Marketing

How To Succeed With YouTube Shorts Ads

December 22, 2023
Different YouTube Shorts in the background with YouTube symbol and Shorts written in the middle of the image

The rise of short video clips, exemplified by the immense popularity of platforms like TikTok, has ushered in a new era in the advertising landscape. Statista’s analysis of online media usage for an “internet minute” worldwide revealed staggering figures: TikTok users alone consume a remarkable 167 million hours of video content in just one minute. This significant consumption demonstrates the immense appeal and engagement generated by short-form videos, especially among younger audiences and Gen Z users who are avid participants in this trend.

In response to the explosive growth of short-form video consumption, YouTube has recognised the potential and introduced its own version called YouTube Shorts. Google, the parent company of YouTube, proudly announces that YouTube Shorts now surpasses a staggering 50 billion daily views. This meteoric rise in viewership showcases the undeniable impact and reach of YouTube Shorts, likely fueled by the growing popularity and influence of TikTok, particularly among the younger demographic.

Considering the massive growth in young users and Gen Z’s strong presence on these platforms, it is crucial for marketers to establish a presence and actively engage with these audiences through short-form video content.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the realm of YouTube Shorts ads, uncovering their myriad of benefits. Moreover, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating impactful advertisements while also equipping you with valuable tips to enhance their performance. Get ready to harness the potential of YouTube Shorts ads and elevate your brand’s reach and impact in the digital realm.

Image Source: Pexels
Image Source: Pexels

Understanding YouTube Shorts Ads

YouTube Shorts have taken the internet by storm, captivating millions of viewers worldwide. But what exactly are YouTube Shorts? These are vertical videos of up to 60 seconds in length that provide viewing in a single breath. Packed with creativity and valuable content, YouTube Shorts have quickly become a favorite among users.

With the tremendous, across-the-board adoption of YouTube Shorts, marketers cannot afford to overlook the potential for brand promotion on this platform, particularly when targeting younger audiences and Gen Z. According to Google, 70% of viewers have made a purchase from a brand they saw on YouTube, highlighting the platform’s effectiveness in driving conversions for products and services. YouTube Shorts ads provide an incredible chance to build a bridge to a younger and Gen Z audience, make a lasting impression in a concise format, and ultimately drive business growth.

Google also recently announced that a DeepMind AI language model will be used to automatically generate descriptions of YouTube Shorts, which will further improve video discoverability to keep up with the rapid rate of content creation on the Youtube Shorts platform. Helping viewers find the content they want even faster and spend more time engaged with the platform.

When should you use YouTube shorts ads?

YouTube Shorts ads are well-suited for various audiences, brands, and topics. They are particularly effective in reaching younger demographics, including Gen Z and millennial audiences, who are highly engaged with short-form video content. Brands looking to target these demographics and promote products/services that align with their preferences can greatly benefit from YouTube Shorts ads.

Additionally, topics that lend themselves well to quick, visually engaging content, such as fashion, beauty, DIY, entertainment, and quick tutorials, are a natural fit for Shorts ads. When it comes to audience targeting, YouTube Shorts provide an opportunity to reach a broader audience beyond regular YouTube videos. The platform’s algorithmic discovery and sharing features can help brands reach new viewers who may not typically engage with longer videos, enabling them to tap into a wider range of potential customers.

Boosting the effectiveness of YouTube shorts ads

Designing and optimizing YouTube Shorts ads is key to making them profitable for your company. In this section, we will provide you with clear instructions on how to create and customise your YouTube Shorts ads for maximum impact and profitability.

Technical Requirements and Specifications

Before diving into the creation process, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the technical requirements and specifications for YouTube Shorts ads. These include:

  • Video format: YouTube Shorts ads should be vertical video reels with a maximum length of 60 seconds.
  • Aspect ratio: The optimal aspect ratio for YouTube Shorts ads is 9:16.
  • Resolution: The recommended resolution is at least 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.
  • File size: Keep your file size within acceptable limits (1GB max) to ensure smooth uploading and playback.

By adhering to these technical requirements, you can ensure your YouTube Shorts ads display seamlessly across different devices and platforms, maximising their reach and impact.

Create captivating content

  • Capture viewers’ attention with concise, entertaining, and visually appealing content.
  • Stay up to date with trends and incorporate humor, memes, and pop culture references.
  • Utilize captivating visuals, bright colors, and interesting compositions.
  • Keep the messaging concise, delivering your brand message effectively within a limited duration.
  • End with a clear call to action, guiding viewers to the desired action.

These are the basic requirements to create impactful YouTube Shorts that resonate with viewers, drive engagement, and inspire action.

Add captions and text overlays

Optimize the accessibility and engagement of your YouTube Shorts ads by integrating captions and text overlays. Captions enable viewers to follow along without sound, while text overlays effectively convey essential messages, offers, and branding elements. A 2019 study by Verizon Media and Publicis Media underscored the growing demand for captions as more people watch videos in public or on the move. Among 5,616 American consumers aged 18-54, 69% watched videos in public places without sound, and 25% did so in private settings. Notably, 80% of respondents indicated a higher likelihood of watching a video to completion if captions were available. These findings stress the importance of incorporating captions and text overlays to boost engagement, particularly in sound-restricted scenarios.


Keep up with modern trends

To maximize the potential of your YouTube Shorts ad, it’s crucial to stay attuned to current trends and tap into the interests of your target audience. By leveraging key trends, you can create content that resonates with viewers and increases the chances of your Shorts being discovered and shared.

When it comes to trends, they can vary depending on the industry or niche you’re operating in. For example, if you’re in the fashion and beauty niche, you might want to incorporate the latest fashion trends, makeup techniques, or popular fashion challenges. The #remaketherunway trend on YouTube is a great example of a niche-specific trend, where creators turn old clothes (and other items) into to fun new fashion pieces. Just take a look at this great example from Miara Jennings, who turned a set of bright pink curtains into a runway-worthy dress!

In the gaming niche, you could focus on trending games, gaming strategies, or even popular gaming memes. It’s important to research and identify the trends that are relevant to your target audience and align with your brand.

In terms of creative elements, incorporating popular music tracks can greatly enhance the appeal of your Shorts. Choose music that aligns with the tone and mood of your content, and ensure you have the necessary rights and permissions to use the music legally. Including relevant pop culture references can also help establish a connection with your audience and make your content more relatable.

Don’t forget the vertical video format

Due to the fact that the YouTube Shorts ads format is still quite new, marketers do not always use its potential to the fullest, so to speak. For example, many of them neglect the rule of thumb to upload videos in a vertical format. This spoils the overall impression of the ad and, of course, creates an empty void, which could instead be filled with captivating content to grab the attention of your target audience.

Common pitfalls to avoid

  • Bypass content that is overly lengthy or lacks a clear focus.
  • Strive for a balance between entertainment and delivering your brand message effectively.
  • Refrain from using irrelevant or outdated references that may disconnect the audience.
  • Avoid low-quality visuals or shaky camera work that can undermine the overall appeal.
  • Be cautious not to overload your Shorts with too much text or cluttered visuals.
  • Ensure that your content is easy to consume and comprehend.

By avoiding these pitfalls, your YouTube Shorts ads can stand out and leave a lasting impact on viewers. Let’s take a look at a solid example from Google of what a YouTube Shorts ad should look like to avoid the mistakes mentioned above.  

This piece effectively conveys the brand’s message. With its short runtime, steady camera work, minimal text, and quality visuals, it engages viewers without overwhelming them.

The bottom line

In conclusion, YouTube Shorts ads present a tremendous opportunity for brand promotion. We’ve covered the fundamentals, shared step-by-step instructions, and offered valuable tips to help you succeed. By incorporating our insights and leveraging the power of YouTube Shorts, you can captivate your audience, boost brand visibility, and drive business growth. It’s time to unleash your creativity and make a lasting impact with YouTube Shorts ads.

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