How to Make a YouTube Short in 5 Easy Steps

YouTube Shorts are short-form content videos that mimic the stories found on other social media platforms. Knowing how to make a YouTube Short can help you grow your business and compete on YouTube.

How to Make a YouTube Short: The Essential Guide

As most digital marketers are well aware of, video marketing is one of the most powerful forms of content on the internet. 

Videos grab the attention of viewers and get more views and higher levels of engagement than other forms of content like text posts. 

In this context, YouTube Shorts are a new and emerging form of short-content videos, and knowing how to make a YouTube Short is becoming more important for video marketing strategizing.

In this article, we’ll talk about what YouTube Shorts are, why you should try making them, and what are the 5 steps you need to take to make your Short.

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    What are YouTube Shorts?

    The traditional YouTube video is a horizontally-filmed, long-form content video that is highly produced and goes into great detail about the topic. 

    While these types of videos have served the platform well since its conception, the rising popularity of platforms like TikTok and Snapchat and social media features like Instagram Stories have made YouTube rethink its video structure. 

    YouTube Shorts are a direct response to TikTok and Instagram Stories. 

    A YouTube Short is a short-form content video that is filmed vertically on a smartphone and captured, edited, and uploaded directly on the YouTube app. 

    Just like TikTok, YouTube Shorts offers a wide variety of built-in tools for your video creation to help you film, edit, and add effects like sound and music to your videos. 

    When your Shorts are posted, your viewers can like, comment, share, or dislike the video. They can also subscribe to your YouTube channel, making your Shorts a great lead generation tool.

    Why Should You Try Making YouTube Shorts?

    There’s a reason that so many people are active on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. 

    Today’s video viewers like to watch short, easily-digestible video content in an endless scroll format. 

    These videos capture the attention of audiences and keep them engaged and tuned in, while longer-form content videos might lose views from drop offs during the length of the video. 

    YouTube Shorts are no different. These videos are under 60 seconds and play into the endless scroll engagement that is so popular on other platforms. 

    In addition, a YouTube Short can be a great way to convert viewers into subscribers to your YouTube channel. 

    It creates alignment between your short-form and long-form video content and creates a funnel that users can flow through to become customers of your brand.

    Best Practices for How to Make a YouTube Short

    Now that you understand what a YouTube Short is, let’s get into some of the best practices to keep in mind while learning how to make a YouTube Short. 

    Because YouTube Shorts are short-form, vertical videos, they have some different approaches than a traditional YouTube video on your channel will have.

    Grab the Audience’s Attention

    Even though YouTube Shorts are short-form video content, you still need to capture the attention of your audience within the first few seconds. 

    If you wait too long to add in excitement or interest to grab the attention of your viewers, your audience might have already scrolled away from the video.

    Aim for Replays

    YouTube shorts are played on a loop, so unless the viewer scrolls away they will keep seeing replays of your video. 

    That means you should aim for replays, which rack up more views for your video. Different ending cuts and edits can help viewers want to stay on for a second or third viewing of the video.

    Have a Goal in Mind

    Remember, YouTube Shorts play into your larger video and digital marketing goals

    While knowing how to make a YouTube Short is important, you also want to keep it contextualized in your big-picture strategies. 

    What are the goals of your video? Do you want to get more subscribers to your channel, have viewers click a link, or raise brand awareness?

    How to Make a YouTube Short

    Knowing how to make a YouTube Short is incredibly important for brands who want to stay on top of trends and gain more viewers on their brand YouTube channels. 

    By understanding the steps of how to make a YouTube Short, you can easily put together videos and add a YouTube Short plan to your overall video marketing strategies.

    1. Download the YouTube App (If You Haven’t Already)

    You can’t make YouTube Shorts from a desktop YouTube tab, you have to make them on the YouTube app. 

    This is because YouTube Shorts are designed with the mobile user in mind, just like other social media platforms like Instagram with Instagram Stories, TikTok, and Snapchat. 

    By having everything for Shorts contained in the YouTube app, you don’t need to worry about adding in another application or trying to edit and create videos in one tool then publish them in another. 

    If you don’t already have the YouTube app downloaded, you’ll need to go to the app store for your phone, either the iOS App Store or Google Play, and search for the app. 

    Once you’ve downloaded the YouTube app, sign in with your brand’s regular YouTube login. 

    That will ensure that you’re making Shorts on the same channel as your brand’s normal YouTube channel. That helps create the important sync between your YouTube long-form and short-form videos.

    2. Start Creating Your YouTube Short

    Tapping the + icon on your app will open up the options menu. Click on “Create a Short” to get started. 

    Press and hold the red record button to film, or tap on the number 15 to change the video length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. From there you can begin filming your video. 

    You can also upload videos from your phone’s video library. 

    This can be helpful if you want to reuse content from some of your other short-form video tools like TikTok, or if you have interesting footage that you filmed at an earlier time that you now want to share as a YouTube short.

    3. Use In-App Video Creation Tools

    As mentioned earlier, the YouTube Shorts application has many built-in tools and features that can help you film your videos easily and create engaging videos that grab the attention of your viewers. 

    Here are some of the common features that you might want to use in your video creation process: 

    • The rotating arrows switch the camera view.
    • Tapping the 1x button can speed up and slow down your video.
    • The clock icon is a countdown if you need to film hands-free.
    • The three circles icon opens up different filters you can add to the video.
    • The magic wand icon retouches your video.
    • Tapping the ghost icon aligns transitions between clips.
    • The reverse arrow will undo your last action.
    • The timeline icon will allow you to add text to the video.

    4. Add Music and Sound to YouTube Shorts

    The music and sound in your YouTube Short is an important part of the viewing experience. 

    You want your viewers to have entertaining music or sounds, especially if the video doesn’t have any natural audio itself. 

    You can add music and sound to your video by tapping the “Add Sound” button under the progress bar. 

    You’ll then have access to a library of music and sounds that can be added to your video either before you hit record or after the video has finished recording and you are editing it. 

    You can’t add sound in the middle of recording, so plan out what sounds you want before you start recording so you know when the best time to add it will be.

    5. Upload the YouTube Short

    The final step in the process is to upload your YouTube Short for your viewers to start watching!

    Hitting the checkmark on the video will save the short and let you finalize your editing. Make sure you add the right music, filters, and text that you want to your video. 

    Once your video is edited and ready to go, tap on the “Next” icon and move to the final stage. You can add details, descriptions, and pick what listing you want for your Short: public, unlisted, or private. 

    You can also add an age restriction if needed. Once you’ve double-checked your video, you can go ahead and tap the “Upload Short” button to publish your video.

    For more information, make sure to check out this video:

    Wrap Up

    YouTube Shorts are made with mobile users in mind and should be optimized for continual scrolling and replays. 

    When your brand can get YouTube Shorts right, you’ll be able to stay competitive on YouTube as the platform develops and moves in new directions. 

    YouTube Shorts are just one example of emerging video marketing trends that digital marketers and brand managers should be aware of. 

    To learn more about what to expect out of video marketing, read our blog on video marketing trends

    There you’ll learn the biggest trends for this year and beyond and get ideas on how to incorporate those trends into your digital marketing and video marketing brand strategies.

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