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Official Which content type should I focus on? Shorts or Long-form content?

Nody | Team TB

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Hey, TubeBuddies! We know this question comes to everyone’s mind as to what type of content you should be focusing on when it comes to your channel! There are times when we get the question about Short videos performing well, but then it flats out! Or When the views are being deleted and so on... So, before we jump into the question of which content type you need to focus on, let’s recall how YouTube works when it comes to removing views and subscribers.

YouTube will periodically remove views and subscribers it doesn't consider valid. This includes views generated by bots that harvest data from YouTube, purchased views, etc. Also, some people will unsubscribe, which will cause your subscriber count to decrease. So, that is why you're seeing your view and/or subscriber counts decrease.

Unfortunately, this happens to everyone, and there isn't much you can do about it. It's just part of being a creator on YouTube.

Now, when it comes to which video type would be ideal for your channel, it comes all down to your goals with your channel. There are two types of videos - Long-form content and Short-form content.

Ideally, if you're looking for quick growth and your main concern is just views, I'd say shorts are the way to go! The shorts algorithm is designed in such a way that it provides the content creator the quick exposure when it comes to views. For the subscribers, I'm kind of on the fence, mainly because shorts can bring in a significant number of subscribers if your content performs well…… The only thing that I have experienced and noticed is that it ends up providing you with more passive subscribers, which are less likely to return. Some of them are also bots that end up subscribing to your content, so eventually, such subscribers or views or any sort of fake engagement that gets detected by YouTube at the later period are deleted, as aforementioned at the start.

Now, ideally, if you're looking to grow your channel in the long term, long-form content is the way to go! Remember, the way short algorithms work is a bit different from long-form content. There are instances where SFC works well in the longer run, but only when you're making a video or shorts about such topics that are being searched, and if you've optimized your video well, the videos populate on search engines such as Google, YouTube, websites and so on.

In the usual case, most of the short videos that make it to the shorts shelf have a very short video life expectancy. Many of them may stop receiving views or engagement anywhere from 2 hours after publishing up to a few days or even weeks (at times months). The reason? It mainly depends on your video retention. If your shorts, let's say, for instance, are 30 seconds long, and if people are swiping away from your video/videos, in the first 5–10 seconds, it sends the data to YouTube that the video that you have made isn't worth enough to be pushed forward in the Shorts shelf. When that happens, YouTube stops pushing your video to a newer audience or audience that shares similar watching behavior, and it starts pushing other videos to the shorts that are of similar niches and are receiving good reactions from their subscriber and audience. Now, there's nothing you can do about this, as most of the time, it's just too random for a short to explode and flat out. However, there are a couple of things that you can work on in order to have successful performing shorts. There are a couple of factors that need to be considered -

1. Watch time
2. Swipe-Through Rate
3. Traffic At Time of Publish

Your primary focus should be on engaging the viewers and maintaining their interest throughout the video. It's not just about the initial watchtime; you want to encourage them to rewatch your content. For a one-minute Shorts video, I recommend aiming for at least 150% retention, while for a 15-second Shorts video, aim for over 300% retention.

The swipe-through rate is equally crucial; it measures the number of people who continue watching your video versus those who swipe to the next one. To achieve success, you must hook the viewer within the first 3 seconds of your video. This initial period is critical to capturing their attention. For a video to go viral, I suggest aiming for an 85% swipe-through rate.

Another crucial factor to consider is the traffic at the time of publishing. Unfortunately, there's little you can do about this, as it often depends on the volume of content being posted. Your video might get drowned out amidst the competition if many others are posting simultaneously, or there might be fewer people actively watching videos at that moment. As a result, even a successful video can sometimes fail to gain traction.

Remember, it's important for you to optimize your Shorts video as you would if it were a normal video. I have personally seen that it helps a lot. If you're optimizing your video and working on your SEO, making sure that the target keyword is well-placed in your metadata, you have a good chance that despite your Short's video isn't getting pushed from YouTube to the shelf, you're now aiming for a broader audience. When your videos are optimized and the keyword that you have targeted is being searched, your videos, irrespective of their form type, can be found in the search engines. That way, you can attract new audiences, which in turn can bring you subscribers.

Long videos? Are they good?

Long-form content is always considered as every green content as it existed way before the Shorts form content was introduced to YouTube. Such videos will always get the right traction if all the criteria, such as good audience retention, better SEO, good CTR, quality content, and better editing, are met. Your main goal as a channel (if you're uploading two types of content) should always be prioritizing your long-form video over the short forms. You don't want people, or your subscribers should just get habituated to the short-form content. When you do that, you're hampering your overall long-form video performance, as most of them will be reluctant or lazy to watch your entire video, thus hampering your audience retention. Not to mention that if you're randomly uploading Shorts and if shorts topics do not align with the long-form content niche or if topics are mismatched, no matter how well that Short performed and how many views or subscribers you have gained from it, it will, in the long run, just be bad for your channel. Most of those subscribers will be confused, as the topic that you will be making the videos on will be different from the one you're doing in shorts. Not only that, but you're also confusing the YouTube algorithm, to whom it should push your video forward. When this happens, you will notice a major tank in your CTR! It's very unlikely that people or subscribers who have come over from your Shorts video will click on your long-form content, as they were expecting videos of different niches.

So don't rely too much on shorts; you want to focus on more long-form content as you are able to hook up your audience more and provide the value they're looking for in a more detailed manner.

So, what content type should you use? Shorts or Long form?

Shorts should be used for advertising your long-form content… I know this looks weird, but trust me… they do well! For instance, if you are a gaming channel, you can use Shorts to show the clips of the gaming that you are currently covering, or if there are specific missions that show some important aspect of the game, you can use that timestamp to advertise the entire content you are working on. How does this help? You will be attracting the people or audience that are already in such a niche. This will make them click on your channel and possibly check out your current videos, and if they find the value, they will definitely hit that "Subscribe" button and start engaging with your long-form content.

Again, that's not guaranteed, but it does work. Not only you're driving traffic to your long-form video, but you're also getting a free advertisement. Now, with the help of ‘Remix Feature‘, you can easily create shorts from your existing long-form video, and the best part is that you can select a related video this short pertains to, and accordingly, you can redirect the audience to that video when they click on the in-built YouTube hyperlink!




Use shorts as a way to highlight some important features of your video that backtrack to your original video. Make use of the chapters or timestamps in your description of your original long-form video. If the video is well-optimized, you can end up being found in the search engine for that specific keyword. Ensure that the chapters that you're adding should at least include one targeted keyword that is related to your topic.

What topic should you make the videos about?

Unfortunately, there's a very vague question. We are unable to confirm the topic you should be working on. It solely depends on you. We'd say whatever topic you would like to make the video about, make sure you use our keyword explorer tool so that you can understand how good the keyword is. Not only will you get an idea about how well the keyword is but also keyword explorer will also extract some related tags that you can use in your video or some related phrases or video topics that are currently being searched on YouTube and on Google. Of course, there might be instances where it won't be able to populate that information due to insufficient data, but it's always recommended that you do keyword research about the topic or the phrase that you believe would be good for your channel. This could also be used for shorts.
 

same2cool

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i thiing your 1st focus should be shorts and limit around 20 seconds. best one for getting daily subscribers.
 

Damon

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Yeah, focus on long form. Use suggested shorts to make shorts content from old videos. Link the shorts content to the long form content. This will keep things consistent. Therefore, focus on long form. Derive your shorts from long form. Spend more time on long form instead of shorts. Shorts is like eating candy. Long form is like meat and potatoes.

Generally, I don't like short form at all, but there is a challenge in telling a complete story in 15 to 20 seconds. I see it as an exercise in thinking in shots. A 15 second video made of 3 second shots gives you 5 shots. Many comic strips tell a whole story in three shots. 15 to 20 seconds is a good bit of time. From time to time make a shorts video purely as an exercise to help your storytelling.
 
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Nody | Team TB

Nody | Team TB

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Yeah, focus on long form. Use suggested shorts to make shorts content from old videos. Link the shorts content to the long form content. This will keep things consistent. Therefore, focus on long form. Derive your shorts from long form. Spend more time on long form instead of shorts. Shorts is like eating candy. Long form is like meat and potatoes.

Generally, I don't like short form at all, but there is a challenge in telling a complete story in 15 to 20 seconds. I see it as a exercise in thinking in shots. A 15 second video made of 3 second shots gives you 5 shots. Many comic strips tell a whole story in three shots. 15 to 20 seconds is a good bit of time. From time to time make a shorts video purely as an exercise to help your storytelling.
Exactly!
 

yuniawhite

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My target in youtube is to grow the channel in the long term, so long-form content is my choice. Although sometimes it is hard to get a lot of viewers and subscribers for beginner like me. I am not interested in creating short video, for now at least.
 

aniket Uncaged

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for me , the content is the real king, understanding the psychology and making a standard from user data is not gonna be a sustainable idea, we do need to do keyword research thats also true but for me, the short format videos cannot bring loyal subscribers to the channels. people who blvs in understanding based on a swipe or move of thumb cannot be trusted, its better to take time and create a community and let people know you are here to stay and you will deliver trustworthy and rich content.