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What Is YouTube Shorts?

By Snap Agency November 6, 2020

In the age of TikTok, it’s no surprise that YouTube, more or less, jumped on the bandwagon. YouTube Shorts was introduced on September 14th, and it’s already creating quite the buzz. But what is YouTube Shorts specifically? Can YouTube Shorts be used for marketing? Let’s find out.

How Does YouTube Shorts Differ from YouTube?

As you may have already guessed, YouTube Shorts exists for creators and artists to shoot quick, memorable videos—15 seconds or less, to be precise—and all you need is your mobile phone. Do you see those TikTok parallels yet?


Other than video length, how will YouTube Shorts change the game? For one, they don’t require fancy video editing software. You could make and upload your very own Short during your lunch break.


Early YouTube Shorts betas are being launched in India as we speak. In fact, the YouTube homepage already has a row designated for these short videos. As YouTube Shorts expands into new countries and incorporates user feedback, new features will be added to this digital platform in months to come.


While piggybacking off of TikTok’s popularity is a wise move on YouTube’s part, it may still be unclear just how YouTube Shorts sets itself apart. We’re sure we will continue to see much of the overlap that drew users to TikTok in the first place, paired with all-new, YouTube-specific features that make YouTube Shorts a force all on its own.

Advantages of YouTube Shorts

What does YouTube Shorts offer at this point in the game? Here’s a quick breakdown.


  • Creativity. Video speed controls? Check. Multi-segment cameras? Check. Audio recording with a convenient countdown timer? Check and check.
  • Convenience. The “create” icon has already been rolled out for Android, with iOS devices soon to follow. In other words, joining in on the fun will be an easy and accessible experience. And if your phone isn’t equipped with the Shorts camera yet, you can still upload a bite-sized video and tag it #Shorts in the title or description.
  • Status. YouTube itself has over 2 billion viewers. Pair that with the fact that many YouTubers have made careers out of posting videos and reaching a wide audience. Need we say more?
Close up of a video editing software in the screen

How Can Businesses Use YouTube Shorts for Marketing?

We know what you’re thinking: “But they just released YouTube Shorts! How can we answer this question already?” Well, we’re all about staying ahead of the curve here. Given what we already know about marketing and video content creation, we can take a few educated guesses.

1. Capitalizing on User-Generated Content

User-generated content creates an authentic experience and boosts viewer engagement. Think of all the TikTok dance crazes that catch on and get shared so quickly. If you can get users to react to your company YouTube Short with videos of their own, that will boost your reach like nobody’s business. No, seriously. 84% of millennials claim that user-generated content influences the way they shop online. That’s quite the reach.

2. Investing in Influencers to Drive Warm Leads

With user-generated content, we value the opinions of people just like us, even if we don’t know them personally. With influencer marketing, the tactic is pretty similar, but this time someone cooler (i.e., “more influential”) creates content for an already-engaged audience. These guys know what their followers want to see, so they can further appeal to them when advertising a product. The key here is to remain authentic and not to make the ad too heavy-handed. And in the case of YouTube Shorts specifically, to keep the content brief, sharp, and punchy. 

3. Creating Irresistible Calls to Action

Remember, you have 15 seconds or less to get your audience to care and to act. Minimalism is key. If that feels like a lot of pressure, ask yourself before creating: “Why does my brand matter?” and “What will get my viewers to go from passively viewing to clicking and acting?” Simple calls to action-related terms like “start my free download,” “shop now,” and “learn more,” followed by social media URLs and other click-through links, are dependable choices. Of course, there’s the possibility that in-video links won’t be possible in YouTube Shorts, but we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, you can still insert a CTA with words, if not with links.

Partner With Snap Today to Get the Most Out of Those 15 Seconds

At Snap, we’re marketing pioneers. And no, that’s not just some silly tagline. We’re on top of the latest and greatest marketing trends before they fully drop. For even more tangible ways to advertise on digital platforms or help to develop marketing goals that are both creative and measurable, we’re the agency for you. Let’s discover YouTube Shorts together and find the ways it best serves your business. Contact us today to get rolling.