Want to publish more shorts on YouTube? Looking for an easy-to-use tool?
In this article, you'll discover why you should prioritize short-form content for YouTube. You'll also learn how to create shorts from existing videos with YouTube native tools.
Why Marketers Should Pay Attention to YouTube Shorts in 2023
Over the past 2 years, YouTube has gradually rolled out tools to help brands and creators turn long-form content into bite-sized videos. In 2021, the platform launched Clips, a tool that allows users to select up to 60 seconds from any eligible long-form video and turn it into a shorter piece of content. Although clips are sharable, they aren't stand-alone videos. Instead, they essentially serve as highlights that link back to the original content.
In 2022, YouTube launched the Remix tool allowing users to transform up to 15 seconds of their own long-form videos into shorts. These remixes do become stand-alone videos that display on the Shorts tab and in the Shorts feed. Because the Remix tool allows brands to repurpose their own existing content, it can help users get started with Shorts or create new content more efficiently.
In June 2023, the platform extended the capabilities of these tools, essentially combining Clips and Remix. Now users can remix YouTube clips, turning these long-form highlights into short-form videos that display on Shorts surfaces (i.e., in the Shorts feed and on the channel's Shorts tab). This hybrid tool is notable for a few reasons.
Since YouTube first began rolling out Shorts in 2020, the platform has introduced several tools to encourage brands and creators alike to create more short-form content. With a wider range of native effects and editing options (pictured below), as well as remixes for shorts and long-form videos, users can now create more compelling shorts faster.
In early 2023, the platform also made a series of substantial changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which allows users to monetize content and access exclusive resources. In the past, only long-form video views counted toward YPP eligibility. Now shorts views also count toward YPP eligibility, giving users an added incentive to create more short-form content. If you're getting close to meeting the 3 million shorts views threshold, clips can help.
In May 2023, YouTube announced that the platform would soon sunset Stories. This update appears to be an attempt to encourage brands and creators to funnel their short-form content efforts away from making ephemeral stories and into creating shorts instead. Since clips remixes automatically include credit to the original video, they can drive traffic to your channel's long-form content while providing new opportunities to boost discovery in the Shorts feed.
Why not just make Youtube shorts directly from your channel's original videos? You can certainly go that route and skip the clip step. But if you're planning to share clips to other social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn and you want to develop more Shorts content, then this workflow is ideal.
When you want to make YouTube shorts, working from longer videos can be a clunky process, since you have to find the snippet you want to repurpose and remix it on a mobile device. Since clips are much shorter (5 to 60 seconds) and already include highlights from the video, they can help you expand your short-form video catalog much more efficiently.
How to Create YouTube Shorts From Clips
Whether you're completely new to YouTube clips or you already have a library of clips to convert, you can use the workflow below to remix your channel's content into shorts.
#1: Select or Create Clips
If your team doesn't yet have a habit of creating clips, you can generate them in about a minute each. You can create clips from either a desktop browser or the mobile app, and the workflow is almost identical for both. For this example, we'll use the YouTube app.
Open the YouTube app and tap the Library button in the main menu. Go to your channel's videos and tap the Videos chip to filter out shorts, which aren't eligible for clips. Open any video that's 2 minutes or longer and tap the Clip button underneath the title and description.
Select a snippet that's between 5 and 60 seconds long, using the slider to isolate the section of your choice. Note that if you create clips in a desktop browser, you can enter timestamps. This option makes it a little easier to make clips from particularly long videos or clips with exact start and stop times.
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After setting the beginning and end of the clip, give it a name that fits within the 140-character limit.
Note that viewers will be able to see this title so make it appropriate for the public to see. Since clips aren't stand-alone content and won't appear in search or on viewers' home pages, there's no need to create titles that are optimized for search.
When you're finished, tap the Share Clip button to save the snippet to your channel. You can share to other social platforms directly from this workflow or copy the link to share with your team. Otherwise, close the Share pop-up so you can start remixing. Now you can access all of your clips from your channel's library.
If your team has a strategy for creating clips, you can skip the step above and start by using the content you've already created. In the YouTube app, tap the Library button in the main menu. Then go to Your Clips and tap to open one that you want to remix. Note that as of June 2023, only clips from your channel's own content are eligible for importing into Shorts.
#2: Remix Clips Into Shorts
To turn clips into shorts, use the YouTube mobile app. As of June 2023, YouTube doesn't support remixing content from desktop browsers or YouTube Studio.
In the mobile app, open the clip you want to repurpose and tap the Remix button. Select the Edit Into a Short option. Next, use the slider to choose the snippet you want to repurpose. Since clips are limited to 60 seconds, you have the option to import the entire clip into a short-form video; however, you can always select a shorter snippet to optimize for the Shorts feed.
This clips-to-shorts Remix tool also gives you the option to choose a different snippet from the original video. YouTube automatically loads the entire video into the Shorts creation tool, so you can start the snippet earlier, end it later, or choose a completely different clip from the video if necessary.
Press, hold, and move the video itself to the left or right to adjust what displays on the screen. Keep in mind that you're converting a long-form video with a landscape aspect ratio to a short-form video with a vertical aspect ratio, which can be tricky.
In some cases, long-form videos may not translate to a vertical aspect ratio. For example, critical components may get cut off no matter how you position the video. In this case, you're better off editing the video in a third-party app and uploading the edited video as a short.
#3: Use YouTube's Native Editing Tools
Once you've finalized the timing and on-screen placement for the video, tap the Next button. The app will prompt you to start editing the clip you selected but you also have the option to add more content to the video. Tap the Back button in the upper-left corner to film a new clip or select one from your device.
Then use YouTube's editing tools. For example, you can apply one of the filter presets to make the content stand out in the Shorts feed. You can also use the text tool to add on-screen overlays in your choice of colors or fonts.
Tap the Timeline button to adjust when the text overlays display on the screen. Drag and drop them to change which overlays display on top of others. You can also tap to add more text overlays directly from this screen. When you're finished, tap Done and Next to move to the publishing screen.
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#4: Publish the YouTube Short to Your YouTube Channel
On the publishing screen, add a title for the short. Use your YouTube SEO strategy to create a title that's likely to appeal to viewers and appear in relevant searches. Note that you can't add shorts descriptions in the YouTube app but you can go back and add them retroactively in YouTube Studio.
Before publishing, it's also a good idea to double-check the thumbnail. If the automatically generated thumbnail doesn't fit your channel's design standards, tap the pencil to replace it. Note that you'll need to choose a frame from the short, as the YouTube app doesn't support uploading premade thumbnails.
Finally, double-check the visibility settings. You can publish the short as a public, unlisted, or private piece of content, and you have the option to schedule it to post at a future date or time. After reviewing the settings, tap the Upload Short button.
#5: Check Remix Analytics in YouTube Studio
After publishing the short, you'll be able to find two types of analytics in YouTube Studio. First, check content-level analytics. For every short you create from a clip, you can see metrics like watch time, audience retention, how many chose to view, and how viewers found the short. By comparing these analytics to those from other shorts, you can identify what resonates best with your audience and optimally repurpose your clips.
Next, check remix analytics for the original video. In the YouTube Studio app, you can find top-performing remixes and compare results from all of the shorts you've created from longer clips.
How to Configure Remix and Clips Permissions
Before you make a plan to start turning clips into shorts, note that not all YouTube videos are eligible for clips or remixing. Channel owners can configure some settings at the channel level and others at the content level so it's important to confirm these settings as you develop your shorts content plan.
Enable Clips for Your YouTube Channel
To enable Clips, open YouTube Studio and go to Settings. Select the Channel panel and go to the Advanced Settings tab. Check the Allow Visitors to Clip My Content box to enable this tool for both your team and other viewers. Once you enable this option, you'll see the Clip button display below any public video uploaded to your YouTube channel.
Clips permissions apply across all public content on your channel and you can enable or disable this option at any time. Note that any clips made from your long-form videos will disappear if you disable permissions, and they'll reappear if you re-enable permissions.
Even if you allow clips, it's important to note that some videos don't qualify for clipping. Clippable content has to be published as a long-form video (i.e., not as a short) and must be at least 2 minutes long.
Change Remix Settings at the Content Level
To see whether a clip allows remixing, open it in the YouTube app and look for the Remix button directly under the video. Tap the button and look for the Edit Into a Short option in the Remix menu. If the Edit Into a Short option displays, the clip is eligible for shorts remixing. If not, you won't be able to remix it directly into a short.
Fortunately, your team controls the settings for any clips from your channel's existing YouTube videos. Clips automatically inherit the same remix settings as the original video. The easiest way to allow remixing for clips is to set appropriate permissions when you initially upload the original content.
During the video upload process, scroll down to the bottom of the Details screen and click See More. Then look for the Shorts Remixing options. To allow clips remixing, check the Allow Video and Audio Remixing option.
Note that enabling remixing allows any eligible user to sample up to 5 seconds of your long-form video in their own content. However, it doesn't allow users to import your content into a short with no additional footage or editing. As of June 2023, only the original creator (i.e., your channel) can import up to 60 seconds of a long-form video directly into Shorts.
If you want to repurpose a clip that doesn't have the video Remix feature enabled, you can adjust the settings after the initial upload. Open your YouTube Studio dashboard and go to the Content panel. Click to edit any video and scroll down to view the Shorts Remixing settings on the Video Details panel. Select Allow Video and Audio Remixing, and save to apply the settings.
If you need to enable remixing for more than one video, you can save time by changing the settings in bulk. On the Content panel in YouTube Studio, check the box next to all the videos in question. Click the Edit button to open the drop-down menu, and select Shorts Remixing. Then select Allow Video and Audio Remixing and click the Update Videos button to apply the change.
YouTube's new tool for repurposing clips gives brands a fast, easy option for creating short-form video content. Using this tool, teams can get more mileage from their long-form video clips and publish more shorts in less time, helping channels build a presence across both the standard video and Shorts feed.
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