With more than 50 billion daily views, YouTube Shorts offers a unique opportunity for content creators to reach a wider audience, promote longer videos, and even increase subscribers.
For content creators and small businesses, Shorts can be a game-changer. Whether you're repurposing old content, sharing clips from live streams, promoting exclusive content, or hopping on the latest trend, Shorts provide a versatile medium to engage viewers and potentially go viral.
Five characteristics of high-performing short-form videos
Before we get into the ideas, however, it's important to know what makes a short-form video successful. After all, an idea is only one part of a published piece of content.
Here are the five key characteristics that set high-performing short-form videos apart, ensuring they resonate with viewers and achieve their intended impact.
- Engaging storytelling: High-performing short-form videos often have a compelling narrative, even if they're only a few seconds long—an engaging hook to capture attention with a middle and end that keeps them watching.
- High-quality visuals & audio: Crisp visuals and clear audio are essential. Whether through professional equipment or smart editing apps, high-quality sounds and visuals can significantly enhance the viewer's experience and, in turn, the video's performance.
- Relatability & authenticity: Viewers tend to engage more with genuine and relatable content. There’s no formula for authenticity – it’s a broad keyword that means different things depending on your goal for content creation. What’s important is showcasing what is true to you in your content to build trust and connection with your audience.
- Clear call-to-action (CTA): Especially for business-oriented content, having a clear and compelling CTA is vital. Whether it's prompting viewers to visit a website, purchase a product, or like and share the video, a well-placed CTA can drive desired actions and increase engagement rates.
- Optimization for platform & audience: Each platform has unique algorithms, and YouTube Shorts is no exception. Consider what you can always include in your content to increase the chances of high performance.
As you create your own videos, consider these characteristics and how your content can better tick each box.
18 YouTube Shorts ideas for your next video
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next short video, here are 18 creative ideas to help your content stand out and engage viewers in bite-sized bursts.
Repurpose content from your other short-form video platforms
Content repurposing is a strategy that can amplify your reach without crafting entirely new material. If you create short-form videos on other platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels, you already have a bank of content for your YouTube Shorts.
Take your best-performing videos from one platform to another – you can tap into a nevw audience segment with content that already appeals to your target audience.
It’s important to note that repurposing doesn't mean merely reposting; it's an opportunity to tweak, refine, and adapt your content to the nuances of each platform. For instance, you can share the behind-the-scenes of making a recent long-form video through short-form content.
Embracing this strategy maximizes your content's potential and ensures a consistent and cohesive brand presence across the digital landscape.
Share short clips from your existing YouTube videos
YouTube Shorts’ greatest strength is having a new audience discover your content through a whole new algorithm.
If you’re already creating long-form videos (anything longer than the YouTube Shorts limit), you have a new way to direct people to all the content on your YouTube channel.
Take the most compelling moments or key insights and present them as YouTube Shorts to offer a teaser that can intrigue viewers to explore the full video.
In addition, these bite-sized clips can be more easily shared than a long YouTube video, increasing the chances of virality and driving new subscribers to your channel.
Highlight engaging sections from your other long-form content
Many creators have content outside of short-form video – streamers who run hours of live streams and podcasters who film themselves while speaking. If you do either of these or are considering these formats, then you should definitely be highlighting clips from these formats as short-form videos for YouTube Shorts.
These clips provide bite-sized value to your audience and pique their interest in the full-length content.
Share a typical day in your life
Bring your audience along with your day-to-day activities to show a condensed yet intimate look into your world, showcasing both the mundane and the exciting moments.
These snippets of daily life humanize you as a content creator and provide relatable content that many viewers find captivating.
Create previews of paid, exclusive content
Premium content can be a lucrative strategy to reward loyal followers and generate revenue from your short-form videos.
By sharing previews of this exclusive material as Shorts, you can grab potential subscribers' attention – and curiosity – and drive them toward your paid offerings.
These bite-sized teasers act as a window into the value and quality of your premium content, enticing viewers to take the next step and invest.
Share behind-the-scenes content
Behind-the-scenes content offers a raw and unfiltered look into the processes, challenges, and candid moments that go into creating your main content.
Sharing these glimpses as YouTube Shorts can humanize your brand or persona, allowing your audience to connect on a more personal level and appreciate the effort behind the polished final product.
Create product showcase and review videos
In the age of online shopping and digital discovery, product showcases and review videos are invaluable tools for brands and consumers.
By presenting products in action through YouTube Shorts, you offer viewers a concise yet comprehensive look, helping them make informed purchasing decisions.
Through reviews like unboxing videos, you can quickly highlight the key features, benefits, and even potential drawbacks of a product. Sharing honest insights and hands-on demonstrations also positions you as a trusted advisor in the purchasing journey.
Create paid, promotional content
Promotional content is pivotal in driving awareness and sales for products.
If you create a paid product or partner with someone with a paid product, you can use this format to capture viewers' attention and entice them to explore further.
These concise promotional videos can highlight the unique selling points, benefits, and aesthetics of the product in a visually appealing manner. Collaborating with partners or showcasing your own offerings in this format boosts visibility and fosters trust and credibility among your audience, leading to potential conversions.
Show off your workspace
A workspace often reflects its occupant's personality, preferences, and work ethic. Workspace tours offer viewers a personal glimpse into your environment, shedding light on where the magic happens.
These behind-the-scenes peeks into your workspace can inspire others, offer organizational ideas, or satisfy viewers' curiosity about your daily setup.
Sharing the space where creativity and productivity merge can foster a deeper connection with your audience, making your content more relatable and engaging.
Share a how-to video
How-to videos are a staple in the content world, offering viewers step-by-step guidance on various tasks or skills.
Tutorials provide quick, actionable insights that cater to the modern viewer's preference for concise information.
These bite-sized instructional clips can cover anything from simple life hacks to more complex processes, serving as a valuable resource for those seeking to learn or refine a skill.
Share user-generated content
User-generated content, or UGC, is a powerful testament to the engagement and loyalty of your audience. Through UGC, you can celebrate your community's creativity and build a sense of belonging and appreciation among your followers.
Highlighting content created by your viewers or customers can foster a deeper sense of community and trust around your brand or channel. Moreover, it encourages more users to share their own creations, creating a cycle of content generation and appreciation.
Show a before and after
Before-and-after visuals can help you offer a compelling narrative in just a few seconds. With contrasts, you can effectively convey the impact of a product, service, or even a personal journey in seconds.
These videos can be done in any niche – from home renovations and beauty transformations to fitness journeys and art projects. Showcasing tangible results and changes provides your viewers with clear evidence of effectiveness and progress.
Answer frequently asked questions
Addressing frequently asked questions (FAQs) proactively clarifies things your audience may not know about your niche. Through short videos, you can offer quick and accessible answers, catering to viewers looking for immediate insights.
These concise Q&A sessions can cover various topics relevant to your niche or industry, and ensure that common questions are grouped and addressed efficiently.
Knowledge sharing like this can help you position your content as a go-to resource.
Share bite-size information and fun facts about your niche
Diving deep into niche-specific knowledge can be both enlightening and entertaining for viewers. By sharing bite-size information and fun facts through YouTube Shorts, you offer easily digestible insights that can spark curiosity and deepen interest in your domain.
These quick tidbits can range from surprising statistics to lesser-known facts, providing viewers with a fresh perspective or newfound appreciation for your niche.
Regularly sharing such content educates your audience and positions you as an expert, enhancing your credibility and fostering a sense of community among enthusiasts.
Participate in a trend and make it specific to your niche
Jumping on trending topics and challenges is an assured way to capture the attention of a broader audience.
Trending, challenges, audio, and memes allow you to seamlessly merge popular culture with your unique expertise, creating relevant and distinctive content.
This approach allows you to showcase your brand or message in a light-hearted and relatable manner, resonating with both existing followers and potential new fans.
Create a video series
A series format allows you to delve deeper into a topic, breaking it down into bite-sized informative and easily consumable episodes. It also helps you create a format that your viewers can instantly recognize.
Whether it's a tutorial series, storytelling sessions, or thematic showcases, having a recurring theme fosters loyalty and creates a sense of community among your viewers, eagerly awaiting the next episode.
Share mini vlogs
Vlogging has revolutionized how creators connect with their audience, offering a personal and candid glimpse into their daily lives. By condensing these experiences into mini vlogs via YouTube Shorts, you provide a snapshot of your day, capturing moments that resonate with viewers concisely.
These brief video diaries can highlight anything from daily routines and adventures to challenges and achievements.
Sharing authentic snippets of your life can help you foster a deeper connection with your audience, making them feel more involved in your journey and strengthening the bond between creator and viewer.
Share a personal or business story
Every individual and business has a unique journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and lessons learned.
Narrating your journey, whether it's the inception of a business idea, personal growth, or pivotal moments that defined your path, can inspire and resonate with many.
Being open about your experiences humanizes your brand or persona and inspires others with similar aspirations.
Focus on creating content for you and your audience
Best practices exist for a reason – following a checklist can help improve consistency for creators. However, one thing that influences consistency is interest in the content you’re creating for you and your audience.
If you want to both appease the algorithm and satisfy your creative needs, focus on the creative aspect and use checklists to ensure your content gets in front of the people who’ll want to see it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you publish your next Shorts:
- Find your best time to post: Posting Shorts when your audience is more likely to be on YouTube will give them the best chance to perform well.
- Stick to 50 to 60-second videos: YouTube Shorts of this length seem to get the most views.
- Use hooks to grab your audience's attention: The first few seconds of your Shorts need to hook the viewer for the Short to perform well.
- Implement strategies that increase watch time: Shorts that loop perfectly increase your overall watch time.
The best way to make your YouTube Shorts popular is to get really good at making them. That’s something that’ll come from creating them consistently.