In 2020, YouTube Shorts made its debut as an answer to TikTok's meteoric rise; since then, this platform-exclusive short-form content format has steadily spread across YouTube — including in recommendations!
With its functionalities such as sampling and looping features that mimic those of TikTok, the company recently unveiled some additional features within the app which are reminiscent of it like pausing playback when someone else is watching or creating your own camera angles.
In its earliest iteration, the feature enjoyed significant success in India which was swiftly followed by its complete availability within the U.S. in March 2021; by July 2021, it became available across over 100 countries globally.
Evidently, there is a growing enthusiasm from audiences to consume these types of content as if it were a new phenomenon—an alternative to the platform's mainstay: long-form videos. In fact, according to YouTube’s official blog 1.5 billion logged-in users watch short-form videos on YouTube Shorts monthly!
With all this hype going around, it isn’t surprising for this powerhouse to start introducing ads in Shorts. Marketers have been eagerly awaiting the launch of YouTube Shorts ads since the feature's introduction—and now, it’s official!
At Google Marketing Live 2022, the video platform announced that they would slowly roll out ads to the Shorts feed. While Google is working on gaining access to the full Shorts inventory, advertisers can display video ads through Video Action Campaigns (VAC) and App Install Campaigns (AIC).
This makes it possible for marketers to scale bottom-funnel campaigns with the help of YouTube Shorts.
People are spending more time researching brands and products before they make a decision, rather than buying on impulse after seeing an ad. This has led to an increase in watch time on online videos, which has grown by 34% over the past two years. Video platforms have the most influence on buying decisions, and short-form videos provide a way for brands and creators to share bite-sized, organic content.
With YouTube Shorts having experienced explosive growth with an average of 30 billion views daily, brands and creators have seen an increase in viewership and channel subscriptions, and advertisers can now take advantage of the popularity of short-form content to drive bottom-funnel conversions.
If you aren’t convinced it’ll positively impact your business, let’s break down—
As a marketer, it can be overwhelming seeing so many social media platforms transition to short-form video content.
You may be asking yourself, "Is YouTube Shorts worth my time?" or, "Will it offer more opportunities than Instagram Reels or TikTok?"; and while it's still too early to measure the full impact of YouTube Shorts, there are several factors that set it apart from the competition:
1. YouTube Shorts provide a funnel to your long-form content:
People like to engage with different types of videos throughout the day. For example, someone might browse through TikTok during their lunch break, then watch a two-hour podcast on YouTube when they get home.
Unlike TikTok and Snapchat—which are solely dedicated to short-form content— YouTube is positioning itself as the go-to platform for both short- and long-form content.
Shorts can be an effective way for creators to reach a new audience who may become regular viewers of their longer content — giving them the best of both worlds.
2. YouTube Shorts do not expire:
While Instagram Stories and Snapchats expire after 24 hours, Shorts are permanent. This can help you build long-term awareness on YouTube.
For example, if someone is searching for a quick how-to video related to something you've filmed, they may find and watch your short videos on that topic — even if you published them months ago! Pretty sweet, eh?
3. Short-form Creators could see a larger reach:
While Gen Z users flocked to TikTok (causing its significant growth), YouTube, the second largest website in the world, launched Shorts to more than two billion monthly active users.
Rather than asking, "Will YouTube Shorts get noticed?", you should instead be thinking, "How can I leverage YouTube's huge user base with Shorts?".
According to Nelson Chacon, HubSpot's Principal YouTube Content Strategist, you should determine which segment of YouTube's user base you want to target before producing any Shorts. Additionally, if you have an established subscriber list, keep creating content that's relevant to them - even if it's shorter-form.
Chacon notes that viewers know your channel for its content, and YouTube works best with consistency.
For instance, if you normally create long-form content related to your product or industry and your audiences are engaged, you can use Shorts to make quick tutorials or step-by-step videos related to those topics.
4. Brands in most industries could leverage Shorts:
Since TikTok has a more niche audience of younger consumers, certain types of brands, such as B2B companies, may have a harder time increasing awareness.
Although YouTube is popular with young adults, its content is so varied that it attracts people of all ages, countries, industries, and niches.
Ultimately, there's a video for everyone on YouTube.
With Shorts, more brands will be able to engage with audiences from a wider range of target audiences.
For example, a B2B brand may have difficulty connecting with Gen Z consumers on TikTok, but they may be able to reach professionals looking for industry-related content on Shorts.
5. It could be less vulnerable than other viral platforms:
In 2020, TikTok faced the prospect of being banned and facing censorship regulations; and as a marketer, investing in content strategies on a social media app that could become inaccessible means all the hard work put into the content could go to waste.
Fortunately, YouTube is one of the oldest and most successful online platforms and is owned by the publicly traded Alphabet, so it may be viewed as more reliable than other viral apps that don't offer the same level of public data security — such as TikTok.
Aside from what we've already mentioned earlier...
Reason 1: YouTube Shorts are cost-effective and give businesses a better return on investment compared to other forms of advertising.
The average cost of YouTube Ads per view (CPV) for YouTube Shorts is $0.10 - $0.30. Depending on the type of ad, placement, and industry, the cost may vary.
It is recommended to set a monthly budget cap and adjust or pause anytime you need to. Additionally, you will never pay more than your maximum bid.
In addition, YouTube Shorts are highly targeted and allow businesses to reach a specific audience with their message.
With the help of filters and tags, you are able to target viewers by age, gender, location, and interests.
What’s more is that you can use YouTube's advanced targeting options to target viewers' search queries, videos they've watched, and topics they've engaged with—making it an effective tool for reaching a specific audience and delivering targeted messages.
Reason 2: YouTube Shorts create a strong connection with viewers, helping to build trust and brand loyalty.
YouTube Shorts are an excellent way to build trust and brand loyalty with viewers because they allow you to create content quickly and share it with your audience.
By using catchy songs (which YouTube has plenty), audio clips, hashtags, and challenges, you can quickly grab your audience’s attention and get them interested in your content; and if you’re consistent enough when uploading Shorts, you can hook your audience and build brand recall and loyalty. After all, we all know, video content is a great way to build and support customer brand loyalty, as it can quickly attract customers’ attention.
Overall, YouTube Shorts Ads are a must for any 2023 marketing strategy!
With the ability to target the right people and to create engaging, interactive ads, you can quickly increase brand awareness and reach new customers; and with YouTube Shorts Ads, you'd be able to effectively drive conversions and increase engagement—making it an essential part of any successful marketing strategy this year.
If you want to find out more about what we could do for your business, jump on a free strategy call with us to know how we can help you grow your brand!
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