How to Use YouTube Shorts to Promote Your Business

YouTube is the platform on the internet for user-created video content. YouTube has also been the leading video platform for years. In recent years though, some competitors have started making their mark by presenting video content in a different digestible format. TikTok has made short-form vertical videos incredibly popular after Vine ended its services and YouTube has been looking to get into that business as well. It’s no wonder why YouTube wants to get involved, according to Cloudflare, TikTok in 2021 surpassed Google by internet traffic.

In this article, we will go over what YouTube Shorts is and how it differs from regular YouTube. Then we will go over how to create a short and also what the requirements are. After that, we will also compare it to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Next, we will go over how to use it to promote your business. Finally, we talk about if you should use YouTube Shorts, TikTok, or Instagram Reels or should you use all of them?

What is YouTube Shorts?

In 2020, India banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps over privacy concerns. In September 2020, as a beta program, YouTube introduced YouTube Shorts in India. After that, it launched as a beta in March 2021 in the United States. It has since become a full-fledged project that has accumulated over 5 trillion views as of January 25th, 2022. They have also invested in creators to make content for the platform. If people create unique content for YouTube Shorts, YouTube has created the YouTube Shorts Fund providing $100 million that they will divide up among their creators over the year.

What makes YouTube Shorts different from a regular YouTube video?

A YouTube Short needs to be a vertical video under 60 seconds in length. If the video uses music from YouTube’s music library, then the video will be limited to 15 seconds. For the vertical requirement, it needs to be a 9:16 aspect ratio, such as a 1080×1920 resolution. It can also be a square video with an aspect ratio of 1:1.

YouTube has also created a unique way to view shorts that differs from regular videos. When you go to the YouTube Shorts section of the website or click on a Short, you will be presented with a video and you can scroll down to watch another video. You can scroll down to get a new video to watch.

How does YouTube Shorts compare to Tiktok and Instagram Reels?

YouTube Shorts offers similar video services as TikTok and Instagram Reels but it has its own differences. First, compared to TikTok, Shorts are more restrictive. Videos can only be a maximum of 60 seconds and have to be a vertical or square video. YouTube Shorts can also be several 15-second videos combined.  The videos are also limited to 15 seconds if they use audio from YouTube’s music library.

TikTok has been, over time expanding and loosening restrictions on its videos. You can upload a video in any aspect ratio and it will add black bars to make it fit in the vertical video form factor. They have also increased the time limit for a TikTok to 10 minutes. TikTok has also created more tools to take your video and use parts of other videos on TikTok in your video. These tools also include duets and stitching videos together. YouTube Shorts does have the ability to use the audio from many YouTube videos or their audio library but you are not able to stitch together videos in the same way, yet. These collaborative tools to create responses or collaborations with other videos can be useful for getting a video discovered or finding other TikTok creators.

Instagram Reels has some similar restrictions to Shorts. The videos can only be a maximum of 60 seconds and a vertical video. Unlike YouTube Shorts though, is that you can only view Instagram Reels from the Instagram App. There seems to be no official way to view reels through a browser similar to how you can through YouTube or TikTok. It does have some tools to stitch together videos similar to YouTube Shorts.

How to create a YouTube Short

You are able to create a Short from a computer or a mobile device. The process is somewhat different between the two methods. If you choose to upload a short on a computer, you will have to upload a video you have already created that meets the requirements. If you create a short on your phone, then you can record the short through the YouTube app, and then edit it through the app.

Creating a Short on desktop

Uploading a YouTube Short

  1. Log into your YouTube account
  2. Head to YouTube Studio
  3. Click the Create button
  4. Click the Upload videos button
  5. Choose a video that meets the YouTube Shorts requirements
    1. A video that is under 60 seconds or a maximum of 15 seconds that uses YouTube’s music library
    2. A vertical 9:16 video or a square 1:1 aspect ratio video

Creating a Short on mobile

  1. Open the YouTube app on your phone and login
  2. Select the create button and select Create a Short
  3. You can choose the length of the short by tapping the 15 above the record button
  4. Press the record button to start recording a video at the selected length.
  5. There will be options that allow you to remove video clips, start over, and preview the video
  6. Tap next to add a title and a description to the video
  7. Upload your short

Recognizing a YouTube Short

Your video should now be available to publish to the public. Another thing you may want to add is #Shorts in the title of the video, which Google recommends to get your video recommended across the platform. If the platform recognizes the video as a Short, you will see a small S icon or an S icon with “SHORTS” in the lower right corner of the video thumbnail when looking at the video on a computer.

Using YouTube Shorts to promote your business

Even though YouTube has been around for over 17 years as of 2022, YouTube Shorts is a relatively young platform. Getting into a platform at the start is one of the best ways to establish yourself. Not only that but you get access to their massive userbase. The best, free way to use the new platform is to create engaging and fun content that people want to watch. There are some successful brands that have been able to use short-form videos to promote their products. For example, Lush on TikTok has created videos that have been popular, and there is no reason why it wouldn’t work as a Short as well.

Also, because of the short time and the ability to just keep watching video after video, there is more of a chance someone will watch your video. The platform is also popular because of its powerful search engine. So, if you make the title of your short optimized using SEO techniques, there is a good chance people will find your video promoting your business. Create concise, informative and fun videos with an optimized title and people will want to keep watching your content.

Another way to promote your business is through advertising. This could be spending money to sponsor creators who make Shorts, getting them to promote your content. You can use the audience of someone who is popular and advertise your company to their audience. This can usually be done by contacting a talent agency or going to the profile of the channel and finding their contact information.