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Turn Small Clips into Big Profit: A Guide to YouTube Shorts

Turn Small Clips into Big Profit: A Guide to YouTube Shorts

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

Reels, Shorts, TikToks, and more - short form video is literally everywhere you look. With how small our attention spans seem to be these days, it only makes sense this is where we’re at. Today’s entertainment needs to be quickly digestible and engaging to get your message across as quickly as possible. As a marketer or DTC business owner, if you’re not on the short-form video wagon, you may feel like you’re falling behind. I hate to break it to you, but you might be. 

The beauty of YouTube Shorts is that it integrates directly with the 2.6 billion monthly active users, with the ability to show your content to a gigantic audience. When you consider that YouTube is the second-largest social media platform behind Facebook, the opportunity is too large to pass over. YouTube is investing heavily in improving its Shorts arm, with new features continually added, giving you new ways to communicate with your existing and potential customers. 

In this guide, I’ll lay down some reasons why YouTube Shorts is a great avenue for a business to showcase products, how to make these videos, how to upload them, and finally how to make money from YouTube Shorts, because the potential to make money from this video format is very high and very attainable!

Why Short-Form Video Does So Well

The short answer: TikTok. As a Pioneer in short-form video content, TikTok has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years, and has also generated over 1.53 billion users in only 7 years. TikTok is known for its virality, with algorithms placing specific videos they believe you’ll like (based on previous engagement) on your ‘For You’ page. In earlier years, the beauty of TikTok was that it was regular people generating viral moments, and it seems most users engaged with that type of content. One guy (Nathan Apodaca) filmed a video of himself riding a skateboard while drinking Ocean Spray and singing along to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Not only did the video garner nearly 14 million views, Ocean Spray hopped on the viral moment to create the #DreamsChallenge to engage with fans, in addition to gifting Nathan a cranberry red truck full of Ocean Spray. The original video went viral because it was all good vibes and cranberry juice, but a brand like Ocean Spray knows when to seize on an opportunity, and they did.  

Brands should always be looking to engage with customers (or potential customers) where they’re already spending time. That’s why our Facebook feeds are mainly ads, lots of sponsored content shows up on Instagram Feeds and Stories, and sponsored TikTok videos are commonplace. Short-form videos are generally popular because they’re easy to create, require minimal production costs, and the social media algorithms make it easy to discover new content. With an average length of 15-30 seconds, viewers can quickly consume content with little commitment. And with social sharing, if it’s a really good video, the ability to share and watch on any device furthers the accessibility of the content. So you can watch it while you’re commuting to work on the bus or waiting in a doctor’s office (but please, use headphones). 

It’s not all just about the vibes, though. Statistics from Wyzowl show that 73% of consumers prefer to watch short-form videos when learning about a product or service. As someone with minimal patience, I entirely understand why this is so. We simply don’t have time these days to sit down and watch several long videos, so short videos that get right to the point are beneficial for brands. Finding a way to master short-form video is one way you can continue to build out your brand, find new customers, and monetize the content you’re putting out! 

How to Make YouTube Shorts

First step to making a YouTube Short is to brainstorm content ideas that align with your brand and will resonate with your existing audience. Depending on the type of product you sell, you could use product demos, tutorials, or funny content to create something entertaining. 

You’ll need to download the YouTube app first, as Shorts can only be made natively inside the app itself. To create a short:

  1. Tap the (+) icon on the app homepage, then tap Create a Short 
  2. Choose the video length (15 seconds vs. 60 seconds) and then tap record!
  3. There’s also an option to remix longform content from your YouTube channel into shorter videos: tap Create on any video while using the YouTube mobile app, then tap “Cut”. The video clip can then be used in a YouTube Short.

How to Upload YouTube Shorts

  1. After recording has finished, tap the checkmark to save the Short
  2. Tap Next to add details to your video, like a title, and also choose your privacy settings.
  3. Tap upload short, and it’s ready for the world!

How to Remix a Short

You can take any long-form video on YouTube and chop it up into smaller, digestible videos! We discussed why this is beneficial in another blog post with YouTube organic growth Expert Liz Germain. By cutting a 1-5 second video clip out of any eligible YouTube video, including other Shorts, you can create a new video. This is a great way to get more eyes on your content and redirect people that see your content through the algorithm back to your long-form content.

  1. Tap ‘Create’ from within the YouTube mobile app.
  2. Tap ‘Cut’ from the remix options and select the segment you want to cut into your new video.
  3. Upload the same way as Shorts above!

YouTube remixed shorts operate in a similar way to TikTok’s duet feature, with an attribution to the original creator included. If another creator uses your content to create a new Short, it will link back to your original clip which can help grow your audience. 

Tips for Crafting Quality YouTube Shorts

  1. Go Vertical: most (if not all) short-form video platforms are made for viewing content on the go, which for most people means on their smartphones. When users are scrolling through content, they’re more likely to engage if it’s in the same format (vertical). 
  2. Grab their attention: If it’s short, it needs to be entertaining right off the bat! Make sure your content has a strong hook, whether it be flashy visuals, bold text, or a very intriguing story. Make it so they can’t turn away! 
  3. Be trendy: Most of the viral moments on social media have an opportunity for brands to participate by remixing their own video with the viral event. This is a great way to stay current, and you can also include hashtags to draw people searching for that viral sensation to your own video!
  4. Use the Influencers: A great way to get eyeballs on your content is to partner with an influencer that already has a large following. Make sure the influencer is relevant for your brand and the partnership feels natural. 
  5. Feature some User Generated Content: stories from your customers, testimonials, or videos of customers using your product are a great way to build trust with potential customers. 
  6. Include a Call-to-Action: Tell your viewers what to do next after watching your video. Most people need to be directly told what to do: go subscribe to our channel, watch another video, or visit the website! 

Make Money with YouTube Shorts

YouTube is an excellent way to bring in a little extra cash! When individuals view videos on YouTube, whether shorts or long-form videos, they’re shown relevant and personalized ads that match the viewer’s interests. When creators sign up with Google AdSense, they’re allotted a portion of the revenue from the ads that were shown. There are tons of different ads shown on YouTube: display ads on the desktop to the right of the video, overlay ads near the bottom, skippable video ads, non-skippable ads, bumper ads, and sponsored ad cards.  

YouTube’s Partner Program allows Shorts creators to join and earn money from their content, so long as you have 1000 subscribers or have 10 million eligible public Shorts views in the past 90 days at time of sign up. It might take a little time to build subscribers as you start out, but using the tips above you can create quality content that lands subscribers. Once you’re in the Partner Program, you’re set up to earn 45% of ad revenue from your videos. 

Additionally, you can also feature affiliate links in your YouTube Shorts. For example, using the “product” tag, you can link to a specific product you’d like to promote. You can get paid as an affiliate whenever someone clicks your special affiliate link! 

As a new brand, a great option could be to partner with an influencer for a brand deal on YouTube Shorts. If you collaborate with an influencer who has great reach in the demographic you’re hoping to target for your product, then you’re in luck! 

Track Your Success in Triple Whale’s Affluencer Hub

If you’re using multiple influencers and have multiple brand deals in place, it might be difficult to track where your sales are coming from - unless you’re using the Affluencer Hub! You can track, manage, and analyze all of your affluencers (influencers & affiliates) across every platform using a combination of Discount Codes, the Triple Pixel, and a Post-Purchase Survey. The ability to centralize your data (to make better decisions for your brand) is the main thing we do here at Triple Whale, so let’s make better decisions together! 

To conclude, short-form video is the way to go for engaging with potential customers on social media, and YouTube Shorts is the most recent platform to jump on the trend. With YouTube’s giant number of daily active users, the ability to monetize your content, and the broad number of influencers you can collaborate with, the potential with YouTube Shorts is right there for the taking! 

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