Using AI for Youtube Shorts to Grow Your Audience


Have you ever created a Youtube channel and struggled to gain new subscribers? Whether your audience belongs to a niche market, or you treat a very popular topic, the Youtube algorithm makes it difficult for new entrants to gain visibility. Leveraging AI for Youtube Shorts could be a solution!

Why Youtube Shorts Are Relevant for You

Youtube Shorts provide a powerful way to reach out to new audiences. In fact, Youtube Shorts receives around 15 billion views a day. With the updated algorithm of Youtube, the users watching your Youtube shorts are redirected to your long-form videos and they are therefore potential new long-form subscribers.

Instead of just giving you a list of best practices, I would like to share my experience of using AI with a new Youtube channel and 3 different formats I tried to reach out to new users. As the channel was new, the absolute numbers were not very high, but conclusions about the efficacy of the different formats can be revealing for any business or individual willing to invest in this channel.

You might have heard of the new disruptive advances of AI to generate content, whether is text, image, audio, or video. The following examples are assessed based on the time invested to create the asset and the reach achieved, including some further reflections on the strategy:

Format 1: Midjourney – Making Off

Time invested Medium-low
Reach Low
Audience Niche

In this video series, I showed users the process behind the creation of some Midjourney creations. The time invested was relatively low after the first asset was created. Indeed, the first file was used as a template in which images and text prompts could be replaced in a couple of minutes in order to export a new asset. Although this format was quite scalable and time efficient, the reach was relatively low. Many assumptions could be done on the reasons why this format was not leading to high engagement (e.g., revealing the prompts behind the Midjourney creations was maybe not solving any user problem), but most of the time several formats need to be tried before opting for the successful one. If you are interested in improving your Midjourney creations check this article.


Format 2: Funny Facts by ChatGPT

Time invested Low
Reach Medium
Audience Broad

What if you could let ChatGPT create the content that you are looking for? I tried to create a hook including an interesting question in the first part of the video. This question was actually asked to ChatGPT which provided an answer:

  • Hook example 1: What are some fun facts about salespeople?
  • ChatGPT answer: Salespeople talk fast because they know if they pause for too long, the customer might change their mind.
  • Hook example 2: Why are Italians using gestures to communicate?
  • ChatGPT answer: Italians use gestures to add emphasis and expressiveness to their speech, but it’s also been said that it’s because they are always holding a coffee or a cigarette in their hands!

This format was incredibly efficient in terms of execution:

  1. Ask ChatGPT some fun facts and select the best ones
  2. Download some licence-free footage from stock images or videos websites such as Pexels
  3. Mount everything together and add some trending music on top of the asset

To conclude, it is worth mentioning that this format was addressing a broad group of users that probably didn’t fit with the target of the channel. In fact, the channel focuses on uncovering the power of AI in the design space, and therefore the medium-high number of reach of these videos could be considered less of a success depending on the goals of the brand.

Format 3: Real Use Cases of AI In Design

Time invested High
Reach High
Audience Focused

Through this format, real use cases of AI in design contexts were revealed. Whether is a new app (e.g., Adobe Firefly) or a tool (e.g., ChatGPT), this format shows professionals how they could benefit from these new innovations. To make it more authentic the face of the designer is shown and real examples of design cases are presented to make it more tangible. The time invested was usually significantly higher than in the other two formats, but also the level of engagement increased. Considering that the type of content created with this format was in line with the long-form videos and tailored to the target group of the channel, it might be worth investing in this format.

Best Practices for Youtube Shorts

Your brand might require completely different types of content, but some learnings from the examples shown above can be applied to other contexts.

Regardless of the quality of your strategy or your productions, you will probably need to try different formats before finding the most successful story that your audience will love.

The following best practices for creating and optimizing your Youtube Shorts hold true in any case:

  1. Keeping them short and simple (you have to keep them within 60 sec anyway)
  2. Understanding your audience (focus on customer’s problems)
  3. Incorporating trending topics (but still within your defined market)
  4. Utilizing keywords and hashtags
  5. Creating eye-catching thumbnails (videos play non-stop automatically, but thumbnails are still visible as regular videos in a channel)
  6. Promoting Shorts on other social media platforms
  7. Use YouTube Analytics and make adjustments based on that data

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Luca Sorrentino

I am Luca, a passionate UX and brand designer living in Lucerne, a wonderful city in Switzerland. I believe that designers have the power and responsibility to shape the world for a better future. In order to be impactful, technology and innovation need to be fully leveraged. AI is seen at the same time as the materialisation of a dystopia and an efficient tool for value creation. I want to explore many possible scenarios by familiarizing with AI in the area of my expertise: design.

View all posts by Luca Sorrentino →

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