Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
4 Tips to Grow Your Channel with YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts are opening new doors for content discovery and driving viewer engagement in ways that are reshaping the YouTube game. And as these vertical videos continue to be pushed to the forefront, creators have a unique opportunity to ride the wave and grow their channels.
We’ve seen creators get more views with Shorts, but the challenging part is keeping the momentum going. And with many updates over the years, you may have to think differently about how you create Shorts.
Keep in mind that:
- Shorts are appearing in search results, so you should absolutely create them.
- If you focus on making unique Shorts that go viral, subscribers will find you eventually.
- Every Short needs a pinned comment that recommends other Shorts.
- Musical Shorts may contain trends or dance challenges, so research those topics before you press record.
Now that you have some background knowledge, here are four tips to grow your channel with YouTube Shorts.
1. YouTube Shorts are Becoming More Discoverable; Don’t Hesitate to Post Them!
Getting discovered with YouTube Shorts is a sound strategy right now, especially as search-based Shorts are getting more views. That means you should absolutely start posting them to grow your channel!
How Viewers ‘Search’ for YouTube Shorts
Viewers can find your Shorts via YouTube search just like traditional, topic-based videos. Want to learn how? Follow these steps:
- Open YouTube on your desktop or mobile app.
- Next to your profile icon, click the magnifying glass at the top right corner of the screen.
- Type your desired keywords into the search bar and tap the appropriate result when it pops up.
- Scroll down past the first few results — the regular, horizontal videos — until you see the Shorts shelf. Here you'll find Shorts related to your search term.
When we search for vidIQ, a shelf filled with Shorts called "Latest Shorts from vidIQ" appears in the results. This may contain Shorts we’ve posted as well as those from other creators who talk about vidIQ. So just by posting Shorts, you've created one more way for viewers to find your channel.
If you're on the mobile app, you can also simply click the Shorts icon at the bottom and watch a stream of endless Shorts!
What About Topic-Based Searches for YouTube Shorts on Google?
If you're a long-form creator making search-based videos, you know the struggle of trying to rank for a search term, especially a popular one. It's a popular strategy, but long-form videos are almost oversaturated with it.
With the rise of search-based Shorts, you can find new ways to dominate a search term. That’s because although long-form videos show up on Google search pages, there are little to no Shorts. If you’re anything like us, you’d probably want to click on a 40-second Short explaining the search term instead of an 8-minute “how to” tutorial.
For example, do a Google search on "how to make a YouTube Short." You'll notice a Short from vidIQ appears in the top 3 results, which creates more exposure for our channel. So always do keyword research so you can make discoverable videos.
Watch Rob explain this in more detail below:
2. Accept That Views, Not Subscribers, Are the Immediate Benefit of Creating Shorts
If you’ve struggled to gain subscribers from Shorts, that might intensify in the future. YouTube made some layout changes to the Shorts player, and the subscribe button is less prominent than it used to be.
In the old layout, the subscribe button was red and higher up on the player. Now the button is gray and very close to the bottom of the screen.
It seems like YouTube wants to take the emphasis off of subscribers, at least for Shorts. We’re not sure why. What we do know is that views, not subscribers, have always been the biggest reward for posting Shorts. Some creators get millions of subscribers, but that’s usually because they’re posting unique content that’s hard to duplicate — like Jake Fellman’s animated Among Us Shorts. Those videos attract millions of subscribers.
For now, create the best Shorts you can possibly make. Make them so entertaining that people deliberately search for the subscribe button, even if it’s harder to see.
3. Use Pinned Comments to Drive Viewers From a Short to Additional Content
Shorts are similar to TikTok videos; viewers watch them quickly, swipe to the next video, and repeat the process as they cycle through content. It’s hard to get people to slow down, but when they do, you should give them something to look at.
The comment section is a good place to do this. Because subscribers are harder to gain with Shorts, you should make sure each video has a pinned comment. You can highlight additional content — a playlist, a Short that serves as a part two, whatever you like — and encourage people to explore your channel. If people like what they see, they may hit subscribe.
The pinned comment is your best tool because Shorts don’t have info cards or end screens for suggesting content. Even the video description is hidden behind a two-tap journey.
4. Do Some Research to Make Unique, Music-Driven Shorts
Music helps videos go viral. That’s what’s been happening on TikTok and even older platforms like Triller and the unforgettable sensation that was Vine.
Now YouTube wants to create the same appeal on its mobile app. On March 18, 2021, the platform unveiled a feature for adding music to Shorts, and it's been working great. The best part? You won’t be penalized for violating copyright rules.
Not to mention, YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for music listeners and is preferred by many. If you can add music with a high search volume or something that's trending online, your Short might get recommended when people search for the song!
With more creators using music, it's easy to find out which songs appear in certain videos. Then you can add something unique to a trend after seeing what others posted, hopefully making your content stand out.
To start researching, look for the icon below. If you see it, that means the creator added a song from the Shorts camera tool.
Tap the icon to see more Shorts using that song. This is where your research will really take off as you discover how the song is being used, if there’s a challenge associated with it, and more. At the top of the page, you can also see the original YouTube video for the song.
Be sure to check our blog often in case YouTube adds new features to Shorts. In the meantime, don't forget to use pinned comments, perform topic research, and make your videos entertaining.
If you want more growth-related tips for your channel, chat with our AI Coach now!