3 min read

Mastering YouTube Shorts with 5 Lessons from TikTok

Mastering YouTube Shorts with 5 Lessons from TikTok
Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev / Unsplash

Today's newsletter is going to be a lot shorter. Something I've been thinking about lately is how often YouTube Shorts creators seem to "discover" short form strategies that I feel are lessons learned long ago by TikTok veterans (and honestly the Vine gods before us).

1) Short Form can make you money.

This is honestly one of the roughest parts about short form and I think is where I see some of the most disingenuous advice on Twitter especially. Yes, the ad revenue is not great on short form for the most part. The thing is, ad revenue was never the only way to monetize. Sponsored posts and deals are how tons of short form creators make money.

Keep your eyes open for things like this. Plenty of people also sell products and services that they market through short form. Think about where it fits in your funnel. It shouldn't be the last stop but it should be leveraged as where people discover and find you!

2) Shorts do convert to long form.

Not only do people watch hours and hours of livestreams on TikTok today, many YouTube channels grew immensely from TikTok popularity. I don't know where the idea came from that there's this magic demographic that loves TikTok and never watches YouTube but the reality is that many people watch both! It's up to you to convince people that your long form content is worth clicking through to.

The nice thing about Shorts is that YouTube already factors it into the long form discoverability in the algorithm so that's less friction than getting people from TikTok to YouTube.

3) Diversify your content!

Short form shouldn't be the only thing that you do! Short form is great for discovery but you need to direct your audience to the things you want them to engage with. You don't have to focus on short form even though that's definitely viable. I think the best path to long term success is embracing both short and long form content among other things like a discord server or Patreon rewards.

4) Make it about you

Lots of people wrongly assume that short form can't convert well. It's a story I've seen tons of times. Creators with hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok who can't pull more than a few hundred into a Discord server while somebody with 1/10 the audience can get thousands to convert over. What's the difference? The smaller creator makes content that's much more focused on who they are and making things that are memorable.

If all you do is post highlights of other people or memes that are good for a quick laugh and like before being forgotten in 5 minutes, who is going to care about you when you ask them to do something? Make videos featuring you to put your personality on full display. Not all views are made equal!

5) The story still matters

This is more of a followup to the last point. Think about the story you're trying to tell. You can leave a huge emotional impact on someone in 60 seconds or less if you tell a convincing enough story in that time. Look at others who are killing it on social media to see how they do it! Consider things like doing videos in multiple parts so that each one is individually satisfying while also getting the user to rush to see the next one. I can't repeat enough how well the "part 1s" get people to binge a profile on TikTok. And keep in mind, breaking things down into parts is not an excuse for each video to not have a compelling story. Give them a reason to want the next one. Strategies like that are so powerful and once you approach each short as a small story that you are telling, you'll start to see a lot more success overtime!

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