YouTube has been busy diversifying its approach to making and hosting videos and one of its most exciting updates has been devising YouTube Shorts. Following TikTok’s success, quick and snappy short videos are a great way to share content, created to entertain and help drive engagement.

So, if you’re looking to make an impact and grow your reach, Shorts gives you the freedom to create and share videos quickly and easily. They help you reach different audiences and can be key to growing your subscriber numbers without just relying on more developed, long-form videos. Want to know more about how to film a YouTube Short? Let’s get started…

Why film YouTube shorts?

It’s the ease of producing Shorts that really makes them appealing. They are quick to publish and edit, which means you can have fun with them, playing around with different themes, topics, and production styles. Shorts are also easy to create and share. Within just a few minutes, you have an entertaining piece of content ready to go.

YouTube is keen to promote Shorts, which brings us to another great benefit - discoverability. Shorts appear on their own designated shelf on the YouTube homepage, making it easy for users to find new content. If you’re an aspiring musician or creator, you should take advantage of this level of visibility.

This short-form video content is a great pathway to connect with your younger audiences, too. The majority of TikTok’s user demographic is made up of users from Gen Z, which - you guessed it - is the target audience for YouTube Shorts.

Creating short-form videos presents a unique opportunity to unlock a vast new audience for you or your brand.

LegalEagle has long been producing content going behind the scenes of famous legal stories. And he’s repeated his success with Shorts, creating mini insights into celebrity legal stories, getting 10 million views for “Amber Heard’s Lawyer Objects To His Own Question.”

How long should your YouTube short be?

Your YouTube Short has to be between 15 and 60 seconds in length. Remember that if your Short uses music from the YouTube catalog, it will be limited to just 15 seconds.

YouTube automatically categorizes any video shorter than 60 seconds as a Short. You can get creative with it, and opt to record for a continuous length of time or split your video up into several 15-second segments that comprise one longer video.

When it comes to choosing the length of your Short, there is plenty of inspiration out there. In fact, Timeworks managed to create what has been dubbed “the shortest Short on YouTube” at just one second (30 frames) long.

When it comes to Shorts that are just 15 seconds, they’re often viral moments or fun little skits. Think  Mike R. Draper joking about being an introvert (3.4 million views) or Dude Perfect netting the world’s highest basketball shot (7.3 million views).

But longer Shorts are great if you want to develop a point a bit, perhaps if you’re doing a Q&A or teasing a longer video you’ve created. Magician Dan Rhodes creates longer videos to share his tricks and the secrets behind them, while Wendy Skin shares her beauty regime and skin treatments.

While you might not be able to fully cover a topic with a Youtube Short, they offer the perfect opportunity to direct new fans to your channel. You’re also less likely to lose the viewer’s attention with a shorter video, while longer videos will require a higher level of storytelling finesse.

What do you need to know before filming your Short?

There are a few practical requirements you have to meet before creating YouTube Shorts. We’ve already covered the time limits, but there are specifications for shooting the videos too.

YouTube Shorts must be recorded in a vertical orientation, with a 9:16 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080. It’s easier than you might think to make your video fit these guidelines, as they are standard on many devices.

If you need a tool that quickly converts horizontal to vertical video, offers a useful app for exactly that purpose. You can also use the standard Apple Photos app in iOS, or the Google Photos app on Android, to rotate your video with ease.

You can use audio from YouTube’s audio library or other videos for up to the 60-second limit, which you’ll find is an amazing tool for creators as it’s copyright-safe.
Just remember, if you use music with a Creative Commons license, you need to credit the artist in your video description - simply click the Creative Commons icon and copy the text to paste into your description.

You can also search in the library for music tagged as Attribution Not Required - this means you are free to use the music with no problem. Or source your own music. One easy way to avoid problems is to use a service that offers royalty-free music and sound effects without copyright issues, such as Tunetank.

What sort of Shorts do well?

A world of potential waits for you with the sheer variety of Shorts that you can produce. There are more popular examples like news updates for your channel, instructional content like recipe videos, or cutting and editing your existing video content into short formats.

The short and snappy content is perfect for capturing people’s interest before guiding them to the longer videos.

To get a little more creative, you can present before-and-after videos, or if you’re an established influencer, maybe create a Q&A so your audience can find out more about you.

If you already have a presence on TikTok or Instagram, don’t feel shy about reusing that content for your YouTube channel. Remember to jump on trends, as these can be a good way to catapult your content to the top of search results.

Shorts are always a great format for life hacks. They are literal shortcuts to success, so a short-form video is especially appropriate! Lionfield are two likable Italian guys who have posted fun food-based life hack videos.

Motivational Shorts content always taps into an audience of people chasing goals and aiming for self-improvement. Growingannanas has generated almost 40 million views and four million subscribers by documenting her amazing body transformation and including valuable tips and hints to get you off the couch.

You might want to take some inspiration from the most-viewed YouTube Short of 2022. “If Cleaning Was A Timed Sport: Part 2,” by Daniel LaBelle, is a short comedy video that hits the key feature of being relatable to a wider audience. That’s exactly the type of feeling you need to tap into with your own audience.

How to make your YouTube Short

▶️ Get started

Simply log in to your YouTube account on your device and start filming from there. In the app, you can find the “Create a short” option under the “Create” section. Make sure you’ve given the app permission to use your camera and microphone.

⚙️ Set up the details

It’s all about the tapping. You can tap the speedometer icon to change the speed of the recording, use the Timer button to change the duration of time for the camera to begin, and apply filters to your Shorts even before you start filming. When you’re ready, it’s time to record!

🎬 Start filming

Either press and hold the capture button or tap it once to start your recording, and tap it again to stop. Before you start recording, or after you’ve finished, you can tap “Add Music” to start browsing the YouTube library for audio that you love. Time the music right with the Short and you can line it up perfectly.

✏️ Edit to perfection

Once you’re done, you’ll see a replay of what you’ve recorded. You can really experiment here with text, filters, and music if you haven’t already selected your audio. Just remember, you can’t cut the recorded video.

If you want to unlock different options, consider downloading a separate YouTube Shorts video editor. With these, you can do everything from adding makeup and changing face shape to adding different effects, blurring backgrounds, stickers, extra filters, and more. From Video Maker for YouTube to Adobe Premiere Rush and YouCam Video, there are plenty to choose from.

Different editors will give you different features, so it’s best to shop around. InShot is really accessible, making video editing look easy with a fantastic user-friendly interface. Filmora offers great options like in-built templates and useful tutorials.

In recent years, AI video editors have become more popular, with exciting new features such as auto-generated transcripts, AI-augmented editing controls, generative tools like text-to-video, and high-quality digital avatars.

⬆️ Upload

After that, it’s just about following the usual process of uploading videos and deciding when to publish and if you want the content to be Public, Unlisted, or Private. You can also decide whether you want to keep the content age-restricted.

Want to promote your YouTube video with a Short?

Repacking your longer videos for a YouTube Short is a great idea to boost your visibility. Using an editor like Wisecut or Biteable makes it easy to break down an existing long video into shorter, bite-size chunks to promote your channel with easily shareable videos. You can even use Flixier to edit directly from your browser.

A really useful feature of Shorts is that they auto-play, meaning they can entice viewers into watching at least the first few seconds. An impactful Short to capture attention could introduce people to your longer content in a more effective way.

Yes, you can still use your kit for YouTube Shorts

Of course, you can capture quick and easy YouTube Shorts on your phone or tablet, but why not break out your specialist kit for high-quality Shorts?

You can use the same high-quality professional camera equipment for Shorts as for long-form videos. 

If you want professional gear for your YouTube Shorts, there is a selection of great cameras that provide crisp, high-quality video. The Sony ZV-1 is ideal for vlogs and beginners, as it’s small and light and comes with an in-built microphone. If you’re searching for something more high-end and cinematic, the Sony A7S III will surely meet your needs.

A solid tripod will help for stationary hands-free shots, while a piece of kit that provides light, such as an LED lightbox or ring light, can be transformative. If you want to guarantee top-quality sound, skip the built-in microphone and purchase your own.

When you have the right kit, all you have to do is make sure you meet those technical requirements of rotating your camera vertically and having the correct frame rate and resolution.

And that’s all it takes! Now you know how to film a YouTube video for YouTube Shorts, you might want to expand your search for amazing tunes to match your editing skills. Luckily, we know just the place.

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