborating with famous YouTubers and influencers. Paysenger allows you to get in touch with people in your niche and create content in collaboration with them. Both you and your collaboration partner earn a share of the revenue on the content you produce together.
Patreon is one of the oldest names in the content creator industry. It’s a subscription platform that enables creators to raise finance and support directly from their viewers (instead of platforms like YouTube). Viewers, or “patrons” as Patreon calls it, purchase monthly subscriptions from creators in exchange for exclusive content and other fan privileges. It’s a great way to monetize content if you’re willing to offer exclusive benefits to your premium subscribers. However, to grow on Patreon and find new patrons, you’ll need to keep producing free content on platforms like YouTube to attract more followers. There’s no reliable way to grow your following by using Patreon alone.
Conclusion: Are YouTube Shorts Worth It for Content Creators?
So, are YouTube Shorts worth it for content creators? The answer will depend on your goals and the type of content you create. If you're looking to increase your reach and visibility on the platform, Shorts can be a great way to do so. However, if you're primarily focused on monetization and building a loyal fanbase, traditional YouTube videos might be a better fit. Ultimately, the decision to create Shorts will depend on your own personal preferences and goals.
If you're interested in exploring Shorts for your channel, be sure to experiment with different types of content and keep track of your metrics to see how they perform. The most ideal way is to combine Shorts with your usual long videos. Long videos can easily be repurposed and turned into shorter clips not only for YouTube Shorts but also for TikTok and Instagram Reels. With the right strategy and monetization tools, Shorts can be a valuable addition to your content creation toolkit. Grow as a content creator on Paysenger! Grow your following, reach bigger audiences, take requests from sponsors and collaborate with other creators.