How To Get More Views as a Small YouTube Channel

Are you a smaller YouTuber looking for your first big break? If so, give YouTube Shorts a try. Some creators are getting thousands, of views from testing the feature.

At vidIQ, we get asked the same question from new creators all the time: How can I get more views and grow my channel? YouTube is so competitive!

You probably weren’t expecting this answer, but we’ve got to say it: YouTube Shorts may be the key to getting discovered on the platform.

If you’re unfamiliar with the new feature, it’s basically YouTube’s way of entering the short video universe. The platform has created an in-app Shorts camera, where creators can record and upload short, vertical videos.

You can access this feature right now if you live in India, as that’s where YouTube is testing the Shorts camera. For everyone else, posting a general YouTube Short requires three simple steps:

  1. Record a vertical video under 60 seconds.
  2. Upload it to YouTube.
  3. Add the hashtag #Shorts to your video’s description or title.

Plenty of YouTubers have already published these micro-videos, and we’ve noticed a promising pattern of success. A common scenario is witnessing a previously stagnant video skyrocket to hundreds of views - a strong sign that YouTube is featuring it on the new Short Stories and Videos Shelf. If you want to see what such a feat looks like, watch our latest video about YouTube Shorts:

Now that you have some background knowledge, it’s time to dig deeper. More views are what YouTube dreams are made of, so here’s how to get them with YouTube Shorts.

Small Channels Are Getting More Views With YouTube Shorts

As a creator, it’s important to boldly test new strategies on your channel. After all, you never know what positive discoveries you could make - whether that’s a gateway to more views, subscribers, or both.

Pokemaniac_101 is a good example of this. A few weeks ago, this was just another small gaming channel struggling to gain traction with long-form videos. That partially ended when they decided to test YouTube's short video format and earned thousands of views in the process. The screenshot below shows a bunch of successful videos highlighted in red, plus the low-performing ones this channel was previously uploading.

Of course, this isn’t all good news for Pokemaniac_101. Unfortunately, they tried posting another short video that didn't perform as well as the others. After that, the channel returned to posting long-form content with equally disappointing results, but hey - that comes with the territory of testing new features.

Despite those hiccups, Pokemaniac_101 was definitely getting more views from YouTube Shorts, if only for a brief moment.

GamingDestiny had a similar experience. This channel reached out to us on Twitter and said that after creating a new YouTube channel and uploading a short video, hundreds of views rolled in, as shown below.

If you've ever started a YouTube channel from scratch, you know how difficult it is to get a mere 100 views on your first video. We checked GamingDestiny’s main channel, and again, there was more evidence of short, vertical videos outperforming other content.

We received another success story from Adrienne Smith, who shared her YouTube Shorts experience in our Facebook group. Apparently, one of her Shorts with little to no traction suddenly gained more views on YouTube. You can read her testimonial below:

This is great news, but seriously: How often does that happen to anyone? Is it just another coincidence?

YouTube Shorts and YouTube Analytics: Is There a Connection?

We’re not prepared to say YouTube Shorts is the next big thing. The examples above only represent a small handful of channels, and they’re only getting hundreds of views - not thousands.

However, these channels have a few things in common:

  1. They're lesser-known creators.
  2. They earned more views than expected from posting YouTube Shorts.
  3. The surge in views all came from the same traffic source on YouTube: Direct or Unknown.

When you see such a high volume of direct or unknown views as a YouTube traffic source, it can be slightly alarming. But when three channels experience the same surge after testing YouTube Shorts, that's a pattern worth exploring.

We Still Have Questions About YouTube Shorts

YouTube hasn’t shared much information when it comes to Shorts. This lack of access can be frustrating for creators, and because of that, we’ve got lots of questions, such as:

  1. How do you know when your content has appeared on YouTube as a Short?
  2. If you don’t use the #Shorts hashtag in descriptions and titles, can a video still be treated as a Short? It's working for older videos, but a confirmation would be nice.
  3. What aspect ratio constitutes a vertical video?
  4. What happens if a video is exactly 60 seconds long? YouTube adds one second to all timestamps, so this would be nice to know.
  5. Will YouTube send notifications to subscribers when Short videos are uploaded?
  6. Do impressions, click-through rates, and Watch Time have any bearing on a YouTube Short?
  7. Does uploading a Short on desktop produce the same results as uploading on a mobile phone?

If you’re a smaller creator, we have enough proof to finally say what many creators want to hear: Yes, you can get more views posting YouTube Shorts. But as for the future of short videos, such as monetization, Watch Time, and other factors, we’ll have to wait and see if YouTube announces any benefits.

Want To Build Success on YouTube?

If you want to take your YouTube channel to the next level and get more views on YouTube then make sure to download vidIQ. Join over 1 million other users and use vidIQ to help you research YouTube, analyze videos, audit your own channel, and take actionable steps click here to install now!