Creative Best Practices for YouTube Shorts

Posted at 9th-Jun-2023 in Socialfly's How-Tos | Leave a reply

Shorts is a new mobile-optimized experience on YouTube centered around vertical, full-screen videos, 60s or less. As the way we consume and create content continues to evolve, YouTube Shorts allows brands and creators to update and engage their audiences through bite-sized video. 

With 1.5B monthly logged-in users and more than 30B daily views globally, Shorts presents a major opportunity to brands and creators alike. Ready to get started? Here are a few content creation best practices from our friends at YouTube:


Tell a compelling story

The best stories engage the audience at every point. Ask yourself, “would I watch this video even if I didn’t care about the subject matter?” To create intrigue and tension that keeps viewers around, be sure to include the building blocks of any good story: Setup, Conflict and Resolution. Keep in mind, the topic, tone or style of your content should help guide and inform your storytelling without stunting creativity.


Nail the first impression

Knowing that many viewers discover content via the Shorts Feed, Shorts places far less emphasis on thumbnails compared to long-form videos. With that in mind, you’ll want to grab viewers’ attention in the first three seconds while also providing context and information about the rest of the Short. Some ways to do that include: strong visuals, unique audio and a compelling story hook. 


Lean into visuals

One of the major appeals of Shorts is its ability to engage a broad audience. To increase the appeal of your shorts, use visuals as the core content and language as added context. In other words, let the visuals tell the story to ensure your content is as accessible as possible.


Remix & re-create

Whether you’re remixing audio or video segments from across YouTube or even repurposing your existing long-form uploads, you can use Shorts to reshape old content. When leveraging old video content, make sure that the work is transformative and the short is independently engaging, regardless of a viewer’s familiarity with your channel. Use text, voice overs, and new footage to add a fresh angle that will hook viewers and keep them watching all the way through.


Spark conversation

Conversation connects people. Whether it’s bringing up your signature hot take or explaining why dogs really are superior to cats, opinions or controversy can help spark conversation and get people invested in your content on a personal level. But don’t just set it and forget it. Continue to nurture the conversation by engaging with your viewers and replying to comments. 


Provide a roadmap

While visuals are crucial for Shorts, text carries more weight later in the content creation process. Titles, descriptions and hashtags are all things to consider when creating and posting your content. Titles are a great way to set expectations and add suspense to a video, while light hashtag use can help creators with discovery.


By following these best practices, you will be well on your way towards making captivating Shorts that will draw more people into your channel and keep them engaged. So get creative – start brainstorming stories that you want to tell or conversations that you want to start, and use Shorts as a way to do just that! 

Don’t know where to start? As a YouTube agency partner, Socialfly can help with Shorts strategies and execution, from content creation to media buying and influencer marketing. Reach out to our team of experts at


Written By: Breann Antokal, Associate Director of Business Development

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