Looking to get into YouTube Shorts, but not sure where to start?
This might help. To help guide creators into Shorts, earlier this year, YouTube launched a new video series, hosted by creator Jade Beason, which shines a spotlight onto key Shorts trends of note. In addition, Beason also provides tips on how you can apply each trend within your process.
And some of them are pretty weird.
The key trends highlighted this month are:
- ‘Popular Media as Muse’ – Also known as ‘trendjacking’ or ‘newsjacking’, some Shorts creators are seeing success by tapping into key discussion topics and pop culture trends (e.g. Barbie) with their clips. This is a pretty tried and true social media marketing tactic. You map out the key news events of each season, then create tie-in content. The only variation here is that YouTube is suggesting you look at coming movie releases and other pop culture events as potential inspiration points, though the relative cultural impact of each is virtually impossible to predict ahead of time.
- ‘The Rise of Rizz’ – This is one of those trends that you could very easily get wrong, and very easily veer into cringe territory as a result. ‘Rizz’, an abbreviation of charisma, has become a trending term for describing someone’s capacity for drawing romantic interest. YouTube says that this is an example of participatory content, where the initial trend has sparked further engagement with the term, but the value of that as a creative tip is basically none, i.e. nobody could have predicted that ‘rizz’ would become a widely adopted slang term, so it’s not like the creator could have planned for such. So it’s more a point of interest than a helpful example.
- ‘Skibidi Toilet’ – The strangest of the trends highlighted by YouTube, ‘Skibidi Toilet’ is based around a character who sings a Biser King song. From the toilet. YouTube says that this has sparked a whole stream of content based around this character, which it suggests is reflective of the power of Shorts to drive new trends. But that’s not really what it shows. What it does reflect is Gen Z’s love for absurdist humor, which you have to be immersed in to really lock into and utilize. And it’s risky, but there are ways that you can use crazy approaches like this for your content. I’d recommend watching ‘Tim and Eric’, as opposed to trying to dig into this specific trend.
- ‘Permission to Flex’ – This trend is based around personality types, and it invites other creators to participate in the trend by sharing their own personality types, and what that means to them. This one is a more specific example of participatory content, and the ways in which short-form can be helpful in driving such engagement, because it requires less commitment for people to add their own take.
- ‘Chess’ – Yes, chess. Potentially amplified by the popularity of Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, chess has been getting more focus, but in particular, newer takes on the game, including ‘Chess Boxing’, where competitors physically fight between moves, as well as comedians making jokes while playing chess in live streams. YouTube says that the trend is an example of how you can create new trends from older ones, by reimagining them in a new setting, though you’re unlikely to be able to come up with many things as entertaining as Chess Boxing, or similar. I do think, however, that there could be opportunities to broadcast, say, board games with comedians adding their own takes, or showing people playing games like Connect 4 in a strange setting. That could spark a new trend, though the creative value is probably not super high.
These are the five trends of focus in the latest YouTube tips overview, and it could be worth taking a look at the series if you’re trying to find ways to tap into Shorts, and gain traction with the format.
Though Beason’s insights are not always that valuable. I’d suggest that you assess each trend as highlighted, then consider what that might mean in your own application, as opposed to merely taking the notes as provided.
You can check out YouTube’s latest Shorts tips video here.