Earlier this year, YouTube rolled out an incredible feature. It was one of the most exciting and logical updates I had seen in a while. I might even call it brilliant, the ultimate TikTok killer, or even a miracle of human ingenuity and progress. When YouTube made it possible for content creators to leverage Shorts and connect their Shorts to their existing long-form content, I was so excited about the possibilities.
One problem. The feature wasn’t available on mobile. What!? You create Shorts on mobile, you upload them from a mobile device. You do everything from mobile when it comes to Shorts. To use this new and amazing feature you had to log into your YouTube Studio account (on a laptop or desktop, pffffft) to manually connect Shorts to videos existing on the Channel. Ridiculous. My heart was saddened.
Luckily, during the holidays, a miracle occurred, other than the birth of Jesus. YouTube had come to its senses and a new option appeared on the YouTube mobile app. It says, add a “related video” to your newly created Short in the upload settings. This may seem like a small thing, but it is incredibly important to be able to work as efficiently as possible on the world’s 2nd largest search engine.
With this final piece of the puzzle in place, YouTube has now given us all the tools we need to lean on our past content efforts. DMOs have a huge advantage due to the amount of money we’ve spent over the last decade on high-quality content! You’ve probably got more than you could ever need. It’s just sitting there! You simply need to repackage it as a series of Shorts.
It’s now easier than ever. You can literally do it all from mobile in a matter of seconds:
- You can edit your existing long-form content into Shorts by using the “Remix” tool on the mobile app.
- You can then optimize that old horizontal video for a vertical space by using their new “Layouts” tool.
- You can add all the text and titles (AKA directional language) that you want. Just be sure to pay attention to the safe zones.
- You can schedule and upload the short-form, vertical video from your mobile
- Finally, you can link to the source video on your Channel (or any video that makes sense) as a “Related Video”, all from the mobile app.
The best part, YouTube Shorts is the most user-friendly content creation app that there is. Way easier than Reels or TikTok. Don’t believe me? Try it. Creating Shorts in this manner will take you less than a couple of minutes.
Another great benefit is that because Shorts are minimal on design elements and options, they are easily repurposed to your other social media outlets like Instagram Reels and TikTok. You can add more customizations on each of those if you feel so inclined, but start with YouTube Shorts. It’s WAY easier. Oh, and ditch the music and trending sounds. Go with narration tracks or environmental sounds. That way you avoid any copyright infringements. You can thank us later.
A solid plan for 2024 is to create 3, 15-second Shorts from one long-form video on your Channel per week. Schedule those out throughout the week. Link those Shorts to the long-form video. If you do this, you will gain organic views like you have never seen before. You will also begin to grow your subscribership on YouTube. If you take the time to optimize your descriptions with links, you can even start to drive traffic too.
Give it a shot! The worst thing that could happen is that you get motivated by success and then start to take YouTube seriously for your destination marketing organization and in turn, make it a pivotal piece of your overall marketing strategy. What a bummer, huh?